Ensuring your laptops ready for the latest gaming sensation is essential if you don't want to look like you don't know your ass from your Apex. If such a scenario is likely to send you into a state of shock, take a breath, step back and read on.
Apex Legends has exploded on the gaming landscape rather like the alien xenomorph bursting from Ripley’s thorax. It has ripped through the gaming chart’s rib cage, splattering the likes of Fortnite and Call of Duty with blood and charred flesh.
The good news is that if you’re about to buy a new laptop and want to get your hands (not too) dirty, there are plenty of great options available on the Martian landscape of online retail.
Here, we’ll help you navigate the craters and peaks of your decision-making journey with expert advice, in a language that’s intelligible whether you’re a Stephen Hawkings, or a Steve Austin (or God knows whatever lies in between!).
There are minimum requirements and then there are minimum requirements. You need to know both. If that makes as much sense as the plot of a Wachowski Brothers’ movie let’s be clear - rather like vehicle fuel efficiency stats, there's the official and the real world. The official versions are below:
For a real-world breakdown of what you’ll need that goes further than just a list of Apex Legends laptop specifications, read on.
Your screen choice is key. Most contemporary laptop models would sport a basic TN panel with simple characteristics. If you’re not fussed at all with visual fidelity (which will be odd considering your after a gaming machine) then this could actually suffice. However, you’ll be denying your eyes a treat from what Respawn Entertainment has produced from their studios. Let’s take a look at a few things you need to bear in mind;
Whatever you do, make sure you do not buy a laptop that comes only with an integrated graphics card. Unless you’re happy with a Slideshow, the dedicated cards are the way to go.
Assessing the minimum & recommended requirements - Respawn Entertainment have stated that their latest release will run with the NVIDIA GeForce GT 640. In theory, this should run... but it will have to stay within low settings and low resolutions.
The recommended GPU - Nvidia GeForce GTX 970, is a pretty good card that still holds its own in 2019. Depending on other components in your laptop, it’s safer to keep your expectations for 60FPS performance within the boundaries of medium settings and 1080p resolution. Apex Legends is a pretty looking game so even at medium settings, it’s a visual treat.
What to aim for - To fully engage in the kinetic action in all it’s visual splendor you will definitely need to go up a notch from the Nvidia GTX 970M. For Nvidia, you’ll be looking at the 1000x series or the newly released RTX 2000x series. For AMD it’s Radeon RX family of graphics cards.
Fortunately, the new release of the RTX series early this year has driven down the cost of the Laptops that carry Nvidia cards from the 100x family. For Apex Legends we recommend dropping into battle with the GTX 1050 series or higher. If you go up to a GTX 1070 card, you will be able to hit 60FPS at even 2K resolutions. Looking to do you your finishers on 4k? You’ll have to look out for Laptops with the GTX 1080 card. It’s tricky sorting through all the options out there, but that’s why Choosist is here to help take the pain out of choosing the right laptop for you.
As critical as the graphics card is to Apex accomplishment, the processor is going to be critical to quality performance and snappy action. Here’s the low down:
RAM is a big deal. However, these days, everyday laptops to gaming laptops usually come with 8GB or more of RAM. Think of RAM as the thinking space that the processor processors.
To play Apex Legends 8GB is not going to prohibit your footsteps onto terra insana. However, if you want to ensure you keep things slick and snappy, especially if you’re going to be keeping something else running in the background (e.g. streaming Youtube or reading great content on Choosist) then you should consider 12 to 16GB options. This will also help future proof your purchase so you’ll be able to enjoy years of Titanfall new releases.
Your choice of storage might be more important than you might think. Whilst, of course, it is true that the drive holds files and data whilst the RAM is the memory used to process everything including gameplay, the storage medium is more than a storage vessel for ones and zeros
If this is your first time with hardcore gaming titles like Apex Legends, there’s one thing you may not have clocked - audio is important. Great audio can make the difference between enjoying great visuals, to a fully immersive mind and body transport to another dimension, where bullets whizz past your right ear and becoming aware of enemy combatants creeping up behind you. Audio matters.
Now in reality of course how much this means to you is entirely subjective, however, aside from the richer sense of involvement in the game, it can provide the spacial awareness that exists between interplanetary life and extraterrestrial death.
Now, whilst gaming laptops tend to come with more and better speakers than their civilian counterparts, the quality of that does tend to depend on the depth of one’s pockets.
A cost-effective alternative may be to invest in a gaming headset. Sealing you off from pesky reality, headsets can provide the gamer with even deeper immersion and with surround sound variants even better audio spacial landscapes. If you want to know more check out our gaming headphones page.
Given that you’re shopping for, or sizing up, a ‘laptop’ to host your time in the Titanfall Universe, it makes sense to assume you’re more than likely wanting to manoeuvre by keyboard than say opting for a gaming controller. There are big advantages to using the keyboard given the greater number of buttons available to utilise, literally at hand.
There is always the option of an external keyboard, either wired or wireless. The key things to remember when assessing an inbuilt or external keyboard for slaying the enemy on Apex Legends are:
Trackpads are fine. They really are, but the trusty old mouse combined with the relative hectares on tablespace that it can enjoy is more likely to intuitively navigate you to your next rendezvous point. Whilst wired mice will have zero lag issues, wireless ones will only be imperceptibly behind. Ensure you opt for one with multiple buttons. You need to be able to signal your teammates without having to waste time searching for a key.
In terms of connectivity, Apex Legends being a multiplayer reality can really benefit from tomorrow's world connections to the ether. MIMO wifi for example, with its beamforming technology, can ensure that you’re keeping up with the team.
If you have access to high-speed LAN (local area network - e.g. when you can connect to your router with a cable) an ethernet port will be handy. The latest 10Gbps is a future proofing nice-to-have over the perfectly zippy gigabit (sometimes notes as 10/100/100 or 1000base-t ) ethernet capability.
External monitors are very popular with the gaming fraternity and can afford you greater vistas and panoramic backdrops to your skull-crushing victories. External monitors are a great way to add 4K, IPS or 144Hz if you don't have it locally). You will most likely need either fast HDMI ports or even better, the ultra-fast Thunderbolt 3 port.
Buying a lower powered laptop that is compatible with an eGPU is an option and give you a bit more flexibility on laptop usage - light regular laptop for the day to day and gaming prowess at the desk at night, for example. However, eGPUs will not work with all machines, the combination is likely to be considerably more expensive and playing Apex on the airplane just ain't gonna happen with this rig.
Even without an eGPU there are no two ways about it. There is a fairly direct trade-off between performance and weight/dimensions - generally, the more powerful and capable the machine, the bigger, chunkier and heavier it’s going to be. This formula can be somewhat circumvented by throwing cash at it, but even that will only take you so far. Decide straight off what you’re going to use your machine for and you’ll save yourself the frustration.
There you have it. Apex Legends is currently on its way to being a global dominator in the multiplayer FPS space and this guide should help you on your next laptop purchase. Explore our Intelligent Laptop Finder, a powerful service that can recommend laptops that are tailored to your needs.