Apex Legends characters and classes are, unlike its battle royale counterparts, a pretty central part of the game.
Whether they end up folding into a tier list and how far the top-level players take class-based play is a question that's going to play out over time, but for now here's a breakdown of all the essentials for each class, noting all character abilities and playstyles for you to get off to a running start.
There are eight classes in-game at launch, with six already unlocked and a further two that you'll need to unlock in-game, either by earning the in-game currency or paying for it with real-world cash. Below, we run through all eight in alphabetical order.
On this page:
- Apex Legends Bangalore character abilities, ultimate and playstyle
- Apex Legends Bloodhound character abilities, ultimate and playstyle
- Apex Legends Caustic character abilities, ultimate and playstyle
- Apex Legends Gibraltar character abilities, ultimate and playstyle
- Apex Legends Lifeline character abilities, ultimate and playstyle
- Apex Legends Mirage character abilities, ultimate and playstyle
- Apex Legends Pathfinder character abilities, ultimate and playstyle
- Apex Legends Wraith character abilities, ultimate and playstyle
Apex Legends Bangalore character abilities, ultimate and playstyle
Bangalore is available for free from the the off, and is referred to as a 'Professional Shooter'.
Bangalore Tactical Ability: Smoke Launcher
Fire's a high-velocity smoke canister that explodes into a smoke wall on impact.
Bangalore Passive Ability: Double Time
Taking fire while sprinting makes you move faster for a brief time.
Bangalore Ultimate: Rolling Thunder
Call in an artillery strike that slowly creeps across the landscape.
Bangalore is a 'soldier'-style class, meaning she's all about pretty regular gun-based combat. Her passive and tactical abilities combine very well for rapid repositioning, we've found, so she actually works well as a combat support character too, allowing your team to reposition or for you to help set up a flank.
Beware that Rolling Thunder requires you to throw a kind of beacon to set it off, so you need to be within relatively close range for it to be of much use.
Apex Legends Bloodhound character abilities, ultimate and playstyle
Bloodhound is available and free to play from the start, and is referred to as a 'Technological Tracker'.
Bloodhound Tactical Ability: Eye of the Allfather
Breifly reveal hidden enemies, traps, and clues throughout structures in front of you.
Bloodhound Passive Ability: Tracker
See tracks left behind by your foes.
Bloodhound Ultimate: Beast of the Hunt
Enhances your senses, allowing you to move faster and highlighting your prey.
Bloodhound is an excellent option for clearing potentially-dangerous buildings and areas where you're likely to be ambushed. The Tracker passive often isn't too useful, as Apex Legends' relatively small map and spread out 'drops' from the plane mean that an enemy has almost always left a track somewhere at some point - although it's handy for when you've camped an area for a while and suddenly tracks appear.
Beast of the Hunt is best used in tandem with Eye of the Allfather in the end-game, where you're down to a small, often confined and indoors area, where knowing which way to turn as you burst into the next room can make the difference. A character that relies on good pings and communication!
Apex Legends Caustic character abilities, ultimate and playstyle
Caustic is in-game from the off, but needs to be unlocked first, either 12,000 Legend Tokens or 750 Apex Coins, and is described as a 'Toxic Trapper'.
Caustic Tactical Ability: Nox Gas Trap
Drop canisters that release deadly Nox gas when shot or triggered by enemies.
Caustic Passive Ability: Nox Vision
Allows you to see enemies through your gas.
Caustic Ultimate: Nox Gas Grenade
Blankets a large area in Nox gas.
Caustic's abilities work well in tandem with one another, setting enemies up with a trap or your ultimate, and then picking them off while they're distracted or obstructed by the gas itself by using your passive.
Apex Legends Gibraltar character abilities, ultimate and playstyle
Gibraltar is a freely available character playable from the off, and is described as a 'Shielded Fortress'.
Gibraltar Tactical Ability: Dome of Protection
Throw down a dome-shield that blocks attacks for 15 seconds.
Gibraltar Passive Ability: Gun Shield
Aiming down sights deploys a gun shield that blocks incoming fire.
Gibraltar Ultimate: Defensive Bombardment
Call in a concentrated mortar strike on a marked position.
Gibraltar is a tank in more of the literal sense - high defenses and long-range artillery for offenses, at least in terms of his ultimate. He works best when set up in a static position, with the bubble shield and gun shield combo and the ultimate allowing you to pick off clustered enemies laying siege to your squad.
Don't think you have to sit in one spot though - he's great for distracting enemies with heavy fire from a window, say, behind his gun shield, while your squad flanks, but can also be a real pain when using those abilities as portable cover when you're on the move.
