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First APEX Legends balance patch released

Apex Legends

The first balancing patch for Apex Legends is out now, focusing on fixing some obviously overpowered abilities and weapons, as well addressing a handful of bugs.

The big focus on balance was trying to shakeup the current meta-game revolving around the Wingman and Peacekeeper combo. This pair of weapons was extremely powerful prior to this patch. It was impossible to avoid running into this pair of destruction in many games. Both of these weapons were nerfed yesterday.  The Wingman now has a reduced rate of fire, as does the Peacekeeper, making missed shots a bit more crucial and an easier mistake to exploit for players on the other side of this combination. The loot spawn rate for these items has also been adjusted to make them rarer. In essence, these games are slightly less powerful, but much harder to get. This should have the effect of forcing players to find new weapons to exploit for dominance.

Most of the bugs in this patch which were fixed are related to network code and other backend aspects of the game. There were a handful of disconnection issues which should now be solved. Respawn also fixed some problems with spectator mode and even solved a crash relating to reequipping attachments.

This balancing patch is currently live and will be auto-downloaded from Origin. You can find the full patch notes, as well as explanations from Respawn regarding some design changes and the decisions behind them, down below.

Apex Legends is currently out now for PS4, PC and Xbox One. The game has found surprisingly high levels of success since it’s launch this past February. The battle royale title from EA and Respawn has found huge player numbers, north of 50 million players in total, in less than a month. And as the game is poised to expand into China and possibly new platforms, that number is likely to explode.

APEX Legends First Balancing Patch Release Notes


Overall, we feel that the current weapons present solid options for a variety of gameplay styles. We’ve found that the Skullpiercer Wingman has been on the stronger end, but it’s designed to be a weapon with a higher skill ceiling. Our adjustments are attempting to move it more into the hand cannon space and away from full auto Deagle. We’ve also adjusted the rate of fire of the Peacekeeper with Shotgun Bolt attachment, so players will have a larger window of vulnerability if they miss their shot. Additionally, the scarcity of energy ammo and lower number of energy weapons overall has made those weapons difficult to main, so we’ve increased energy weapon and ammo availability.?


  • Wingman
    • Rate of fire reduced from 3.1 -> 2.6 shots per second.
    • Skullpiercer Headshot damage multiplier reduced from 2.5 -> 2.25
    • Increased base hip fire spread and decreased the rate at which hip fire spread decays (shrinks back down).
  • Peacekeeper
    • Shotgun Bolt rechamber rate has been reduced for the Peacekeeper only.
      • Level 1 mitigation 10% -> 7.5%
      • Level 2 mitigation 20% -> 13%
      • Level 3 mitigation 25% -> 16%
  • Wingman and Peacekeeper availability has been reduced in all zone tiers.
  • Increased availability of energy weapons & ammo in all zone tiers.


  • Fixed some script errors that we identified were occasionally causing disconnects during matches.
    • Caustic occasionally causing disconnects while throwing is Ultimate.
    • Pathfinder occasionally causing disconnects when activating a Survey Beacon.
    • Players occasionally causing disconnects when removing an attachment.
    • Gibraltar occasionally causing disconnects when pulling up his Gun Shield.
    • Players occasionally causing disconnects when entering Spectate Mode.

Last but not least, Respawn has announced that it will be adjusting the size of the large character hitboxes to better fit the model at the start of Season 1, and shared some additional details about some of the changes that will be coming to APEX Legends.


TL;DR Our goal is to be able to have characters with different rig sizes, hitboxes and ability kits, and still have each character be roughly equal in power level, win rate and viability of pick.?

For character balance, we look at a combination of things: pick rate, win rate, and character v. character matchup win rate among other metrics, and, of course, player feedback. The results between the 5 small and medium rig characters have been positive – they are all in a safe band of relatively equal power. Our large rig characters, however, are underpowered and their natural size appears to be a large contributor. We’re planning on adjusting the size of the large character hitboxes to better fit the model. If these changes are insufficient to bring these characters in line, we’re also considering a range of other changes such as natural damage reduction as well as individual kit power tweaks. Because many of these changes are significant, we want to make sure they are heavily tested before they go live, in the event they are necessary. Below is a quick overview on the roadmap of how we’re thinking about bringing large characters back in line.

Overall, we want to try to increase the power level of the large rig characters, before we consider large nerfs to everyone else. While we’ve made small adjustments, we’re hopeful that increasing the power of large rigs is healthier than nerfing everyone else.


Major balance changes:

  • Hit box size reductions and optimizations for Caustic, Pathfinder and Gibraltar
    • We’re better sizing hitboxes to character gear & model
    • Since these adjustments have a MAJOR impact on the game, we want to make sure there aren’t any major bugs, so we didn’t want to rush them out
    • If these adjustments prove to be insufficient, we’ll consider additional adjustments during Season 1?

Minor balance changes:

  • Caustic
    • Traps – Reduced cooldown to 25 seconds from 30 seconds
    • Traps – Increased radius and proximity radius by about 10%
    • Traps – Removed a 1 second delay on the smoke dealing damage to players
  • Pathfinder
    • Insider Knowledge – Increased the number of beacons in the world to 12 from 10
  • Lifeline
    • Care Package – Removed slight chance that level 4 armor and helmets will drop
  • Wraith
    • Into The Void – Cooldown increased from 20 -> 25 seconds
  • Bangalore
    • Double Time – Reduced move speed bonus to 30% from 40%
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