Apex Legends Season 16 is officially here, and with it comes various gameplay changes. This will, unsurprisingly, shift the balance of power once more for competitive play. The question now remains: are top characters like Bloodhound and Wraith still considered top of the tier list?
Sit back, relax, and let’s dive into our thoughts on the best Apex Legends character picks for offensive, defensive, support, and recon players. Here are the top Apex Legends, ranked by category.
Apex Legends Tier List, Ranked
Here’s our latest Apex Legends character tier list for Emergence, based on each character’s potential for high-level competitive play.
(Note: this list is only for the classic Battle Royale mode. The more dynamic and fast-paced gameplay of Arenas, introduced in Season 9, will undoubtedly call for a different lineup.)
- S-Tier: Wraith, Bloodhound, Gibraltar
- A-Tier: Valkyrie, Loba, Seer, Lifeline
- B-Tier: Mirage, Horizon, Bangalore
- C-Tier: Octane, Pathfinder, Caustic, Revenant
- D-Tier: Rampart, Crypto, Wattson, Fuse
Apex Legend’s Best Characters for Offensive Play
Wraith is currently one of the most well-known legends with the highest win rate, and it’s primarily because of her Tactical, Into the Void. The ability to become essentially invincible for a few seconds allows you to weave in and out of fights with ease. Combined with her Passive and Ultimate, Wraith is perhaps the best Apex Legends character for initiating and escaping team fights.
With that said, Wraith is also one of the more challenging legends to master. Her kit and playstyle center around quick-second decisions, battlefield awareness, and being unpredictable. Outsmarting enemies with creative uses of Into the Void is the key to winning with Wraith. If the enemy team can read your movements, they can easily counter you, and it’s game over. Be especially wary of an enemy Bloodhound with his Ultimate on, as he can quickly chase you if you attempt to escape.
Bangalore is an all-around balanced pick and touted as the best Apex Legends character for beginners (which, in our opinion, isn’t entirely the case). Her best ability is undoubtedly her Passive, allowing you to engage enemies and reposition quickly in the thick of it. Smoke Launcher is also a fantastic ability and the key to mastering Bangalore. You can use it in various ways — escaping tight spots, closing in on an enemy, or providing cover as you revive a teammate.
However, her mediocre Ultimate is Bangalore’s biggest problem – and the reason she doesn’t see action in higher tiers. It takes too long to impact, giving enemies time to avoid it altogether. The damage isn’t as powerful either. Because most of her ability kit is getting on engagements quickly, Bangalore is more suited to an aggressive playstyle. Thus, we believe that this legend is better suited for mid to higher-level players.
Octane is the epitome of aggressive play, and you’ll always find a good Octane player recklessly charging ahead of his team during engagements. Both his Tactical and Ultimate give him incredible mobility, making him the fastest legend overall. In addition, he excels at harassing the enemy team with skirmishes and hit-and-run tactics. Plus, his Passive allows him to heal up quickly and do it all over again.
The key to using Octane is to spam his Stim Tactical, giving you inhuman speeds that make you almost impossible to hit (as long as you keep moving). This allows you to run circles around opposing teams and get the jump on them at the right moment. The only drawback is that this will make you extremely low on health, where the wrong move will often lead to death. But for players who want to brave the risks for fantastic rewards, Octane is a great pick.
On paper, Fuse looks like a compelling legend. The Grenadier Passive makes grenades 10x more dangerous and accurate in his hands, including the hard-to-aim Arc Stars. His Tactical and Ultimate are great offensive and defensive tools, suitable for bombarding chokepoints and slowing down approaching enemies.
In practice, however, Fuse suffers from a few problems. His Passive, possibly his best ability, is reliant on finding grenades. If you run out, it’s essentially useless. Knuckle Cluster and the Motherlode are decently powerful but can be easily countered or avoided. Fuse is probably one of the least balanced legends due to the fact that his kit focuses solely on offensive abilities. That gives you the belief that you need to use them as your primary damage dealer. However, it’s actually better to treat them as situational abilities and rely on your guns to dish out damage.
Ash is renowned for her adaptability, and her extended lore as the adversary of Titanfall 2. This, combined with her playstyle, earns her an A-rank on the Apex tier list, allowing her to provide her squad with useful tools for tracking, speed, launching attacks, and disrupting foes.
