So you’re trying out Apex Legends on Switch? Maybe you’re new to Respawn’s battle royale game, or maybe you’re just shifting to a portable experience and want to keep up with the ever-changing meta? Either way, you’ll need to keep up with our Apex Legends tier list in order to know which characters to choose and which weapons to pick up.
However, as updates hit every version of the game simultaneously, this guide will also do you well if you’re playing on Xbox, PlayStation, or PC. Even Apex Legends mobile players will be well-served by our expertise when the game eventually releases for their devices.
While we’re going to run down the best weapons and characters you can choose, we maintain that you’re best off using what you’re comfortable with and what you enjoy. If your favourite weapon is the P2020 and your favourite character is Loba, who are we to stop you – you just might not win many matches. Whichever weapons you end up picking, head to the Firing Range first to learn how to manage their recoil and hone your accuracy before jumping into a match.
Whether you want to have fun in public matches or climb the Apex Legends ranks, here are our picks for the best legends and weapons in the game:
Apex Legends tier list
|S||Wraith, Horizon, Bloodhound|
|A||Gibraltar, Pathfinder, Lifeline|
|B||Bangalore, Crypto, Mirage, Octane, Fuse|
|C||Caustic, Wattson, Revenant|
Wraith is the most-picked legend since Apex Legends arrived – for good reason. Her Dimensional Rift ultimate ability is perfect for launching a surprise attack or getting out of trouble in a pinch, and the fact that her whole team can utilise her portals makes her the best choice for a hasty reposition.
For the first seven seasons Wraith had a notoriously small hitbox, which made her the most difficult character to land a shot on. However, Respawn fixed this in Season 8, meaning that she is now a little bit easier to hit. However, with her tactical ability allowing her to simply disappear from the map for a few seconds, we wouldn’t count on being able to take her out before she enters the void.
Wraith is best paired with short-ranged weapons and defensive allies. An R-99 and EVA-8 Shotgun proves devastating in her otherworldly hands, and support from a Gibraltar is ideal. He can set up his Dome Shield when you need to heal up after a fight and loot some death boxes, or send out a Defensive Bombardment to ward off third parties.
Horizon is the first legend to even come close to knocking Wraith off her perch. At the highest level, in the Apex Legends Global Series, Horizon has replaced Wraith on some teams, which is a testament to her quality.
The reason that Horizon is so good is a combination of her tactical and passive abilities. Gravity Lift allows her to fly up into the air – it’s great for quick movement or jumping out of a tight spot, but you can also sit at the top of the anti-gravity column to rain down fire on your enemies. The fact that Horizon’s Spacewalk passive ability increases her air control means that she can shoot from atop her Gravity Lift with no real penalty.
Her Black Hole is useful for area denial, but clever opponents will steer clear or destroy it before you get a chance to wreak real havoc. That being said, throwing a couple of grenades after it or combining with a Caustic ultimate can wipe whole teams.
We’d recommend equipping the Scottish scientist with some good mid-range weapons – an R-301 or Volt SMG works well with a decent scope attached, but a sniper rifle like a Triple Take or Charge Rifle also does well. Make sure to always carry a healthy stock of grenades (or team up with the latest addition to Apex Legends, Fuse) to throw into your Black Hole at every opportunity.
Bloodhound is an expert tracker, and their abilities can work well to give your team lots of intel when you’re headed into a fight. The most important is their tactical ability, Eye of the Allfather. Bloodhound sends out a scan that reveals enemies’ positions as well as any traps they have set. This allows you to plan the best course of attack and gain the upper hand in any battle.
Their ultimate is essentially a souped-up version of their tactical. Activating Beast of the Hunt not only means you can scan more often, but also gives you a good speed boost and highlights all enemies in red – even if they are usually obscured by smoke or gas.
Season 7 gave all recon characters the ability to scan Survey Beacons too, which adds to Bloodhound’s versatility and means they can provide ring knowledge as well as intel on opponents. You can run Bloodhound with just about any weapon, but we like to go for short to mid-ranged options. The Volt SMG is always a good shout, but anything from a Prowler to a Peacekeeper will serve you well.
Before we move onto the best weapons, we’ve also written an extensive guide on the Apex Legends characters.
