Pathfinder may not look all that swift, but prepare to be flummoxed, because he is in fact one of the most mobile Apex Legends characters out there. As possibly the character with the highest skill ceiling in the game, it's a no-brainer that we compile this Apex Legends Pathfinder guide, fully updated for Season 9, which will take you through each of his abilities one at a time and explain how and when you should be using them.
On this page:
- Apex Legends Pathfinder guide: strengths and weaknesses
- Pathfinder abilities overview
- Passive tips (Insider Knowledge)
- Tactical tips (Grappling Hook)
- Ultimate tips (Zipline Gun)
- How to play Pathfinder - top tips and tricks
Apex Legends Pathfinder guide: strengths and weaknesses
Pathfinder is all about mobility. Key to his success and popularity is his Grappling Hook, which gives you a unique and versatile form of mobility and travel. There's a great deal to learn in particular about using the Grappling Hook correctly, but once you've mastered it, there are few options better both for escaping and initiating fights. While his Passive leaves much to be desired, his Tactical and Ultimate both should be used as often as possible to take advantage of Pathfinder's movement-based prowess.
His main downfall is the fact that you'll often find yourself split off from your teammates (which is how Pathfinder should be played, but it can lead to issues where your teammates are unable to save you if you get into trouble). The only thing you can do to make up for these weaknesses is to emphasise mobility and quickness, using your abilities as much as humanly (robotly?) possible. A skilled Pathfinder is an absolute menace to go up against, but even a very skilled Pathfinder if knocked will be a huge detriment to his team if he is not in a position to be revived by his allies.
Pathfinder abilities overview
Pathfinder, like every character in Apex Legends, has access to three abilities. While his Passive is fairly straightforward and honestly quite mediocre, his Tactical is one of the most useful (and by far the most fun) abilities in Apex Legends, and, combined with his Ultimate, can lead to some devastating repositions and flank attacks on enemy teams.
- Passive: Insider Knowledge - Scan a survey beacon to reduce the cooldown of Zipline Gun.
- Tactical: Grappling Hook - Grapple to get to out-of-reach places quickly.
- Ultimate: Zipline Gun - Creates a zipline for everyone to use.
- Additional traits: Recon - Scanning Survey Beacons reveals the next circle's location.
Passive ability: Insider Knowledge
Insider Knowledge is an extremely straightforward but useful passive which permanently reduces the cooldown of your Ultimate ability by 10 seconds every time you scan a Survey Beacon, down to a minimum of 60 seconds from its initial 120 seconds.
There are no real tips to speak of here: it's just a nice little incentive for Pathfinder to scan Survey Beacons, and it also means that Pathfinder should be the priority when scanning Survey Beacons, as he benefits from it more than any other recon Legend.
Tactical ability: Grappling Hook
One of the most complex and high-skill-ceiling abilities in Apex Legends, Pathfinder's Grappling Hook attaches to a nearby object or piece of terrain and pulls Pathfinder rapidly towards the point of contact. The key is that Pathfinder's momentum is also taken into account, so you can force the swing to happen in a wide arc rather than a straight line by moving perpendicular to the grappling hook line. This allows you to be thrown a greater distance at greater speeds.
Here are our top Grappling Hook Tactical tips for Pathfinder:
- The cooldown of Grappling Hook is based on how far you travelled with it. The further and faster you travel, the higher the cooldown, up to a maximum of 30 seconds.
- You can use Grappling Hook on enemies, pulling yourself quickly towards them (or, if you move backwards as you do it, pulling them towards you!).
- If you want to swing, look to the left or right of where you grappled, and move and strafe away from the grapple point as it begins to pull you.
- Jump at the end of a grapple (as the rope disconnects) to conserve your momentum and cover more ground.
- Always look for unexpected angles/flank attacks during a fight.
- You will not trigger the ability cooldown if you do not attach to anything.
- To cover the most ground in the shortest space of time, you should aim to use the Grappling Hook at its maximum range.
- Big Grappling Hook plays may often result in you falling from great distances, which, while it doesn't damage you, will result in a second or so of fall stun time where you cannot move after landing.
- There is a small flash at the grapple point when it connects, which shows you when you should aim to the side and start moving if you want to swing.
- Turning more than 90 degrees away from the grapple point will often break the grapple immediately, so stick to 60-90 degrees.
Ultimate ability: Zipline Gun
Pathfinder's Ultimate can provide some much-needed mobility either for yourself or for your team as a whole. Selecting it will give you the ability to aim and fire your Zipline Gun across great distances, which, as long as it connects with the terrain or a building at the end, will erect a Zipline (just like those found naturally across Apex Legends maps) between your current position and your target destination.
Here are our top Zipline Gun Ultimate tips for Pathfinder:
- Just like with the Grappling Gun, you should concentrate on evaluating your surroundings and using your Zipline Gun to reposition yourself for flanks and unexpected angles during encounters with enemy players.
- Your Ziplines will persist for the rest of the match, and can be used by anyone, whether they be friend or foe.
- The animation for firing and erecting the Zipline may trick you into thinking it's ready before it is, causing you to accidentally cancel it. Wait for the Interact prompt on the Zipline before you attempt to use it.
- Firing the Zipline Gun does have an associated audio cue which can be heard by enemies if they are not too far away.
- Opportunities for using Pathfinder's Ultimate ability for the benefit of the entire team are hard to come by, so you should generally look to use it for personal and independent gain. It has a short enough cooldown that you should feel comfortable doing this.
- You are very vulnerable while on a zipline as your vector is extremely predictable. Don't use it in plain sight of an enemy, because you'll be shot to pieces.
How to play Pathfinder - top tips and tricks
Finally, let's finish up with some more general tips and tricks on winning Apex Legends matches as Pathfinder.
- Look for flanks and aggressive repositions. This advice goes for Apex Legends in general, but particularly with Pathfinder you have so many options when it comes to mobility and unexpected repositionings that you really do need to take advantage of it at every opportunity.
- Concentrate on mobility. Pathfinder may be strangely bulky, but his unusual frame and hitbox make him hard to hit at the best of times. Learn how to strafe while shooting, and use your abilities to keep up your momentum, and you'll be a strong contender for hardest Legend in the game to pin down and kill.
- Use your Grappling Hook as much as possible. I've touched on this already but it's worth repeating: use Grappling Hook whenever you can. It'll take you some time to master this ability, so you should use it during periods of downtime to maximise the amount of practice you get in with each match.
- Don't be afraid to be ahead of your teammates. Being ahead of your teammates as Pathfinder is inevitable, and as long as you don't overdo it, this is how he should be played. Really, Pathfinder should be classed as a Recon Legend alongside Bloodhound and Crypto, because his place is always at the front, scouting ahead, planning out the movements and rotations of the team as a whole. So don't be afraid of putting some distance between yourself and your teammates.
And that's pretty much it for Pathfinder; hopefully you've emerged a little more enlightened as to just how much he can do if you master his admittedly fairly complex abilities. For full details and opinions on all of the characters together, take a look at our Apex Legends characters guide for everything you need.