Apex Legends Season 14: Hunted is right around the corner, and like every other season, it’s adding a new Legend to the roster. This time around, Vantage and her bat friend Echo are entering the Apex Games. The new duo will arrive when the update goes live next week, on August 9. You’ll want to learn as much about Vantage as you can before then, so we’re here to provide info on her backstory, abilities, and everything else we learned after attending a recent Season 14 press event.
Xiomara ‘Mara’ Contreras, AKA Vantage, is the youngest Legend to join the games, narrowly beating out Rampart, as the former is 18 while the latter is 21. And we see in the Season 14 launch trailer that Fuse is bothered by this while he and Horizon attempt to keep her safe. He’s in disbelief that the Syndicate – the main organizer of the Apex Games – would choose someone so young to fight to the death, but the truth here is that Vantage is doing this voluntarily for her mother.
The recent Stories from the Outlands short gives us a quick look at the backstory that put Vantage in that situation. She was raised by her mother, Xenia, on the harsh ice planet Págos, away from civilization. As a result, she became an excellent shot and an expert in survival. However, this isolated upbringing follows her into the Apex Games, which makes for somewhat unpredictable interactions now that she’s joined the rest of society.
“Needless to say, Vantage doesn’t really get or even care about things like social cues and rules and manners now that she’s in civilization,” said Kevin Lee, senior writer at Respawn. “That’s never been important to the main thing in her life, which is to survive… She’s got some really unique dialogue with fellow survivors and survivalist Legends.”
After finding the wreck of the G.D.S. Vantage, the young hunter realized that her mother used to be a prisoner aboard that ship, serving time for a crime that she didn’t commit. And after Vantage sustained severe injuries trying to escape the wreckage, Xenia had no choice but to signal an SOS, which landed her right back in prison.
Vantage has joined the competition to raise awareness and draw attention to her mother’s unjust situation, and, apparently, she actually had to push and fight hard to be allowed to bring Echo into battle with her. Their companionship can often be seen through in-game visual storytelling.
“There was a lot of work put into visually capturing the uniqueness of how Echo engages with Vantage and the environment, and their relationship and how they communicate with each other and work together,” said Rachel Gagner, concept artist at Respawn.
Part of that storytelling comes when the duo interacts during combat, and these are the skills that’ll be keeping them alive in the Apex Games:
Vantage Abilities List
- Passive Ability: Spotter’s Lens
Vantage can zoom in when unarmed, or with higher magnification scopes, and get information on enemies who are in the middle of her scanning zone. This valuable info includes the enemy’s shield tier, their class, their range, and even the number of living squad members they have. All of these details can be shared with Vantage’s teammates by pinging the person who is being scanned. The scan also shows bullet drop numbers with higher magnification scopes, which is a strong little assist for long-range targets.
- Tactical Ability: Echo Relocation
Vantage can use Echo to switch positions and find better points of attack. She can order Echo to move around the battlefield without using the tactical charge, but when she does use it, she can jump to Echo’s location with a single leap. Echo is also impossible to harm or disable, as it was confirmed that he’s “too cute” to get shot – a valid gameplay decision.
- Ultimate Ability: Sniper’s Mark
Hitting a target with Vantage’s custom Sentinel rifle will do 50 damage and mark them for some time. Enemies will then take 100 damage from her rifle after being marked, along with increased damage from teammates. Her sniper rifle has five rounds in it, with each shot marking enemies for 10 seconds. Though, the marks don’t show through walls – they simply let teammates know who will take increased damage. You can use her sniper rifle whenever you have rounds, and the rounds start to regenerate over time as soon as a match begins.
During the press event, we learned that Vantage went through a number of notable changes before she ended up with the kit that you see above.
“Honestly, we started by swinging big with a few different attempts at big damage on her rifle,” said Chris Winder, Legend designer and engineer for Vantage. “So, we’re talking instant knock damage.”
In an attempt to avoid invalidating other weapons while still keeping the “sniper fantasy” that the team was going for, Vantage was given additional damage only after the first Sniper’s Mark hit.
“We also started with a binocular-based tactical,” Winder explained. “One big ‘aha’ moment we had was when we tried a prototype tactical where Vant had a bird.”
As you can see, that bird became a tiny bat named Echo that grants Vantage some extra mobility in order for her to relocate to better sniping spots or get close enough to finish weakened foes. So, her strengths don’t lie solely in her Ultimate Ability’s damage numbers.
All in all, Vantage seems to be a solid addition to the roster who can potentially devastate opposing squads from long range. Her high damage, mobility, and intel-gathering skills can make her both a formidable foe and a likely top-tier teammate. If you’re looking to learn more about the upcoming season of Apex Legends, be sure to check out coverage, which includes news on the level cap increase, Kings Canyon changes, and cross-progression.