Sigbog is an avid gamer whose addiction spans PC and mobile titles. They love to break games down and pick them apart.
Dropping in Apex Legends
As with most battle royales, your drop strategy sets the pace for your game, whether you're looting to loot and hold out for end game or warm up with a high-risk-high-reward rumble with many other groups. However, Apex Legends features a few things that make dropping require a little more thought to determine what the best decision is. You need to consider:
- Drop methodology
- Drop location
- Drop ship trajectory
- Location of dynamic map elements:
- Supply Ship dynamically spawns around the map and contains high tier loot. It will start in a random location and slowly move towards an identified drop zone. To land on it, you'll have to path towards where it's moving.
- Loot quality will vary from game to game so you'll need to check the map to see what areas are modified on any given drop.
- Each round will have a "Hot Zone" where you'll have a good chance to looting a weapon fully geared out in gold attachments.
You'll have to pay attention to the dynamic map elements to help figure out where you should drop in any given game given your desired type of play for that game. Your typical safe far-away corner drop may be near the path and be a hot zone! Similarly, otherwise lame drops may suddenly be awesome or vice versa with typically great drops.
Furthermore, the map is fairly small and dropping can reach quite far. You can reach roughly half the distance of the map without too much trouble. As such, it's often a good idea to drop immediately and start moving to your drop location or you run the risk of being late to the party. However, the most important thing to know about dropping is wave dropping.
Apex Legends Drop Map
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Wave dropping is a method of dropping that optimizes your speed and your distance most effectively. While you drop downward, you accelerate in speed, but move less horizontal distance. However, when you shift to move more horizontal, your speed will decelerate. The premise of wave dropping is that you actually accelerate faster while dropping downwards than you decelerate when you aim horizontal.
By alternating between dropping downward and aiming horizontally toward your target, you can pick up speed, and then lose it slowly, allowing you to keep a high speed while traveling a fairly far distance. You'll end up dropping in a wave-like fashion, hence the name wave dropping.
The rule of thumb for wave dropping is to aim to maintain 140 kph. Your speed is visible on your hud on the center-left part of your screen. Distance to the ground is visible on the right. You can maintain 140 kph and still make it a fairly long distance. However, you can optimize wave dropping around whatever speed is necessary given the distance to your intended drop. If it's close, you might want to wave around 145 kph. If it is further away, you may need to drop to 130 kph.
Loot Tiers & Picking a Good Drop
Loot quality functions slightly different in Apex Legends. Rather than having low, medium, or high quality loot, each area on the map instead is chance driven. A high quality loot area is likely, roughly 90% or so, to have high quality loot. A low quality area will be less likely to have high quality loot, but still could. This helps keep the game dynamic and hard to predict, but not so much as to be completely random.
Refer to the chart below for a better sense of where you can drop. Many high tier locations are near the edges of the map.
Loot Quality Map
The way Apex Legends handles dropping, drop strategies, and loot quality is a modest but meaningful innovation to the way other battle royales have handled the same thing prior. Optimizing your drop patterns and drop locations will let you beat your opponents to the loot and get an advantage over anyone dropping with you. Drop as soon as you reasonably can, wave drop to your location, peel off if someone is ahead of you, and you'll be in a good position to have a strong game.