Apex Legends Balance Update patch notes

Find out what's changed and what Respawn is planning for Season 1 in the Apex Legends Balance Update patch notes.

Respawn Entertainment has just released their first balance update for Apex Legends, including tweaks to both the Wingman and Peacekeeper. In a lengthy post on the Apex Legends subreddit, several Respawn employees laid out some immediate balance changes to the game, along with the studios’ plan for future adjustments. We’ll look at what’s changing in the future a bit later, so first let’s cover what the most recent update changes about the game in our Apex Legends Balance Update patch notes.

Apex Legends Balance Update patch notes

Apex Legends Balance Update patch notes
© Respawn Entertainment

This balance update deals almost exclusively with the Wingman and Peacekeeper, widely regarded as two of Apex Legends’ strongest weapons. In addition, the availability of Energy ammo and Energy weapons has been increased universally.

  • 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 spread 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.

The changes to the Wingman aim to make the the weapon less effective when fired rapidly as close range, or as Respawn puts it “move it more into the hand cannon space and away from full auto Deagle.” The Peacekeeper shotgun is also a weapon Respawn felt was just a touch too strong when kitted out. The adjustments only apply to the shotgun stock, meaning you’ll be taking longer between each shot, but they’ll be no less powerful.

These are only slight tweaks, but Respawn says they’d rather take their time with the changes, only releasing updates they’re sure won’t break the game or ruin the time players have spent learning weapons. The only exception to this will be if a new addition completely breaks the balance of the game.

Apex Legends Patch notes march 7
© Respawn Entertainment

Regular Apex players may have noticed that the laughably weak Mozambique and P2020 aren’t present on the list. While these guns will likely see changes in the future, Respawn has another reason for their low strength, as the post details:

“In all seriousness, our goal is to have a power curve of weapons. "Power curve" just means that some weapons will be weaker and more common, while others will be stronger and rarer. Some weapons are intentionally less powerful until fully purp’d with hopups and attachments, while other weapons on the bottom of the power curve are your early game, better-than-melee, but-gotta-upgrade-out-of-ASAP weapons.

“We’ve seen some good feedback from players about how to make these pistols more exciting without losing out on the goal above that we’re listening to. We’ll be continuing to watch player data and feedback and trying things out internally but for now, they’ll remain the same.”

Season 1 changes

Apex Legends Balance Update March 7
© Respawn Entertainment

The balance update post also goes into quite a bit of detail regarding changes currently in the pipeline that’ll arrive with Season 1. Respawn is happy with how the medium and small frame heroes are faring in Apex, but will be looking to buff or help out the larger frame Legends like Gibraltar, Caustic and Pathfinder, who all suffer from being much easier to shoot.

“Overall, we want to try to increase the power level of the large rig characters, before we consider large nerfs to everyone else,” the post reads. “While we’ve made small adjustments, we’re hopeful that increasing the power of large rigs is healthier than nerfing everyone else.”

So what’s set to change when Season 1 launches? Here’s everything Respawn has planned right now:

Major balance changes:

  • Hit box size reductions and optimizations for Caustic, Pathfinder and Gibraltar
    • We’re better sizing hitboxes to character gear & 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%

You can read the full post here, in which Respawn Entertainment devs discuss the changes and their approach to balancing as a whole. Are you happy with what’s listed in the Apex Legends Balance Update patch notes? Let us know in the comments! While you’re here, help yourself to a look at our guides for Apex Legends, where we can teach you how to play Wraith, or detail all character ability and ultimate charge times, as well as every item and armor stat in the game.

Associate Editor

Henry Stenhouse serves an eternal punishment as the Associate Editor of AllGamers. He spent his younger life studying the laws of physics, even going so far as to complete a PhD in the subject before video games stole his soul. Confess your love of Super Smash Bros. via email at henry@moonrock.biz, or catch him on Twitter.

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