From best to worst characters, here is GGRecon's definitive Apex Legends tier list.

13:30, 07 May 2021

Apex Legends has 17 playable characters to date, each with their own strengths and weaknesses, which contribute directly to their chance of victory and becoming the Apex Champions.

Apex Legends characters belong to four distinct categories; Offensive, Defensive, Recon, and Support, so it makes sense that teams should include a variety of these options to succeed, or one Legend belonging to two if you’re queued up for duos.

Taking into account, most importantly, movement, then recon abilities, support kit, offence capabilities, and also win rate, pick rate, and influence from the world of Apex Legends esports, GGRecon's definitive tier list ranks the best Apex Legends characters, down to the worst for Season 9: Legacy (for Battle Royale only).

Apex Legends Season 9

S TIER – WRAITH, BLOODHOUND, HORIZON, GIBRALTAR

The meta is shaken, not stirred, in Apex Legends Season 9: Legacy. Previous Legends who topped our charts are now downgraded, making way for new blood. These legends possess the abilities needed to get the victory, from defence, to firepower, to movement, and invaluable information; their usability is astounding.

Let’s go over what makes these Legends the best characters in our Apex Legends tier list.

Wraith

Wraith is one of the most popular characters for pro players – for good reason. She is perfect for pushing, retreating, and rotating, making her a natural choice S Tier. Her tactical movement abilities are massively influential on matches, helping her escape tough engagements or third-partying, or to push teams at the drop of a hat (or the charge of an ultimate).

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In tournaments, you still always see a Wraith in every team, and it's easy to see why. Her portals and void-walking are invaluable on any trio, as well as her low-profile stature. She's the closest character type to a ninja that we've seen in Apex Legends. However, her increased Ult (portal) cooldown from 2.5 minutes to 3.5 minutes is a big L.

Season 8 seemed like it was putting the final nail in the TTV_Wraith coffin, with the drastic changes to her hitbox, making her larger and therefore easier to land shots on, but Season 9 has offered our girl some respite, in the form of Low Profile being removed, meaning Wraith no longer takes 5% extra damage due to her small stature.

After her recent nerfs and the sudden rise in popularity for Horizon, she is no longer the top-picked legend, and her win rate is suffering too., but Wraith is still our sweaty queen, and has been promoted back to S Tier from A.

Bloodhound

Bloodhound retains their place in S Tier in Season 9, thanks to their true tracking and information-gathering ability. Respawn Entertainment described Bloodhound’s performance in Season 5 as “[leaving] a lot to be desired” – and we agree. Now upgraded to a “god-like tracker”, Bloodhound is really leading the pack. The previous scan range buff to Eye of the Allfather (Tactical Ability) really helped, but now paired with the Ult Beast of the Hunt – Bloodhound becomes impossible to escape. Scanning enemies during the Ult becomes a mere 6 seconds cooldown.

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There are still some downsides to Bloodhound, however. The large hitbox they possess, yet doesn’t get the Fortified buff, makes them an open target on the battlefield.

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And the aforementioned scan range is so large that you know if a Bloodhound is around a mile away, making the element of surprise, erm, not surprising. 

Still, Bloodhound deserves this. Now get out there and start slaying – for Artur.

Horizon

Dr Mary Somers brings new abilities to the table – and hurls them into a black hole. The Season 7 Legend takes on the mantle of “Gravitational Manipulator” with style, and everything from her passive to her Ultimate ability is fine-tuned to her character concept. In Legacy, she remains incredibly powerful, maybe to a fault.

We all saw the heart-wrenching Stories From The Outlands video where we were introduced to Horizon’s traumatic backstory, and now we have the chance to take out that frustration on our enemies, using everything from her Tactical ‘Gravity Lift’ to boost enemies out of the way, to her Ultimate ‘Black Hole’, which deploys her special pal N.E.W.T and instructs him to create a mini black hole.

The fact that Horizon can bounce around the map and never feel the effects of fall-stuns thanks to her ‘Space Walk’ passive is invaluable.

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Horizon is the best of the bunch, with capabilities from Offensive and damaging, to Defensive and warding. Both rotation moves and attacks will benefit from a Horizon on the squad.

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In Season 8, when the devs nerfed her Tactical somewhat, the dev notes stated that Horizon “released strong, to the point where she rivals Wraith in win rate and pick rate”, hence the small balance changes to her kit.

