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Apex Legends update (Season 3) - patch notes analysis for Season 3: Meltdown

Let's skip over the new map, new Legend and new weapon and get to the GOOD STUFF

Featured post Apex Legends update analysis Season 3

Wake up fellas, Apex Legends Season 3 has finally arrived! No doubt you’ll have read the full patch notes by now, but there’s a whole lot of really game-changing adjustments tucked away in this update, and in case you (like us) were too distracted by the shiny trio of a new Legend, new weapon and new map all in one update, we’ve gone through all the important need-to-know changes for Season 3 below in our Apex Legends update and patch notes analysis.

Apex Legends update analysis Season 3 - full patch notes

Apex Legends Season 3 update – full patch notes

Before we start; you know I just said “no doubt you’ll have read the full patch notes by now”? I’m sorry, that was a generalisation, I know. Here are the full Apex Legends Season 3 patch notes if you want to read them. Go on, go ahead. Just be sure to come back here once you’re done so we can talk about all this cool new stuff that’s arrived!

Apex Legends update analysis Season 3 - new World's Edge map

New map, new Legend, new weapon!

Far and away the highlights of this massive Apex Legends update are the addition of a new Legend, Crypto; a new weapon, the Charge Rifle; and a brand new map: World’s Edge. I’m not gonna take up your time by talking about these three, because we do that elsewhere (links just below!).

But suffice it to say that the new map, World’s Edge, is big, colourful, and creative as hell; Crypto is a game-changer who’s hella fun to play (if you can actually get into a match as him); and the Charge Rifle is a high-skill-ceiling sniper that is bound to rocket up to the top of the long-range meta… give or take a G7 Scout.

For full details and breakdowns on each of these fantastic new additions, please do check out our Apex Legends map and locations guide, our brand new Crypto guide, and our Charge Rifle guide for all your Apex Legends needs.

Apex Legends update analysis Season 3 - Battle Pass

New Apex Legends Season 3 Battle Pass

Alright, what else has been added to Apex Legends with the Season 3 update? Well, of course, there’s a new Battle Pass. It’s much the same as the previous Battle Pass, similarly jam-packed with Apex Pack unlocks, weapon and Legend skins, Crafting Materials, new Skydive emotes, and several exclusive Legendary skins – including one for the Longbow, called Reckoner, which you’ll unlock immediately upon purchasing the Season 3 Battle Pass.

Speaking of purchasing, the new Apex Battle Pass, as with previous Passes, can be purchased in-game under the Battle Pass tab in the main menu for 950 Apex Coins. Play enough and you’ll earn 1000 Apex Coins, fully refunding the cost (thanks, Fortnite!). You can also choose to purchase the Battle Pass Bundle for 2,800 Apex Coins, which will immediately unlock the first 25 Battle Pass levels and all their rewards for you. So that’s pretty sweet – provided you have the moolah.

Apex Legends update analysis Season 3 - Gibraltar buffed

Gibraltar buffs and character tweaks

Gibby is receiving some much-needed love – again. This poor hulking tank has been at the bottom of the meta pretty much ever since Apex Legends was first released; even after numerous minor tweaks and the addition of the Fortified passive to make up for his elephant-sized hitbox with some damage reduction, he’s still the least popular Legend out there.

Respawn are hoping to change this with some targeted buffs to the largest Legend. Gibraltar’s Defensive Bombardment Ultimate now has a significantly reduced cooldown (from 4.5 minutes to just 3 minutes), and while it lasts only 6 seconds instead of 8 now, he can throw it over a third again as far, allowing him to make the game-changing play without sacrificing his positioning.

But the main change is to his all-encompassing Dome of Protection; while the cooldown has been increased from 20 to 30 seconds, he can now throw it 60% further (what an arm Gibraltar has!) and – this is the most important bit – players in the Dome use healing items 25% faster. That’s like a localised Lifeline passive for all allies in the Dome. That’s fantastic, and I really hope it’s enough to get people to start taking Gibraltar seriously. But we need to remember that this change will likely also have the effect of making teams push very aggressively when they see the Dome being placed down, because now it’s essentially a beacon that says “this team is healing!”. We’ll see if the pros outweigh the cons with this change.

Aside from Gibraltar, we’ve only got minor balance tweaks to the various Legends; Bloodhound’s Ultimate makes them a little faster; Bangalore’s Ultimate now deals quite a bit more damage per explosion; Pathfinder’s Zipline now has a quite significantly increased cooldown. Oh, and Respawn have said that they’re looking into some targeted nerfs to Wraith in the future to bring her down a little from the top-tier spot she’s enjoyed for so long. So I’m excited to say what that entails.

Apex Legends update analysis Season 3 - Double Tap Hop Up

New Hop Ups: Anvil Receiver & Double Tap Trigger

According to Respawn, the magic number for Hop Ups is 6; they’re not happy with the idea of going beyond this, which is why for Season 3 they’ve rotated out the all-powerful and sought-after Disruptor Rounds and Skullpiercer Hop Ups in order to bring in two new and really quite fantastic Hop Ups.

The first is the Anvil Receiver: a gold-level Hop Up for the Flatline and the ever-popular R-301 Carbine – but it really shows that Respawn are trying to encourage more diversity in gunplay with this Season, because this Hop Up only affects the single-fire mode for these Assault Rifles, reducing their rate of fire and consuming double the ammo in order to fire bullets with significantly increased damage. With this Hop Up, the Carbine can basically double as a G7 Scout, and the Flatline as a Longbow. It’s a brilliant idea for a Hop Up, and I really hope the playerbase takes to it.

