Apex Legends is known for its diverse cast of characters, with the game introducing a believable, fully-fleshed out legend to the game every season. Season 15: Eclipse is no different, introducing us to Apex’s first-ever transgender legend, Catalyst. A practicing witch, Catalyst often turns to tarot cards, crystals, and various other forms of divination for guidance, and as we saw in Stories From The Outlands: Last Hope, she appears to have a spiritual connection to her homeworld’s moon, Cleo.The practice of both Paganism and Wicca is heavily connected to the moon, and prior to joining the Apex Games, Catalyst actually spent years working to keep the damaged moon from falling out of the sky. But despite her spiritual practices and supernatural aura, Catalyst’s in-game abilities depend entirely on technology. Now, using some « borrowed » equipment from her former employers, Catalyst is ready to put her ferrofluid-flinging skills to the test in the Apex Games and finally take on Seer. Keep reading for a full breakdown of all the facts we have on Catalyst, from her backstory to her abilities.
Callsign: CatalystFull Name: Tressa Crystal SmithAge: 29Homeworld: BoreasDescribed on her official bio page as someone who « likes crystals more than she likes most people, » Tressa Smith dealt with social anxiety and difficult adolescence, but eventually found kinship with some fellow outcasts–a trio of girls who rebelled again Boreas’ strict social conformity and preferred to live life with their heads in the clouds (okay, technically on the moon). With the support of her friends, Tressa fully embraced her transgender identity, and for the first time in years, her future seemed bright. Sadly, that would soon change.Despite her standoffish nature, Catalyst is already building friendships with both Bloodhound and Rampart.
In addition to their shared love of tarot card readings and other forms of divination, Tressa and her friends also shared a deep sense of concern for Boreas’ damaged moon, Cleo. One of her friends, a redhead named Margo, seemed particularly worried about the state of the moon, which was destroyed by a meteor shower on the night of Seer’s birth. Margo hatched a plan for the two of them to sneak into the facility Hammond Robotics was using to mine Cleo’s natural resources (under the guise of rebuilding it). Margo made it obvious that sabotage was the objective, but didn’t tell Tressa exactly what her plans were.Those plans became clear once the two young women gained access to the facility, where Tressa discovered Margo planting a bomb–something they had never discussed. Horrified, Tressa admonished Margo and refused to take things any further, but it was too late. A Hammond-owned Spectre had discovered them. After a brief chase, Tressa managed to trap the homicidal robot in a chamber of ferrofluid she’d discovered a few moments earlier.After narrowly escaping the Spectre, Tressa looked up to discover that Margo was being dragged away by two human guards, neither of whom seemed to realize that a bomb had been planted–or that Margo still had the detonator in her hands. Despite Tressa’s protest, Margo detonated the bomb, killing herself along with her Hammond-employed captors–and giving Tressa a chance to escape.After fleeing the scene, a heartbroken Tressa moved to Cleo itself, and began working for a company that, unlike Hammond, was actually repairing the moon. It was there that she learned to control the ferrofluid she’d first encountered on the night of Margo’s death. Though she was still heartbroken over the loss of her best friend, Tressa’s fulfilling job seemed to be healing some of her emotional wounds. She even got back in touch with some of her old friends from Boreas.Tressa and her friends in happier times.Then Silva Pharmaceuticals entered the picture, and the life Tressa had built on Cleo was destroyed in the blink of an eye.Tressa was forced to leave her job and her home once the Apex Games chose Cleo as the location for their next combat arena. After witnessing Seer having covert discussions with Octane’s grandfather–AKA Silva Pharmaceuticals CEO and Mercenary Syndicate boss Torres Silva–Catalyst grew suspicious of Seer (who has always had a pretty complicated relationship with his and Catalyst’s shared homeworld). Once news spread that the games were coming to Cleo, Tressa’s fears were confirmed, and suspicion turned to fury.Hammond Robotics once again taking away the life she’d worked so hard to rebuild was the final straw for Tressa, who decided to utilize her talent for flinging around ferrofluid by joining the Apex Games. Armed with the ferrofluid equipment from her old job on Cleo, the once-timid Tressa has transformed herself, emerging as the confident, self-assured Catalyst. Joining the Games has afforded Tressa the opportunity to contribute her Apex winnings towards Cleo’s reconstruction, along with a chance to finally confront the man she blames for Cleo’s fate: Seer.Tressa lost her job and her home when Cleo was converted into an Apex Games arena.
Lead Catalyst legend designer OT Harrison gave players a better idea of what to expect from the new legend in an interview that took place during pre-season previews earlier this month. When asked about Catalyst’s role on the field, Harrison said, « Catalyst is all about controlling the battlefield with her abilities, similar to our other defensive legends, but the versatility of her ferrofluid gives her abilities kind of a unique flavor. » »She’s a great option for players that prefer to engage in mid- to long-range fights by keeping enemies at bay, or to facilitate safer rotations or healing opportunities as well, » he added.Catalyst possesses the following in-game abilities:Passive: BarricadeAs seen in the Eclipse gameplay trailer, Catalyst can use ferrofluid to reinforce doors, strengthening them and locking out enemies. Additionally, she can also reinforce empty spaces where a door has been broken.Tactical: Piercing SpikesCatalyst’s tactical ability allows her to fling a patch of ferrofluid onto the ground that will erupt into sharp spikes when enemies are near, slowing them down. Much like Caustic is immune to all Nox Gas–even from gas traps that were placed by enemies–Catalyst is immune to all Piercing Spikes, even those placed by enemy Catalysts.Ultimate: Dark VeilCatalyst raises a massive (but permeable) wall of ferrofluid from the ground, blocking her squad from view and temporarily slowing movement speed of any enemies who pass through it. Passing through the Dark Veil also causes enemies to be blinded for a few seconds after emerging on the other side. While people (and, presumably, objects like grenades and bullets) can pass through Catalyst’s ferrofluid wall, there’s one thing that can never pierce the Dark Veil: scanning abilities. This means Bloodhound and Seer cannot see your squad through the Dark Veil, even if they employ their scanning skills.
