Controversial new changes hit Apex Legends’ respawn system in Season 19, and players have already found an easy way to exploit the system today, gaining purple and red shields for their entire team without even fighting.
JSavageW, a current pro player for EMEA’s Forge, first reported the interaction with fellow Forge teammates Faenex and Slayers on his Twitch stream on Oct. 31 before voicing his concerns about what problems it could bring for the upcoming ranked season.
In the clip, Slayers jumps off Storm Point, leaving his purple shields in his deathbox. JSavageW picks up the shields and Slayers’ banner, before jumping off too. Finally, Faenex revives them with a respawn beacon, where both of his allies are brought back with two new purple shields, fully equipping the entire team in less than a minute.
Previously, a revived Apex player would only spawn in with white shields and two consumable shield cells and syringes for survival, having to retrieve their weapons, shields, and additional items from their deathbox.
Everything changed with the Season 19 patch notes, as all revived players now spawn with both of their weapons, a small stack of ammo for each, and the last shields they had upon death, either from an enemy or from natural causes like jumping off of the map, allowing JSavageW to exploit the system and duplicate multiple shields.
When the notes first dropped for Season 19, many pros and community members voiced early concerns, and how despite Respawn’s good intentions, the system could be taken advantage of with little risk or counterplay.
Even if an enemy team spots the beacon’s green light flashing and the subsequent dropship spawn, the revived players can now defend themselves, only missing their items and weapon attachments, which are left in their deathboxes.
Instead of taking free shots at defenseless 150-health targets, players may find themselves trading against 225-health enemies who can shoot back, dramatically changing how teams approach or defend revive battles.
The issue only gets worse when players can take advantage of the NPC enemies on certain Apex maps, like the newly updated Storm Point.
Minustempo, player manager for TSM, reported his record of three minutes to get full red shields for his entire team before the ring could even finish closing for round one. A combination of loot luck and the evo damage gained from damaging Spiders and Prowlers allowed his entire team to gain red shields, all without dealing a single point of damage to any enemy players or squads.
Although past unintentional exploits like healing in Crypto’s Drone have been recognized and banned from use in the ALGS and Pro League, if there is no hotfix from Respawn concerning the exploit, players will continue using them on the ranked ladder.
If the past ranked seasons have already proven players will resort to ratting in corners for free LP without fighting, Season 19 could easily be one of the worst received by the Apex community, as solo queue players may face impossible fights against coordinated teams with an overwhelming health advantage.
Suggestions from JSavageW and other community members include removing any guns or items taken out by teammates to prevent duplication, but until Respawn acknowledges the issue, the entire community is left with the dilemma of fighting against an overwhelming shield disadvantage, or using the exploit themselves to level the playing field.
Dot Esports reached out to Respawn regarding if there will be changes.