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Apex Legends Newcastle abilities, tips, and backstory revealed

Here's how Apex's new Legend Newcastle works

Want to learn about Newcastle's abilities and how to play him effectively in Apex Legends? Newcastle is the latest Legend to be added to Apex Legends with the arrival of Season 13: Saviors. He's a defensive-oriented Legend, but one who excels at moving between points of danger and providing protection where necessary.

There's a fair bit of nuance to each of Newcastle's abilities - not to mention counterplay potential that you'll need to watch out for. So to that end, we've put together the below comprehensive guide on how to play as Newcastle in Apex Legends. We'll go over each of his abilities in turn, providing in-depth tips and advice on when and how to use them. We'll also talk about Newcastle's backstory, and the ideal Legends to use alongside Newcastle in an Apex Legends squad.

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Cover image for YouTube videoApex Legends: Saviors Launch Trailer

Apex Legends Newcastle abilities

As with other Legends in Apex Legends, Newcastle has access to three unique abilities: Treat The Wounded (Passive), Mobile Shield (Tactical), and Castle Wall (Ultimate). All three abilities are heavily geared towards providing protection to both Newcastle's allies and himself. Here's the full description of each ability according to Respawn:

  • Treat The Wounded (Passive): Using his wrist-mounted Revive Shield, Newcastle can protect himself and his companion from incoming fire while he revives and pulls his ally to safety. The Revive Shield is powered by Newcastle's own Knockdown Shield, so finding higher levels of this item increases the strength of this ability.
  • Mobile Shield (Tactical): Newcastle creates a hovering energy shield and can control its movement to adapt to the ever changing combat fronts of the battlefield. Advance the line, cover a retreat or turn the shield to guard against a sudden flank. The Mobile Shield's versatility and top/bottom shield projections give creative opportunities to the tactical defender.
  • Castle Wall (Ultimate): Drawing his signature shield from his back, Newcastle leaps into action and slams the shield to the ground activating the construction of a massive fortress to give him and his allies a strong defensive position. Enemies in its wake are knocked back and those who try to push through the energized wall are punished and slowed.

All three abilities are built to provide protection to both Newcastle and his squadmates during firefights, placing him firmly in the role of defence and support. But keep reading and you'll see what sets Newcastle apart from other defensive Legends. While Legends like Gibraltar, Wattson, and Rampart aim to provide an immovable bastion of defence for teammates, Newcastle has been designed to provide much more mobile protection which allows him to push enemy positions and jump quickly from place to place to provide support where he's needed most.

Newcastle's abilities look incredibly fun above all else, and it seems like he might end up becoming quite powerful - perhaps even strong enough to shake up our Apex Legends best character tier list in a meaningful way at last. Gibby has always been an absolute necessity for high-level ranked play; could it be that the addition of another defensive Legend - an even more mobile one - is enough to give ranked and unranked players alike a new favourite hero to use?

Newcastle in Apex Legends uses his wrist-mounted shield to perform a finisher on a downed enemy player.

How to play Newcastle: tips and tricks

Newcastle is releasing with Season 13 of Apex Legends on Tuesday 10th May - and when that happens, you should know what to expect from this powerful new Legend. Newcastle's greatest strength is in turning the tables of a bad engagement, so let's take a look at how you should use his kit effectively:

Give Newcastle a good Knockdown Shield

Remember how annoying Lifeline's revive shield meta used to be? Well it looks like that may be making a return with Newcastle's passive, which allows him to move a downed ally while reviving them and protecting them both with his own Knockdown Shield. Obviously a low-level KD shield won't provide much protection, but give Newcastle a purple Knockdown Shield and suddenly it becomes very difficult to burst down that downed teammate.

Don't stay in one place

Newcastle should not be played as a static defender like Gibraltar. If you play as Newcastle, you should be prepared to use your Ultimate to quickly jump to an ally in need, providing unexpected protection when it's needed most. The best time to use your abilities are when the enemy team is about to push, because Newcastle's Tac or Ult can stop that push in its tracks and give yourself a strong position from which to punish your overexposed opponents.

