Making it to the end-game in any Battle Royale format is a feat of its own, but being able to do so consistently is next to impossible.
Have you ever made the mistake of going down the Youtube rabbit-hole for Apex Legends, only to find yourself wondering why you suck so much? Scratching your head and trying to figure out how players win so much more than you seem to be capable of.
Apart from the more obvious requirements of strategy, accuracy, and solid team work, there are some unspoken elements that come into play which can greatly increase your squad’s chances of taking home the win.
Squadiquette, as I like to call it, is the simple practice of making sure all the actions you take are in line with the needs of your entire squad. A selfish player isn’t always the one who blatantly steals loot right out from under your nose, in some cases, it’s the team mate who doesn’t ping essential items their buddies are in need of or pushing to a location without making sure your squad is ready.
So with that in mind, I wanted to put together a little bit of a guide to Apex Legends Squadiquette, and how your squad can become a well-oiled machine, which in turn will lead to more success on the battlefield.
To make it easier to follow along, we will break the guide down into DO and DON’T and will provide some extra information on the practicality of each point.
With that in mind, let’s begin with some basic player etiquette which is transferable to just about any FPS, or team based game.
We all have our favorite legend, the one that we go to first every match. You may have noticed in the first few weeks of Apex Legends’ launch a larger than usual amount of Wraiths being selected as the first legend in the squad.
That was because it was widely believed that Wraith’s smaller hitbox and faster speeds made her the superior character.
Over the next few weeks, players started to find their own balance with varying legends, and as such the amount of people scrambling to pick Wraith dropped significantly.
Recently, this was displayed again when Octane came out, whether it is due to a belief that his abilities are the best choice for each individual player, or simply a matter of everyone wanting to give him a test drive, the fact remains that Octane seems to be picked for almost every squad.
But, let’s face it, the design of the legend selection process is created in a way that allows everyone a chance to pick first at some point, ensuring that all players will need to be comfortable with multiple legends.
How does this tie into Squadiquette?
To get to the point, if you are playing with buddies it is much easier to stick with your main selection. But when matching up with randoms, try to avoid selecting a character that your team has highlighted. Granted, if it’s your turn to pick you shouldn’t have to feel bad for choosing your preferred legend, but perhaps take it as an opportunity to explore the use of some of your less visited characters.
This is not a solid, black and white rule, but as a general guide to Squadiquette as it can help make sure your team sees you as flexible and willing to help them with their experience. It’s basically just a good way to score some brownie-points before the match begins.
I love using Pathfinder, not because I find his abilities particularly powerful, but more because of my addiction to the grappling hook and zip lines. However, I am also more than happy to use Bangalore, Lifeline, or Bloodhound in the event one of my random squad members put his or her marker on Pathfinders goofy, robo-cyclops face.
Jumpmaster and Landing
If you are selected as Jumpmaster there are several good practices that will make you an all-around better player in the early stage of each match.
Firstly, DO NOT relinquish!
The feature seems odd, to begin with, why do we need to give up the controls? If you are new to Apex Legends and don’t feel confident in reaching a particular location, choose somewhere you are more comfortable reaching. If you relinquish your Jumpmaster duties you not only are depriving yourself of an opportunity to better your skills (yes Jumpmaster can require some skill), but also you risk showing your squad a lack of confidence which can have them investing less energy trying to work with you.
Another possible downside to relinquishing the role is that your team mate might not be paying attention at the moment and not notice the change, leading to a late drop or poorly planned launch. I witnessed my poor wife on her first attempt at Apex Legends, she relinquished and was immediately abused by the rest of the squad, and while it seemed like overkill it does make you realize that it’s a skill you should work on, and try to avoid passing the reigns to someone else.
Be confident, if you’re not, work on it, and the best way to do that is not by shirking your duties.
Listen to your squad if you’re Jumpmaster. Just because you were chosen to sit at the helm, it doesn’t make you the commander of your squad. If you are microphone-shy, make use of the Ping system and try to reach an agreement on where you all want to head. For those that don’t know, you can hold down the Ping button/key to bring up a few selections while in the air. This allows you to not only ping a proposed drop site, but also communicate your thoughts on your squad’s suggestions.
Save the chaotic drops for your buddies. What I mean by that is don’t land on the Supply Ship of highlighted high-tier loot areas when you are playing with strangers. Not only is it already a really intense beginning to the match, but it is extremely difficult to use any sort of strategy when you have five other squads swarming around you. If you don’t know what your random team mate’s skills are, don’t throw them in the deep end. Drop at a more secluded site and sweep the map strategically.
be A Good Passenger
If you are taking a back seat on for jumping in, be mindful of the following points as they can make or break a team extremely early on.
