Who are the best Apex Legends characters for season 16?

How does everyone stack up?

Image via Respawn Entertainment

While most battle royales put players on a level playing field, Apex Legends is different in that each character comes with a unique set of abilities and skills to use alongside weapons. These abilities work alongside weapons to impact the outcome of the game’s epic, large-scale battle royale matches and intense Arenas rounds.

A new legend is added each season with the goal of shaking up the meta and adding new angles to play.

In this tier list, we evaluated legends by the following three criteria:

  • Legend kits: The advantages and disadvantages garnered from the active, passive, and ultimate abilities each legend has.
  • Team compatibility: How well a legend’s abilities synergize with other legends’ skills, supporting their teammates’ survival and success.
  • Map adaptability: How useful a legend and their abilities are on each map. Now that there are four unique maps in play depending on specific rotations, how well a legend can adapt to each map makes a big difference in their overall effectiveness.

Note that legends’ particular position in their tier is less important than the overall tier that they’re in. For example, two A-tier legends are much closer to each other in terms of potential than an A-tier legend and a B-tier legend.

With that out of the way, here’s our legend tier list for Apex.

This list is current as of season 16, rank split one.

Apex Legends character tier list (updated for season 16)

S-tier

Seer

Screengrab via Respawn Entertainment

When Seer first debuted in season 10, many players complained that he was oppressive or even “fundamentally broken,” which eventually prompted a response from live balance designer John Larson. After hanging out at the bottom of the pick rate list for a while, he’s seen a huge resurgence after widespread use during the most recent iteration of the ALGS.

That popularity led to another nerf for Seer in season 16, but it’s difficult to conceive of any reality where a character whose tactical can reveal enemies, their health bars, briefly silence enemy abilities, and cancel enemy healing, and revives all at the same time could be anything but S-tier.

You’ll probably see Seer drop off a bit in pick rate as players overreact to the news of “nerfs,” and changes come to some of the easy-to-use portions of his ability kit, but Seer is still incredibly powerful.

What the changes do manage to hit well is Seer’s over-reliance on his ultimate, with the cooldown and duration nerfs making it much more difficult for players to crutch Seer’s Exhibit ultimate for every fight. But Seer is still the king of information, and he will make your life an absolute nightmare when you face off against him. He synergizes with just about any other legend, the new recon scans he gets are even more powerful than the old survey beacon scans for teams that want to look to fight, and he doesn’t suffer or benefit from map changes.

A-tier

Bloodhound

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Information is invaluable in Apex, and similar to Seer, Bloodhound is excellent at providing it. Bloodhound’s Eye of the Allfather tactical is a more user-friendly scan than Seer’s tactical, scanning in a much broader area at the cost of not doing all the extra stuff that Seer’s scans do outside of revealing enemies.

Making up for that is Bloodhound’s ultimate. The Beast of the Hunt still turns Bloodhound into one of the most fearsome fighting characters, painting enemies in an easy-to-see red glow while everything else fades to black and white, and giving them a boost to movement speed.

The season 16 changes to Bloodhound that remove the reduced tactical cooldown during the ultimate definitely makes their ultimate less useful for information gathering, but they retain their ability to be agile during a gunfight and can still see through smoke and gas.

Like Seer, Bloodhound works in pretty much any team composition and on any map. You can even pair them with Seer; some of the ability combinations might be a little redundant, but the fighting power of Bloodhound still represents significant value. The season 16 changes might have made them a little bit less of a team player, sure. But if your Bloodhound is picking up kills, that’s still helping the team, right?

Wraith

Screengrab via Respawn Entertainment

Wraith saw some of the most significant changes to her ability kit in season 16, and while it hasn’t completely returned her to “strongest legend in the game” status, the buffs have certainly made her a very good character to use. Chief among these changes is the distance she can travel with her portal ultimate: it’s now able to go twice the distance it did in season 15, and Wraith players get speed boosts the longer they go while setting the portal.

The change reinforces what Wraith is best at: scouting out positions to play and transporting her team safely through tricky situations and crowded final circles.

If you have characters in your squad without movement abilities or shields that can result in them getting picked off while rotating from one spot or another, Wraith is a great choice to pair with them.

