“Battle Dynamics shouldn't be solely focused on when learning how to play Apex Legends. If you find yourself stuck or have hit a wall, I recommend a quick evaluation of your Core Fundamentals before focusing on these elements.”
With this post, I’d like you to use this information as freely as possible. Teach yourself. There are no right or wrong answers here, however I will state some recommendations speaking from my own point of view.
Being able to see the battle from a fundamental standpoint can be a huge personal skill, especially for those able to foresee multiple situations unfold beforehand. Understanding dynamics and identifying them in an ever changing battle is something we all already do in a very basic manner. However applying this knowledge and adopting a more logical view within our matches is exactly what most are struggling to understand.
The reason is simply “Habit”.
Whether you’re serious or not about Apex Legends, deliberate practice is a surefire way to overwrite your current habits. Whenever you decide to play, your mind doesn’t seem to care whether you call it practice or not, it’ll teach itself and develop habits with or without your consent. Scary huh…
Dynamics of a Firefight
First I would like to provide you with some terminology to help you distinguish and analyse complex situations, hopefully with some ease. I’d like to simplify the dynamics of a battle into two simple concepts.
True Battle (Even/Fair)
“This type of battle is one that should be avoided if ever possible.”
This is when each member of a squad has only one target on them. Whether this means you’re all fighting 1 v 1s or targeting each other's targets, creating a very fair and even exchange. In other words, nobody is being targeted by 2 or more targets.
Discrepancy Battle (Uneven/Unfair)
“Advantageous discrepancies should be seeked whenever possible. We may also refer to these as Win Conditions.”
This is when there are more than one targets on a member of a squad. In a 3 v 3 when this happens, this means there is indefinitely a member untargeted somewhere. We’ll talk more about this in the topics below.
Note : In battles Target switching happens fast, at first it will be overwhelming trying to keep track of it all. However it gets easier the more you pay attention to it, do not give up!
Target Acquisition Scenarios & Objectives
Once you’re able to correctly and successfully identify your opponents targets, you’ll also be able to identify your place within the current dynamic. The dynamics are forever changing and it’s your job to be able to correctly identify these changes throughout the whole ordeal.
Here are some great generalisations to get you started.
It is important to know whether you have Zero, One, Two or Three members of the enemy squad aiming at you and where from. This is a call out you’ll also need to shout out, so your team can know exactly their options at vital times in the battle.
From here on we’ll talk about aggro detection in relation to ourselves and the enemy. Nothing further will be described in order to keep this as simple as possible.
Targeted by 0 opponents : You should be able to act freely to some degree, opting to deal as much damage as possible in the process.
Targeted by 1 opponent : This battle should only be fought, if you’re able to gain an easy upper hand. If the fight is so much as even, great caution should be taken unless the overall situation demands a fight to the death.
Instead you should seek to create an advantageous discrepancy via focusing on another available target.
Targeted by 2 opponents : This immediately puts you at a disadvantage. However if aggro can be held successfully, this will open up significant plays to be made by your team members. These types of play are often done instinctively by most players… Notice them.
Targeted by 3 opponents :
Should all 3 decide you’re their target, your actions will often be limited to defensive options. Should you decide to return fire, this should be objective and not a default response. Holding 3 Targets on you often will result in your opponents receiving damage from your 2 team members who most likely are free to fire.
Noticing these subtle changes in battle will need to be practiced at first, in time you’ll start to see these moments as opportunities and nothing else.
Dancing between aggro attention without taking any damage is the ultimate skill to obtain. You do this and you’ve successfully entered Ultra Instinct for yourself.
Heath Discrepancies & Conditions
Conditioning is something you’ll want to pay close attention to, when it comes to facing your opponents. What I’m about to dive into has nothing to do with anything else other than belief and perception. If you love mind games, then this is where the true mind games begin.
First of all let’s talk about what I mean by Conditions.
Everytime you damage an enemy, you set a condition on them. This simply forces them to make one of two choices which are either “stay visible” or “take cover”.
The mind game comes from being able to correctly identify if they’re taking cover to Heal or simply deflect your aggro.
The most common and frequent response is to take cover, to recover the health they have been dealt. The more damage you deal the higher the chances are of your opponent choosing to recover.
A very common and rather entry level mentality players often show is to rush the person they’ve successfully conditioned to heal. Often screaming “He’s cracked!” then expecting the whole team to charge relentlessly at the weakened opponent. Forgetting there are two other members of the team, ready to punish any reckless onslaughts they witness.
Setting one or two conditions THEN going for the 3rd is the next level of standardised play you’ll start to see in higher level lobbies. However those that are unaware, or unable to play the mind-game aspect of “taking cover to recover or to throw aggro”, are the players that end up struggling the most. The game just starts to feel impossible and very stressful as all their options are constantly covered and countered.
Squad Health Pool
The skill needed to endure these battles between experienced squads, is to have a greater understanding of the total health pool of your squad versus your targeted opponents. The goal isn’t always to kill the entire squad. Even in the final battle where it’s 3 v 3, your main goal should be to have greater overall health in relation to your opponents. Keeping track of this information will help you make more Logical decisions that aren’t so linear as, kill the guy with no shields. You only win these when it’s the correct choice due to other circumstances and nothing to do with the damage you just put through.
Get used to “seeing” these situations we just covered above, either in games you watch or play. Your goal is to create as many advantageous discrepancies as possible. This is done by constantly adjusting and monitoring everyone's actions.
If this is new to you, being able to detect all of this during a game will surely be overwhelming. Give yourself some time to form your own conclusions with the information presented here.
Your perception will 100% grow over time. You’ll still experience frustration at times, however it should only be directed at your own ability and no one else.
Even “I” am still making endless mistakes… This game is incredible.