Dropping into a battle royale is a shared experience that nearly every gamer of this generation can relate to. Whether you tried Fortnite once “just to see what the fuss is about” when it revolutionised multiplayer games back in 2017, found your feet in Pochinki, or still regularly drop into Fragment East or Stadium, we’ve all been there.
It’s a special moment, that brief calm before the storm of bullets ravages your map of choice. Every player waiting for the signal, aboard battle bus or C-130 Hercules or other unspecified dropship, unburdened for loot and mentally preparing for the fight. And then you fall.
We all understand this sensation. We know the script. So why do so few people know how to fucking land?
I’ve played battle royales since their inception. Fortnite didn’t grab me, but I still played it with friends. PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds was the game that really sold me on the genre, but Apex Legends quickly showed it the door when it entered the proverbial fray. It was faster, the movement was better, and I loved the lore. Plus, PUBG didn’t have a Scandinavian hunter or a friendly robot.
I understand that some players won’t have had the BR education that I’ve been afforded. So consider this your education, kids. Apex Legends’ initial disembarking works a little differently from other Battle Royales, so you need to split off from the bloody jumpmaster.
In Warzone, Fortnite, or PUBG, all teammates drop individually. Someone will likely ping a location and, if you’re with friends, you’ll likely have a favourite drop spot already picked out. Whenever you think it’s best to jump in order to land at the agreed location, you go. Your teammates will likely choose a similar time, but not necessarily. If you’re solo queueing, there will always be that one teammate who drops hot alone and shouts profanities through the fuzziest mic you’ve ever heard before rage quitting, but generally, you’ll land together.
In Apex, as you’ll likely know, one player in each squad is assigned the role of jumpmaster. This person dictates where you land, your trajectory, and the rest of it. They control everything. While this does mean they have the final say and can overrule your democratic decision for a colder drop and head right into ‘streamer building’ in Fragment, you can also split off from them. I’ll repeat that because it’s very important: You. Can. Split. Off. From. Them.
We all know teamwork makes the dream work, so landing close together makes a lot of sense in battle royales – and that goes double if you’re dropping hot. However, if all three teammates land on the same small building and gut it in a few seconds, not everyone is going to have enough loot, are they? Chances are, someone will be without even a gun – and those are very important in shooters. If you’re dropping with an Octane, chances are they get all the loot, leaving the other two teammates with nothing. Nada. Try fighting without a weapon or armour, try healing without meds.
So what’s the answer? Split off from the jumpmaster. Don’t go too far, but take a building each. You’ll be far more likely to get kitted out if you’re in separate buildings, and staying adjacent to one another means you can help each other out if a fight breaks out too. Situational awareness is important, too. If you’re dropping fairly cold, somewhere on the edge of a map, with the intention of rotating in quickly, you can split up further. Take three corners of a POI, and meet in the middle. That works perfectly and gives everyone a fair share of the loot, provided no other teams have dropped there.
The only downside to this system is that the jumpmaster can’t force their teammates to split off. That’s on you. If you learn one thing today and take it into your next Apex Legends match, make it this. Splitting off helps everybody, always. Looking around you in the air to see if anyone else has landed with you also helps. Information is key, and the only thing more important than information is sweet, sweet loot. So split up and make your landings better for everyone. You’ll thank me later.
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