Understanding Advantage & Control
In this write up I’ll be sharing a concept that should assist you in quickly evaluating whether you have the advantage in positioning, from a “Fundamental perspective” and not so much a specific “Situational perspective”. Situational meaning, taking all elements into account and not simply the four points I’ll be covering below. Regarding the “Situational Perspective”, this is a skill you will naturally apply upon becoming more experienced in Apex Legends which is very subjective.
If you’re consistently struggling even after obtaining the positional advantage, I would recommend building a more firm understanding of “Avoiding Unnecessary Damage (AUD)”. As there is a high chance the information there will assist you in conjunction with the information you’re about to read. Even experienced players may gloss over the contents and reverb “Yea I already do all that” chased by a “...I think”.
I can only encourage how important conserving your health is. Taking damage here and there has a ripple effect that is much more important than you may think.
When you play Apex notice how your location and the enemies location is always changing. Having the ability to understand and read the battlefield, no matter the position or situation will always be an invaluable skill to have.
So we can hope to abuse what makes us stronger and seek to exploit what makes the opponent weaker. Whenever we engage in a battle on Apex Legends, gaining the advantage and control is our constant objective. Whether you choose to fight or not is up to you, however having a conscious understanding of the major points, will only help assist you in making more calculated decisions.
The Four Major Points
This should be applicable at any point throughout your match in apex legends. Whether you’re standing your ground in a room, field or soaring through the sky. You should be able to make a quick analysis of your position in relation to your opponent, and understand whether you have the advantage, disadvantage or are equal in positioning, from a fundamental point of view.
Understanding where you and the enemy are positioned/standing, is straightforwardly important and sets the board ready to be analysed. However, the secret here is to have the ability to “Anticipate” or “Imagine” your opponents location ahead of time, and already have a solid idea in place should they react in a manner you’re already prepared for.
Upon simply looking in the direction of the enemy, you place a somewhat “movement restriction” on them. This restriction will simply be the areas you can visibly see. Not only your attack but the possibility of your attack that will restrict your opponents. The areas you cannot see are almost free for the enemy to move safely in.
Whoever can restrict more space around their enemy’s location through “Sight Alone”, has the “Space Control”, thus fundamentally winning the “Space Control Battle”. Only a change of location will manipulate the advantage or disadvantage regarding the current situation.
If your goal is to pressure your opponent through space alone, it will be a battle of movement and change of locations, rather than one of gunplay alone.
Understanding who has “Pace Control” is almost synonymous with “Space Control”. However it still needs to be addressed separately, as it is essential to understanding how the final point (Punish Windows) operates. It will be something you’ll always be aware of going forward.
Whoever has “more” cover/retreat options than their opponent, will typically have more control over the “Pace” of the fight. If one simply does not have any control over the pace, then they will be forced to pay close attention to their enemies actions until a change of locations have been made. If they do not then they will certainly feel the effects if the opponent decides to fire upon them.
This is what makes taking cover and constantly being aware of it in relation to your opponent, a mandatory aspect of Apex Legends. It is very possible to be standing besides cover, then neglect or fail to make the most of it. This is a constant issue with the inexperienced, as not only do they end up receiving tons of avoidable damage, they most likely did not end up dealing much damage out themselves in the process.
Whether one is more important than the other is probably subjective and I’ll let you decide for yourself. However if you hold the advantage in both Space & Pace, then you clearly have the better position fundamentally and should make the most of it while it lasts. This brings us to the final point: “Punish Windows”.
This will be when your enemy is caught stepping into the space you control. Thus giving up the ability to take cover, they’re signing an agreement of being available to receive and collect bullets from those that decide to take a shot. This is something we all must do and cannot be avoided. This is why pushing an enemy that is low on health is the standard. In hopes that they are too scared to fight while on low health, gives you the opportunity to move closer for the kill.
Whether you are the one low on health or not, if you have understood the points above, you should now realise that attacking the enemy who has neither the “Space” or “Pace” control is at a major disadvantage. AUD is the important trait you'll need in hopes to succeed in abusing “punish windows”. Our opponent will typically enter their “Punish Window” to either retreat or push you. The ability to spot these moments regardless of your situation, will be one of your main goals as a growing Apex Legends contender. Your other challenge will be to minimise opportunities of being punished by your opponents throughout the match.
Tip: This will go as far as you want to take it. Hopefully by now you can understand and respect that small part of Apex which is played when in cover. Understanding what weapons are powerful when peek shooting, is just as important in understanding why they are used and played a certain way. The damage you can do peek shooting with the R301, is very different to the damage done peek shooting with the Mastiff. However, that doesn’t mean you should neglect the power of “Peek Shooting” in general. People will often “Naturally” peek with the Wingman and Mastiff, however not so much with the Spitfire. Peek shooting is important no matter the weapon you’re holding and that’s what making use of cover is all about.
This is why Apex Legends and many other “Battle Royal” games become a game of positioning and rotation. The team that does not have to give up Space nor Pace in the final circle of a match will have the inevitable advantage in the end. This brings us to the topic Rotations and what that entails from a fundamental aspect.
I understand that “Rotations” is another important aspect of Apex Legends and of course I intend on covering the Fundamental Aspect of Rotations in the future. Even though Positioning and Rotations are two separate topics that are heavily intertwined, I do think it’s best to separate the two and I intend on covering it in a separate guide in the future.
I hope you all can look forward to it.