Two seasons later, and Wattson is still probably the most defence- and support-focused Apex Legends character we’ve seen so far, with her unique electrical fences and Interception Pylons allowing teams to turtle like never before. We’ll break it all down in this here Apex Legends Wattson guide, with in-depth explanations and tips on her abilities, hitbox, playstyle, and much more.
For full details and opinions on all of the characters together, take a look at our Apex Legends characters guide for everything you need. Alternatively, if you’re looking for a focused guide like this one but on a different Legend, then simply take a look at the table below and click on a link to be taken to the hero of your choice.
Apex Legends Wattson guide – tips, stats, abilities
There’s a lot to talk about with any of the Apex Legends characters, particularly one with such a unique skillset as Wattson. Below you’ll find everything you need to know about the latest character to enter the Apex Games – but if you’re in a hurry, click any of the links below to skip ahead to a particular section.
|Apex Legends Wattson release date - when will Wattson be added?|
|Apex Legends Wattson character overview|
|Wattson abilities leak|
|Passive and Tactical abilities|
|Ultimate ability: Tesla Trap|
Wattson is the most turtle-oriented character we’ve seen so far in Apex Legends, beating out even the tanky, dome-of-protection-summoning Gibraltar in terms of how much she likes to take a position, fortify it with her team, and then weather the worst that the enemy has to throw at them.
Her Passive ability serves only to increase the availability of her Tactical and Ultimate abilities, which are where she really starts to get interesting. The Perimeter Security nodes she can place with her Tactical are so flexible, both in quantity and in how you can position them, that it’ll take a good long while before the playerbase has exhausted all possible uses for them. The electrified fences act as a deterrent more than anything, slowing and damaging any enemy that passes through them (much like an Arc Star, and everyone knows that isn’t fun), while her Interception Pylon acts as possibly the hardest ability-on-ability counter that we’ve yet seen in Apex Legends, allowing her to completely nullify Gibraltar’s and Bangalore’s ultimates as well as any grenades thrown near the Pylon.
Wattson’s drawbacks so far appear to be that, against a canny team, her abilities can be quite easily destroyed or ignored because they’re not actually that powerful on their own; and they also requiring animations’ worth of time to set up, which can leave her vulnerable. And what’s more, none of her abilities actually help her in a firefight; she doesn’t have anything mobility-, healing-, or escape-based like Octane, Lifeline, or Wraith. So she’s a Legend that really relies on good positioning, and a good team working together.
Wattson hitbox vs other Legends
The above is a composite of various hitbox images created by YouTuber “SookieSpy”, which bring to light the incredible discrepancies in character hitboxes in Apex Legends. Season 1 brought with it some changes to the hitboxes of Gibraltar, Caustic, and Pathfinder to better fit their character models, but the fact remains that Gibraltar is about twice the size of Wraith, and thus, twice as easy to hit.
This is now addressed with two Passives which are shared among multiple characters; Fortified, for Gibraltar and Caustic, which reduces their incoming damage by 15% and grants them immunity from gunfire slowdown; and Low Profile, which affects Pathfinder, Wraith, Lifeline, and Revenant, and increases their incoming damage by 5%. The community has not yet tested Wattson’s hitbox, but the fact that she sports neither of these additional Passives means she should fall somewhere in the middle between Lifeline and Caustic, probably similar to Bangalore or Pathfinder. It may be that her large coat and the coils of wire about her waist bulk out what would otherwise be a rather diminutive frame.
Wattson abilities guide
Now let’s go through each of Wattson’s abilities one by one, with explanations on what each one does and how to use them effectively.
Passive ability: Spark of Genius
|Spark of Genius||Ultimate Accelerants fully charge your Ultimate ability, and standing near Interception Pylons boosts your Tactical Ability recharge.|
Wattson’s Passive ability, Spark of Genius, is much like Caustic’s Passive in that it serves merely to augment the character’s other powers. In Wattson’s case, it gives you the ability to entirely charge your Ultimate using a single Ultimate Accelerant (which means Ult Accelerants should now be given primarily to Wattson first instead of Lifeline); and it also allows you to speed up the cooldown period of Perimeter Security by standing near one of your Interception Pylons.
There’s not much to talk about with this ability as it’s fairly straightforward, but it’s important to note that the second half of that description in particular means Wattson is a Legend who cannot be played to their full potential unless you’re very proactive with your abilities, using them whenever you’re able. Don’t be hesitant; if you’re playing as Wattson or you’ve got a Wattson on your team, then there’s really no excuse if you aren’t standing near an Interception Pylon or fighting the enemy through one of your electrified fences. Use your abilities whenever you can.