The reason Wraith still isn’t quite as good as she once was lies primarily in her tactical ability, Into the Void. The long charge time for the ability when using it while not setting a portal remains, making her not very useful as an entry fragger. It can still be used to get out of sticky situations, sure, but it’s also easy to get over-aggressive and be punished for it when an enemy pushes you during the tactical animation. That, in addition to somewhat useful, somewhat lackluster passive and class perk abilities make her very good, but not quite great.

She’ll be most useful on maps like World’s Edge, where lots of buildings and manageable gaps between cover make her strongest.

Horizon

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Season 16 saw a nerf to Horizon that understandably curtailed much of her popularity: her gun accuracy while using the Gravity Lift passive has been decreased, which had made her substantially less popular with the pub-stompers and R-301 abusers.

Fear not, Horizon enjoyers. Your favorite character is still strong, she’s just much less useful as a character to one-vs-one all-comers and rain damage down from above.

Instead, you’ll need to coordinate more with your teammates. Her Black Hole ultimate can still be an excellent way to open up a fight, especially paired with damage-dealing legends like Fuse. And her Gravity Lift might not be as viable in fights anymore, but it’s still a great tool to have in your back pocket on maps like Storm Point or World’s Edge, where big height disparities can stifle teams without movement abilities.

Valkyrie

Image via Respawn Entertainment

For the back half of 2021 and the first half of 2022, Valkyrie was almost certainly the best character in Apex. She could simply do so many different things: use the survey beacon and scan enemies while in the air like a recon character, deploy an assault-like tactical that could damage and stun enemies behind cover, and use her passive VTOL Jets as a movement ability to quickly gain height advantage on enemies.

And all of these abilities paled in comparison to her Skyward Dive ultimate, easily the biggest rotation tool in the game. The Respawn devs dutifully shipped multiple nerfs to her over the back half of 2022, and rightfully so.

The Valkyrie that exists in Apex now is a little bit slower in her passive, no longer can get ring information, and is more vulnerable in her ultimate. But she’s still an excellent character for rotations and fighting, especially when there’s a floor or two above her that she can quickly escape to should she drop down on an unsuspecting team to open a fight.

Valkyrie is good with most other legends you pair her with and is vital on a map like Storm Point with its tall mountains and a litany of choke points.

Caustic

Screengrab via Respawn Entertainment

The gas boy is back and he’s ready to ruin your day. Caustic is the premier legend in the new Controller class, with abilities that are easy to use but possess big value for a team.

Thanks to the new perk he picked up in season 16, Caustic can now use Ring Consoles to find the location of future rings so he and his team can rotate to endgame spots early and hold down strong positions.

Caustic is all about playing around his gas, using his tactical traps to close off doors and chokes to opposing players and with the ultimate Gas Grenade in his back pocket. While he damages and slows enemies caught in his gas, he also gets to see them more clearly through the visual clutter that fills the screen. And what sets him apart from the rest of the Controller class is the ability to use his kit offensively: a well-placed Gas Grenade can secure a kill from afar or be a powerful tool to push into a building that another team is already in. He excels both at holding positions and can also be very useful to breach those same positions, too.

Generally, Caustic performs best with a character that can transport him quickly around the map, like Wraith, Valkyrie, Pathfinder, or more. But when you get him in a composition that synergizes well and on a map like World’s Edge or Olympus with plenty of buildings, he shines.

B-tier

Bangalore

Screengrab via Respawn Entertainment

In many ways, Bangalore feels like a perfectly-balanced character. She has utility that’s useful, but not oppressive. She’s good, with clear ways she can be countered, and also can use her own abilities creatively to counter others. She fits well in most team comps and is fairly useful on most maps. Not phenomenal, but not underwhelming.

Bangalore got a sizable upgrade thanks to the Assault class perks that grant her the ability to store extra ammo and access the new red loot bins scattered across the map, which can almost fully kit out a weapon with just one bin. The rest of Bangalore’s abilities are simple but effective: a smokescreen tactical ability to provide visual cover, the Creeping Barrage ultimate to deny space and potentially deliver big damage, and a passive that boosts her speed when she’s being shot at.