Her tactical ability, Arc Snare, enables her to immobilize foes, leaving them exposed to barrage. Her Ultimate, "The Phase Breach," is comparable to Wraith's portal, but it deploys considerably more quickly and is a one-way portal, making it ideal for repositioning.
Marked for Death, Ash's passive ability, provides her squad with valuable information regarding enemy whereabouts around the map. Interacting with a death box reveals the location of the attacker, making it useful for hunting down adversary players. Ash is one of the best Legends Apex has to offer in terms of pre-battle preparation since her abilities supply her team with crucial information on enemy positioning.
Despite her versatility, Ash is difficult to utilize successfully. Her tactical aptitude is relatively sluggish and can be readily avoided from a considerable distance. But, if you manage to trap an opponent, it can result in a devious and lethal encounter. Her ability set allows her to respond sufficiently to any circumstance, but it requires talent and experience to employ her powers successfully.
Best Apex Legends Characters for Defensive Play
Thanks to his hidden Passive, this walking fortress is the best Apex Legends character for defensive play, which grants him a 15% damage reduction. Furthermore, this tankiness synergizes well with his other Passive, Gun Shield, to make him nearly impenetrable during engagements.
Gibraltar is also one of the best legends in Apex Legends with the most versatile skill set ever. On the one hand, his defense-oriented Dome of Protection Tactical is a literal lifesaver, allowing you to heal and revive teammates safely in the middle of a firefight. On the other hand, the Defensive Bombardment is a ridiculously effective dispersal and damage dealer, useful for both offensive and defensive situations.
While we treat Gibraltar as a defensive player, his role is more akin to a captain, calling the shots for the team. Proper communication and coordination around the usage of his Dome of Protection and Defensive Bombardment abilities are absolutely vital to winning with this character
Caustic is all about zone control in tight spaces. The centerpiece of his ability set is the Nox Gas, which can be deployed with either his Tactical or Ultimate. Enemies caught within the gas are damaged over time. But what makes the gas especially powerful is his Nox Vision Passive, which allows him to see enemies within the toxic cloud.
Caustic excels at fortifying an enclosed location, punishing enemies foolish enough to charge head-on. He becomes even more dangerous as a match drags on, where the battlefield gets smaller, and fighting happens in tighter spaces. Even with this defensive nature, don’t be afraid to play Caustic offensively as well, by closing the gap between you and your opponents quickly and spamming your Nox Gas abilities.
Wattson is the best Apex character for turtling players, as her entire kit revolves around creating an impenetrable fortification. Her signature ability is the Perimeter Security Tactical, which makes fences that damage and slow enemies passing. And in case anyone gets through, her Interception Pylon Ultimate provides an additional layer of protection.
With that said, the biggest problem with Wattson is her lack of any real offensive capabilities. Winning with her relies on the proper placement of her Tactical and Ultimate, a keen sense of your environment, and plenty of patience. It also helps that her abilities have relatively short cooldowns, allowing you to spam them.
Also, remember that Wattson is a team-reliant legend. Even at full blast, her defensive abilities can’t stop an entire three-person squad head-on, so it’s best to stick with your own team to survive.
Rampart is, in our opinion, one of the most challenging legends to master but supremely effective once you do. Her ability kit is situational with a high skill ceiling, requiring tactical prowess to succeed. The hallmark of Rampart is her Amped Cover Tactical, which puts up a makeshift cover that blocks enemy fire. Synergized with this ability is her Ultimate, lovingly nicknamed “Sheila,” which deploys a powerful minigun at her location that anyone can use. Her Modded Loader, while useful at first, is a minor boon at best.
Rampart is an interesting mix of offense and defense due to her ability to deploy a mobile fortification during engagements. Used with perfect placement and timing (especially her Ultimate), she can decimate entire teams rather effectively. But the effective use of Rampart takes plenty of communication and coordination.
Newcastle is a formidable combat medic in Apex Legends, known for his excellent defensive capabilities. His skillset is designed to keep his team alive in the heat of battle, making him a valuable addition to any squad. He is naturally a shoo-in for any Apex character tier list. However, mastering Newcastle's abilities can be a challenge, particularly for inexperienced players.
Newcastle's passive ability, Retrieve the Wounded, allows him to revive downed allies while protecting them with a full-body shield. However, this ability can be quite noisy, making it risky to use in certain situations. To avoid alerting enemies, it's possible to unequip any knockdown shields before reviving, minimizing the sound of the revive animation.
