Apex Legends’ sixth season is bringing in the big guns—literally.
The new season will introduce Rampart and her heavy machine gun Sheila, but that’s far from everything that’s new. Respawn made several key changes to legend and weapon balance. From buffs to recon legends to pushing the R-99 into care packages, Boosted will have deep repercussions on gameplay, which will give the season its own flavor.
The changes will go live later tonight alongside other significant gameplay elements, such as the Volt SMG, the crafting system, and the all-new armor system. Here are the patch notes for season six.
All shields are Evo
The novelties with season six kick off as soon as players drop into the arena. All armor in the game (except for gold vests) will have built-in Evo capabilities. Players will also spawn with the equivalent of a “level zero” Evo armor, which means that they can get a free shield as soon as they land. The addition will deeply shake up the Apex meta.
The change will be followed by other adjustments to the damage required to level up shields. It takes 50 damage to reach white and another 125 to blue. Purple, on the other hand, requires 250 damage points. To max out an armor, players need to deal 500 damage—a fairly easy-to-obtain number.
To line up with the new armor system, Respawn reduced the armor of all vests by 25, which means that a maxed-out shield will only reach 200 health instead of 225 but will still beat purple and gold armor’s 175 damage.
Recon legends got a new, long-awaited mechanic. Bloodhound, Crypto, and Pathfinder can all interact with Survey Beacons to get the ring’s next location, effectively giving them all Pathfinder’s passive ability. Crypto can use his drone to get the information instantly.
But the joyful MRVN isn’t getting anything out of the deal. Season six overhauled his passive to reduce the cooldown of his ultimate by 10 seconds for every scanned beacon. That may not be the full extent of the changes to Pathfinder, however. “In the future we will take another look at Pathfinder to see what else we could do to make him feel more unique,” the patch notes read.
Bloodhound is also getting some extra firepower to make them a “god-like tracker” when using their ultimate. Beast of the Hunt gained an extra synergy with her tactical, Eye of the Allfather, that drastically decreases the tactical ability’s cooldown when using their Ultimate. Downing enemies during Beast of the Hunt will also provide increased ultimate duration.
Crypto’s kit will also see an overhaul and make his drone, Hack, more vital to playing the surveillance expert. He can use the drone to activate respawn and survey beacons instantly, which provides with a safe option to activate those—assuming that enemies don’t take Hack down.
Respawn doubled Hack’s health points as a way to offset an increase to his hitbox. The changes should allow enemies to hit the drone more consistently without making it too squishy.
To counter the synergy between Revenant, Crypto, and Wraith, his EMP will also slow down teammates caught in the blast, even if they had no shields, which is a way to counter the aggressive pushes that come after using Death Totem. Revenant’s kit also saw adjustments to mitigate that synergy. Players won’t be able to use Wraith’s Dimensional Rift for two seconds after being recalled to the totem as a way to slow down hyper-aggressive pushes.
Wattson’s and Octane saw minor but impactful changes. The Interception Pylons will take out Caustic barrels mid-flight as if they were grenades and the adrenaline junkie can live up to his name by using Stims while healing—without losing the slow penalty from patching up.
The changes to some of the other characters’ kits were mostly confined to their ultimates. The cooldown on Loba’s Black Market Boutique dropped by half, to 90 seconds instead of three minutes, to improve how she funnels loot to the team.
Gibraltar’s Defensive Bombardment is getting a significant increase in cooldown. Players will have to wait 4.5 minutes between ultimates instead of the usual three. Bangalore’s Rolling Thunder, however, went the other way: the cooldown dropped to three minutes.
Weapon loot pool and gun balance
Season six’s far-reaching adjustments will also extend to the weapon pool. Gun balance is seeing hefty changes, particularly with the R-99.
The R-99 is arguably the most popular SMG in Apex and Respawn opted to shift it to a care package weapon instead. The weapon will deal 12 damage per shot (instead of 11), have a mag size of 32, and carry a total of 160 bullets.
The move leaves a gap that can see the Volt SMG shine. The new energy SMG will be the flavor of the month for the season but can remain a popular pick depending on its performance.
The R-99s move into care package territory also frees up a new slot for a ground weapon: the Devotion LMG, one of the most lethal heavy weapons in Apex. The weapon’s move to the ground loot pool also means the return of the Turbocharger and the addition of Extended Energy Mags.
It’s in with the Turbocharger and out with the Precision Choke. The purple-rarity hop-up is no more and will instead be integrated into the two compatible weapons, the Triple Take and the Peacekeeper.
A wide range of weapons will also see some adjustments when the season hits: the Hemlok, Triple Take, Charge Rifle, Spitfire, Havoc, Mozambique, P2020, Sentinel, and Prowler will all experience some changes.
The P2020 and the Mozambique are more often used when there isn’t a better alternative. The Mozambique gained an extra shot in the chamber, to a total of four, while the P2020 got extra damage (15 instead of 13) and base mag size at the expense of damage multiplier with Hammerpoint Rounds. The two weapons are even more useful when dropping hot, especially with the updated armor system.
The Hemlok, Prowler, and Spitfire will get changes to their recoil, making them easier to control in most occasions. The Prowler’s automatic fire, however, will pack a bigger kick. The Havoc also saw changes to its handling with a new recoil pattern as the way to balance the rifle.
Snipers aren’t exempt from changes either. The Triple Take got a buff to its fire rate and magazine size, and benefits from the built-in Choke hop-up. Sniper Ammo will become easier to loot in matches. Each pickup will grant 12 shots instead of eight and ammo will stack at 24 shots instead of 16.
The Charge Rifle, however, will burn through more ammo. Each shot will consume two sniper rounds, but its base magazine size will double from four to eight shots.
If you want to try out the Devotion but can’t find a Turbocharger, the new crafting system could be a perfect solution. The new system lets players exchange Materials, a unique resource found in matches, to craft specific weapons, items, hop-ups, and even upgrade shields—depending on what’s part of the rotation.