None of these abilities are foolproof or overpowered, but they can all be quite useful. Bangalore most obviously synergizes with Bloodhound, who can see through her smokes when using the Beast of the Hunt ultimate, and usually pairs well with other legends that can transport her around the map more quickly.

She’s decent on all maps, but is at her best when she’s outdoors where her ultimate can actually take effect.

Fuse

Screengrab via Respawn Entertainment

Fuse is a frequently-overlooked character with a lot of damage potential, which is a shame considering how much fun he is to play. His Grenadier passive allows him to stack two of the same grenade in one inventory slot, giving him a small amount of inventory management potential. Knuckle Cluster, his tactical, is basically another grenade, though with a larger area of effect.

Fuse’s ultimate, The Motherlode, allows him and his teammates to see the position of enemies caught inside the ring of fire.

This was a welcome buff a few seasons ago that very much helps with pinpointing enemy locations, especially if you don’t have a Wraith or a recon legend on your team. Unfortunately, The Motherlode is still finicky to aim.

Fuse picked up a very useful buff with season 16’s assault class perks, and he’s great at breaching positions, even if The Motherlode is much harder to use indoors or anywhere where those low ceiling clearance, like the buildings and caves on Storm Point and World’s Edge.

Still, he’s a useful character if you build around him with a legend that can get him out of trouble with a movement ability, or with someone that can set up some of his ordinances like Horizon.

Catalyst

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Many people expected Catalyst to be better on launch than she was. In a trailer released prior to season 15, her Dark Veil ultimate was portrayed in a way that made it seem like it could block scans from legends like Bloodhound and Seer. That was only partially true, as the Veil blocks Bloodhound scan and Seer’s passive, but doesn’t seem to affect the Exhibit ultimate. It also slows enemies as they move through it.

As it stands, Catalyst’s Dark Veil can be a game-winner late in the game, but she usually needs some help from her team to get to that point.

As a Controller, Catalyst can now use Ring Consoles to find future rings, and it helps set up the rest of her abilities. Her passive ability is arguably stronger than her tactical: Barricade lets her reinforce and rebuild doors, giving her the ability to turn even a partially destroyed building into a stronghold. She can also use her Piercing Spikes tactical to help hold down positions and set up her team for a win.

Catalyst is a legend for creative players that want to outplay enemies with mind games and take up the best possible positions for wins but isn’t terribly useful in compositions with legends that want to run enemies down and fight a lot.

If you’re playing Catalyst, you’re trying to make it into the last couple of rings, and you want to play her on maps with plenty of buildings and doors to use, and not on a map like Kings Canyon, for example. Just remember all that when your teammates lock in Octane and Pathfinder before you decide to bring Catalyst out.

Lifeline

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Lifeline is generally played for her support capabilities rather than her offensive abilities. Her most powerful ability, Combat Revive, allows her to revive enemies using her D.O.C. drone, leaving her free to continue fighting. She can revive two allies at once this way, so if her team has managed to crawl to a safe position in the middle of a big fight, she can revive everyone and get them healing within a few seconds.

Lifeline’s tactical, D.O.C. Heal Drone, heals everyone around it for 20 seconds, up to a maximum of 150 health per player. Meanwhile, her Care Package ultimate is called down quickly and can outfit your team with some extra healing items, better shields, and other useful things.

Lifeline also benefited from the Support class perks added to the game in season 16, which allow her to craft teammate respawn banners even if their timer runs out. It doesn’t make Lifeline substantially better, as her abilities mean she’s usually in the thick of a fight and not a legend that can easily escape if things go south. But she remains a decent pick, and one that can even provide a bit of a counter to Seer, since her Combat Revive is the only revive in the game that Seer’s tactical can’t interrupt.

Ash

Screengrab via Respawn Entertainment

Ash arrived during season 11 to jeers of “Wraith 2.0.” Indeed, this offensive legend’s abilities are reminiscent of Wraith, but Ash has some tricks up her sleeve that are all her own.

Ash’s passive, Marked For Death, sounds a lot more powerful than it actually is. It allows Ash to scan death boxes and pinpoint that squad’s killers on the map temporarily. Ash also sees deathboxes appear from recent fights on her map. While this can be useful for finding where fights are happening, most of the death boxes you find in a game are old, or else are being used to find a fleeing enemy whose teammate already fell, and aren’t much of a threat to you anyways.