Apex Legends best Assault Rifles
|S||R-301 Carbine, VK-47 Flatline|
|A||Hemlok Burst AR, G7 Scout, 30-30 Repeater|
You really can’t go wrong if you pick up an Assault Rifle in Apex Legends. Which you pick, however, likely depends on what role you want it to have in your inventory. The R-301 and VK-47 Flatline are both automatic rifles, taking light and heavy ammo respectively, but both weapons have the option to switch to a single-fire mode for targets that are further away.
Between the two, the R-301 shoots slightly faster, but the VK-47 does more damage per bullet. They come out at 189 and 190 DPS respectively, so there really is very little to split them. Both can also take the Anvil Receiver hop-up, which drastically increases damage but uses up two bullets per shot.
The Hemlok is a great all-rounder, especially when firing its three-bullet bursts, but a recent nerf to its accuracy when hip-firing puts it just below the two automatic assault rifles. However, the single-fire-only G7 Scout and 30-30 Repeater are great options for peeking around corners and doing good damage from afar. We’re really enjoying the Repeater in particular at the moment, as it is a new weapon for Season 8, and charges up your shots if you aim down sights for a second before releasing your shot. When charged up, you can hit 100-damage headshots which isn’t to be sniffed at.
Unfortunately, the HAVOC Rifle falls to the B-tier due to its reliance on the Turbocharger hop-up to get up to full firing speed. Ultimately it’s just a baby Devotion, so if you can control its recoil and have plenty of energy ammo it will serve you well – but we’d recommend swapping it for its LMG cousin as soon as you get the chance.
Apex Legends best LMGs
|S||Devotion LMG, M600 Spitfire|
Speaking of the Devotion, it is our favourite LMG to use because of its high damage and higher rate of fire. While it takes a couple of seconds to reach top speed (you can mitigate this with a Turbocharger), once you’re there it fires a beam of damage that will shred shields in an instant.
The M600 Spitfire offers the opposite. While it has a relatively low rate of fire for an automatic weapon, it has the biggest magazine in the game. Whoever says size doesn’t matter clearly never tried a Spitfire, because you can take out a whole squad of enemies without needing to reload once. Combining the Spitfire with a legendary magazine and Rampart’s passive ability increases the magazine size further still, and increases the fun.
We wouldn’t bother picking up an L-Star unless it was literally the only option. While it has a nice mechanic that means you will never have to reload if you keep it from overheating, the fact that it’s the only weapon in the game that doesn’t come with any ammo loaded really sets it back. Furthermore, the recoil is really wild. Pick any other LMG, or any other energy weapon, over this.
Apex Legends best Pistols
When you’re going for a pistol, there’s only one choice: the Wingman. The Wingman is a fantastic weapon, but you’ll need to get a bit of practise in before you can hit your shots. When you’ve got that down, however, you’ll do a neat 45 damage per shot, rising to 101 if you hit headshots with the Skullpiercer Rifling attachment. The Wingman is also the only pistol that doesn’t lose its headshot multiplier at range, so you can hit some really deft trickshots from across the map if you practise enough – just watch out for that bullet drop.
While the reintegration of Hammerpoint Rounds helps the P2020 against unshielded targets, it remains the worst weapon in the game. The RE-45 Auto, as its name suggests, is fully automatic, but mostly serves as a place to hold your attachments – an extended light magazine etc. – until you get your hands on a more potent Alternator or R-99.
Apex Legends best Shotguns
|A||Mastiff Shotgun, EVA-8 Auto|
Shotguns are more like hot-guns in Apex Legends right now. The Peacekeeper, Mastiff, and EVA-8 all have a place in any respectable legend’s arsenal and all sit among the very best weapons in the game, potentially all getting into the top five weapons overall. The most important thing to remember is to get your hands on that epic shotgun bolt, which will tighten the spread of pellets and allow you to fire at a faster rate.
The Peacekeeper is only available in supply drops and therefore has a limited ammo supply, but it’s worth picking up nonetheless. If all ten of your pellets hit your target you’ll do 110 damage (with a 1.5x multiplier for any headshots), meaning you can comfortably take down any opponent in a couple of seconds, no matter how much armour they’re wearing.