Be aware of potential counterplay

However, don't become complacent while you're hiding behind your walls and shields. Newcastle's protective abilities are all highly directional, which means unlike Gibby's dome, you can be easily flanked. You'll also have no protection from a vertical bombardment, so grenades and Bangalore and Gibby Ults are very dangerous against Newcastle. Another strong counter to Newcastle's walls is Mad Maggie's Riot Drill, which is designed specifically to pierce through such shields and inflict damage to those on the other side.

So there's plenty of counterplay to Newcastle's kit, which means to make the most of his abilities you should use them quickly and unexpectedly, and push hard the moment those walls come down to make the most of your advantage before it's taken away.

Newcastle in Apex Legends uses his Treat The Wounded Passive to protect a downed teammate while reviving them.

Newcastle Passive: Treat The Wounded

Description: Can use Knockdown Shield while reviving and can drag a teammate over a short distance.

The strength of Newcastle's Passive depends largely on the strength of his Knockdown Shield, but with a good KD Shield this ability can absolutely save the life of a downed ally and make it hard for enemies to confirm the kill. Here are our top tips for using Newcastle's Treat The Wounded Passive:

  • Give the best Knockdown Shield on your team to Newcastle, so he can make the most of this ability.
  • Don't put yourself into a bad situation just to use this ability. If you're still on a white KD shield, it's likely you'll just die alongside your teammate.
  • You can only drag your downed teammate a short distance, so the best time to use it is if there is a corner very nearby that you can hide behind.
Newcastle in Apex Legends places down his Mobile Shield to reflect Mad Maggie's Wrecking Ball.

Newcastle Tactical: Mobile Shield

Description: A projected energy shield that moves forward across the battlefield following terrain. Blocks all weapon fire damage and deflects grenades, and can be thrown while sprinting.

Newcastle's Mobile Shield is likely to become a common sight across the maps of Season 13. This large shield blocks all bullets from both your team and the enemy team, and can provide a fair amount of vital protection before it is destroyed. Here's how to use Newcastle's Tactical effectively:

  • Newcastle's Shield is divided into two parts - the upper part covers the head and torso, while the lower part covers the legs. They can be broken individually, so enemies can choose either to break the top to expose the head (while allowing Newcastle and his allies to duck behind the lower cover), or break the bottom to shoot the legs for lower (but more reliable) damage.
  • Reposition Newcastle's Mobile Shield as necessary. If you're in a fight and the Shield's current position isn't doing anything for you, change its location to be more useful.
  • The Mobile Shield is made of energy, so while it will deflect bullets, Legends can still move through it - just like Gibraltar's dome.
  • The Shield provides decent extra protection, but it's far from invincible, and will be destroyed fairly quickly if subjected to concentrated fire from multiple enemies.
  • Don't give the enemy time to burst down your Shield: maintain the aggression, and fight around it to give yourself the greatest chance of victory.
Mirage in Apex Legends fights from behind the cover of his teammate Newcastle's Shield Wall Ultimate.

Newcastle Ultimate: Castle Wall

Description: Leap to a target ally or area and slam shield into the ground to create a fortified castle wall.

Newcastle's signature move is his Ultimate, Castle Wall, which allows him to leap high into the air to cross great distances. When he lands he'll instantly spawn a large crenellated barrier for protection. It's a powerful ability, not least because it allows Newcastle to be much more mobile than other defensive Legends. Here's what to bear in mind while using Newcastle's Ultimate:

  • Newcastle can target nearby allies that are out in the open with this ability. When targeting an ally with this ability, Newcastle can leap much, much higher and further.
  • Slamming down into the ground to create the Castle Wall doesn't damage enemies, but it will knock them back away from Newcastle.
  • Newcastle's Castle Wall is electrified like Wattson's fences: if an enemy touches it, they are damaged and slowed for a short time.
  • Mad Maggie's Riot Drill, Bangalore's Rolling Thunder, and Gibraltar's Defensive Bombardment are all effective at driving Newcastle and his teammates out of hiding from behind the Castle Wall, so be wary when facing these Legends.
  • Newcastle's Castle Wall doesn't wrap all the way around himself, so just like the Mobile Shield, you should be wary of flank attacks.
A still image from the Apex Legends Season 13 Launch Trailer, showcasing Newcastle standing in the foreground with his teammates, Mirage and Bangalore, in the background above him.

