Apex Legends is a free-to-play online hero shooter video game playable on Microsoft Windows, PlayStation 4 and 5, Xbox One and Series X/S and Nintendo Switch. A mobile version of the game designed for touchscreens titled Apex Legends Mobile is playable on Android and iOS devices. Apex Legends is a cross platform game, allowing players to join a game from different platforms using a variety of devices. The game has two gameplay modes: ‘Battle Royale’ where up to twenty, three-person squads (‘Trios’) or thirty, two-person squads (‘Duos’) battle to defeat all other players in combat, and ‘Arenas’, where players form two, three-player squads to fight against each other in a team ‘deathmatch’ over a series of rounds to determine the winner. Players can form predetermined squads with one or two friends or be placed in a random squad by the game. The game also has a solo mode that allows an individual player to join a game without being part of a squad. Apex Legends is played over predetermined ‘Seasons’, typically lasting two or three months. Each season introduces new features and gameplay. In addition to the standard Battle Royale and Arenas modes, Apex Legends also offers ‘Ranked League’ versions of both games. Players who participate in ranked games earn points that determine their ranking, which is used to pair the player with players of a similar rank in subsequent games. Apex Legends is primarily a first-person point of view game but can be played in third-person perspective on some platforms. In April 2022, Apex Legends had a monthly player count of approximately 120 million players.

Apex Legends is a PEGI 16 rated game.

Apex Legends has a PEGI rating of 16 because it “features sustained depictions of violence towards human characters and moderate violence” and because the game offers in-game purchases using real-world money.

To access Apex Legends, players need to set up an EA Games account, providing a verifiable email address, a username and their age. Players need to be aged 13 or over to set up an EA account, although EA Games states players under 18 are required to have parental consent to play the game. EA Games does not have any rigorous age verification methods.

Find out more about age ratings in our ‘A parent and carer’s guide to age ratings of apps and games’.

Apex Legends has become extremely popular in a crowded market of online third-person shooter games. The popularity is based on a free-to-play model that provides access to high quality graphics, fast and smooth gameplay with easy to learn controls and realistically detailed maps, a wide range of standard and time-limited availability game modes and the opportunity to play casually or for competitive ranking points. Players enjoy the options of playing alone, with friends or by being matched with random strangers. The accessibility and popularity of Apex Legends is increased due to its availability on all major gaming platforms and mobile devices and the cross-platform playability that enables players to play together across PCs and gaming consoles and across Android and iOS mobile devices. Like most popular games of its type, Apex Legends has a secondary interest for players who watch recorded or live-streamed games, typically via YouTube or Twitch respectively.

  • Point of view, perspective from which a game is played, usually either first or third person.

  • First person shooter, a game played from the perspective of the player character.

  • A playable character appearing in the game world.

  • A playable character regenerating after being killed in a game and reappearing.

  • A place in the in-game world where characters spawn or respawn.

  • To kill a character within a game.

  • The tactic of hiding a character in an advantageous static position, usually to avoid being ‘killed’. This type of gameplay is contentious in a deathmatch-type first person shooter game like Apex Legends and some players view it as similar to cheating, which can lead to abuse of the player through in-game chat.

  • A person new to a game or who appears to lack skill in the game, often used pejoratively.

  • Waiting to join a game, either alone or with one or two friends to form a squad.

  • Being paired randomly with one or two players to form a squad.

  • Choosing to join a game alone rather as part of a two or three-person squad.

  • This is the name for in-game currency that can be purchased using really money.

Apex Legends is a first-person shooter game that features violence and blood. The default setting for Apex Legends is a first-person view, which means the game is played from the character’s perspective. This tends to create a more realistic and immersive experience, including of the violence and blood. In-game ‘kills’ produce graphic animated blood splatter, which might appear at distance or immediately adjacent to the player’s point of view. Incapacitated enemy characters can be ‘killed’ by often brutal ‘finisher moves’, animated executions that take place at very close proximity to the player character’s point of view or seen from the victim’s perspective.

In addition to the risk of harm from the gameplay itself, players use self-generated profile names that might contain offensive, derogatory or discriminatory language.