Catalyst has an incredibly powerful ability set that’s also quite unique. Here are a few tips to help you make the most of her abilities.BarricadeCatalyst’s passive Barricade ability can only be used on two doors (or doorways) at a time. Like Caustic’s gas barrels and Wattson’s electric fence pylons, if you attempt to place more than two barricades, the first barricade you placed will disappear. Keep this in mind when securing buildings–accidentally unsealing a door is the last thing you want to happen when your squad is surrounded by enemies, so make sure to communicate with your teammates regarding which points of entry you’ve barricaded and which ones are still vulnerable.Barricaded doors require twice the melee damage to break than doors that have not been barricaded.As obvious as it may sound, don’t forget to make use of the Barricade ability. If you’ve been playing Apex Legends for a good while, your brain is likely used to crouching in front of doors to keep them shut a little longer, or avoiding buildings with broken door frames altogether. When playing as Catalyst, start looking at every door as an opportunity, and don’t automatically write off potential cover just because the building’s doors are broken.Speaking of broken doors, keep in mind that doors sealed by Catalyst’s Barricade are not permanently immune–they can still be meleed open, but it takes twice as long to destroy a barricaded door via melee as it does to destroy one that isn’t barricaded, giving you a few extra precious seconds to finish popping a shield cell or reloading your weapon.The Barricade does have some vulnerabilities, though: grenades, gunfire, and legend abilities. Though the Dark Veil is immune to scanning abilities, the Barricade is not, so sealing yourself into a building won’t stop Bloodhound from scanning the building and revealing your squad’s location. Additionally, the Barricade’s increased resistance only applies to melee damage. This means that grenades can destroy barricaded doors just as easily as non-barricaded doors, and Rampart’s beloved Sheila can still blast open the doors to any building in the blink of an eye.But remember, even if this happens, hope isn’t lost–you can reseal the empty doorway if the doors are destroyed, giving your squad a few extra seconds to plan and regroup.Piercing SpikesWhen it comes to Catalyst’s tactical Piercing Spikes ability, you’ll want to keep in mind that not only does it slow down enemies who step in it–the ferrofluid also causes damage. If you find yourself in a tight spot with no ammo or ordnance, one hit from Catalyst’s Piercing Spikes may cause just enough damage to down an enemy. At the very least, it will slow them down.Fuse and Mad Maggie fell victim to Catalysts Piercing Spikes in the Season 15 launch trailer.When asked about Catalyst’s tactical, Harrison also described how enemy teams can go about destroying it. Spoiler alert: Getting Catalyst’s tactical to self-destruct is not as simple as shooting it. »Kind of a unique property of this ability is that to damage the core of it, enemies need to be near it to trigger the core to expose itself, » Harrison explained. « So you won’t be able to just snipe this away, you have to get up close and personal with it to deal with it. The ability itself can also be thrown quite far, so it makes a good initiator as well as a decent defensive resource. »Dark VeilAnother thing that will slow enemies down is, of course, Catalyst’s ultimate ability, the Dark Veil. Immune to scanning abilities, the Dark Veil is a massive wall of ferrofluid that blocks Catalyst and her team from view while also temporarily blinding and slowing down the movement speed of any legends who may be brave enough to pass through it.But although the legends themselves suffer negative effects from passing through the Dark Veil, other objects don’t. Both bullets and throwable ordnance can pass through the massive wall of inky black fluid, so don’t let the Dark Veil’s presence lull you into a false sense of security–it doesn’t block bullets or ordnance–all it does is obscure you from view and negatively affect enemies who pass through it.That’s the other issue–legends have more than one option when it comes to tackling the Dark Veil. They can, of course, go through it, which will result in them suffering the negative effects of the Dark Veil and probably getting downed shortly thereafter. They can also go around it. But we know of at least one legend who can go over the Dark Veil.During recent pre-season previews, Harrison confirmed that Horizon’s Gravity Lifts allow her and her squadmates to simply hop over the ferrofluid wall, and Valkyries VTOL Jets let her glide over it. Octane may be able to do the same with his Jump Pads, but that hasn’t been confirmed. It’s also possible that Wrath and Ash may simply be able to phase through the Dark Veil, though this is also unconfirmed.Very few legends can safely jump over Catalyst’s Dark Veil.One thing all players need to be aware of is the color of Catalyst’s powers. If Catalyst is on your squad, her ferrofluid abilities will all have a bluish aura, while enemy Catalysts will leave Piercing Spikes and Dark Veils that emanate a reddish-orange hue instead.We’re sure to find out more about the new legend as Season 15’s November 1 launch date approaches, so be sure to keep an eye on this page for any updates on Apex Legends Season 15: Eclipse.Apex Legends is free to play on console and PC. A mobile version of the game, Apex Legends Mobile, is available for download on Android and iOS devices.Apex Legends’ Best In-Game Teasers, RankedSee More