Apex Legends, the uber-popular slide-n-shooter battle royale from Titanfall devs Respawn, has just received its first proper balance update. The main intention of these changes was to nerf the Peacekeeper and Wingman weapons, which were overperforming just a scooch; but we’re also seeing one or two other interesting changes with this new update. Our Apex Legends update guide will break down all the recent (and all previous) patch notes, going into detail about the current state of Apex Legends at every level of play. So let’s dive in and see just how much these new changes will affect our time within King’s Canyon.
This patch notes guide is but one small section of our massive Apex Legends tips/guide series, which now features over 50 individual guides on everything from the various Apex Legends characters to stats on each of the Apex Legends weapons and types of Apex Legends loot on offer across King’s Canyon.
Apex Legends update guide (07 March patch notes)
We’ve got a fair amount to cover here with the recent balance changes introduced in the 07 March update. Click on any of the links below to be brought straight to the sections of Apex Legends patch notes that interest you.
Apex Legends Wingman nerf
The Wingman Pistol quickly grew to dominate nearly every match of Apex Legends, with its tremendous sniper-rifle-like damage, quick rate of fire, and remarkable accuracy and versatility (particularly when hip-firing). Respawn have addressed this with a series of nerfs to bring the gun more in line with the rest of the Apex Legends guns:
- Wingman availability has been reduced in all zone tiers.
- 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).
None of this is enough to knock the Wingman off the top spot for now, but it’s a good start. The Skullpiercer Headshot multiplier reduction and rate of fire decrease both have a marked effect on the gun’s DPS and TTK stats (both of which you can see in great detail on our Wingman page), and the hip fire accuracy nerf will serve to negate one of the gun’s biggest strengths (for those who didn’t know, Wingman hip-firing was startlingly accurate, and at close to medium ranges eliminated the need to spend time aiming down sights and reducing your field of view).
The aim, the devs have said, is to move the gun “more into the hand cannon space and away from full auto Deagle”; obviously this is talking more about the rate of fire nerf than anything else, and honestly I think the biggest nerf in this list has to be the hip fire spread increase. That one’s gonna hurt for a while for those of us who have learnt to dance for days while hip firing with the Wingman in close-quarters combat.
As you can see the Wingman’s overall rarity has also been increased, so finding one of these guns will be harder to come by. If anything, this shows that Respawn still want the Wingman to be at the top of the weapons power curve, and they’re not trying to nerf it to death; it just needs a few nudges like these in the right direction.
We’ve also seen a slight nerf to the Peacekeeper Shotgun, another of the top-tier weapons currently in Apex Legends – and, again, this change will to little to affect that. But they are still welcome nonetheless:
- Peacekeeper availability has been reduced in all zone tiers.
- 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%
The fire rate improvements brought about by the Shotgun Bolt attachment has been substantially lessened, which, as the devs explain, means “players will have a larger window of vulnerability if they miss their shot”. This serves to further augment the risk-reward nature of the slow-but-powerful Peacekeeper, which is certainly not a bad direction for the weapon to go in.
Shotgun Bolts are the only attachments in Apex Legends (apart from some of the unique Hop Ups) that flat out increase the DPS of the weapon, because it increase their rate of fire. This was just too much to ignore with the Peacekeeper, whose low fire rate was necessary in order to compensate for its stunning damage, ease of use, and excellent ammo efficiency. So this, like with the Wingman, is a good step in the right direction.
The thing about the Peacekeeper, however, is that it doesn’t need any attachments in order to be stunningly powerful, and this change will do nothing to affect that. But we’ll see how things progress with these new changes over the next week or two. For full details on the Peacekeeper Shotgun, check out our dedicated Peacekeeper guide.
Energy weapons buff
Another minor but welcome change relates to the prevalence (or lack thereof) of Energy weapons and ammo across King’s Canyon. Before, Energy Ammo was the most difficult ammunition to come by simply because there are fewer Energy weapons in the overall roster; and with two out of three Energy weapons (the Devotionand the Havoc) requiring vast amounts of ammo to use effectively over multiple encounters, this was beginning to become a problem.
With the new update, however, Respawn have increased the availability of Energy weapons and ammo in all loot zone tiers. So hopefully people with an itch to main the Devotion or Havoc (or Triple Take) will have an easier time finding and successfully using these weapons over the course of an entire match. And so far we’ve seen a very marked increase in the number of Energy weapons out there, so the change is utterly noticeable – so much so, in fact, that it seems a bit much for a class of weapon with just three inhabitants. Perhaps this means we’ll see a new gun coming soon with the arrival of Season 1 (the L-Star EMG, perhaps?).
I won’t spend much time here, but Respawn have also addressed some regular crashing issues that appear to have been tied to specific actions. Here are the exact patch notes:
- 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.
As time goes on we’ll move what’s on this page down here to make room for newer updates, so you can always find what you’re looking for very easily from this page.
And that’s pretty much everything for now! Hopefully you’ve emerged with a greater understanding of the changes that have been introduced with this new Apex Legends update. Keep checking back here for all the latest thoughts and facts about the current state of Respawn’s exceptional battle royale.
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