Apex Legends Tips and Tricks With COL Monsoon
Apex Legends is a very complex video game. Countless movements and decisions go into every single match. It can be hard to find improvement and consistency, especially due to the randomness of the Battle Royale genre. We talked to Complexity’s Bowen “Monsoon” Fuller to get some Apex Legends tips and tricks to help you play Apex like a Pro in no time.
Apex Legends Tips: Mindset
How do you approach improvement in Apex?
Monsoon: This is an extremely complex question since this would be dependent on the proficiencies of the player. Personally, I’ve been playing at the highest level of Apex for a while, so there aren’t necessarily new fundamental techniques or strategies for me to improve on, but I’m always looking to refine my skill set.
Step one is to understand that no one is playing perfect Apex, including myself and my team, and to accept that what you’re doing now is not the perfect recipe for success. From my previous experiences, having the ability to recognize right from wrong allows me to talk theory with my teammates. This isn’t supposed to work for everyone, especially since most of the players don’t have extensive competitive experience. It’s a matter of simplifying the questions you’re asking yourself and having the drive for trial and error.
How should you structure your routine or practice to assist this goal?
Monsoon: It’s all extremely subjective. Having a lot of structure and professionalism can aid in the legitimacy of a routine, but you can also burn yourself out. It’s good to always stay progressive and do what feels right to you. What feels right doesn’t necessarily determine whether or not it’s sustainable though, so if it isn’t working, it’s up to you to recognize your faults and adapt. Something as seemingly insignificant as your diet can affect productivity. Complexity has been particularly helpful in making sure that all of our needs are met so that we can focus on improving our gameplay. They provide holistic support for our overall health and wellness, including access to proper nutrition, fitness amenities, and mental health and recovery resources.
When reviewing your gameplay, how do you decide whether a bad result happened because of circumstance or because of fault in your gameplay?
Monsoon: Break down the situation and compare it to previous scenarios and experience you’ve been in. It eventually becomes muscle memory; it’s not something someone can teach. At some point it comes down to how much play time you have and if you can objectively apply the flow of previous experiences to the ones you’ve been through. One of the hardest things is making the correct decision in the moment. Hindsight is illuminating, but it doesn’t teach you the ability to translate knowledge into action. You won’t always know every single angle that enemies may have or the exact time one team shoots us. Obviously, there’s the differentiation of individual fault or team fault. These can range from someone missing shots to being in an unfortunate position due to rotations and teams in the lobby. It isn’t as clean cut as “this happened because of x.” Most of the time there’s too many factors, and everyone sees those factors differently.
How valuable is confidence when it comes to gameplay and how should you build it?
Monsoon: Confidence plays an incredibly important role in the consistency of teams. Confidence is key to enabling an entire branch of opportunities that some people may not even recognize or feel is viable. But that’s easier said than done. Building and maintaining confidence is difficult. Understanding that everyone is mortal and that no one is playing perfect Apex is a good start to put into perspective just what anyone is capable of. Of course, confidence will be directly correlated to the skill of the player, but work smarter and not harder. Be confident in your drive to want to get better and that confidence will bleed into every other aspect, once you start progressing.
Apex Legends Tips: Aim/DM
How do you develop consistency in your aim in a game where weapons, Legends, and fights are constantly different?
Monsoon: Well, I personally only play the game and use the weapons that I enjoy. Familiarity and muscle memory plays an important part when you have to adapt your aim to an uncomfortable situation, like a Pathfinder grappling over you. I’d say the consistent aim part is the least complicated aspect. If you play the game, you’ll be warm.
There’s been a lot of controversy over aim trainers and I’m a firm believer that aim trainers create bad habits for players that have already established basic subconscious fundamentals of what aiming is to their respective game. Play the game and be aware of small details in fights. Ask yourself “could I have hit three more shots, and if so, where in my spray was I inconsistent?”
I’d also say the difference in gameplay doesn’t affect my aim, in general.
How do you break plateaus in your aim such as target acquisition/switching, tracking, flicks, etc?
