It was the 4th day of the second month of the 19th year of the second age: Player Unknown had been all but squad-wiped from the battlefield and the hordes of Fortniters had been stunned into silence by the sudden appearance of the Apex Legends.
It’s here we find ourselves in Kings Canyon, an illustrious arena from the Titanfall era. Three legends are zip-lining across a particularly exposed outcrop from the storm they have just outrun… there’s gunfire in the distance . The question – To push or not to push.
That is the question 20 squads face each match as they battle it out to be crowned champion.
But do they play the aggressive game, going for the kills and damage, relying on wiping other players off the map. Or do they hold back, loot up as much as possible before stalking the end-zone and swooping in to third party the final battle.
This series will follow a trio of protagonists, through highs and lows, on their search for greatness. Using the divine power of the oracle…. I mean hindsight… we can play god with the events of the past to influence the Legends of … The Future.
Now, back to the question of the week – When to push.
This is essentially one of the most important aspects to your game and will be a key factor in mastering this battle royale. The how is practically the easy part if you get the when right.
Here the Champion knew that there were too many squads left to take on alone, so the play up until the final fight was very passive. In a game where you want to be the last Legend standing, it is not wise to play Rambo and go guns blazing when you’re alone in the Canyon.
The passive play paid off here as all the opposing players fought it out while we waited patiently for them to waste their resources on each other before calmly strolling round the corner and finishing off the last 3 kills with ease.
While this method can be very fruitful, it is not a time efficient approach. Matches will take longer, and if you are unable to eliminate the last few players, it can all be in vain.
This is why most players take a more aggressive approach. Not only do you get the satisfaction of doing more damage, it will ultimately help improve your accuracy and get you that winning kill. Which, rather handily – is the aim of the game!
However, as with most things in life – with great return comes greater risk (and responsibility – don’t forget you are a team!). If you play a constant aggressive game, then you must be prepared to die more. Unless you are a gaming god, such as the likes of the Doc, Itemp or the almighty Shroud, then it will take a fair amount of practice to be able to run towards a fight knowing you will win.
What about pushing, and playing the aggressive hand?
Pushing quickly to third party fights is definitely the most popular tactic in the game thus far. Obviously there are fights you cannot control the timing of, the initial drop being one of them. But there are 57 other people on the map so it is possible to run into another squad by accident.
However, the main point to remember is that most other squads will be listening out for Gunshots too. So, the best way to protect against getting third partied yourself is to heal up as soon as you finish fighting. One of the most vulnerable points in the game is when a Legend is looting a crate after a gunfight. Low health and the distraction of loot means that they are an easy target for any other team looking to jump in on the action.
The second example in the above video shows a scenario where two squads are facing off for the final fight, and only once the enemy is weakened does the winning team (yours truly) push and finish off their foe.
This is another tried and tested strategy that creates a situation where your squad has knowledge of the type of armor your enemies wear, what firepower they are sending your way, and, once some damage is dished out you’ll also know you are going up against a stressed and vulnerable opponent. The winning formula.
So the next time you play – take that extra second to think.
Is pushing the best option here, should we hold our ground to pick off the scraps or roll in like an Octrain. It may make all the difference!
Come back next week for Episode 2 of The Apex Chronicles, where we look at recoil and how it can be controlled to maximise your accuracy.