Tactical ability: Perimeter Security
|Perimeter Security||30s||Connect nodes to create electrified fences that damage and slow enemies.|
Perimeter Security is an entirely new kind of ability in Apex Legends, and it acts as Wattson’s signature power. Up to 12 nodes can be placed upon the map at a time, and if you place more then the oldest will disappear, much like Caustic’s Nox Gas Traps. Once you finish placing a chain of nodes, they will turn into fully electrified fences, which will slow and damage enemies passing through them – but do nothing to hinder you or your teammates if you step through them.
The damage these fences deal enemies is actually not that much at all, so they’re much more effectively used as a deterrent than to stop an enemy intent on charging through them towards you. They’re also quite easy to destroy by shooting the base of the fence posts, which means you need to be creative while placing them to ensure that enemies find it as difficult as possible to destroy the nodes and render your defences useless. Placing nodes out in the open is therefore ill-advised, but placing them behind obstacles, or on either side of a door, is much more useful because they are harder to deal with there.
At the end of the day these fences aren’t likely to kill anyone, so you have to remember to prioritise, y’know, shooting the bad guys. Don’t get too caught up placing down nodes and pylons and the like when you and your team would be better served by you just simply getting your Alternator out and ripping that nearby Gibraltar to shreds. But if you’re being pushed and you’re on the backfoot, or you’re concerned about a third party, then good use of these fences could very well save your entire team.
Ultimate ability: Interception Pylon
|Interception Pylon||Place an electrified pylon that destroys incoming ordnance and repairs damaged shields as long as it stands. (Max: 3)|
Interception Pylon is one of the hardest counters we’ve yet had in Apex Legends. Built to nullify the threat that so often appears when a fight is first initiated against you, the Interception Pylon not only acts as a Lifeline Drone but for Shields, but it also destroys any grenade, Arc Star, or ordnance from Gibraltar’s or Bangalore’s ults before they land. It may look like they’re landing, but they don’t explode, or deal any damage to you or your teammates as long as you’re standing within the Pylon’s area of effect.
The area of effect is large enough that you can comfortably cover a whole team of three while everyone has their own separate piece of cover, so you don’t have to worry about cramming in close to one another so you all benefit. The Pylons are particularly powerful indoors (particularly when combined with electrified fences at all of the doors) or in very late-game encounters when the Ring is small enough that the entire fight may occur in the Pylon’s AoE. And you can place down up to 3 of them at a time, which is very easily attainable thanks to her Passive, provided you find enough Ultimate Accelerants between you.
It’s a fantastic Ultimate – I’d go so far as to say it’s one of the strongest Ultimates out there in terms of team benefit as a whole – but it does have the downside of being so useful that you really need to fill Wattson’s inventory up with Ultimate Accelerants, which does pose a bit of a problem if you’re unlucky finding a Backpack or if you have multiple things that you need to carry at once. But as a pure defensive ability, it rivals Gibraltar’s Dome in strength simply because of how quickly and how often you’re able to use it.
How to play Wattson – top Wattson tips and strategies
Finally, let’s finish up with some more general tips and tricks on winning Apex Legends matches as Wattson.
- Use your abilities freely. I’ve mentioned this above, but it’s worth reiterating: with Wattson, your abilities are flexible enough and come often enough that you should be using them as often as possible, particularly during or in the leadup to fights. Wattson is absolutely mediocre in a fight if she doesn’t make proper use of her Tactical and Ultimate.
- Careful placement of your nodes and pylons will be rewarded. Both nodes and pylons can be destroyed if the enemy gets a clear shot, so you need to learn to see your surroundings in terms of good and bad positions for placement. This is much easier when indoors, but you should also bear it in mind while out in the open; try to find cover for everything you place down.
- Work closely with your team. Wattson is not a Legend that generally does well on her own. She has no escapes, no mobility, and despite her turtle-centric abilities she can be very easily overwhelmed by a whole team. Work closely with your teammates, and try to be flexible in what they want to do. If they want to push, don’t hang back just because “you’re a defensive character”.
And that’s all we’ve got for now on the Static Defender and electricity expert that is Wattson. Hopefully you’ve learnt a thing or two about how you can use her abilities to the benefit of your team as a whole.