In Season 9, she was nerfed further, in the form of her Tactical, which suffered a reduced lift speed by 30%, and reduced side-to-side acceleration. The nerf also limited the time you can sit at the top of Gravity Lift to 2 seconds, and increased the cooldown from 15s to 20s. Some may think this would have lead to a demotion in our tier list to A Tier, but alas, Horizon remains as one of the strongest Legends in the game.

GIBRALTAR

Gibraltar is back where he belongs; in S Tier in the Apex Legends Season 9 tier list and has been upgraded from A. Gibby’s main strength is his Fortified status. Taking 15% less damage thanks to his rather large stature, he can charge into gunfights with relative ease. Pair that with his 50HP gun shield, which covers his whole torso, and you’ve got a recipe for success. However, the gun shield used to boast a whopping 75HP, and contributes to his demotion from S Tier.

His dome shield sig protects his team, while also providing faster revives and healing. He’s an all-rounder as well as a tank.

In a previous Apex update, his Ultimate ability was buffed (3-minute cooldown from 4.5 minutes), allowing his firepower to come to the fore once again. Gibby has always been a mainstay in Apex Legends, and he’s back where he belongs.

Apex Legends Season 9

A TIER – LIFELINE, VALKYRIE

Oof, there are some Legends in A Tier who, in previous seasons, topped our Apex Legends tier list. How the mighty have fallen. They aren't quite the best Apex Legends characters, but they aren't far off, and are still worth the grind.

Lifeline

The Jamaican healer fills a vital role on any squad, from her D.O.C healing drone to her care packages, and since her Lost Treasures buff, her OP dual-reviving mechanic. Those with the know-how can use Lifeline to their advantage, even though they can unfortunately no longer make use of her protective resurrection shield for fast combat rezzing, as it was removed with the introduction of Season 9. Not all was lost, however, as Lifeline's Care Packages now guarantee an upgrade (if possible) in three categories: Body Shield, Other Equipment (Helmet, Backpack, and Knockdown Shield), and Weapon Attachment, based on your team’s current gear when the Package arrives.

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Lifeline has even more looting opportunities than her peers, with 20% of all supply bins being blue, meaning Lifeline can grab extra loot. 

For those reasons, Lifey stays firmly in A Tier.

VALKYRIE

Our newest Apex Legend, Valkyrie, has come to own the skies, and she does. The newest Legend in any given season is always subject to the "too OP" argument, but Valkyrie has come in relatively well-rounded and packs a punch without being too insanely kitted. Valkyrie's Passive VTOL Jets is well-balanced, allowing her to jetpack away, but with limited fuel and no weapons being able to be used during the flight, meaning she can't fly forever while Spitfiring from the sky - that would be awful.

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Her Tactical: Missile Swarm is just damaging enough, meaning she doesn't take on too much of an offensive role within her team and can leave the bashing to Gibraltar. 

Her Ultimate Skyward Dive is also useful for repositioning, allowing Valk to spring upwards (along with her teammates) and fly away.

Valkyrie is a breath of fresh air in an otherwise stale meta and should add plenty of interesting strategies as the season progresses.

 

Apex Legends Tier List

B TIER – CAUSTIC, BANGALORE, OCTANE, LOBA, MIRAGE

This bunch may seem like they do a lotta damage, but even Flex Tape can't hold them together in certain situations. No Apex Legends tier list would be complete without these five.

CAUSTIC

Caustic is one big bad boy, with toxic abilities. This mad scientist is getting a demotion from S tier for a few reasons.

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Caustic has the Fortified buff (just like Gibby) but without a gun shield, which means he's still a huge target for SMG spray-downs.

Caustic's ultimate gas cloud is rather painful, but no longer deals ever-increasing damage from 6 to 12 ticks, and now only damages enemies for 5 damage/sec, making it more of an annoyance than anything. The gas clouds and canisters also slow enemies, and a recent buff meant his teammates were no longer susceptible to the slowing elements of his attacks.

Despite all of this, trapping is not the name of the game in Season 9, where the skies are the battlefield, and the ground is for losers. 

Bangalore

Bangalore is a starter character, a soldier with a solid base of abilities for anyone new to Apex to enjoy. Perhaps they've migrated over from COD and want a taste of that same military action. Her double-time passive is helpful to dart quickly away from a nasty gunfight, and her smoke grenades are pretty good for cover. Her airstrike, although the name alone should strike fear into your heart, isn't that powerful. 'Rolling Thunder', as it's called, is not nearly as damaging as Gibraltar's Bombardment, which rains down on opponents like hellfire, and takes some time to activate after the rockets drop into the terrain.

