UPDATE (10/23): This story was updated to clarify melee damage numbers and to include additional tips and minor clarifications.
Shadowfall takes Apex Legends players back to Kings Canyon with a twisted new take on battle royale. This limited-time mode is more complicated than the game's regular battle royale mode. Here are some tactical tips to succeed in Shadowfall.
The Rules in a Nutshell
Shadowfall starts as a normal Solos Mode that takes place on a night version of Apex Legends' pre-Season 3 map. Other than the night map and a smaller player pool of 35, it's similar to the Solos Mode that game developer Respawn temporarily added to the game in Season 2.
However, as players die, they come back as zombie-like beings who can use strong melee abilities to kill still-living Legends. These creatures, known collectively as the Shadow Squad, can’t use weapons and have very little health. But, they move at fast speeds and can down living players in one or two melee attacks.
When there are only 10 Legends remaining, these surviving players join forces to travel to a rescue ship that will take them out of the zombie-infested arena. If any single player makes it to the rescue ship, then the Legends win. However, if the Shadow Legends manage to take them all down, the team of undead players wins.
Games typically last around 10 minutes.
The following tips will help when playing as a Legend.
Use a Darker Character Skin
Since this game mode takes place in a nighttime version of Kings Canyon, lighter cosmetics can give away a player’s position. While this won’t matter to Shadow Legends, it does matter to other Legends who can easily spot this contrast at a distance. Shadow Legends see all players in bright red, similar to the way Bloodhound sees enemies when using their Ultimate Ability.
Find Good Shields
In Shadowfall, undead players' melee attacks do a whopping
158 damage each 150 damage each. (Update: The Shadow Legend melees do 150 damage, but with the Low Profile trait for Wraith, Pathfinder, Wattson and Lifeline, this amounts to 158. Since Gibraltar and Caustic both have the Fortified trait, these characters take 15% less damage. This means zombie melees grant around 133 damage.) If a Legend has only a while shield, this amounts to a one-hit kill. a one-hit kill for most characters. Therefore, it’s important to have at least a Level 2 shield early on in the game. The game’s supply ship and hot zones will almost always have Level 3 or Level 4 shields somewhere. However, players may have to fight other Legends for them.
Shoot Zombies, Spiders and Other Players for Extra Loot
In true Halloween form, players get extra treats for shooting enemies. In this case, these enemies include crate zombies and spiders, along with other players. The loot can range from average to really good, including items such as hop-ups and high-level body shields. However, killing Shadow Legends won't provide additional loot.
Know Your Character’s Defenses Against Shadow Legends
Caustic’s traps hurt undead Legends just as they hurt Legends. When Mirage uses his decoy, it appears red to Shadow Legends and is therefore effective because it's hard for these undead beings to tell the difference between Mirage and his decoy. On the other hand, Wattson’s Ultimate is less useful at the top 10 stage because there's no need to defend against bombardments and grenades. Crypto is also less useful because his skills require him to be stationary but Shadow Legends can easily spot him from a distance even if he is only partially exposed. To learn which Legends are best and worst for the mode, check out TheGamer's guide to this topic.
On Reaching Top 10, Work With Other Legends
In this mode, players are unable to ping items and call out enemies. However, those who make it into the top 10 instantly go from enemies to allies. They can revive downed teammates and cover for one another as their squadmates heal. All these tactics are helpful to win the game as more surviving Legends means there's a higher chance players will make it to the rescue ship. Additionally, surviving Legends can use their abilities in tandem. For example, a player might want to throw Caustic’s gas traps next to one of Pathfinder’s ziplines to make it difficult for Shadow Legends to jump on the lines.
Have at Least One “Spray and Pray” Weapon
Shotguns, sniper rifles and pistols like the Wingman are great for taking out zombies in one shot. But near the end of the game, players may find themselves having to take on two, three or even more Shadow Legends at once. Because these undead Legends have very low health, a spray-and-pray weapon such as an SMG can be effective for spamming bullets and taking down several enemies in a short amount of time.
Book it to the Ship
Players have a very short window of opportunity to reach the rescue ship once it gets to the landing zone. The longer a player waits, the more likely there are to be Shadow Legends circling the zone. Get there as quickly as possible for the best chance of surviving.
Kill Shadow Legends To Restore Health
Each Shadow Legend kill returns health. This is helpful to know in cases where meds may be unavailable or will take too long to use. Killing Shadow Legends in succession will restore full health, but players will still need to make sure to have enough shields to protect themselves in the case of a Shadow melee attack.
Kill Other Legends Early
The rescue ship countdown begins the moment there are 10 Legends left in the game. By taking out other Legends early, players can ensure they have a large radius to get to the rescue ship when it arrives. A bigger play area provides fewer opportunities for Shadow Legends to spot still-alive Legends as they maneuver toward the ship.
When players are unable to survive into the top 10, they become Shadow Legends. Here are some tips for playing as an undead character.
Know the Limitations
Shadow characters can walk through the storm without taking damage. They can also use ziplines and Wraith’s portals. They are unable to open doors but are able to melee through them, and they can climb extremely high relative to the Legends. An understanding of what a shadow character can and can’t do will help guide decision-making during the mode.
It’s a lot of fun to move quickly, but that doesn’t mean high-speed movement is always the best idea. For instance, increased movement speed also means these characters slide faster, so it’s possible to slide right by a Legend target when attempting to melee them at full speed.
Attack from Behind
Because Shadow Legends have extremely low health, it’s important that they never get in front of a Legend’s gun. Even a player with spotty aim can take them down with just a few bullets. A better strategy is to identify where a target is moving and try to attack them from behind, out of their line of sight.
Attack in Groups
Even with super speed and one- or two-hit kills, it’s not always as easy to down a Legend as one might think. Working with other Shadow Legends gives the Shadow Squad an advantage as they can attack from many different directions at once.
Shadow Legends Retain Character Traits
Even when on the Shadow Squad, legend Fortified and Low Profile traits still apply. This means Shadow Legend versions Caustic and Gibraltar may survive attacks longer, while Shadow Legends versions of Wraith, Pathfinder, Lifeline and Wattson may die more quickly.
Apex Legends: Shadowfall is a limited-time event and will run through Nov. 5.