The other Hop Up is equally interesting: the Double Tap Trigger, a purple-level attachment purely for the G7 Scout and the EVA-8 Shotgun, which allows you to fire two shots in quick succession with every pull of the trigger. With both weapons this can be utterly devastating; the Scout has been climbing the weapons ladder with great success recently, especially with the Season 3 changes to the weapon (more on this in a moment!); and the EVA-8 has always been a powerful weapon that was sadly overshadowed by the Peacekeeper, so hopefully the ability to fire two shots quickly will even the tides. I’m very excited by any changes that will level the playing field of weapons a bit more and increase the chances of all six players in a fight carrying different weapons by choice, so these two Hop Ups definitely have me excited for this season.

Apex Legends update analysis Season 3 - new perks

Legendary Armor perk changes – Body Shield & Backpack

May not seem like much, but these little changes actually blew my mind. First: that Executioner Perk that was always attached to the Legendary Body Shield, and everyone agreed that it was pretty shite? Well, that effect is now something every player can enjoy. Finally there’s a proper reason for Executions and finishers: completing one will fully recharge your Shields, no matter what Body Shield you have equipped. Thirsting is gonna be even more of a thing this Season, apparently.

So what about the Legendary Body Shield? It’s only gone and been given the Backpack’s ludicrously powerful Fast Use perk (consumable items take half as long to use). That was what made the gold Backpack the most sought-after item in the game all this time, and now it’s been paired with the Gold Body Shield. It’s a great change, because the Gold Body Shield is now not only far and away the best item in the game, but it’s also a beacon of danger, because everyone who sees those gold numbers will want a piece of that Fast Use action.

Which leaves the gold Backpack with an all-new perk: Guardian Angel. This perk allows you to bestow downed teammates with extra health and shields (if they have armour) upon reviving them. So instead of spawning with 0 shields and 20 health, they’ll spawn with 50 shields and 70 health. It’s a dramatic but niche difference, and I like it a lot.

Apex Legends update analysis Season 3 - weapon changes

R-99, Prowler & Longbow nerfed; Scout & Hemlok buffed

Coinciding with the new map, which is both larger and more horizontal than King’s Canyon ever was, is more of an emphasis on long-range gunplay and sniping than ever before. Which is the reason, Respawn have explained, for the following gun stat alterations. The R-99 and the Prowler – two of the very best close-range weapons in the game – have been nerfed with some recoil randomness to your spray pattern while firing with them.

Ew, right?

I don’t particularly like any change that injects more RNG into a game – particularly a battle royale where RNG is already a large aspect. But I do concede that these two weapons really needed to be nerfed, because everyone was going around using them – particularly the R-99. That’s also why Respawn have further nerfed the R-99 with some reduced extended mag size (from 18/22/26/30 to 18/20/23/27). Now that’s a change I can appreciate a bit more.

What’s a little more surprising is that the Longbow has been nerfed as well. It now deals slightly less damage when hitting an enemy’s leg; and its rate of fire has been reduced a fair amount from 1.6 to 1.3 shots per second. That’s no small thing, and I think it’s enough to knock it off the top spot for snipers – especially now that we have the Charge Rifle. But wait! The humble and ever-loyal G7 Scout is loving this turn of events! Its base damage has been increased from 30 to 34 (read: shots to kill decreased from 4 to 3), and this coinciding with the new Double Tap Hop Up means the Scout is now a serious piece of business.

We’ve also seen a similar change to the burstalicious Hemlok, whose base damage has been increased from 18 to 22 – albeit with a slight decrease to fire rate in both burst-fire and single-shot modes. The L-Star LMG is now much easier to land your shots with thanks to a sizeable reduction in horizontal recoil (but it deals slightly less damage), and the Mozambique something something. You know, I lost interest when the Mozambique was mentioned.

Apex Legends update analysis Season 3 - quips and chatter

New Quips & Battle Chatter

On a less shooty-shooty note, Season 3 has also expanded the number of possible interactions players can have with one another. New Battle Chatter will have characters automatically call out when they’re being third-partied (and it seems to work pretty well so far, from what I’ve played); and we’ve also got new additions to the ping wheel for into and kill quips. Which, it’s important to note, nearby enemies can hear when you use them, so be careful – or use them to deliberately taunt your opponents when you know they’re nearby. That works too.

And with that, I think we’ve covered pretty much everything important with the monumental update that is Apex Legends Season 3! These patch notes are sure to make the game better in almost every respect than it’s ever been, and as such there’s never been a better time to up your skills to the next level with our series of Apex Legends guides! Check them out below!

Patch Notes, Seasons, & Modes
Apex Legends update & patch notesApex Legends Season 2Apex Legends Season 1
Apex Legends Solo ModeApex Legends Elite Queue
Legends & Abilities
Apex Legends characters
Weapons, Gear, & Equipment
Apex Legends guns & weaponsApex Legends loadoutApex Legends attachments
Apex Legends healing itemsApex Legends Armor and Gear
Map, Locations, & Loot
Apex Legends map and locationsApex Legends lootApex Legends Ring
Movement & Mobility
Apex Legends landingApex Legends basic movementApex Legends advanced movement
Apex Legends settingsApex Legends Ping/CommunicationApex Legends reviving
Apex Legends heirloomsApex Legends finishers/executionsApex Legends Nessie easter egg
Apex Legends Training Mode

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Ollie Toms

Guides Writer

Ollie is a staunch lover of words, games, and words about games. Some say he used to be quite good at Rocket League. His alter ego is an Excel spreadsheet and his favourite colour is tortelloni.

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