The Apex Legends season 17 update is upon us, and the full patch notes are now available as the Respawn team has updated the community before the season release on May 9.
From a new legend to an overhaul of the game’s ranked system and more, season 17 is shaping up to be for seasoned Apex veterans what season 16 was for the newbies: a season more tailored to them. While Mixtape and several of the new additions made in season 16 were great, it’s time to take the kid gloves off and see what you’re truly made of in the battle royale arena.
The changes that we already know are wide-ranging and encompass almost every aspect of the game. Buckle up for the ride, season 17’s arsenal will bring the heat. Here are the full patch notes for Apex’s next season launch.
Apex Legends season 17 patch notes: Balance changes, ranked changes, and more
New legend: Ballistic
August Brinkman, better known as Ballistic, was an original legend of the old Thunderdome Games before his showboating got his teammate and brother-in-law killed. Now older (but maybe not much wiser), Ballistic joins the Apex Games to prevent his son from suffering the same fate, and perhaps to enjoy himself a little bit after spending years as a recluse.
Passive – Sling: Ballistic can pick up and carry a third weapon in his loadout. This weapon can be used at any time, but the weapon in the Sling cannot have any attachments on it.
Tactical – Whistler: The Whistler is a smart pistol that deals damage to opponents and features a lock-on system. Once Ballistic has an opponent in Whistler’s sights for long enough by holding their tactical button, its bullet will track and hit them. Once hit, enemies’ guns will have an overheat meter and debuff applied to them for a period of time.
Ultimate – Tempest: Ballistic’s Tempest is an auto-loader that grants him and his teammates unlimited ammo for a period of time, as well as faster reload time on their guns. Activating Tempest also transforms the gun in Ballistic’s Sling into a fully-kitted Gold version of the weapon.
Related: Who is Ballistic in Apex Legends?
- Legends can no longer scan through Dark Veil ultimate (if you hated the Seer and Catalyst meta like we did, rejoice. This change takes away what made that combo so strong.)
Editor’s note: The original patch notes from Respawn included the above balance change for Catalyst, but this no longer appears in an updated version of those patch notes. There are also reports that Seer’s ultimate still works through the Dark Veil, but it’s currently unclear if that is a bug, or if this intended change didn’t end up making it into the season 17 update.
- Class changed from Skirmisher to Support (does it make Mirage more useful? Maybe. A tiny bit.)
- When holding and aiming the Arc Snare tactical, Ash’s speed is buffed to “weapon out sprint” instead of “weapon out walk”
- Smart loot gains have been adjusted to reduce skipping an upgrade tier
- Optics are now given based on team rather than just Assault Legend who opens them
- Added special drop rate for Gold optics
- Care packages are now automatically pinged for the team on reveal.
- This includes empty Care Packages that have already been looted by another team
- Support Bins will now guarantee at least one Battery in one of the Secret Compartment slots
- Support Bins will now award mobile respawn beacons if your ally is dead, even if you don’t have their banner card.
- Legend Banners can now be crafted by ANY player who has a Support Class Legend in their Squad
The tweaks made to the class system seem to be trying to level the playing field between the perks given to the Assault class heroes, who were the biggest winners of the class system, and the Support and Skirmisher classes, which were the weakest class perks offered. The Skirmisher class perk is still largely not useful, which is why Mirage being moved to Support is a buff.
- Moves to care package
- Base damage reduced from 17 to 16
- Disruptor rounds added (60 percent damage buff to body shields)
- Damage passthrough added (60 percent damage retained)
- Projectile growth increased
- Improved recoil pattern
- Removed barrel
- Ammo Stockpile: 324
- Reduced VFX brightness when hitting unarmored targets
Well, that looks terrifying.
- Projectile size increased when fully charged
- Projectile size increased
- Improved hipfire spread
- Tightened bullet pattern when fully choked
- Ammo per shot reduced to 1 (was 3)
- Magazines sizes adjusted to match the new ammo costs
- Purple Mag: Increased to 10 shots (was 9)
- Removed 1 bullet from base and all magazines
- No Magazine reduced to 19 (was 20)
- White Magazine reduced to 21 (was 22)
- Blue Magazine reduced to 24 (was 25)
- Purple & Gold magazine reduced to 27 (was 28)
- Reduced shots per magazine to 3 (was 4)
- Reduced spawn rate
RE-45, EVA-8, and 30-30
- Return to ground loot
Alternator SMG and Sentinel
- Enter replicator rotation
Ping System overhaul
The ping system is getting a bit of a refresh with new options for players to mark on the battlefield. This includes noting that you hear enemy audio to your teammates, telling teammates to avoid certain areas, and telling your team to regroup. Players will also be able to ping more icons while using their map.
Season 17 will introduce Weapon Mastery, a new form of progression that tracks every player’s skill and progress with the different weapons in Apex. Individual weapons can be leveled up to a max level of 100 by using them in the various game modes and completing challenges every 20 levels in return for cosmetics and other rewards. Players who reach level 100 on a weapon are guaranteed to receive a Legendary skin for that weapon.
World’s Edge map updates
World’s Edge is getting a boatload of updates to celebrate the history of Apex, both in and out of the game. The centerpiece of these updates is the new POI placed smack dab in the middle of Fragment, Monument. That’s not the only major POI upgrade hitting World’s Edge, however, with Lava City being replaced by the new Stacks POI. Other season 17 map changes are as follows:
- The Mirage a Trois will remain on World’s Edge while leaving other battle royale maps
- Lava chasms in Fragment and Harvester are gone, replaced by lava sections that are walkable
- Harvester has a new lower central platform where loot spawns
- New loot vault added in Skyhook tunnel
- More snow and Climatizer towers added to Skyhook
The Ranked Point system that has been in place since the beginning of the mode is being retired in favor of the new Ladder Points system, which seeks to more accurately assess a player’s skill by using a hidden MMR system.