Monsoon: I think it’s extremely important to have a properly calibrated sensitivity unique to you as well as have good quality gaming peripherals. First step is to ask yourself if your sensitivity is right for you. Through trial and error, I would alter my sensitivity in increments of 0.1 in game until I found something comfortable, then, I would go down one more increment of 0.1 to make sure that this sensitivity is the most enabling. After that, it’s about asking the simple questions: what am I missing? Am I over-flicking? under flicking? Is my tracking not working out? Is it the way I’m placing my elbow? Support from my desk? Is my monitor and chair lined up so I can freely access all of my mousepad?
What you’re looking for is consistency. Once you achieve a high level of aim the amount of progress you see in comparison to the early stages is little to none. One thing I’m personally working on is consistency in tracking. The other thing I’m trying to be more consistent with is how hard I grip my mouse – this makes it a bit more difficult to move smoothly.
How important are aim duels in Apex and when should you take them?
Monsoon: There really isn’t an exact answer I can give. It’s more so about understanding the limitations of peeks, damage of weapons, positioning of enemy teams, current status of your team, and future objectives. You aren’t going to be taking aim battles with anyone if you’re in an unsafe spot and have to rotate in 50 seconds. All of these mental notes play a big part in being able to swiftly recognize opening windows for peeking and aim dueling. I’d say the general tips are: keep track of enemy weapons and armors.
Shoulder peeking is good to bait shots from your enemies; the whole idea is to go uncontested when you’re firing your shots. You don’t want to over peek and take too much damage – that would give the enemy team momentum and motive to push and gap close. If there is a team in your rotation and your only option is to fight, try to look for opening damage or off angles that would catch people off guard. Taking straight aim duels isn’t the answer most of the time. There are a lot of different fight nuances that make or break your survivability.
Apex Legends Tips: Movement
How important is movement in Apex?
Monsoon: Movement is extremely important in Apex. Movement is a big differentiator between top-tier players and amateur players. The most efficient and effective movement can mean life or death in a lot of fights. It’s typically easier to shoot players who press a single button and wide strafe than it is to shoot someone crouch spamming, jumping, and creating random strafe patterns mid-fight.
How should you go about incorporating movement into your game play?
Monsoon: Understanding the physics of the game is important before incorporating movement. Small details, like it taking six steps to reach maximum momentum before sliding, means that you can cut off milliseconds from the original time, and milliseconds is all that’s needed to win or lose when it comes down to it. Get familiar and comfortable with sliding, wall jumping, as well as how many steps you need to take before you’re full speed. Then have fun applying it in all the games you play. From there you start to develop a personal understanding of the limitations of movement and how you can use it most effectively.
How do you visualize your environment in Apex? How do you take advantage of elevation changes, buildings and doors, etc?
Monsoon: Well, for me personally, when I’m looking at a zone, I always map out ten different spots with different values, ranking them from one to ten. The value assigned to a spot is calculated subconsciously based on my previous experiences playing from that position. If there’s a good high ground spot, but there’s a lot of Valkyrie teams, the value of that spot goes down. If there’s a northwestern zone, and everyone is rotating from the immediate west, that could alter the value of spots on the south side. It really depends on the flow of that specific match and your playstyles as a team.
Typically, you want to be in a position where you aren’t looking both directions to fend off aggression and pressure from other teams. You’d ideally want a good position that rotates into the next zone smoothly. As for how teams take advantage of elevation changes, it really depends on the confidence and the team composition. Height doesn’t necessarily translate to winning. Historically good spots to hold may not be good spots to hold based on the decision and feelings of other teams.
Apex Legends Tips: Awareness
What factors do you keep track of inside and outside of fights?
Monsoon: Zone pull, playable area, team positioning, team rotates, team compositions, team momentum, status of our team and our gear, where the game is going to finish, and who’s alive are all factors that you need to keep track of. A lot of times the more well-known teams have set ways they want to play for every zone.
How do you recognize your advantages and capitalize off of them?
Monsoon: In addition to the above, muscle memory and knowing subconsciously what works and what doesn’t based on all the similar situations you’ve experienced in the past. Some basic things I typically take into account are the skill of a team based on their movement and positioning, their other current threats, and their blind spots. One of the most difficult things is gathering information. You don’t want to put yourself in a position to be immediately jumped on and killed, but you also don’t want to miss opportunities of wiping a squad and taking their loot. It’s about being cautious and knowing the limitations of what teams can do, when they want to do it, and how they can do it. From there you work with what you can or look elsewhere.