Newcastle's tactical ability, Mobile Shield, throws a drone that creates a mobile energy shield, providing your team with additional cover in intense gunfights. Meanwhile, his ultimate ability, Castle Wall, allows him to jump to an ally or target area and create a fortified stronghold that can be useful for creating a defensive position or rescuing teammates from danger.
While he’s a solid Legend, not many players choose to use him. This is because Newcastle is used for defending the squad, a skill that doesn’t come easy to most, and requires practice and experience to master.
To make the most of Newcastle's abilities, it's crucial to position yourself effectively and work closely with your teammates. Remember, Newcastle is not designed to get kills — rather he keeps his team alive while they do the dirty work. With practice, Newcastle can be a powerful asset to any squad, providing critical defensive support in even the toughest of battles.
Best Apex Legend Characters for Support
Lifeline is Apex Legend’s best character for support because she’s currently the only healer in the entire roster. That makes her a worthy addition to any team at any level of play. Her signature is, of course, her D.O.C. Heal Drone Tactical that heals nearby teammates automatically. Her Passive, while nerfed from her more powerful revive shield, still makes her the most effective legend at bringing back teammates from death.
Unfortunately, the one thing that’s short with Lifeline is her Care Package Ultimate. While it’s helpful in certain circumstances and can be game-changing, it feels somewhat off from her role as a healer. Fortunately, her Tactical and Passive more than make up for this deficiency. Like any support character, Lifeline fits well with the team player. She needs to stick with her squad at all times, reading the situation in the middle of a fight to know which team member needs healing or reviving.
Loba might not be a popular pick, but that’s likely because most Apex Legend players don’t appreciate her usefulness enough. While lacking direct offensive and defensive capabilities, her ability kit can be a deal-breaker in a game where having the right gear makes a big difference. Her Passive and Ultimate means you and your team will never run out of guns, equipment, and ammo ever again.
One ability that makes her useful in a team fight is her Tactical, Burglar’s Best Friend. The key to making this work is to treat it as a repositioning tool and not as a way to escape because you’ll be vulnerable right after teleporting to the location.
Horizon blurs the line between offensive and support play thanks to her superior repositioning. The main driver for this is her Gravity Lift Tactical, which lifts anyone and anything in the air. While in the air, Horizon can shoot at the enemy team with almost 100% accuracy, making it a surprisingly useful ability if you’re a sniper.
Her Ultimate, Black Hole, is helpful for specific situations, such as pulling enemies in to disrupt healing or reloading. Pair it with tons of grenades or Fuse’s abilities, and it’s an effective way to flush opponents out of a spot.
Making Horizon work relies on spotting opportunities to use her Tactical and gain the high ground on the opposing team. However, be careful when lifting off, as she can’t strafe as much as she could in previous seasons.
This tricky illusionist is perfect for players who enjoy outsmarting people. Mirage excels at sowing confusion, so you can either escape or get the jump on unsuspecting foes. Mirage’s kit centers on the use of holographic decoys that move and look like the real Mirage, which an enemy can easily mistake for the real you. His Passive, Now You See Me, makes you into an effective reviver, rivaling even Lifeline.
While Mirage might seem like a defensive or support character, the key to winning with him is actually to lean on the aggressive side. His holographic decoys are fantastic ways to engage the enemy, distracting them long enough for other teammates to make quick work of them. You can even play a little mind game, running in the direction of your decoys, then quickly turning around to fire.
Revenant is an interesting legend with a rather diverse skill set. On the one hand, his Stalker Passive gives him exceptional mobility and strafing capabilities, making him a decent fighter or scout. If you wish to increase your win chances with Revenant offensively, learning to crouch-strafe and move unpredictably is vital.
However, where Revenant truly shines is as a support character thanks to his Tactical and Ultimate. Silence is a good opener that disables dangerous enemy abilities, such as Lifeline’s D.O.C. Drone or Gibraltar’s Dome of Protection. The lack of these critical abilities can turn the fight in your favor.
But it’s the Death Totem Ultimate that’s a true game-changer. Dropping Death Totem on your most aggressive team member allows them to dish out damage, come back to life, then do it again before the opposing team has had any chance to heal or regroup. An Octane protected by Death Totem is exceptionally effective.