Don’t abuse the Ping system, that means pick a proposed spot and wait for a response. Don’t change your mind and ping a handful, this just gets confusing and often leads to the Jumpmaster not taking your recommendation seriously.
Be on the lookout for other squads around you. For a Jumpmaster to get the most distance out of a jump, it’s difficult for them to utilize Free-Look. So make sure you are scanning all around your team and let them know if enemies are on your tail or dropping close by. Situational awareness starts with knowing where the closest enemies are and having an idea of where they could be heading.
Don’t launch solo. Stick with your squad in general guys and girls. That is the key to winning any Battle Royale. But, in the case of launching into King’s Canyon, you should always stay in formation for as long as possible. The main reason being the occurrence of too many teams landing at your location, this will most likely result in a last minute change of trajectory by the Jumpmaster to pick a more suitable landing spot. If you break off while flying, you could end up cut off from the rest of your team and be downed too quickly.
Splitting off from your squad can be beneficial if done correctly. If you have scanned the skies around you and deemed the drop site safe, you can split up in the air and spread out slightly to stop from getting in each other’s way and to make it easier to fill your inventory. This would be at the last second though to avoid spreading out too far, there are always those cases of a squad being a bit more sneaky than anticipated and showing up in a seemingly deserted spot, if that happens, you don’t want to be on the opposite end of town.
Looting, it brings out the worst in people
It always astounds me at how rude some players can get when it comes to looting. The map is huge, and there is more than enough loot for everyone, so why do some players feel the need to move in front of you and grab every item they see?
In the first few minutes of every match it’s essential to get a reliable weapon and some armor, so make sure you spread out! Don’t follow your team mate to every supply bin, or into every building. Stay close, but not too close.
This is where the Ping system comes in handy the most. While it’s important to make sure you have some high-quality gear, it’s equally important to make sure your squad is happy with their kit too.
Now, please don’t take this as an instruction to ping every damn blue item or above. Be aware of what other players have already got, for instance, if you heard a player ping two blue backpacks, you can safely assume that your whole squad now has one of them or better.
So don’t waste time with that sort of stuff.
Have a look at your squad’s health and shields, if you come across something they need, ping it. In some cases, they may not have noticed that they needed to recharge their shields or patch themselves up, and a simple ping of a shield or syringe can give them the reminder they need.
If you are familiar with the weapons in Apex Legends, try to take notice of what your buddies are using, that way you know what type of ammo they need and which attachments might be of use to them.
A good rule of thumb is to ping just about everything that is blue or above for the first ring, for all subsequent rings you can ping purple and above to avoid distracting your team with items they already have or simply don’t need.
Have you ever noticed that when you swap weapons, the attachments sometimes all fly off and scatter on the ground? Don’t forget to ping the good attachments you’re leaving behind, these are often overlooked and in the heat of the moment.
Ping every enemy you see, but for the love of God just ping them once. Unless they have moved to a different location and the original ping is no longer relevant, but other than that just give your squad a heads up that they are over there and leave it at that. So often, a buddy will get knocked down and they start pinging the enemy over and over, all this achieves is a big Revive symbol flashing above your body, which blocks the view of your team as they try to fight off your attacker.
The same goes for pinging of your banner or respawn beacons. Once is enough, the more you do it the more other players will decide to intentionally let you time out.
Bloodhound players, make sure to ping useful tracking information regarding players actions close by, it is extremely valuable info that you alone can see, so share it with your team.
Pointing out ziplines and launchpads will help your squad to make a move when pushing an enemy or retreating with a moments notice, and pinging Survey Beacons can spur Pathfinder players to get up to the roof and find the next ring location.
There are two types of looters- Those who key mash, and everyone else.
The majority of players I have asked have admitted that they will mash the keys to pick up loot in the very early stages of each match. I can safely say that it’s a category I fall into.
So make sure that as soon as you can, you look through your inventory for items you don’t need and ping them for your squad. Better yet, save time and drop them in front of your team so they can quickly pick it up rather than travelling over to your ping.
It’s all about balance, being strategic and making sure you have the best of the best, but also making sure your team can offer you support to the best of their abilities.
If you are downed, don’t be a grade A dickhead, stay in the game, give your squad a chance to respawn you, this is not only good etiquette but also handy advice given that the reporting system is now in place. I am sure Respawn will have some penalties introduced down the line for repeat offenders that leave a match with their squad still in the game. So work on the nasty habit now if you are one of those people.
