Apex: Legends – Preseason Live Balance Update

A significant balance update is now live on all platforms. The details of which includes weapon and character changes are outlined in a lengthy developer post on Reddit. At this time, only the weapon changes have made it on to the live game. The character changes will go live at the start of Season 1. The Reddit post also details the design philosophy behind the balance of the game.

According to Respawn, “Our goal is to make less frequent, better tested, higher impact changes, so it minimizes the effects on your time spent mastering a particular mechanic, weapon, character, etc. You shouldn’t have to read our patch notes every few days just to keep up with how characters and weapons now work.”

Weapon Balance Changes:

  • Wingman
    • Rate of fire reduced from 3.1 -> 2.6 shots per second
    • Skullpiercer Headshot damage multiplier reduced from 2.5 -> 2.25
    • Increased base hip fire spread and decreased the rate at which hip fire decays (shrinks back down.)

  • Peacekeeper
    • Shotgun Bolt rechamber rate has been reduced for the Peacekeeper only.
      • Level 1 mitigation 10% -> 7.5%
      • Level 2 mitigation 20% -> 13%
      • Level 3 mitigation 25% -> 16%
  • Wingman and Peacekeeper availability has been reduced in all zone tiers.
  • Increased availability of energy weapons & ammo in all zone tiers.

When asked why there no P2020 or Mozambique buffs, the developers only stated that, “our goal is to have a power curve of weapons:” In other words, some weapons will be weaker and more common, while others will be stronger and more rare. They want there to be a clear distinction between early weapons that can be useful in close-quarters frantic fight as compared to more powerful long-ranged weapons often seen in the late game.

Additional Patch Notes:

  • Fixed some script errors that we identified were occasionally causing disconnects during matches
    • Caustic occasionally causing disconnects while throwing his Ultimate
    • Pathfinder occasionally causing disconnects when activating a Survey Beacon
    • Player occasionally causing disconnects when removing an attachment
    • Gibraltar occasionally causing disconnects when pulling up his Gun Shield
    • Players occasionally causing disconnects when entering Spectate Mode

Character Balance Changes:

With regards with Legend balance and hitbox feedback, the developers want to try to increase the power level of the large rig characters, before considering large nerfs to everyone else. The Legends changes will hit the live game at the start of Season 1.

Major balance changes:

  • Hit box size reductions and optimizations for Caustic, Pathfinder, and Gibraltar
    • We’re better sizing hitboxes to character gear and model
    • Since these adjustments have a major impact on the game, we want to make sure there aren’t any major bugs, so we didn’t want to rush them out
    • If these adjustments prove to be insufficient, we’ll consider additional adjustments during Season 1

Minor balance changes:

  • Caustic
    • Traps – Reduced cooldown to 25 seconds from 30 seconds
    • Traps – Increased radius and proximity radius by about 10%
    • Traps – Removed a 1 second delay on the smoke dealing damage to players
  • Pathfinder
    • Insider Knowledge – Increased the number of beacons in the world to 12 from 10
  • Lifeline
    • Care Package – Removed slight chance that level 4 armor and helmets will drop
  • Wraith
    • Into The Void – Cooldown increased from 20 -> 25 seconds
  • Bangalore
    • Double Time – Reduced move speed bonus to 30% from 40%