Her tactical, Arc Snare, is a thrown projectile that snares onto the first enemy that breaches its area of effect. An enemy that’s caught can’t move outside of a small radius, and it can be useful for setting up teammates with grenades or other damage-dealing abilities for big damage. Her Phase Breach ultimate is halfway between Wraith’s portal and Octane’s jump pad, creating a one-way portal that lasts for a limited amount of time that can transport her and her teammates (and any enemies that might be chasing them).

Ash is a pretty good character, made better by the Assault class perks introduced in season 16. But she’s far more situational than Wraith and her tactical is a bit lackluster compared to other legends. Octane mains that want more out of their legend abilities should consider switching to her, but Wraith mains should stay put.

Loba

Image via Respawn Entertainment

With the season 16 changes, Loba can finally, firmly be classified as a “good” character. She’s always been very situational, as her greatest value to a team lies completely in her ability to find extra loot through the Black Market Boutique ultimate. The teleport tactical can get her out of sticky situations and her passive enables the loot goblin in everyone, but her ultimate was the reason most people played her.

Thankfully, the Support class perks finally give Loba a that certain something to make her useful for most teams. She has access to even more healing loot now that she can open the secret compartment of blue bins, and she’s the Support character most likely to be crafting banners after slipping away from a fight, considering she’s the only one with a movement ability.

She’s still not phenomenal, but she’s useful enough that she can fit into basically any team composition, plays well regardless of the map, and has the extra boost from the Support class perks.

Pathfinder

Image via Respawn Entertainment

Finally, some love for everyone’s favorite robot. Pathfinder was one of the strongest characters in Apex at launch, but slowly and steadily lost power thanks to nerfs to his grapple cooldown and other Recon legends gaining his passive. Pathfinder’s new passive is… arguably worse than the old one that everyone had, but he still has the most fun movement in Apex, and season 16 also gave him a huge buff to his ultimate.

Pathfinder’s Zipline Gun was always useful for transporting him and his squad, but was steadily outshine by movement options that made players invulnerable, like Wraith and Ash portal. As the Apex playerbase steadily improved at the game, it also became far too easy for players to shoot enemies right off of them. Season 16 addressed these concerns by allowing Pathfinder to shoot his ziplines considerably further, while also significantly increasing the speed on which players travel on them.

It doesn’t return Pathfinder to the top of the meta, but it does make him much more useful on every map except for Broken Moon, whose zip rails make his ultimate feel a little useless. And he remains a great legend for solo players in pubs who aren’t really worried about collecting wins and playing strategically. Go and hit that grapple-no-scope-Kraber trick shot.

Mad Maggie

Screengrab via Respawn Entertainment

Much like Fuse, Mad Maggie is a solid Assault option that can deal serious damage if she’s helped by her teammates by transporting her around the map and setting up her Riot Drill tactical. While Fuse is a character more useful at long distances (lending him to the long sightlines of Storm Point and Kings Canyon), Maggie is better on maps where it’s easy to get up close and personal (like Olympus, World’s Edge, and Broken Moon).

Why? Because Maggie is a brawler with her passive, Warlord’s Ire. It makes her faster while wielding a shotgun, while her Riot Drill and Wrecking Ball ultimate (which gives her even more of a speed boost) are great at wreaking havoc indoors. The passive even got a little bit of an indirect buff with the buff to shotgun pellet size in season 16. Maggies has never been terribly popular with the Apex community, possibly because of her voice and reputation is so closely tied to some deeply unpopular LTMs back in season eight, but she can be very useful in a fight.

Wattson

Screengrab via Respawn Entertainment

Wattson is probably the best Controller legend to use defensively, as her fences can be used to hold down buildings and outdoor spaces alike, and her Interception Pylon ultimate denies enemy ordinance from flushing her team out. She can use Ring Consoles to see future rings, and in general provides almost everything you want from a defensive legend.

