Learning how to grapple in Apex Legends as Pathfinder is challenging if you’re looking to do it the best way possible. There are all different types of techniques to take advantage of for both beginners and advanced players. This guide is my way of helping others get the hang of grappling without going crazy finding information.
Before I explain the best grappling methods as Pathfinder, make sure to take advantage of the Firing Range. It’s not a perfect environment for simulating everything you’ll see, but it helps a buttload for testing your grapple. You don’t have to worry about enemies, and you can recharge your cooldown by quickly swapping legends.
How to Grapple With Pathfinder
If you already know the basics of grappling, skip to the Simple Swinging Grapple subheader below.
While season 5 originally nerfed Pathfinder’s tactical ability (grapple) significantly, season 7 tried to buff it back up a little. As opposed to the original 15-second cooldown, his cooldown now varies by how far you travel with your grapple. A max cooldown is 35 seconds.
Before getting into complicated techniques, you’ll want to understand how his grapple works. Pathfinder has a reticle in the middle of the screen regardless of what weapon he’s using that gives information about his grapple. If it’s on cooldown, there will only be a white dot, showing that you can’t grapple yet.
Once your tactical is off cooldown, the reticle will have either a blue or yellow ring around it that tells you if you can grapple a location. If it’s yellow, you’re not close enough. If it’s blue, you’re close enough to grab. It’s important to get a good feel for the distance as you won’t always have time to think about it.
Without using any special tricks or flicking your camera away, you’ll simply pull yourself straight to a grappled spot. Sometimes you want to do this, but it also won’t fling you far either. The easiest strategy to start with is the one below:
When you see streamers or players online pulling off crazy Pathfinder plays, sometimes it’s as simple as this trick. When you grapple a location, you need to flick your camera away from it without losing sight of it. Since the grapple normally pulls you toward the grabbed location, by looking away, you prevent that from happening. Instead, looking away from the grapple will build momentum toward it, but instead, past it. You’ll want to complete a smooth motion of looking away and then slowly circling back toward the grappled location, or slightly past it.
Doing this efficiently will build up plenty of speed to fling yourself past the spot you originally grappled to. Be careful not to look too far away, because if you do, you’ll detach. Also, if you grapple past a cliff or tower toward a sloped surface, you can slide to keep that speed going. People used to bunnyhop/bhop with this method, however, it’s a bit tougher to do since a patch nerfed it.
The next section below explains how to use air strafing for building even more momentum in your grapples.
What is Air Strafing?
Air strafing is a simple concept that’s difficult to master since it requires muscle memory more than anything. By moving to the left or right and looking in that direction slowly while mid-air, this gives you more control. There are many opportunities to master this, but the main two scenarios you’ll use it are either on Octane jump pads or grappling as Pathfinder. The trick to doing it on a jump pad is to not move forward while doing it. Moving forward while strafing limits your control.
However, air strafing as Pathfinder is a little different. You still hold a direction left or right and look that way, but you also move forward while doing it. This helps build momentum by pushing away from the grapple location, while still moving forward with the grapple.
YouTuber Mokey explains this mechanic better in his video here (time-stamped to 1:19).
Advanced Pathfinder Grappling Techniques
Once you get the hang of the normal swing grapple and start combining it with air strafing, you’re on your way to more advanced techniques. I’m by no means an expert Pathfinder player and have learned a lot from others. However, some of the popular ways to grapple are explained below and shown in the video.
|Ground Bounce||Grappling at the floor a short distance in front of you and jumping right before it connects, let’s you boost into the air. This is a great way to jump over short obstacles and/or walls. Examples are shown in the video below.|
|Vertical Swing||A simple way to swing through an arch or building without grappling to the roof. As shown in the video below, simply grab a ceiling and continue looking forward. If you look up, you’ll be pulled toward your grapple instead.|
|Zipline Grapple||Using your grapple to grab a zipline or jump balloon simply by hitting it once in range. Shown in the video below.|
|180 Grapple||Grappling a location where you can use the normal swing grapple method to get started and then turn your camera to face the grapple location. So long as you build enough momentum and don’t hit a wall, you can do a complete 180 and swing toward the direction you came from.|
There’s another method for pulling yourself forward along with the ground bounce technique. I’m not too great at it, but I’ve seen others explain it as moving backward and jumping right before your grapple connects with the ground. The backward movement forces the grapple to pull you forward even quicker.
These are only some of the popular strategies for learning how best to grapple as Pathfinder in Apex Legends. Despite the nerf to his tactical cooldown, you can still take advantage of his mobility in many ways. His grapple is perfect for engaging, escaping, and getting into a unique position for each fight. Overall, you’ll always want to use his mobility to take advantage of the high ground. While still using your zipline ultimate to bring teammates along for the ride.