Apex Legends is a cooperative multiplayer game that features voice and text chat between players. The multiplayer nature of Apex Legends means that users play against and communicate with players of different ages from across the world. Voice and text chat are used widely within the game but can be muted in game settings. Apex Legends is not rated for profanity within the game but the interactive nature of the game means that players could be exposed to offensive language through the chat function. The multiplayer nature of Apex Legends means that players will encounter people of all ages and nationalities during gameplay when joining random squads rather than forming a squad with friends. Joining a random squad might expose a player to adult-orientated language or even to verbal abuse from other players.

Apex Legends also has a non-verbal in-game communication system known as the ‘Ping system’, which is a marker system used by players to generate on-screen messages for squad members that can’t be seen by enemy teams. This system means that users can play cooperatively by communicating without using voice or text chat. As well as extending the accessibility of the game to players with hearing or communication difficulties, the ‘Ping system’ enables players to participate as fully as possible in the game without the risks associated with in-game chat.

Apex Legends has a ‘Whisper’ function that allows a user to communicate directly with another player, including someone who is playing a different Apex Legends game at that time. A useful purpose of ‘Whisper’ chat is to ask a friend if they want to join a new game or to arrange a time to play together without interrupting the game that they are playing at the time. However, the private nature of this chat provides an opportunity for verbal abuse that can’t be heard and challenged by other players or for other inappropriate communication, such as inviting a player to meet outside the game, either virtually on a different online platform or in the real world.

Apex Legends players have the option of generating a username when creating their game profile but the name used to create the account will be used by default, which might be the user’s real name. This is a particular risk if an Apex Legends Mobile game account has been generated by linking to an existing Google, Apple, Facebook or EA account. The game’s privacy settings should be checked to ensure that the user’s real name is not visible to all other players. Details on how to do this can be found in the ‘Managing privacy’ section of this guide.

Apex Legends has rules designed to make the game “fair and fun for everyone” and that includes warnings against “hateful conduct and other offensive behaviour”. Repeated breaches of the rules, if reported, can be sanctioned by time-outs or account closures for repeated infractions. The primary risk of harm to users is that the in-game voice and text chat functions can be used to verbally abuse players with racist, sexist, homophobic or other discriminatory language. The various chat functions available within the game also create a risk of players communicating for reasons unconnected to the game, such as to encourage a player to meet elsewhere online.

Apex Legends is an online game and requires continuous internet connection to play. Apex Legends is free to download and play on all platforms but features microtransactions in the form of in-game purchases. Apex Legends has an in-game currency called ‘Apex Coins’ that are bought with real-world money and then traded in-game to purchase Apex Packs (random ‘loot boxes’ containing cosmetic items to enhance gameplay), gameplay items such as weapons from the rotating in-game shop or new playable character Legends. In-game payments unlock only aesthetic improvements to characters and weapons and provide access to all the playable characters in the game more quickly than can be achieved through gameplay. Apex Packs, cosmetic enhancements and new characters can be earned by playing the game without incurring any additional cost and players do not achieve any gameplay advantage by spending money within the game. However, players may be impatient to access the additional content, particularly if playing with friends, which can encourage in-game purchases. Accounts to play Apex Legends Mobile, played on Android and iOS devices, can be created instantaneously by linking to an existing Google, Apple, Facebook account or an account with EA, the game publisher. This function enables very fast access to the game without the need to complete a lengthy registration process but also provides the game profile with the account details of the linked account. The ease of creating an account and joining a game and the addictive gameplay style mean that it is easy for a player to become immersed in Apex Legends if external time limits are not imposed.  Typical Apex Legends games last for fifteen to twenty minutes, so the game provides natural break points between games.

  • Apex Legends does not have in-game parental controls and you cannot set your account to ‘Private’.  Apex Legends is a multiplayer game, but it is possible to play in ‘Solo mode’ or in ‘Squad mode’ with friends rather than joining a random squad with other players waiting in a queue. Users should ensure their real name is not used on their profile.

