How to tap strafe in Apex Legends on PC and controller

How to perform one of Apex's most famous movement techs.

Image via Respawn Entertainment

Tap strafing is one of the most valuable movement techniques players can learn in Apex Legends. While most of the time, the momentum of a player carries through their jump, meaning changing directions in mid-air typically results in your character slowing down in the air as the game tries to keep your original momentum, tap strafing changes that.

With a successful tap strafe, players can change directions while maintaining all of their momentum, resulting in dizzying moves that are extremely difficult for enemies to track. Getting good enough at tap-strafing will even allow players to change directions with full momentum off of Octane’s launch pad double jump or Storm Point’s gravity cannons.

If you want to learn how best to tap strafe on mouse and keyboard or controller, check out the guide below for tips and tricks.

How to tap strafe in Apex Legends on PC

The easiest means of tap strafing in Apex is with mouse and keyboard, as it doesn’t require any third-party software or controls to pull off, and you can do it just by switching one very important keybind. Before you start tap strafing, you need to change your mouse scroll wheel keybind to move forward, meaning that both the W key and the scroll wheel are forward movement options. This is because the engine that Apex runs on changes the direction of momentum a character carries very slightly every time the forward movement button is pressed. That’s what makes tap strafing work.

After you’ve changed this keybind, you can start practicing tap strafing. This is easiest to practice by slide jumping, so if you haven’t been doing that in Apex, get that practice down first. Sliding and then jumping out of a slide allows players to maintain the momentum of a slide for longer, making them move faster and jump longer.

While slide jumping, hold down the A or D button to go either left or right, depending on what direction you want to tap strafe. Jump, and release your W key while still holding down A or D. When you do this, you should feel your character begin to pull left or right.

At the highest point of your jump, start spamming your scroll wheel in the direction you bound the move forward button. Each tick of the scroll wheel functions like you smashing the W key in rapid succession, and because of the previously mentioned quirk of the engine, it will rapidly change the momentum direction of your character in the direction you’re holding with A or D. That’s why it’s important to release the W key after you jump. The mouse wheel will register the forward movement button as being pressed extremely rapidly, while holding W won’t give the rapid input, and thus won’t result in a momentum shift. 

When you start spamming your scroll wheel, flick your mouse in the direction of your strafe direction, making your character look either left or right. This should result in a tap strafe, with your character sharply changing direction in mid-air without losing momentum. Once your character has turned in the direction you wanted them to go, go back to holding W to continue running forward again.

There’s a fairly precise timing to get down if you want to start cranking 180-degree turns by tap strafing, but practice makes perfect. Go get into the Firing Range and start trying it out.

How to tap strafe in Apex Legends on controller

Tap strafing in Apex for controller players is a bit more difficult, and there’s no way to perform a true tap strafe on consoles. For PC controller players, however, tap strafing is possible with the help of Steam.

Since Steam allows players to use software to map keyboard buttons to the controller, it gives controller players more options to perform movement tech like tap strafing. First, players need to open up their Controller General Settings from the Apex page on Steam, which they can find by hitting the gear button to the right, and then selecting Properties, and then Controller in the menus that open up. Make sure you select the type of controller that you normally use, then back out to the previous Controller menu and Enable Steam Input for that controller.

After those steps are complete, open up the Controller Layout menu, and complete the following steps:

  • Select the left Joystick Move box
  • Select Mode Shifting
  • Bind the Mode Shift Button to Joystick Click
  • For Style of Input, select Directional Pad
  • Shift the Overlap Region slider down to 0.075
  • Map the forward button in the D-Pad that appeared when you selected Directional Pad to W
  • Under the keyboard options that appear when binding W, select Show Activators
  • Turn on Hold to Repeat (Turbo) and move the Repeat Rate slider all the way to the right
  • Repeat the last three steps for the left directional button, selecting A on the keyboard, the right directional button, selecting D, and the down directional button, selecting S
  • After finishing the last directional button, stay on the Show Activators page and select Add Activator
  • Select Binding on the left side of your screen, and click the left joystick button on the controller layout. Make sure the Activation Type stays on Regular Press for this binding, and don’t adjust the Hold to Repeat or Repeat Rate options.

Once these settings are completed, you can perform true tap strafes on controller. The concept remains the same, but the buttons you’ll use to tap strafe are now just jump, moving the left analog stick, and clicking the left analog stick down. When you jump, hold down the direction you want to tap strafe in, and click the left analog stick down when you do it. At the same time, look in the direction you want to tap strafe in with your right analog stick. This will let you tap strafe on controller.