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.