Apex Legend’s Best Characters for Recon and Scouting
Bloodhound is undoubtedly Apex Legend’s best legend and one of the characters always present at the highest tiers of play. The reason is that he is the most effective scout in the game’s roster, thanks to his robust skill set that focuses on detecting and hunting down prey.
Start with his Passive, which gives you an idea of where enemies have been. Once you suspect they’re near, use his Tactical to scan the area for where they are (be careful as this gives your position away). Finally, you can activate your Ultimate to hunt them down.
The great thing about Bloodhound is that he can be played both offensively and defensively, making him an excellent choice for beginners and pros alike. But at higher tiers, being aggressive is the way to go. Either way, the key with Bloodhound is always to have a plan of action and use your abilities decisively.
The newest character in season 10, Seer is a strong contender for the title of Apex best legend for scouting and reconnaissance. On the one hand, his powerful revealing abilities enable you to find enemies, no matter where they’re hiding. On the other hand, mastering these abilities takes much skill.
Both his Tactical and Ultimate use micro-drones that help reveal enemies. How you launch them is unique and is part of Seer’s challenge. His Tactical, for example, reveals enemies in a horizontal direction and also disrupts any abilities. His Ultimate, Exhibit, uses the same revealing drones but instead covers a larger spherical area. Carefully aiming and knowing when to use these abilities is the key to mastering Seer.
Aside from his recon role, Seer excels at detecting enemies in the backlines and taking them out. However, it does require aggressive play on your part, and Seer’s lack of an escape ability means you have to be thoughtful and deliberate with this tactic.
Valkyrie’s main advantage is her mobility. The VTOL Jetpack Passive gives her superior repositioning that rivals even that of Pathfinder’s grappling hook. The only drawback is that you can’t fire or do anything else while flying, so smart usage is essential.
Her Ultimate, Skyward Dive, brings her repositioning ability to the entire team, launching and diving them anywhere across the map. Offensively, you can count on the Missile Swarm Tactical to slow and stun enemies, always great in a team fight.
While her jetpacks give her excellent positioning and recon potential, her vulnerability mid-flight means she can’t play the role of a solo skirmisher. Therefore, she excels as an initiator of engagements with your team in tow.
Pathfinder’s role as a recon revolves around his grappling hook, allowing him to reach high areas quickly. It even gives you access to high places that few other legends can go. His Ultimate extends that mobility to other team members by giving them access to a zipline.
As a recon role, Pathfinder thrives at pushing ahead of the team and spotting dangers and opportunities. For this reason, however, he’ll potentially be away from his team should he encounter trouble. Thus, a good Pathfinder player relies on mobility and nimbleness, using his grappling hook as his primary tool. Mastering it takes a while but it will improve your Pathfinder game dramatically if you do.
Crypto, at first glance, should make for a powerful recon character. His signature ability is the Surveillance Drone Tactical, allowing him to pilot a drone at a relatively safe distance, out of harm’s way himself. He can even detonate his drone with the Drone EMP Ultimate, dealing damage to players and destroying nearby traps.
However, his most significant disadvantage is that he is entirely immobile and vulnerable while using his best abilities. Thus, careful planning is vital when using Crypto – make sure you’re in a safe spot or protected by a teammate while piloting your drone. In addition, learning to maneuver the drone is also vital to master this character.
Vantage, the survivalist sniper, is a force to be reckoned with when it comes to long-distance characters. Her abilities specialize in mobility, allowing her to quickly gather information on enemies while also providing support from afar. Her Passive, Spotter's Lens, equips her with extra UI overlays when aiming into a 2x or better scope, enabling her to read what type of body armor enemies have and how far away they are.
Vantage's Tactical, Echo Relocation, positions a bat companion out into the sky, which she can then leap towards, making it extremely useful for repositioning during fights or jumping into the action when her team needs to push a skirmish quickly. And Vantage's Ultimate Sniper's Mark,equips her with a sniper for longer-range fights, securing her a spot on the Apex Legend tier list for those who want to tussle with opponents on the edge of the ring.
Additionally, shooting an enemy with Sniper's Mark places a special mark on them, allowing subsequent hits from Sniper's Mark to deal double damage and reset its duration to 10 seconds. Vantage is a top-tier recon character, but players must learn to maneuver her abilities and carefully plan when using them.
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Knowing the top-tier characters in Apex Legends only matters if you can execute their abilities and techniques with utmost skill and precision. And a big part of this is having the right controller to help you out.
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