    To remove your real name from your profile:

    • Go to your accounts and select the ‘Privacy and settings’ option.
    • Uncheck the boxed marked ‘Show my real name on my profile’.

    To play in solo mode:

    • In the lobby, before searching for a match, look for the checkbox that states ‘Fill matchmaking’.
    • This will put players in a solo queue.
    • Note: solo players will still be up against duos and squads. Solo play is not available in ‘Ranked’ gameplay.

    To play Apex Legends with friends:

    • Go to ‘Your friends page’ via the lobby to view your list of friends that play Apex Legends.
    • In your ‘Friends page’ you will be able to see which friends are currently playing Apex Legends.
    • Highlight them to choose between ‘Inviting them to your party’ or ‘Joining their party’.
    • Successfully joining or inviting a player will show the lobby with you and your friends. You will then be able to matchmake and start matches with your friends in your ‘Squad’.
  • Apex Legends is designed to be played collaboratively and in-game communication is encouraged but it is possible to disable the voice and text chat functions in game settings.

    To disable in-game voice and text chat functions:

    • Go to the Settings menu.
    • Select ‘Audio’.
    • Turn ‘Voice chat volume’ to 0.
  • Users can report and block other users who may be bothering them or behaving inappropriately on the platform. Apex Legends has different ways of reporting inappropriate conduct depending on the platform on which the game is being played. Players can mute in-game chat to avoid verbal abuse or unacceptable language from other players.

    To report a player in-game:

    • While in a match, tap the ‘Warning’ symbol in the bottom-left corner of the screen.
    • Choose which player you want to report under ‘Report player’.
    • Select a ‘Report reason’ category then use the arrow symbol to choose the subcategories for the report.
    • Add any additional notes to the text box and select ‘Report’.

    To report a player from the main menu:

    • Select your avatar in the top-left corner and choose ‘History’.
    • Find the match you want to report.
    • Select the ‘Warning’ symbol in the bottom-left corner of the screen.
    • Choose which player you want to report under ‘Report player’.
    • Select a ‘Report reason’ category then use the arrow symbol to choose the subcategories for the report.
    • Add any additional notes to the text box and select ‘Report’.

    To report a player in-game (PC):

    • Whilst playing a match use ‘Tab’ to bring up the menu.
    • Open the ‘Squad’ tab.
    • Select the ‘Warning’ symbol under the player you want to report.
    • Choose which category you’d like to report:
      • Cheating
      • Gameplay disruption
      • Harassment/threats
      • Inappropriate content
    • Choose the subcategory from the drop-down menu and select ‘Report’.
    • Note: PC players also can report players for cheating by reaching out to Kamu (a service with which the game publisher partners to help curb cheating) via their website.

    To mute an individual player within a match:

    • Open your inventory during a match.
    • Proceed to ‘Settings’.
    • Select the ‘Squad’ tab from the top.
    • Select the speaker icon under a player to mute voice, text or ping.
  • Standard Apex Legends games do not have settings to help manage time when playing. There are no in-app settings to manage purchases, but you can manage in-app purchases by using the device settings.

    To disable in-app purchases on iOS:

    • Go to ‘Settings’ > ‘Screen time’ and scroll down to ‘Content and privacy restrictions’.
    • Select ‘iTunes and app store purchases’ and set the option to ‘Don’t allow’.

    To disable in-app purchases on Android :

    • Go to your ‘Google Play Store’ app.
    • Select ‘Menu’ > ‘Settings’ > ‘Require authentication for purchases’.

Parental controls on PCs, consoles and mobile devices can be applied to limit access to games with older PEGI age ratings. These device settings might also provide options for limiting the player’s interactions with other online gamers, although this might apply to all games rather than a specific title.

As well as playing Apex Legends, some players also engage in discussion forums, create and watch YouTube videos of gameplay or players talking about the game and follow streamed gameplay live on Twitch. Even if a child is not playing Apex Legends, they could be accessing in-game content vicariously through videos or live-streams generated by players. All of these options have potential to expose children to adult-orientated language and abusive content as well as the violence inherent in the game. All these activities are outside the game itself and require additional safety measures to protect children.