YouTuber Martin Fencka finds the correct sequencing of attacks to get the best value. His ranged naval forces of frigates and sole melee land unit in the area (his tercio) are attacking a Spanish city garrisoned by a ship and tercio. This game, Martin has the Honor policy tree, which among other bonuses grants his units +15 hit points when they kill an enemy unit with a melee attack. When a melee unit attacks, it both deals and receives damage, which can be dangerous. By first attacking the city with his ranged ships, he damaged the garrisoning enemy tercio without quite destroying it. This created a window to melee city with his own tercio, causing some damage to the city itself and successfully destroying the enemy unit. Martin’s tercio healed 15 hp by getting the kill, refunding most of the damage it sustained during the attack.
A common noob mistake in Apex Legends (and other battle royale games) is to overly respect the play zone. There are a number of factors that make it possible, and even rewarding, to take damage in order to loot, fight, or reposition outside the ring.
- early rings deal low damage
Early rings deal less damage than later rings. The first phase deals only 1 damage per tick, becoming 2 per tick once the first ring finishes closing.
- ring announcement and ring closing both take time
Noobs tend to respond too early to the countdown timers the game provides in relation to the ring. For the first ring, there is a 4 minute countdown between the upcoming ring being shown to players and the start of actual ring movement. The first ring then takes an additional 2.5 minutes to close
- syringes are more common than they are useful, but playing outside the ring puts them to work
The zone deals health damage, not shield damage, but all other sources of damage (except Caustic’s poison gas) hit and must deplete a player’s bodyshield before having the chance to deal health damage. Further, health healing items are slower to use than shield healing ones. As a result, shield healing items are more valuable than health healing items, since health takes damage less often than shields do. Finding a way to productively spend health healing items (e.g. by continuing to loot, fight, or maneuver while outside of the circle) is a way to invest a resource that otherwise are difficult to spend. See article footnote for more details.
- High loot zones at map edge are likely to be outside the first ring
The first ring excludes most of the zones at the edge of the map (since it will include only ~26% of the map), and most zones by the map edge have high loot chances. Since the first ring does low damage, it is relatively worthwhile to continue to loot near the edge of the map for some of the first ring.
*A note on syringes and healing items
Syringes heal only 25 health and takes 5 seconds to activate, as compared with a Med Kit’s 100 healing after 8 seconds, a shield cell’s repairing 25 shield after 3 seconds, a shield battery repairing 100 shield after 5 seconds, and a Phoenix Kit yielding 100 shields 100 health after 10 seconds. The syringe gives the worst bang-for-your-buck in terms of healing power vs time investment. The low value of syringes means that looted areas are relatively likely to still have some lying around, as players usually opt to carry more grenades or ammunition over a second syringe stack. The ability to find syringes in looted areas indirectly reduces the cost a squad incurrs by staying outside the ring and taking damage from it.
Winning in Apex Legends, as in any team battle royale, is a function of individual player skill, teamwork, and (our topic today) squad loot quality.
The best way to equip one’s team with good loot is to land in an area with high quality drop chances. This can mean one of the map zones that always rolls on high tier drop tables, the
first supply ship or start-of-game blue marked loot zone. Landing in a lower-quality loot area is no guarantee of avoiding a fight, and landing in a high-tier loot area is no guarantee of finding one. If you want to reduce your chances of being involved in a big fight before you loot up a bit (I personally prefer to get right into the thick of it), you should head for one of the high-drop areas (circled in blue) that is far from and late in the initial drop path.
After looting (and potentially fighting over) one of the map’s high loot areas, you should start moving through other zones ASAP in order to snap up the contents of unlooted zones and, more importantly, get the drop on other teams that are split up in their looting. Enemy players represent the highest concentration of loot possible, as they have been visiting many loot piles and taking only the best of what they find. Looting another player is (almost) like looting every spot that player has been to since their landing.
As the early game progresses and the map becomes increasingly looted by remaining squads, killing and looting other players goes from being the best way to gear-up to the only way. By landing in a zone with good drops, you’ll give your team the best chances of winning those critical midgame fights. A proactive looting-and-killing team will exit this phase with high tier armors, weapons, and attachments, as well as higher-quality backpacks that enable them to bring more ammunition/healing/grenades to fights. A team that plays proactively for gear is (usually) going to roll over a less-well-equipped passively-playing team.
So whether or not you land “hot” (amidst enemy squads) or not, you still want to land in a high quality zone that borders on other high-tier zones. After the inital looting, a squad should aim to find other squads, ideally ones that have themselves looted nearby high-tier loot zones.