The coveted Apex Legends Season 1 begins today, and Respawn just released a lengthy list of balance, gameplay, stability and quality-of-life changes to the game. Oh, and a new Legend. Let’s dive right in!
The centerpiece of this update and a subject of much contention in the Apex community, the Battle Pass is finally here. It can be purchased for 950 Apex coins, and it actually gives coins back for reaching certain level tiers. Getting to the end of the track grants a total of 1000 coins, returning the investment completely. Apart from paying for itself, the Pass also gives players an access to a slew of exclusive cosmetics and stat trackers.
The Battle Pass Bundle – set at 2,800 Apex coins – will give players the Pass and also unlock the first 25 levels of Season 1 instantly. If you opt to buy just the Battle Pass you can’t purchase the Bundle at a later time. You can, however, buy single levels at a time. It costs 150 Apex coins per level.
Octane joins the fight
Octane is joining the Apex Games and he is exactly as the leaks from a month ago described him. The High-Speed Daredevil is a Damage-type legend with some really cool finishers. His passive is Swift Mend: while not taking damage, he regenerates 1 health every two seconds.
Octane’s Stim tactical ability gives him a six-second 30 percent speed boost on demand at the price of some of his current health. While under the effects of Stim, he is also less affected by slowing effects from enemy attacks. Note, that he cannot suicide with this ability – if you are down to 1 health, using Stim does not hurt you.
Octane can deploy a bounce-pad for his team to use every 90 seconds. This high-utility ultimate is on a pretty short cooldown and much like Pathfinder’s Zipline, it will make for some shocking combat flanks. Octane is also apparently a Mozambique-user, or at least Respawn is letting us know they won’t let the meme die.
Octane costs as much as any other legend: either 750 coins or 12,000 tokens. Hold on for a full breakdown of his abilities, strategies and tips on playing him coming soon!
The L-Star is coming
The Season 1 release trailer has at least a couple of things hiding in the background. Notably, we get a couple of seconds of footage of the upcoming L-Star weapon around the 30-second mark.
It’s easy to miss because the trailer shows us what looks like a flock of Pterodactyls immediately after. My guess is Respawn aligned those two intentionally, to hide one secret with another.
The L-Star is a powerful energy weapon from Titanfall 2 that has been floating through Apex data-mine leaks for about a month now. If the gun is anything like its Titanfall 2 counterpart, its reported high damage profile should be offset by its relatively slow handling and reload speed.
For more information on all of the new leaks and easter eggs, check out our full Season 1 datamining report.
Hitbox and balance changes
The patch notes state that the hitboxes of Gibraltar, Pathfinder, and Caustic have been adjusted to “better align with their shapes.” What that means exactly, and whether it will help improve these Legends’ current standing in the Apex meta, remains to be seen.
Respawn is also implementing some of the balance changes they announced two weeks ago. Bangalore’s Double Time movement speed bonus is reduced from 40 to 30 percent. Pathfinder gets 2 more Insider Knowledge beacons to work with on the map, and his Grapple is getting a slight range increase.
Caustic is receiving numerous buffs across his kit. The cooldown on his Nox Traps is shorter, they start dealing damage faster, and they have a slightly bigger area of effect. His Nox Grenade ultimate is also on a shorter cooldown now, which is a change Respawn had not previously announced.
The patch notes don’t mention this, but Wraith’s promised nerf is in effect. Her Into the Void tactical is now on a 25 second cooldown, up from 20 seconds. Whether the Lifeline ultimate ability change has been applied isn’t clear yet.
The next one is not a balance change but rather a bug fix. According to the patch notes Gibraltar has had a hole in his shield this whole time. I assume the shield they’re talking about is his Gun Shield. The hole is patched up and hopefully will make Gibraltar’s passive more reliable.
Finally, three seriously game-breaking exploits have been patched out of Apex. Players will no longer be able to double-tap with the Peacekeeper or instantly switch between weapons by crouching. The exploit allowing Pathfinder to wall-crawl to infinite heights is also removed.
A new report system and fewer crashes
Respawn has again stated that clearing Apex of cheaters “remains a high priority” for them. To that end, they are introducing a Player Report system which forwards accounts marked for suspicious activity directly to Easy Anti-Cheat. If you believe a player in one of your games is cheating, you can now easily report them. You can do this while spectating or from the Banner screen of your Squad.
Players recently began reporting that they were receiving permanent hardware bans as a result of cheating. Let’s hope the new report system catches more of these types of players.
The studio is also doubling down on fixing the game’s persistent crash issues. The patch brings a number of improvements which should help stabilize the game. A system for reporting details about Apex crashes is also detailed in the patch notes.
Some other good stuff
Lots of quality-of-life additions are coming, such as Pathfinder’s reticle now showing if he is within Grappling distance from objects. He can also Grapple onto ziplines now, which will raise the skill-cap (and crazy-cap) of playing as Apex‘s friendly murder-bot.
Visual cue improvements for a few game mechanics were also added. Knockdown Shields now visibly deplete as they absorb damage, and the Golden Shield will prompt you to self-revive. Having that feature would have saved my life at least twice so far.
Colorblind players should also notice a couple of improvements in visual clarity. The main changes include enemy pings and Bloodhound’s ultimate ability’s threat vision effect.
Depending on the type of player you are, this next bit of news is either meaningless or great. Supply Bins are less likely to kill players now. Previously, they could crush Legends standing between a wall and the Bin’s lid as it opens, ending them instantly. The patch notes indicate this shouldn’t happen as much anymore, raising two important questions. First, will doors – which can kill players in the exact same way – be patched too? Secondly, how many players were being killed by Supply Bins in the first place?