Respawn moved the Alternator to the care package to shake up Apex’s early-game meta—and because no one expected it

You can't use it to hold attachments for your R-301 in season 10.

Screengrab via Respawn Entertainment

Few people expected the Alternator to move into the care package with Apex Legends’ season 10. And although Respawn wanted to shake up the early-game meta, that surprise was one of the reasons why the developers implemented that change, according to game designer Eric Canavese.

“One of the big reasons we made that change is because nobody would expect that change,” Canavese told Dot Esports. “It’s a fun and exciting thing to do. Shaking up [the] meta is always something we’re always looking to do in a healthy way.”

Care package weapons usually come with significant firepower, a definition that doesn’t often appear alongside the Alternator. Additionally, the Alternator is a quintessential early-game weapon in Apex. Moving it to the care package is like sticking those two premises with an Arc Star.

“One of the biggest outcomes that we’re gonna see with the Alternator leaving the floor is early-game shake-ups,” Canavese said. The early-game meta “has been a little bit stale for a long time,” according to him, with the Alternator’s clear edge over other starting weapons like the RE-45, P2020, and Mozambique.

That spot—somewhere between the best of the worst and the worst of the best—makes the Alternator a viable choice for the early game and the first rounds of Arenas, where crafting materials are fairly limited. When season 10 launches, however, it will be locked behind supply drops instead of being available in the store and players will have to find something else to buy. The change will stir the meta in both modes.

The Alternator’s perceived lack of firepower is another reason why putting it into the care package was a surprising move. Crate weapons, such as the Kraber, are usually among the deadliest guns in the game, a description that doesn’t usually fit the Alternator. To give the SMG the extra firepower it needs, Respawn brought back an old hop-up: season’s two Disruptor Rounds.

“I’ve been looking to try to find a way to get Disruptor Rounds back in the game in a fun and healthy way again,” Canavese said. Putting it back in the game as floor loot is “probably not the right direction for that,” according to him, but locking it behind late-game packages is an option to bring it back in a limited capacity.

Disruptor Rounds will deal 40 percent more damage to targets’ shields in season 10, less than its season two form, and the hop-up might just give the Alternator the firepower it needs to earn its place in the care package. The high-pitched whizzing of Disruptor Rounds is sure to bring back memories, both good and bad, for season two players, when the hop-up appeared as floor loot.

The Alternator moves to the care package on Aug. 3 when Emergence drops.

Update 10:21 am CT: The season 10 patch notes showed that Disruptor Rounds will only deal 40 percent more damage to shields, less than its season two numbers. We’ve updated the article to reflect that information.