While on the subject of being downed and in need of revival or retrieval, don’t expect your team mates to run to your aid and help you immediately.
Clearly, you were just killed by an enemy, possibly more than one is looting your deathbox, so why on earth would it be a smart move for your team mate to rush that location.
Be patient, and if your rescue attempt fails, don’t abuse the rest of the squad for not being able to get you back in the game. It’s astonishing how often you hear a random player losing their minds because the squad was taken out while trying to reach the downed party.
Don't Touch Their Loot!
When you retrieve your team mate’s banner you might be tempted to open up the loot box and have a quick look, this is not cool guys. If you really want to help, ping their loot and get them to a respawn beacon. That way they can head straight back and resume where they left off.
The only times you should be rifling through their hard-earned loot is if you need some shields or health to help get you to the beacon, ammo if you are running too low to survive another firefight, or if the ring is closing in and will certainly make the box unreachable by the time you have brought your buddy back, in that case, you can go nuts and take it all.
The same can be said for the Supply Bins found around Respawn Beacons. It is infuriating that players will upload your banner, turn around and begin taking all the loot, leaving you with nothing, essentially starting from scratch in the middle of nowhere.
I see a lot of people whining about their team mates “stealing” their kills, and it is just childish in a game like Apex Legends. The aim of Battle Royale is to be the last standing, it doesn’t matter if you have an extra elimination. Also in Apex Legends, kills will only land you 50XP unless you down the Champion, so it isn’t affecting your overall XP by much at all.
Sure, it can be frustrating to empty a magazine into a target, and as you reload, some random team mate hits them for 10 damage and takes them out. But come on guys, you are a team, you should ideally all be shooting at the enemy squad and if that means all firing at one player at a time, so be it.
Now here is where it gets a little tricky, there is no rulebook on looting enemy death boxes. But, for the sake of Squadiqutte make sure you are being appreciative of who should get first dibs on the prime loot.
Here is an example from an experience I had just this morning. Landed at Airbase, by squad was pinned between two others. It went south and both my team mates were downed, but I managed to press on and clear the area before reviving them both. I then tended to my injuries and began to heal, while both my team mates ran for the only two golden death boxes, acquiring gold armor and helmets, leaving me with broken white armor and no helmet, plus next to no ammo from the fight that saved them.
I could have gone to the crates and looted before reviving them, but that seems like a dirty move. Not as dirty as leaving no loot for your rescuer.
The Rule Of Dibs
Abide by the rule of Dibs.
If your team mate responds to a ping by calling dibs on an item, don’t touch it. This system is put in place to create a better experience, not to make it easier to be a cockroach.
Singling Out Lifeline
Have you noticed when you call in your Ult, Lifeline yells out the line “Come and get your birthday present”?
That’s because it wasn’t intended as a personal care package that you hoard to yourself in private. There are three hatches to make sure there is an item for each member of your squad. So share the love, and communication with your team will help in this area to find out who needs what and keep it as fair as possible.
We have a fun game in the LRGaming Apex squad when we get a Lifeline package we normally call out dibs on an item before knowing for sure if it’s in there. And then the game takes a nasty turn when Elgreegsio takes the gold helmet anyway. Bloody Elgreegsio, we love you, man.
A Reddit thread which inspired this article pointed out another habit that a lot of us have, which inadvertently cause more deaths than wins.
‘Quickly, kill him, he’s so low! One shot will do it! QUICK DUDE! WTF!!!!’Only to blast the sucker with 2 direct peacekeeper hits and being gunned down because he’s running gold armor and ‘you’ hit him once with your Mozambique, in the leg. Bad call! Good calls : breaking their armour / doing lots of good damage / planting an arc star in their ass.
This is a good point as it’s fantastic that we have the ability to quickly tell our squad that the player who downed us is running on extremely low health, but only if that is actually the case.
Also, if you know for a fact that the enemy is healing up, or reviving someone, make sure you let your team know so they can try to prevent it, but only if they are not already engaged in a fight. There is no need to ping a healing enemy like a madman while your squad is duking it out on the other side of a building.
These Squadiquette tips are not going to directly get you more kills, more wins, or better loot. That will happen indirectly, by allowing your squad to face each situation with all the cogs turning and all the pistons pumping, rather than dealing with small distractions and annoyances.
Work on these areas of your game, and you will get the most out of whatever squad you are partnered with.