How Apex’s new level system will work

Players will have another 400 levels to grind through.

Image via Respawn Entertainment

Apex Legends developer Respawn Entertainment increased the level cap to 500 in a much-anticipated move yesterday. The measure will yield an additional 154 Apex Packs (yes, you read that correctly) to players who max out their character in the new system and will reward old users retroactively with loot boxes depending on their progression.

With the old level cap, players didn’t have much to look forward to after reaching level 100. They’d be rewarded with a once-off max-level badge and receive 600 legend tokens on every 18,000 XP gained. The currency can only be used to acquire new legends or re-roll daily challenges and it was easy to hoard more tokens than could be spent.

Starting Dec. 3, players will have much more incentive to continue playing. The increased level cap will provide more rewards than just legend tokens and allow for further character progression, including badges and weapon charms every 100 levels.

More Apex Packs

The new system will affect the rate at which players gain Apex packs. Players will gain a pack every level between two and 20, and one every two levels between 22 and 300. Between 305 and 500, the rewards will be given out every five levels like it used to be in the old system. The increased cap yields a grand total of 199 Apex Packs from leveling alone, 154 more than previously obtainable.

The extra packs from levels one to 100 will be redistributed retroactively. Players at max level will open up their game to find 14 Apex packs waiting for them and will continue to gain loot boxes every other level for the next 200 levels.

Get ready for the grind

All players who reached level 100 before the update will be placed exactly at that level, “even if they earned enough XP to take them past level 100 prior to this change,” Respawn said.

This measure provides players with an opportunity to grind for more Apex packs and cosmetics. The choice to level the playing field at 100 gives the more dedicated players another 400 levels to power through, getting a loot box every other level for the first 100.

To fill the Apex packs with more goodies, Respawn will also introduce 36 weapon charms inspired by popular legends and items.

The developer also reduced the total amount of XP necessary to reach level 100 by approximately five percent, so there’s no need to worry if your character is mysteriously bumped a few levels. The change is also positive for newcomers, who will get rewards more regularly.

What could this mean for Apex?

Apex’s growth has lulled. The battle royale’s meteoric ascension was marked by a record-shattering 50 million downloads in a single month. It took the game nearly eight months to conquer an additional 20 million players and its Twitch ratings are far from their peak.

Respawn has tried to periodically deliver content to the game. Each Battle Pass season so far presented the community with a new legend, new weapons, and cosmetics. Limited-time events, such as the Halloween-themed Fight or Fright and the sorely-missed Duos mode, were also frequent.

But the updates gave little incentive to veteran players to continue diving into King’s Canyon—and, more recently, World’s Edge. It’s easy to feel stagnated when there’s no reward other than the game itself.

The new level cap is a clear incentive for loyal players who already reached the 100-level milestone. The grind presents a new pastime with the promise of loot boxes every two levels, instead of getting none at all.

It also encourages old players to dive back into the fray. Parts of the community who felt that there was no reward for playing Apex anymore will find a reliable stream of Apex packs to chase. The allure of retroactively gaining loot boxes just for opening the game could be a hard one to resist. Players who left in the early seasons may be surprised by Apex’s more mature state, including its new map and the firing range.

Overall, this change will likely help the title’s retention by creating an incentive to continue playing—or, in some cases, to pick up from where they left off. It benefits all spheres of its fan base. Newcomers will have a faster progression and earn more loot, while veterans will have something to look for at the end of matches.

The update should drop on Dec. 3. Bonus loot boxes will be available “when you log in after the change is live,” according to a comment by Lee Horn, Respawn’s director of product management.