The main issue with Wattson is what happens when her Plan A doesn’t work out. She’s a fantastic defender, but it’s nearly impossible to use her abilities offensively, and at some point your team is also going to need to attack. While Caustic, Catalyst, and Rampart all have ways to use their abilities to advance and move forward, Wattson usually needs to be carried in that department by her teammates.

That price is worth it for teams that like to get to the final zone and win games through superior positioning, and her passive allowing her to stack two ultimate accelerants in one inventory slot in addition to those accelerants fully charging her ultimate no matter what percentage it’s at is also very useful for a team. But she’s a bunkering character through and through. Why is she in B-tier, then? Because she’s really great at bunkering.

Crypto

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Crypto represents something of a conundrum for Apex: he’s quite strong in many ways, but his necessary playstyle of hanging back and piloting his drone, often while his teammates fight, will most likely never make him a very popular pick.

Still, players can get significant utility out of Crypto and his drone, Hack. He can scan enemies for teammates whether Crypto is moving the drone around or not, as well as check champions banners for information on how many squads are around his team, collect teammate respawn banners from a distance, and even use the drone to activate his ultimate, EMP.

Yes, this requires Crypto to often hang back and play away from his squad while they take more active positions on other squads. That will be a dealbreaker for many players. But considering how strong EMP is, deleting many shields, ultimates, and other abilities from characters like Wattson, Caustic, and Gibraltar, he might be worth trying out for yourself if you find yourself consistently losing gun battles and want to find a different playstyle to even the playing field.

C-tier

Mirage

Screengrab via Respawn Entertainment

Mirage is a great character for confusing enemies and possibly pulling out some impressive plays by virtue of misdirection, but his abilities don’t really add much to basically any team composition. In a team-oriented game like Apex, Mirage is the character that least synergizes with basically every other legend ability in the game, creating a legend that is basically for solo players and those that like to meme.

Yes, Mirage can be useful. His tactical and ultimate abilities create clones of himself, and in season 16 he even gets a brief indicator on where an enemy is that shoots one of his clones. He also makes him and his teammate invisible while reviving them and for a short time afterwards, thanks to another season 16 buff.

That said, he does little to help a team outside of drawing attention to his clones. That can win a fight or two, sure, but it also attracts third parties that can easily devastate his squad. He’s not quite a liability, but he’s also not useful enough to be worth playing unless you just really love Mirage and his personality. His abilities are map-proof, so that’s at least a small plus to him.

Vantage

Screengrab via Respawn Entertainment

Vantage was probably stronger at launch, when most players were unsure how to play against her. Her ultimate, Sniper’s Mark, deals 50 initial damage on the first hit, which doesn’t feel like that much damage to many players. It’s the second consecutive shot, which deals 100 further damage to the body, that can really mess up an enemy team and their plans.

As time has gone on, however, Vantage has felt less and less useful. Her passive allows her to gain info on enemy teams and their shields, but capitalizing on that information requires a coordination that the majority of players simply don’t possess with their teams. Too frequently, Vantage simply ends up in situations where she lays down an opening shot or two, but then cannot capitalize on that damage, or is too far away from her team to help them with a fight out of her sight, putting the squad at a handicap.

When coordinated with her team, Vantage can still be a very good legend, especially on a map like Storm Point with its long sightlines. But it requires lots of communication with teammates and near-perfect timing with her Echo Relocation tactical to join a teamfight in time for her squad. Otherwise, she’s just a spectator as her teammates fall.

Newcastle

Image via Respawn Entertainment

Newcastle does a great job at selling the superhero fantasty with his ability kit. He shields and moves around while reviving teammates, and leaps impressive distances to put down his Castle Wall ultimate. Unfortunately, all of his abilities are countered by the most basic mechanic in Apex: shooting your gun.

Castle Wall, the Mobile Shield tactical, and the knockdown shield Newcastle revives with can all be destroyed by bullets or ordinance. It makes it so that Newcastle almost requires a Wattson to be played alongide of him to help deny enemy grenades, leaving only one other legend slot open to pair with two characters that are all about holding positions down. Valkyrie it is.

Furthermore, Newcastle doesn’t really benefit at all from part of the Support class perks he picked up in season 16, because Newcastle will almost never be the character that sneaks away from a losing fight. If you’re playing Newcastle correctly, you’re up in the enemy’s face, and you’re probably the one being knocked down in that scenario. He’s not the one surviving to go craft respawn banners elsewhere.