Newcastle team composition tips

Newcastle is built to be a defensive Legend, albeit a more mobile one than we've yet seen. That means it's best if you pair him up with more offensive Legends. Arguably his greatest power - his Castle Wall ultimate - will be rendered useless if his allies are burst down before Newcastle even arrives, so your best bet is to team him up with strong solo Legends that can hold their own for at least a few seconds when caught alone.

For this reason, highly mobile Legends like Wraith, Valkyrie, Octane, Horizon, and Ash pair really well with Newcastle. Valkyrie in particular is a great choice, because her jetpack can be used to fly in and around Newcastle's Mobile Shield and Castle Wall while she fights.

As always, it's also a good idea to include a recon specialist in your team composition alongside Newcastle, which means Legends like Bloodhound, Crypto, and Seer will likely be seen often in Newcastle's squad. Bloodhound's scans would provide useful moment-to-moment intel for Newcastle which can inform him on when to deploy or relocated his Mobile Shield to defend against incoming attacks. The same is true of Seer, who also has the advantage of being able to fire his Tactical straight through Newcastle's barriers.

So overall I'd say the best partners for Newcastle would be a mobile Legend like Valkyrie or Wraith, or a recon Legend like Bloodhound, Seer, or Crypto. But as players gain more understanding of Newcastle's kit, we might start to see unexpected synergies forming.

Cover image for YouTube videoApex Legends | Stories from the Outlands - “Hero”

Apex Legends Newcastle backstory explained

Newcastle's full name is Jackson Williams, and as you may already know, he is Bangalore's brother. However, things aren't quite that straightforward, as the above lore trailer illustrates.

The so-called "Hero of Harris Valley", Newcastle is a well-known figure back in his home town, not least for his repeated (but so far unsuccessful) attempts to qualify for the Apex Games. But as it turns out, that's a different Newcastle. Jackson himself lives with his wife and young daughter in Harris Valley, and his only claim to fame (aside from being Bangalore's brother) is that he is an armourer who has been known to repair Newcastle's armour from time to time.

One night, Jackson goes out to find his daughter's stuffed Newcastle toy, which she dropped during their day out together. But he's quickly distracted by disquieting sounds in a nearby building. He witnesses Newcastle being beaten and threatened by a group of thugs who have come to collect the debt that Newcastle owes to a shady group known as the "Forgotten Families", who have considerable influence in the town.

Turns out, that's why Newcastle has been trying to get into the Apex Games - to earn enough money to pay off his debt so that the Forgotten Families don't take it out on the town instead. But it seems Newcastle simply isn't good enough to get into the Games.

A still from the Apex Legends Stories From The Outlands: Hero trailer. The old Newcastle kneels, injured, before a group of thugs working for a shady organisation in his hometown.

Jackson intervenes, picking up Newcastle's wrist-mounted shield generator. He uses it and his own considerable fighting skills to incapacitate the thugs, but stops when the ringleader explains the situation: stopping him won't do anything, because his boss will still take it out on the town.

So, Jackson offers to take Newcastle's place and enter into the Apex Games, to earn enough money to wipe Newcastle's debt and save the town (not to mention his family) from the Forgotten Families' retribution. As the ringleader leaves, Jackson goes to help Newcastle, but the former hero dies, succumbing to a gunshot wound delivered earlier in the encounter.

Jackson is therefore left as the new Newcastle - but very few people know that he isn't the original hero everyone knows and loves. The only people who know the truth, it seems, are the Forgotten Families, and Bangalore herself, who recognises Jackson during their fight against the giant sea creature in the Season 13 launch trailer. Conveniently enough, this revelation puts paid to Bangalore's former goal to exit the Apex Games in order to search for her brother. Turns out, her brother found her first.

That's pretty much all the information we have on Newcastle, Season 13's addition to Apex Legends. If you want to know how best to kit Newcastle or any other Legend out during a match, check out our Apex Legends best guns guide. Or, if you're having trouble getting started in Respawn's phenomenal battle royale, consult our Apex Legends beginner's guide!

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Ollie Toms

Guides Editor

Ollie is sheriff of Guidestown at RPS, and since joining the team in 2018, he's written over 1,000 guides for the site. He loves playing dangerously competitive games and factory sims, injuring himself playing badminton, and burying his face in the warm fur of his two cats.