Apex Legends Ballistic abilities, bio, and playstyle

Apex Legends season 17 is bringing Thunderdome legend Ballistic out of retirement to show the new generation a thing or two about armed combat.

Apex Legends Ballistic: This old man is armed to the teeth: man with grey hair and sunglasses

Looking for info on Apex Legends’ Ballistic’s abilities? The Apex Legends season 17 update is set to introduce a new legend to the FPS game’s roster. Ballistic is a retired veteran of the Apex Games’ predecessor, Thunderdome. He’s been a true legend since before the title gained new meaning in the current games, and he’s coming out of retirement with a number of assault-focused abilities.

Ahead of the Apex Legends season 17 release date, why not check out our up-to-date guide on all the Apex Legends characters in addition to our in-depth Apex Legends tier list.

Apex Legends Ballstic bio

August Brinkman, AKA Ballistic, is a 63-year-old celebrity who rose to fame in his 20s inside the Thunderdome Games, which is basically Apex before Apex. He’s coming out of retirement this season to take his son Nathaniel’s place in the game in order to protect him. After years of being absent from his children’s lives, he’s chosen to shield his son from the Apex Games competition.

“Ballistic believes he’s being a good dad, you know, protecting his son no matter what,” said Sam Gill, narrative lead for the new legend. “Nate sees it quite differently – he’s been robbed of his dreams, after all.” Ballistic learned a hard lesson from his past and didn’t want to see it repeated with his son.

In the recent Ballistic Stories From the Outlands trailer, we see that he secluded himself, becoming a hermit after the death of his brother-in-law – a tragedy that he’s responsible for because of his self-centered plays in the Thunderdome Games.

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Just like with any other newcomer, Respawn adds plenty of banter between the new addition and the existing legends. Given Ballistic’s celebrity status from years ago, it’s only natural that the current legends know about him, his story, and will chime in to give their perspective on Ballistic’s past.

“Some of our present-day legends idolized Ballistic when they were kids,” Gill said. “Gibraltar, for example, had posters of Ballistic all over his walls when he was growing up.”

While Gibraltar is an example of someone who looked up to Ballistic, it seems like there could also be examples of the opposite as well, looking back at the death that triggered his decision to walk away from the Thunderdome and seclude himself at the height of his fame.

Ballistic is still as proficient and entertaining as he was back in his days of stardom, but he’s decided to change up his priorities a bit when joining the Apex Games. He’s no longer as egotistic as he once was, and you can see that in how some of his abilities go for team play rather than solo plays. Here’s a rundown of what you can expect to see from Ballistic.

Apex Legends Ballistic -- This old man is armed to the teeth: man with grey hair and red sunglasses holding a gun

Apex Legends Ballistic abilities

Here’s a rundown of Ballistic’s passive, tactical, and ultimate abilities:

Passive Ability: Sling

Sling allows Ballistic to carry a third weapon and rotate through all three to use in gunfights. The catch here is that this third weapon can’t be kitted out with attachments. The exception to that rule is in the team deathmatch mode, as players drop guns that you can pick up for the passive. Sling also only lets you carry a base version of a weapon found as ground loot, so supply drop weapons aren’t included.

Tactical Ability: Whistler

This ability is somewhat of a throwback to Titanfall, as Whistler is another, separate pistol that’s retrofitted with a smart bullet just like the Titanfall Smart Pistol. The bullet tracks a target and applies a debuff to overheat their guns, causing them to explode and deal damage when the overheat meter is filled. This explosion doesn’t actually destroy the enemy’s weapon, but it’ll trigger a short animation, preventing them from firing for a short time.

The overheat status effect lasts for 12 seconds, but explosions can be avoided if you release the trigger every once in a while. The smart bullet also needs time to lock on, so you can’t just pull out the gun and fire into the wind hoping to score a hit.

Ultimate Ability: Tempest

Ballistic’s Ultimate is the ability that provides the most team utility – and it’s a strong one. Tempest provides a teamwide buff that gives squadmates infinite ammo and faster reloads for a short period of time. On top of that, it also replaces his basic Sling weapon with a gold version of the same weapon, meaning that it’ll have the best possible attachments while his ultimate is active.

The buff only applies to nearby teammates, though, so you won’t be getting unlimited ammo from across the map. The ammo buff also doesn’t affect any player’s inventory – they’ll have exactly the same amount of ammo after Tempest ends.

Apex Legends Ballistic -- This old man is armed to the teeth: man with grey hair and sunglasses pointing a gun

Apex Legends Ballistic playstyle

“In the Thunderdome, he had a very reckless and aggressive playstyle…I think he’s going to bring a similar offensive playstyle [to the] Apex Games,” said John Ellenton, senior lead designer at Respawn. “But he is trying to introduce more team utilities.”

Now that he’s leaving retirement, Ballistic is bringing his signature flair and showmanship back to life in ways that’ll benefit both him and the squad he runs with through abilities that initiate combat and single out lone targets. Whistler, for example, is the perfect ability to disrupt a single enemy by limiting their offensive capabilities.

Activating Whistler, followed by Tempest, could be the perfect way to start off a gunfight and get an advantage as soon as your team starts firing on targets.

If you’re the type of player to rush into a firefight, guns blazing, Ballistic might be another legend to add to your group of mains. He’d go well with other legends that enable or complement initiation like Revenant or Ash.

You’ll be able to try out Ballistic’s whole gameplay kit for yourself when Apex Legends season 17: Arsenal launches next week on May 9.