If you play around him perfectly, Newcastle compositions can perform very well. But he requires very specific team comps around him to succeed, and there’s just other characters that are easier to make work around him.

Gibraltar

Image via Respawn Entertainment

Like Newcastle, Gibraltar doesn’t benefit very much from the Support class perk of crafting ally banners, since Gibraltar is also a front-line fighter and is likely to be the one getting knocked down. Also like Newcastle, there’s enough utility in the game that now counters Gibraltar’s Dome of Protection tactical that his most useful ability is significatnly weaker these days, as well.

The thing keepin Gibby this far up the tier list is the fact that his ultimate remains one of the most useful in the game. It requires overhead clearance, but Defensive Bombardment can easily secure kills on enemies or deny space to a team pushing forward. It’s a crucial ultimate that can turn the tide of a game if placed correctly.

Other than that, Gibby’s just another shield character. Useful situationally, but easier to hit than pretty much every other legend and countered by Maggie’s Riot Drill and Wrecking Ball or Crypto’s EMP. What he gains in compositional flexibility, he loses in having less shields to throw out than Newcastle.

Octane

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Octane is quite weak, and has been for a while. That might come as a surprise to you, considering how popular he is. Here’s the secret: it doesn’t matter that Octane’s weak, because he’s a perfect weak character.

The main reason Octane isn’t great is because he’s so individually focused. Octane is a character for going fast and running directly at enemies. He provides a tiny bit of team utility with his Launch Pad ultimate, allowing his teammates to rush forward with him, and that’s about it. His Stim tactical gives him a significant speed boost at the cost of his health, which he can then regenerate thanks to his Passive.

He is a one-vs-one machine that just wants to get close to an enemy.

The reasons he is weak are the same reasons he’s popular. He’s easy to understand and he’s good at winning a fight. Even though his Launch Pad is laughably weak on bigger maps like Storm Point, World’s Edge, and Broken Moon, it doesn’t really matter that much to Octane players because it’s still fun.

If you’re mostly interested in getting into fights and not taking winning too seriously, pick Octane! He’s great for that. If you want more out of your legend, find someone else.

D-tier

Rampart

Screengrab via Respawn Entertainment

Rampart’s weakness is mostly in how slow and obvious she is. Her tactical, Amped Cover, and her ultimate, Sheila, have significant wind-up times and are very clear for any and all enemies to see. Her Amped Cover is also very easy to destroy, making it most useful for blocking doors or being placed in windows for her teammates to fire through.

Compared to Wattson, Caustic, and Catalyst, Rampart is significantly worse at quickly establishing positions, as well as actually defending those positions when she actually gets set up. She can be used more offensively, but all of her attacking utility lies in Sheila. If enemies double-team her or can maintain distance in the fight, that’s not much of a threat, either. And her passive ability’s usefulness almost completely relies on how strong light machine guns are in Apex‘s weapon meta. At the moment, they’re ok, but not as strong as other options.

Romping around with a minigun can be fun, but there are just better options than Rampart on every map.

Revenant

Screengrab via Respawn Entertainment

Revenant feels like an impossible legend to balance because his ability kit is either useless or the most oppressive in the game. As a legend, Revenant is all about being annoying and unfun to play against. No one likes having their abilities silenced for long periods of time with his tactical. No one enjoys figuring out ways to play around a Revenant team that gets a full free push via Death Totem, and then a second one if and when they get sent back to the Death Totem.

For these reasons, Revenant feels like a character that will most likely be fully reworked in the future. In his current state, he needs his team composition to be built around him to be truly useful, and he needs to place his Death Totem fairly close to an enemy squad for him and his teammates to reach that enemy before the Death Totem timer runs out. It makes the Death Totem itself more vulnerable to destruction, which also leaves a careless Revenant team vulnerable to destruction, as well. And if your teammates go down, don’t worry. Your passive lets you crouch-walk away a bit faster than everyone else.

For a character whose personality and visual design are so striking, Revenant’s abilities are just disappointing whether they’re weak or strong.