The new ranked system will reward team placement more heavily than kills, with teams that reach the top 10 in a match more or less being considered a “successful” match and teams finishing below 10th recording a loss. Kills and performing well in lobbies where other teams have a higher MMR than you will also apply bonuses to the Ladder Points a player gains. Other changes to the ranked system include doing away with the mid-season split and introducing a series of provisional matches at the beginning of the season to accurately assess where you are as a player.
More details on the new ranked system and how it seeks to limit cheaters and kill boosters can be found here.
Firing Range updates
Apex players aren’t just getting updates to the existing Firing Range that’s been around since day one. They’re getting an entirely new map of a Firing Range to help them warm up for matches.
The new Firing Range will still incorporate several elements of the old Firing Range, including the customizable dummies and various targets. But the new Firing Range also includes a small town POI to help acquaint players with other game mechanics like fighting around doors and other combat scenarios.
In addition, the new Firing Range comes with a dueling pit for one-vs-ones with friends, an agility course to help sharpen your movement skills, and more. The new range is geared toward more accurately representing the situations players will come across in a game of Apex. Train smarter, not harder.
New survival item: Evac Tower
The Evac Tower is essentially a redeploy balloon that can be placed anywhere there’s room on a map. This Evac Tower can be destroyed if it takes enough damage and will only be active for a limited amount of time. It joins Heat Shields and the Mobile Respawn Beacon in the survival item loot pool.
- New Podium screens for Gun Run and Control
- Display a message in the Kill Feed if Leaver Penalties are disabled for the match due to an unfair match
- Control and Gun Run will indicate the team’s MVPs on the intro podium
- Control and TDM have updated loadouts (care package weapon changes and updates based on weapon meta/pick rates/kill rates)
- Gun Run and TDM now have XP Bonuses for Match Completion and Match Completion after Join in Progress
- Map rotation: Barometer is out, Olympus: Hammond Labs is in
- Weapon Evo Change: No longer Evo weapons automatically when a new Rating Tier is reached. Players now reach the new tier and their weapon will Evo when the player holsters and then unholsters their weapon in any form (reload, weapon switch, manual holster, rides a zipline, performs a skydive, etc)
- Weapon Track update for new crate weapons.
- Added an additional XP bonus on the last weapon knife kill
- Map rotation: Skulltown is out, Phase Runner is in
- Prowler: fixed ADS while crouching (rejoice, all you controller players)
- IMC Armories: fixed spectres taking too much damage from arc stars
- Fixed Duos showing NBR challenges instead of BR challenges
- Fixed comms wheel not being usable when a game is over
- Fixed players glitching inside of loot bins
- Fixed spectators not receiving audio queues for all types of launch pads/jump pads
- Fixed flickering of banners during victory and end of match screens
- Scoreboard is saved when a game is finished now, not post-podium sequence
- Lifetime Stats numbers no longer overlap for more than 7 digits
- Various lobby ultrawide UI improvements
- Steps are no longer louder if Heirloom is equipped
- Fixed UI loop when crouch inspect is canceled early
- Ultimate will now persist for the entire duration even if Ash dies while it is active and while players are still traveling through it
- Bloodhound: White Ravens already in flight can no longer be scanned for free Tacticals and Ult charge
- Caustic: Fixed traps destroying when placed near closed doors that are then opened
- Drone can no longer be accessed after being knocked
- Drone no longer occasionally teleports behind a wall after you throw it
- Fixed drone sometimes spawning in the middle of the world when thrown into a wall
- Fixed visibility issue with Black Market when Bangalore’s smoke is behind
- Amount head peeks over cover while crouching adjusted to match other Legends
- Mad Maggie: Improved reliability when hitting objects that the ball will damage or destroy
- Octane: Removed the double jump hint from the Launch Pad in cases where it would incorrectly show as an option (e.g. after a Pathfinder grapple)
- Rampart: multiple cover walls can no longer be placed in the same spot on a Trident
- Seer: Dummies in the firing range will now have the same footstep behavior as other players when moving inside of Seer’s Ultimate instead of behaving like other AI (Prowlers, Spiders)
- Valkyrie: Ultimate cooldown no longer set to 75 percent after being canceled while in Death Totem protection
- Fixed ultimate being usable while ziplining
- Mythic finisher “Whiplash” no longer pushes players outside of play area
- Fixed shields dropped by killed enemies being empty
- Fixed players leaving a match will no longer try to join the same match if its join-in-progress window is still active
- Team Deathmatch
- Fixed grenades not dropping on player death
- Fixed Estates map image displaying the night variant of the map in the Lobby
- Fixed Custom Match Observer issue where it was difficult to close the Map Screen if an Observer had it opened before players spawned in the match
- Fixed teammates death icon not appearing on the map if the map wasn’t open when the teammate died
- Fixed ordnance not auto-equipping to the ordnance slot if the player spawned out of bounds
- Fixed reserve ammo counter not displaying when switching weapons from Rampart or Vantage’s ultimate ability
Quality of life updates
- Removed Auto-Taunt Prompt on Enemy Killed
- Can now ride ziplines while playing the banner pickup animation
- Bullet impact VFX on snow reduced
Season 17 map rotation
The map rotation at the beginning of season 17 will feature the following battle royale maps:
- World’s Edge
- Kings Canyon
These patch notes will be updated as more information about the new season is released.