Apex Legends Lifeline character abilities, ultimate and playstyle
Lifeline is available for free from the start in Apex Legends and is described as a 'Combat Medic'.
Lifeline Tactical Ability: D.O.C. Heal Drone
Call your Drone of Compassion to automatically heal nearby teammates over time.
Lifeline Passive Ability: Combat Medic
Revive knocked down teammates faster while protected by a shield wall. Healing items are used 25% faster.
Lifeline Ultimate: Care Package
Call in a drop pod full of high-quality defensive gear.
Lifeline is perhaps the most clearly-defined 'support'-class character in Apex Legends, being built around healing teammates, faster revives and bonus high-quality gear for your squad.
We've found that early on, you'll want to spam your Care Package ultimate as often as possible, to make the most of that extra gear's availability for your entire squad - in the late game however it's best avoided, if possible, as it'll totally give away your position (although smart players might actually use it as a decoy...)
That ult is also useful for when you manage to revive killed enemies at a spawn point, as they'll have no gear on them at all, but other than that Lifeline's core focus is pretty simple: keep an eye on your pals' health and keep them topped up!
Apex Legends Mirage character abilities, ultimate and playstyle
Mirage is in the game at launch by is only available after you purchase him from the in-game store for either earned or bought-with-real-money currency: 12,000 Legend Tokens or 750 Apex Coins. He's described as a 'Holographic Trickster'.
Mirage Tactical Ability: Psyche Out
Send out a holographic decoy to confuse the enemy.
Mirage Passive Ability: Encore!
Automatically drop a decoy and cloak for five seconds when knocked down.
Mirage Ultimate: Vanishing Act
Deploy a team of Decoys to distract enemies while you cloak.
Featuring a classic Respawn ability in the decoy - in fact, three abilities all focused around decoys - Mirage is a great option for those annoying lone wolves who want to head off roaming on their own in search of glory.
The better use, of course, is for Mirage to be used as part of a flanking effort from your squad, or as part of a tactical withdrawl when you're outnumbered. He also has one of the highest 'skill caps', in our opinion, as top players will be able to do some pretty great things when they get creative with those abilities.
Apex Legends Pathfinder character abilities, ultimate and playstyle
Pathfinder is available and free to play from the off in Apex Legends, and is described as a 'Forward Scout'.
Pathfinder Tactical Ability: Grappling Hook
Grapple to get to out-of-reach places quickly.
Pathfinder Passive Ability: Insider Knowledge
Scan a survey beacon to reveal the ring's next location.
Pathfinder Ultimate: Zipline Gun
Create a zipline for everyone to use.
Pathfinder is great for moving your squad around the map quickly, but you should beware your own tendency to wander off with his grappling hook and get isolated from the squad yourself.
Top level play will likely involve using him to reposition your squad around enemies or get the drop on them from higher positions accessed by his Zipline Gun, and the best players will stand out from the rest with their ability to use that ultimate wisely - it's not just for a quick route when you're hoovering up loot at the start!
Want more Apex Legends explainers? Our huge list of Apex Legends tips, tricks and little-known features is a great place to start, otherwise we have specific pages on Apex Legends weapon damage stats and the best Apex Legends weapons, the available Apex Legends characters and classes explained, the current Apex Legends roadmap for future updates, details on Apex Legends cross-platform support, a closer look at the first Apex Legends map, features, and new maps that may come in the future, and finally a runthrough of all Apex Legends Nessy locations for the Loch Ness monster easter egg.
Apex Legends Wraith character abilities, ultimate and playstyle
Wraith is another character playable for free from the start in Apex Legends, and is described as an "Interdimensional Skirmisher".
Wraith Tactical Ability: Into the Void
Reposition quickly through the safety of void space, avoiding all damage.
Wraith Passive Ability: Voices from the Void
A voice warns you when danger approaches. As far as you can tell, it's on your side.
Wraith Ultimate: Dimensional Rift
Link two locations with portals for 60 seconds, allowing your entire team to use them.
Wraith has probably the highest skillcap of any character in Apex Legends so far, thanks to the fairly wide range of possibilities available to you through Into the Void and your ultimate, Dimensional Rift.
She's amazing for setting up surprise attacks or retreats for your team, but the ult in particular takes some planning - you press it once to drop a portal where you are, and again to drop the second one, meaning you need to rapidly get from your first portal to the second one on foot (or with your Into the Void ability) to actually set it up.
There's also room for more with Into the Void, but we're still experimenting with what you can and can't actually do with it, so maybe check back again in the near future for some more specific advice!