A Parent's Guide to Apex Legends
“So 60 people drop into a map, and only 3 can survive…?”
Yep, that’s right! We here at Esports Tower are going to help you break down what Apex Legends is, and all of the information you need to know so that you can engage with your kids about their new favorite game!
What is Apex Legends?
Apex Legends is a multiplayer battle royale video game that's similar in many ways to Fortnite and other battle royales. It's a first-person shooter based on the sci-fi frontier world of the Titanfall series (another video game), although it doesn't continue those stories. Instead, it drops 20 squads of three players onto a map to compete to be the last team standing. Each player on a squad gets to choose one of 18 characters (called "Legends") to play, each with a different set of skills and abilities.
As with other team-based multiplayer games, like Overwatch, much of the game's strategy comes from selecting the right combo of characters for your squad. Throughout the course of the match, you will be faced with other squads that you will have to defeat with weapons that you collect over the course of the game to become the Apex Champion.
To play Apex Legends, you have to have an active Electronic Arts account, which EA restricts to users 13 and older. But we at Esports Tower recommend Apex Legends for teens 14 and up, due to the online chat and FPS (first person shooter) nature.
How Much Does Apex Legends Cost?
The game is free to download for PC, Xbox, and PlayStation gamers with an EA account and an internet connection. However, there are many opportunities for in-game spending. Real money can be used to buy Apex Coins, the main form of in-game currency. Coins can then be used to unlock cosmetic upgrades for players' characters, banners, and weapons. However, some of these upgrades can also be unlocked using Legend Tokens and Crafting Materials, which you can earn through regular gameplay.
Is Apex Legends Safe for Kids?
Although we don't recommend Apex Legends for kids under 14, it's possible to play the game safely with the right chat settings and parental guidance. The safest way to play is to be on a squad only with people you know or to mute voice and text chat. With any new game -- especially those that get ultra-popular overnight -- it's wise to keep an eye on how the game affects your kid. Do you notice behavior changes when kids are playing, or afterward? Are kids able to manage their time? Have they run into any inappropriate behavior? All good questions to engage with your child!
How Do Players Communicate?
In Apex Legends, every player is on a team of three (or two), so unless your kid has two other friends on the same gaming platform, they'll be playing the game with people they don't know. This carries the risk that they'll be exposed to graphic language or online creeps. On the other hand, if your kids know safe online behavior, being a member of a team can help them learn some positive skills, like communicating, collaborating, and negotiating.
The game allows for both voice chat and text chat between the three players on a squad. You can also turn on accessible chat features that convert speech to text or text to speech (a welcome feature for those with different abilities). However, it's also possible to mute chat entirely and use the game's innovative "ping" system to communicate and strategize with teammates. Pings require only the tap of a button and appear as text in the top right corner of the screen, alerting players to weapons, ammo, movement, and enemies. They're also combined with contextual, in-character dialogue from a player's Legend (another cool feature driving the game's popularity).
Apex Legends appeals to slightly more mature players, but its emphasis on teamwork sets it apart from other battle royale games. Where Fortnite allows for solo play, Apex Legends requires people to join a squad of three or two. Players can resurrect eliminated teammates in a gameplay feature that adds a challenging element (and lessens the sting if your character dies early in the game).
Apex Legends' also pioneered the ping system that makes it easier to enjoy the team-based elements without chatting (although Fortnite introduced its own ping system shortly after Apex Legends launched). And to put the icing on the cake, Apex Legends offers crossplay, so your child can play with their friends regardless if they are on Xbox, PlayStation, or PC.
If your kid loves Apex Legends and wants to take their game to the next level, then enrolling at Esports Tower can be the next step in their development. At Esports Tower we offer bi-weekly coaching sessions, and weekly opportunities to play in a tournament setting, all for $5 a week… the same price as a fancy latte!
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