Apex Legends Tips: Clutching
What do you look for in a clutch-able situation? When should you cut your losses and retreat?
Monsoon: In battle royales, the primary objective is to survive. There is no time to be indecisive. You either make the decision with full confidence and attempt to clutch, or you get out. You’re not helping yourself if you’re hesitant. Confidence plays an extremely big part. It’s important to be confident in making a decision that you may not have full information of. Sometimes you’re also forced into clutch situations, where you don’t have the option to retreat and leave.
One big dynamic to clutching and clawing your way through unfortunate circumstances is juggling aggression. If you need to pop off in order for you to win, it’s important to recognize your openings. Juggling aggression basically means splitting the fight into two separate fights or forcing one vs. one’s. How do you apply pressure to one of the players so that they don’t feel comfortable or can’t push forward to double up with someone? A lot of the time it’s going to be timing your peeks correctly and trying to get off opening damage, forcing one of the players to retreat and heal – leaving the other player in a solo fight – or for them to push without confidence knowing that they’re not as healthy as they want to be.
In most cases, it is extremely important to be familiar with your playable terrain. Taking smart peeks at the right times, baiting out enemy shots, and capitalizing on openings. If I’m sitting on a wall in the middle of the open and two players push me, one on either side, my first instinct is to peek on one side to damage and discourage one player with as valuable of a shotgun pump that I can shoot, and then I immediately turn focus on the other player. When you force someone into confrontation, a lot of the time it’s difficult to understand the exact tendencies of the player, whether or not they’re going to peek the same angle or try to fight the other player. In those brief moments of being in an isolated one vs one, you need to make every shot and every second count all while understanding your next steps in the fight.
Apex Legends Tips: Economy
What should the balance between looting and inventory management versus the rest of the game look like?
Monsoon: Well, backpacks are extremely valuable. Below are my typical loadouts for the backpack size.
Gray Backpack – 180 rounds ammunition (three stacks) for primary weapon, 16 shotgun shells (one stack), two medkits (one stack), four to eight syringes (one to two stacks), and the rest as many shields and batteries as you can hold. I’d say a good goal is 12 cells and four batteries.
Blue+ Backpack – 240-300 rounds of ammunition (four to five stacks), 16 shotgun shells (one stack), two medkits (one stack), four to eight syringes (one to two stacks), and the rest as many shields and batteries as you can hold. If you’re a purple backpack you can also sacrifice extra ammo and shield heals for up to four grenades. Otherwise, those last two slots are for whatever you want.
How should you effectively utilize your grenades?
Monsoon: Grenades apply a lot of pressure. They’re extremely versatile and good for a number of reasons but a couple of those reasons are to intercept rotations of people or to restrict their movement. If a team gets shot to shreds and they’re forced to Gibraltar bubble you can time your grenades so that you can throw grenades ahead of them and stop them from taking a specific route, they’re also good for breaking doors on players’ buildings, pressuring them in tight spots, visual clutter to help movement and rotations, and a lot of damage if an enemy slips up. They’re obviously more valuable in end circles and end zones because there’s limited playable space.
Newer players often struggle with utilizing their kits to the fullest. How should players go about learning their legends and how to effectively use their tactical and ultimate abilities?
Monsoon: I’d say don’t be afraid to jump in and lose. One thing that’s helped me is watching streams and broadcasts of recent tournaments and professional players. Seeing their thought process helps to influence your own playstyle. Teaching yourself is ten times harder than being taught by someone. It’s important to look at previous matches and tournaments as material to study. You don’t necessarily have to be in the situation to understand that it’ll work or won’t work.
Keeping mental notes of purpose for abilities is good. If you’re looking at Portal for example, the purpose of it is to get you and your teammates from point A to point B safely. You don’t want to set up in a spot that’s easily punishable. Players should avoid setting up a Portal where it’s blocking the only safe spot you have, and you’re the only person on your team with that much information. At the end of the day, the most effective way to learn is through trial and error. What’s the purpose of your ability? One thing you have to be content about is that this game rapidly evolves, and there’s always constant learning. Anyone can be the best, it’s just about how bad they want it.