A confession: I hate first person shooters. This isn’t because I’m shockingly bad at them (though I certainly am), but because of an admittedly idiosyncratic feeling: that I’m not seeing enough of the action. Having grown up on third-person games, I feel discombobulated not being able to see my character move — especially when about a third of what I can see is covered by a gun. It feels like I’m being forced to play with an eyepatch on.
So I was resistant when my friend Tom told me to play Apex Legends with them. And at first, while I enjoyed playing with my friend, I still hated the game they had chosen. But slowly, I got more and more engaged — and with their guidance, even won a few times. And I think the reason I latched onto Apex where I had bounced off of so many other shooters is the emphasis on teamwork.
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It’s very difficult to become Apex Champion. It requires some skill and a lot of luck. It is not, however, particularly difficult to finish in the top ten squads, or even in the top five. All you have to do is stay alive, and all you have to do to stay alive is avoid everyone else for as long as you can. Choosing a remote landing zone is usually enough to get you into the top ten, regardless of your skill level.
This, plus a few other factors, is why Apex Legends is relatively hospitable to newbies. The end goal of winning a match is difficult, but the immediate goal of surviving for as long as possible is easy. Playing like a newbie (aka like a coward) gives you more time per match — time to familiarize yourself with the map, the different guns and character abilities, and overall game feel. And because it’s easy to place fairly high, winning feels that much more attainable.
Playing like a scaredy-cat also nets you more time with your teammates, which lets them show off the excellent ping system. Even without voice chat, even without really trying, veterans can help guide new players to better loot and loadouts. Teammates pinging enemies allows even idiots like me to get a handle on where opponents are, so we don’t just get mowed down by an experienced player who saw us first.
With the help of my friends, I’ve now become Apex Champion several times. And if someone like me, a fool whom shoot bad, can be Apex Champion, anyone can. You don’t have to be particularly good at shooters, or know all the stats of the different guns, or know how to build a structure in seconds to place fairly well in Apex Legends. You just have to be cautious and pay attention to your squad.
And for the experienced players, the ones who are actually good at FPSes, I say this: the next time you’re feeling confident, wiping out a whole enemy squad or whatever, remember that waiting in the shadows is a player like me, someone who’s not particularly good — but will probably outlast you anyway.