Knockdown shields in Apex Legends can soak up valuable damage numbers when you’re down and a level four variant allows you to self-revive. An Apex player found another utility for knockdown shields, though: ricocheting bullets back at enemies.
A video posted on Reddit yesterday shows a trio sparring in the firing range. One of them is sniping their friends with the high-powered Kraber sniper rifle. After downing one of the players, they fired another shot. In a stroke of luck, it got deflected by the knockdown shield and flew back in the direction it came from, just inches above the sniper’s head. The deflection completely negated the projectile’s damage.
The cause of this occurrence is unknown for now. Players speculate that activating a knockdown shield grants a small window of time in which it can deflect bullets. Another video, posted in the past month, shows a similar scenario and seems to confirm that hypothesis. It’s unclear if it’s an intentional feature or if it’s just a bug, however.
It’s unlikely that the phenomenon can be exploited. Assuming it’s caused by activating the shield shortly after getting hit, the invulnerability window would likely be too small to be used consistently. It would only work against slow-firing weapons, such as the Kraber and possibly the Peacekeeper.
Other semi-automatic weapons, such as the G7 Scout or the Longbow, don’t have excessively long intervals between shots. The higher fire rate allows players to punish enemies who actively try to use their shields to deflect bullets.
By activating and deactivating their shield repeatedly, legends open a vulnerability window during which they don’t have any protective gear whatsoever. It can work with the slow-firing Kraber sniper rifle, but trying to exploit it against faster-firing weapons, such as the R-99 and the R-301, would likely lead to a certain death.