Other Apex Legends with more tactical and superpower-esque abilities pip her to the post on making a higher tier.

Octane

Octane is retaining his B Tier status in the Apex Legends Season 9 Tier List. While he may make his teammates furious with his speedy stealing, he’s incredibly fun to play, but as for his abilities; are they worthwhile?

The self-healing is massively helpful, and the stim can be used effectively in scenarios where you decide to push at the last second or retreat defensively, especially given the Season 9 update which grants Octane his Tactical every 1s (for an increased health cost from 12hp to 20hp). Trust us, the reduced health is worth being able to stim so often.

The Launch Pad is a movement ability the whole team can enjoy, and thanks to the Season 8 buff, can now transport you sky-high, or horizontally across large distances in the blink of an eye.

Loba

The golden girl has risen again. The Translocating Thief's teleportation ability, as well as loot-spotting (and stealing), made her a necessity on any team who wants to get kitted-out to the max before entering the fight, and her Ultimate now hits hard, with barely any cooldown to speak of, even on landing. Although Legacy increased that cooldown to 120s, it's still barely any time to wait. A team with a Loba in tow can easily get looted up in the first building and move on for another quick snatch-n-grab.

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Her passive (Eye for Quality) allows Loba to spot purple and gold items through walls, and works with Care Packages, too, meaning no loot is off her radar.

In Season 9, Loba's Burglar's Best Friend Tactical finally received its much-needed fixes, and Loba can now run and slide at full speed while aiming the bracelet and while the bracelet is in the air, and no longer be slowed after translocating.

Loba is being slept on, and it’s time we wake up.

MIRAGE

Mirage has moved several times in this tier list - from C to A, and now S, then A again, and back to S, and now B Tier – phew! It's quite a move, but it isn't unwarranted.

Where his decoys were unstrategic mannequins, they are now controlled by Mirage, mimicking his every move, and fooling the enemies into believing that's the real Holographic Trickster himself for a whole 60 seconds. His ultimate is a bunch of Mirage Mimics, again, giving your team the real ability to confuse opponents, and allowing your Mirage to make an escape. 

Mirage is almost above Lifeline power levels when it comes to reviving teammates, as he not only cloaks when using a respawn beacon, but also when reviving, and that's not all - the teammate being revived is also invisible! In previous seasons, GGRecon suggested Mirage needed a big buff, and we definitely got one.

In a Season 7 update, Mirage’s decoys now have 45 health – adding another element to their trickery. Add to that the Season 8 addition of “decoy footsteps”, and you’ve got a whole lot of bamboozle on your hands.

Season 9 hasn’t changed Mirage much, and as other Legends rise, one must fall. Sorry, buddy.

Apex Legends Best Characters

C TIER – WATTSON, PATHFINDER

These two Apex Legends Characters are in C tier for a reason; whether that be purely stat-based (win rate and pick rate), for usability/usefulness, or just because their time in the spotlight has waned.

Wattson

Wattson is one of the members you used to always see included in any Apex Ranked or Apex Legends competitive team, and for good reason. Her electric fence ability holds positions to perfection, while her ultimate Interception Pylon destroys grenades and airstrikes (and now Caustic barrels in flight) that go anywhere near her teammates, while also charging their shields. In this way, she's not only a Defensive character but also Support (although she isn't canonically in this category). Finding out where teams are pushing from by securing the area behind you, or any nearby entry/exit points is invaluable. Camping or hiding and using your perimeter fences to defend an area is beneficial, but Wattson herself isn't the best Apex character.

Season 7 brought about much-needed changes for Wattson, but they still weren't enough. Her Perimeter Security fence damage was increased from 10 to 15.

In Season 8, the average gamer's experience was way less strategic than in pro play, and relies more on recon and offence than her strat pylon plays. There’s no use trapping up a house for the final ring when there are only two teams left, compared to the 10 that usually still exist in an ALGS game. While positioning is still key in Play Apex and Ranked modes, and Wattson is key to that, it’s not the be-all and end-all of that match.

Season 9 added one key component to Wattson's kit - the removal of Low Profile, meaning she no longer takes 5% extra damage due to her smaller stature.

PATHFINDER

His grapple is polished, and so is his gameplay. Or at least, it was. Pathfinder (affectionately known as Path) is the wholesome robot Legend just looking for his creator. His movement abilities were by far the most powerful of all the Apex Legends characters, again, allowing for ease of rotation across the map, and during engagements. His tactical grapple was nerfed in Season 5 (taking the cooldown from 15 seconds to massive 35 seconds) and severely affected his pick rate, dropping from 22% to 10.56%.

