So, you’re looking to pick up Apex Legends’ resident mad scientist, Caustic? He’s a niche pick, perhaps, but he can be a real gas (yes, I do deserve a raise for that pun, thanks for noticing) to play if you utilize him well. Buckle up, grab your gas mask, and let's dive into a quick Caustic For Dummies rundown of the character.
To understand how to play Caustic, you’ve first got to become one with Caustic. You’ve got to understand who he is, what makes him tick, memorize all the little personal details on his Match.com profile.
To quickly summarize: Caustic was once known as scientist Alexander Nox, a brilliant, ambitious man who worked at Humbert Labs (the Frontier’s leading pesticide manufacturer). To best test his gases, he needed living subjects, and that’s exactly what he’s found within the Apex Games.
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Yes, this backstory is just the devs' spiel, but it’s still super important. Why? Because it’s not just flavor text. Being sneaky with your poisonous gas abilities is the essential essence of playing Caustic. You do not want to blindly charge in and go full guns-a-blazing DPS mode on your opponents. This isn’t an Arnold Schwarzenegger movie. A hero like Wraith is better suited to that role, being geared towards flanking opponents and kiting them with that fantastic ultimate.
Caustic, meanwhile, is much better suited for a more cerebral, scientific, defensive approach. He’s not equipped to Rambo his way through every opponent by himself, but rather cooperate with his allies to make battlefield conditions - and the general ebb and flow of the match - as favorable for them as possible.
What does his kit look like, then? First up, we have his Tactical Ability, Nox Gas Trap. As the name suggests, this is a small canister you can deploy, which will activate when an opponent approaches (or when shot). You can have up to six active at a time, and can do all manner of crafty things with them. It’s all about where you place them.
The Nox Gas Trap will blind and slow enemies caught in it while you are still still see them, thanks to your Passive, Nox Vision. His Ultimate, the Nox Gas Grenade, takes the concept a step further, creating a large, dangerous area of gas that will quickly sap the health from opponents caught in it. Are they holed up in a building? Well, they’re soon going to wish they weren’t, that’s for darn sure.
The Nox Gas Grenade will flush opponents out of a chokepoint like an enema will flush nasties out of your system. The results will probably smell just as bad, too. In short, Caustic is a typical trapper, and requires (while heavily rewarding) careful, methodical play.
We’ve already touched on the fact that your coordination with your teammates is vital to Caustic’s success, but… we can't emphasize enough the importance of your coordination with your teammates. The important thing to remember about your gassy abilities is that they can hinder your friends just as much as your enemies. It’s neat that you can see enemies who are floundering in your gas clouds while they can’t see you, but your allies can’t see through the gas either.
How do teammates in online games tend to feel when you prevent them from getting that kill they had all lined up? That’s right: less than amused. As such, you can’t just go spamming your Nox Gas Traps and Grenades wherever you fancy. The whole point is that you’re a cog in the tactical machine and not a one-man army, so make sure you play accordingly.
There’s another important caveat to bear in mind while playing as Caustic. Some players (including your friends right here at The Gamer) consider him to be the worst legend in the game right now. He has his strengths and his place in a team, but his abilities are more situational than many others. Apex Legends centers around heroes who are very mobile, and it’s tough for an AoE-based trapper to shine in such an environment.
That’s not to say he can’t, though. Far from it. A well-played Caustic can be a huge presence on the battlefield, just as much as a poorly-played one can be a liability. In the end, it all comes down to how well you utilize the unique strengths he brings to the table.