The Mastiff received a small nerf in the Chaos Theory update, which took it from S-tier down to A-tier, but it is still a very much viable weapon. Its eight pellets are spread in a horizontal line as opposed to the Peacekeeper’s star-shaped spread, which makes it much harder to hit a headshot with multiple pellets. We’d aim for the shoulder area for a maximum of 88 damage per shot.
The EVA-8 is an automatic shotgun, and with an epic bolt attached its rate of fire is astonishing. While it only has a small movement penalty when aiming down sights, its hipfire spread is very reasonable too, making it perfect for going into a fight all-guns blazing.
A word must be said about the humble Mozambique, too, as it is no longer the meme weapon it once was. While it’s still not up there with the other Apex Legends shotguns, equipping it with Hammerpoint Rounds can mean you deal 153 damage for a headshot against an unshielded target – perfect for the early stages of a game.
Apex Legends best SMGs
|A||Volt SMG, Prowler Burst PDW|
SMGs are another great weapon in Apex Legends, with all of the short-ranged guns being viable. However, the R-99 is clearly king thanks to its ability to fire off 18 rounds per second, a rate unmatched in the game. You want to focus on getting hold of an extended magazine as soon as possible, but 198 DPS will do bits even without the attachment.
The Volt is another fantastic choice, especially for beginners as it has very little recoil to control. It takes energy ammo, and similarly to the R-99 you’ll want that extended magazine as soon as possible in order to maximise your damage. However, the Volt SMG also works at mid-range – we love popping a 2x Bruiser scope on there for just that reason.
The Prowler is the second weapon on this list only available in supply drops, and its rarity is the only thing stopping it from sitting pretty in the S-tier. It also has a limited ammo supply, like all care package weapons, meaning you can sometimes find yourself out of bullets at a vital time. However, whether burst firing or going fully automatic, the Prowler will shred enemies, so it is always worth picking up.
For a long time, the Alternator was seen as a poor player’s R-99, but it has quickly established itself as a niche weapon in its own right. It does 16 damage per bullet, which is a lot more than the R-99’s 11, but has a slower rate of fire. It’s not a bad shout, but you can’t help but feel the R-99 is a better place for your light ammunition.
Apex Legends best Snipers
|S||Kraber .50-Cal Sniper|
|A||Triple Take, Charge Rifle|
The sniper class is probably the widest-ranging class in Apex Legends. At the top of the pile, you have the Kraber – which is probably the best weapon in the entire game and at the bottom you have the Sentinel, which could be one of the worst. We’ll start with the positives: the Kraber.
Our final supply drop weapon is a slow-firing bolt-action sniper. Yes, this means it has a very limited ammo supply, but when you’re hitting up to 435 damage with a headshot it really doesn’t matter. Oh, and did we mention that it is piercing, so can hit multiple enemies if they line up just right? Seriously, this rifle can win you games on its own if you’re accurate enough to wield it to its full potential.
The A-tier is made up of two niche weapons, the Triple Take and the Charge Rifle. The Triple Take fires three projectiles at once, and the in-built choke will gather them together as you aim down sights, similar to the 30-30 Repeater increasing damage after a second or two. 23 damage per projectile may not seem like a lot, but that can add up to 414 damage from a full magazine. It also has the highest rate of fire of any sniper rifle, and headshots double its potency. Finally, hipfiring the Triple Take at close range can act as a proto-shotgun, which further increases its usefulness.
The Charge Rifle is completely unique. First of all, it’s the only hitscan weapon in Apex Legends, meaning that you don’t need to compensate for bullet drop or travel time when lining up a shot. It fires a beam of energy which ticks up damage and is perfect for leveling up Evo-Shields quickly.
The Longbow and Sentinel both deal high damage but have low rates of fire. The Longbow edges it out as the better option because it can deal 64 DPS as opposed to the Sentinel’s 44. The Sentinel’s ability to power up shots using shield cells is also a bit too niche, and doesn’t increase its damage by enough to warrant wasting the materials. With all the sniper rifles barring the Kraber, which comes fully kitted, you’ll want to focus on finding a long-range optic as quickly as possible.
There you have it, the complete Apex Legends tier list for your every need. Of course, the meta is always shifting and abilities and weapons are often rebalanced, so we’ll keep this page updated at every turn. But for now, you’re ready to drop into Kings Canyon, World’s Edge, or Olympus with the knowledge you need to start taking kills and grabbing wins. May the Allfather be with you.