Let‘s cut right to the chase – you can unlock your first legend for free by reaching level 23 in Apex Legends. By leveling up and earning 600 legend tokens per level, you‘ll have the 12,000 required tokens to redeem your first new character. So get ready to grind around 20 levels and you‘ll be using fresh abilities in no time!
As you can see, gaining free legends by playing is absolutely possible for regular players. This guide will explain everything you need to know about unlocking free characters through leveling up and earning legend tokens. I‘ll be sharing tips from my years of battle royale experience to help you get those unlocks faster.
What are Legends and Legend Tokens?
In Apex Legends, the 20+ playable characters are known as legends. Each legend has a set of unique tactical, passive, and ultimate abilities that give them distinct combat roles and playstyles. Familiar faces like Wraith and Pathfinder have been apex legends since launch, while new additions like Vantage shake up the meta.
But here‘s the catch – you don‘t automatically have access to all 20+ legends right away. To unlock them requires using special in-game currencies called legend tokens and Apex coins. Let‘s breakdown how each currency works:
- Earned simply by increasing your player account level
- Used to unlock new legends (12,000 or 15,000 tokens each)
- Also can purchase certain legend cosmetics
- Are only earned from leveling up – no other way to obtain them
- Premium currency that must be purchased with real money
- Can be used to unlock new legends faster without level grinding
- Also buys battle passes, loot boxes, cosmetic items, etc.
- 1000 coins = $9.99 USD on average
As you can see, legend tokens are the free currency you earn just by playing and gaining XP. No money required! Apex coins let impatient players bypass the leveling process by paying, but legend tokens will get the job done.
Now let‘s dive into how to earn legend tokens quickly…
How the Apex Legends Leveling System Works
Gaining legend tokens is directly tied to increasing your Apex player level. Here‘s a quick primer on how leveling works:
- Start at level 1 by default
- Requires 9,000 XP to reach level 2
- Each level earns you 600 legend tokens
- Level cap is currently at level 500
The amount of XP for the next level increases each time:
- Level 1-20: 9,000 XP per level
- Level 21-100: 18,000 XP per level
- Level 101-500: 50,000+ XP per level
So in summary:
- Reach level 2: 9,000 XP (plus 600 legend tokens)
- Reach level 20: 180,000 total XP (plus 12,000 tokens)
- Reach level 100: 1,800,000 total XP (plus 60,000 tokens)
- Reach level 500: About 75,500,000 total XP! (plus 305,500 tokens)
Based on averages from my own experience, reaching level 20 takes around 15-25 hours of total playtime. By level 100 you‘re looking at 150-200 hours.
So it‘s a bit of a grind, but very achievable for regular players who stick with Apex. Especially if you use these tips to optimize your XP gains…
Tips & Tricks for Leveling Up Faster
Follow these suggestions and you‘ll speed up the process of earning those precious legend tokens:
- Play with friends for the 20% bonus friend XP
- Use different legends each match for the 500 XP legend bonus
- Complete your daily and weekly challenges for big one-time XP rewards
- Focus on survival time for consistent XP every match
- Play Arenas and other fast modes to fit more matches per hour
- Take advantage of double XP events which happen regularly
- Equip any XP boosts you obtain from battle passes or events
- Buy the Battle Pass which has boosts and legend token rewards
Stick to those tips while playing regularly and you‘ll power level through the tiers before you know it.
How Many Tokens are Needed to Unlock Each Legend?
Now for the token costs. The legends currently available fall into two price brackets:
12,000 Tokens: Bloodhound, Gibraltar, Lifeline, Pathfinder, Wraith, Bangalore, Caustic, Mirage, Octane, Wattson, Crypto, Revenant, Loba, Rampart, Horizon, Fuse, Valkyrie, Seer, Ash
15,000 Tokens: Mad Maggie, Newcastle, Vantage
As you can see, the vast majority cost 12,000 tokens to unlock. This means, according to our leveling info above:
- You‘ll have enough tokens for your first legend after hitting level 23 (earning 13,800 tokens total).
- By level 31 you‘ll have enough for a 15,000 token legend like Mad Maggie.
- Unlocking all 15 of the 12,000 token legends requires 180,000 tokens, achievable around level 317.
So focus on grinding up to level 23 first. Once you unlock your first free character, the others will start coming faster since you now have multiple legends earning XP bonuses.
Which Legend Should You Unlock First?
This is ultimately personal preference based on your playstyle, but here are my top recommendations for your first free unlock:
- Bloodhound – Easy for beginners with their tracking tools and "wall hack" ultimate. Strong in any squad.
- Lifeline – Healing abilities allow you to support your team. And her revive shield totally changes knockdown situations.
- Bangalore – Solid overall legend with good mobility from her speed boost tactical. Great starter pick.
- Caustic – Some of the best defensive area control in Apex. His gas traps and ult can lockdown rooms.
- Mirage – His holograms and cloaking revive make for fun deception plays. Plus you‘ll get bamboozles!
Any of those will serve you well to learn the game before expanding your roster. And remember you can always try out unlocked legends in the firing range for free before redeeming your tokens!
Other Ways to Get Free Legend Unlocks
Leveling up isn‘t the only way to score free characters. Keep an eye out for these other options too:
Limited-Time Events & Celebrations
Past anniversary and special events have granted players free legend unlocks. For example, during the 14th anniversary players got Valkyrie, Octane, and Wattson free.
Occasionally there will be special pack offers that include a pre-unlocked legend. These usually provide some bonus cosmetics as well.
Twitch drops, partner promotions, and social media giveaways will sometimes offer legend unlocks. For example, Prime Gaming loot has included Vantage in the past.
Platforms like PlayStation Plus and Xbox Live Gold have distributed free legend unlocks to members before. So grab them if offered!
While you can‘t rely on promotions appearing regularly, be sure to capitalize when they pop up!
Additional Tips for Unlocking Legends
Here are a few final tips to optimize your path to free legends:
- Progress will carry across all platforms thanks to cross-progression. Level up on Xbox or PC then unlock on Switch for flexibility.
- Legendary cosmetics only apply to the platform they are earned/unlocked on. So no transferring exclusive skins between devices.
- Stockpile extra tokens before a new season to instantly unlock the latest meta legend. Some can cost up to 15,000 tokens.
- Consider using real money (Apex Coins) to unlock your mains faster. Then rely on tokens for other characters you play less often.
Ok my friend, that covers everything you need to know about scoring free legend unlocks in Apex Legends! Let me know if you have any other questions. And I‘ll see you in the arena.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q: Do legend tokens ever expire?
A: Nope, tokens will stay in your account indefinitely once earned! Feel free to save up.
Q: Can you earn tokens after reaching level 500?
A: Yes but slowly, at a rate of 600 tokens per 18,000 XP beyond level 500.
Q: Should I save up crafting metals too?
A: Crafting metals are great for unlocking specific cosmetics, so saving them can be beneficial.
Q: How often does Apex add new legends?
A: Apex typically releases a new legend every season, which is about every 3 months.
Alright my friend, go get those free legends! Let me know if you have any other questions.