How to use ordnances in Apex Legends

It's time to blow some stuff up.

Image via Respawn Entertainment

While guns are the most common weapons in Apex Legends, they aren’t the only damage-dealing tools at your disposal. Littered throughout the game’s battle royale maps are a variety of ordnances. Better known as grenades, these items are activated when thrown and generally deal damage in an area. They work great as an area-denial tool and as a way to deal damage on top of specific ultimate abilities.

If you want to make your way to the top of the Predator leaderboards, you’ll need to know what each ordnance does and how to use it most effectively. When used incorrectly, grenades can deal damage to you or even get you and your teammates killed, so it’s important to know when and how to use them. Read on for a journey into all of Apex‘s ordnance and their best use cases.

Frag grenade

Frag grenades are the ordnances that are most similar to grenades in other FPS games. These grenades can be picked up and thrown a short distance, where they sit briefly before causing a small explosion. If a frag grenade lands near you, you’ll receive a visual warning cue and one of your squadmates’ characters will speak a grenade-specific voice line. If you hit an enemy with one, you’ll be able to see the damage ticker from where you’re standing.

Image via Respawn Entertainment

Frag grenades are best used as area denial and to drive enemies out of their current location. If you know an enemy is huddling behind a structure or wall, you can bombard them with grenades to try to chase them out of their hiding spot. Frag grenades also work well with Horizon’s Black Hole ultimate, which sucks enemies into a small area and traps them. Tossing several frags after trapping enemies within the black hole is a quick and easy way to take out an entire squad.

Fuse can throw frag grenades farther and more accurately than other legends thanks to his Grenadier passive. If you see an enemy from far away, Fuse has a better chance of accurately landing a grenade hit than most other legends. On the flip side, Wattson’s Intercept Pylon ultimate will absorb frag grenades, rendering them useless. Make sure the enemy squad doesn’t have a Wattson before you start your assault.

Thermite grenade

Thermite grenades are similar to frag grenades in that their best use is area denial. These fiery grenades explode into a horizontal wall of flames after being thrown. They will explode on the first surface they strike, so accuracy is important. Enemies who are struck by the flames or walk into the wall after the grenade has landed will take damage over time from the fire.

Thermite grenades are also great for chasing enemies out of their hiding spots. Fuse’s enhanced grenade accuracy is especially good for this since it allows you to pinpoint exactly where the grenade is going to land and ensure that your enemies go up in flames. Thermites can also be used for blocking off a path: If another squad is chasing you and you want to shake them off your tail, you can throw a thermite into a narrow hallway to cut them off. They must then choose between taking damage or losing your trail.

Image via Respawn Entertainment

If you’re using the Rampage LMG, thermite grenades can be used to increase the gun’s rate of fire. Insert one thermite while holding the gun to prompt a brief charge-up animation, after which the gun will be ready to use. Charing the Rampage like this consumes the thermite. Thermite grenades also bypass knockdown shields, making them a great way to finish off someone you’ve downed.

Like frag grenades, thermite grenades pair well with Horizon’s Black Hole and Fuse’s Grenadier. They’re also absorbed by Wattson’s Intercept Pylon. While bombarding defensive squads with tons of grenades is generally a good strategy—hiding in a building or a corner becomes much less appealing when it’s covered in explosive flames—enemy squads that include a Wattson will be able to defend against an ordnance assault. (Note too that Wattson’s ultimate also absorbs a variety of airborne legend tacticals and ultimates.)

Arc Stars

Arc Stars are unique: rather than assisting with area denial, they reward precise accuracy. When thrown, Arc Stars stick to the first surface they touch, exploding a few seconds later. If they hit an enemy, they will slow the enemy and deal a small amount of initial damage on impact, followed by a larger amount on detonation. They also deal damage in a very small area immediately around the ordnance. They deal quadruple damage against shields, so they’re great for breaking down high-level purple and red EVO shields on tough opponents. Hitting a Trident with an Arc Star will also briefly disable it.

The Arc Star grenade description in Apex Legends.
Screengrab via Respawn Entertainment

Arc Stars are best for close-range fights. Trying to lob an Arc Star over a long distance will almost always result in a miss unless you’re using Fuse. Sticking one to an enemy will usually disorient them, which presents an opportunity to take them out quickly. Make sure to focus any enemies who have been hit with an Arc Star—you’ll take out the squad more quickly that way.

Like the other two types of ordnances, Arc Stars combine well with Horizon’s ultimate and Fuse’s passive. Grenadier is especially useful here because Arc Stars rely on accuracy. Fuse’s increased grenade accuracy can make it easier to land long sticks and take out enemies quickly. Be careful when tossing an Arc Star at a Wraith or an Ash since both can remove its effects with their abilities (Into the Void and Phase Breach, respectively). Arc Stars are also absorbed by Wattson’s pylons, like other grenades and aerial abilities.

General ordnance tips

It may be tempting to throw a grenade at very close range rather than reloading during a fight. Resist this urge. Because of the time needed to complete the grenade-throwing animation, you’ll almost always be knocked down or take significant damage, and your aim might not be as accurate in the heat of a fight. It’s better to swap to another gun, retreat to get a safe reload, or let your squadmates pick up the reins than trying to fit in a grenade.

Image via Respawn Entertainment

Grenades destroy doors, which can be a great way to shake out a rat squad that’s hiding in a building. Just throw a grenade at either side of the door and it will explode when the grenade goes off. Don’t stand too close to the door when you do this: You can and will take damage from your own grenades, though your squadmates won’t take damage from your ordnances. Grenades can also be used to open explosive holds on Kings Canyon, which contain guns, ammo, and high-level attachments.

Most legends can only hold one grenade per inventory slot. Thanks to Grenadier, Fuse can hold two, which helps him take better advantage of his increased throw distance and accuracy. When exploring the maps and looting, you’ll need to make some quick decisions about whether to carry healing items, ammo, or grenades. Grenades are usually the first thing that players toss unless they have an ability or combo where they can use them. Keep an eye on your inventory and be prepared to shuffle things around if needed.

Grenades are a powerful tool in Apex, but they can be more destructive than useful if you don’t know how to use them. Play around with each type in the firing range to make sure you’ve got a handle on them before taking them for a spin in battle royale and Arenas. Good luck, legend.