In Season 6, Pathfinder was finally given some mercy, although not enough. When using a Survey Beacon to find the next ring location, the Ultimate Zipline cooldown is reduced by 10 seconds. Useful, but Path just doesn't have what it takes anymore. 

Season 7 Pathfinder benefited from Season 6 buffs that changed his Grapple cooldown based on distance travelled, and now, Pathfinder doesn’t need to have hit the ground for the Grappling Hook to be considered finished, and max cooldown lowered to 30 seconds.

Path is rarely seen these days, and you’ll be hard-pressed to find one in any given lobby.

Apex Legends Rampart

D TIER – CRYPTO, RAMPART, FUSE, REVENANT

Seventeen total Legends means we now need a D Tier, the worst of the worst. That isn't to say that these Legends don't add something to the game, because they do - just not quite enough.

CRYPTO

Crypto didn't receive a warm welcome when he joined Apex Legends, and not much has changed.

Genuinely taking on his role of a Recon character, and with less vulnerability when using his Drone, Crypto can use Survey Beacons (as can Pathfinder and Bloodhound). Crypto's Drone can now activate Respawn and Survey Beacons, not just pick up Banners. The Drone also received an HP boost, double the health points, in fact (60 HP). But the 40-second cooldown when it’s destroyed is still a bummer, when it doesn’t provide much more than a Bloodhound scan.

So why isn't he in a higher tier, I hear you ask? Well, his EMP Ultimate now slows teammates caught in the blast (although it still doesn't crack friendly shields) – and that's not great. Maybe next season, Crypto.

The main reason for Cryptos inclusion in D Tier is his utter defencelessness when piloting his drone – perhaps a shield that surrounds him, with a minor amount of health (maybe 50HP like Gibby’s gun shield) could help.

RAMPART

Rampart was a breath of fresh air in an admittedly stale Legend meta, bringing defence, offence, and a ton of other useful perks for those who love to run ‘n’ gun, but also camp, and play strategically, but now she’s fallen in the ranks slightly as the novelty wears off.

Her Tactical Ability, Amped Cover, provides many different gameplay tactics, even in the heat of battle. Getting those Amped sniper shots can be the difference between victory and defeat. Using the cover to block doorways, flanks, or even build a base is valuable, but most enemy teams will now prioritise taking out her defences, leaving her, well... defenceless.

Season 7 brought about changes to Rampart’s Sheila turret, now only taking 1.25 seconds to fully spin up, down from 2 seconds. Her Amped Walls only take 3 seconds to fully build, and with Season 8, now have 45HP, allowing you to lock those doors fast.

FUSE 

The Season 8 legend made an explosive entrance – but seems to have gone out with a whimper, rather than a bang.

Australian Fuse is here for a bombastic time, not a long time, and is a purely offensive legend. His Passive (Grenadier) allows him to stack more grenades than his peers, and fire them further, faster, and more accurately, but many players may think “well, I’m pretty good at throwing frags as it is” so he doesn’t help much there.

While his Knuckle Cluster Tactical now has two charges, it simply doesn’t do enough damage.

A well-placed Fuse Motherlode Ult can burn opponents to a crisp, but many Legends can either outrun it, or phase/grapple/fly out of harm's way.

Having a purely attacking arsenal isn’t always good, meaning he almost always has to be paired with a recon or support legend for back-up and info-gathering, unlike someone like Bangalore, who can smoke to escape situations, or Crypto, who can get the tea on surrounding teams, and snap their shields in one fell swoop.

REVENANT

Okay, we have to address the elephant in the room. Why has Rev been demoted from Tier since Season 8? Well, we can explain.

While Revenant was seeing more and more Apex pro playtime, and dare we say, being slept on in casual play too, his time in the sun is over, and the simulacrum must slink back into the shadows.

When his Silence ability usage was doubled, most opponents still found a way to continue the fights, even without phasing or grappling.

Revenant's Death Totem Ultimate ability provides his teammates with a second chance at life, and in a recent update, now adds more health and shields on resurrecting when returning to the totem after being 'downed'. The totem itself must be placed in the perfect position for returning teammates, where another team can't lay in wait for their arrival, which can be tricky when Apex is the home of third parties.

Do you agree or disagree with our Apex Legends Tier List? Let us know on Twitter @GGReconEsports.
 

Images via Respawn Entertainment

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