With the February release of season 8 of Respawn Entertainment’s Apex Legends comes some significant changes to the popular battle royale game. The Legends return to an altered Kings Canyon, a new fighter joins their ranks, and many of the gunners have been tweaked in ways that players may or may not notice while dodging enemy fire.
By the end of 2020, it was clear to developers who the favorite Apex Legends were. Horizon had risen to the top five played characters in less than one season. Season 7 of Apex Legends gave players a top-tier character and Olympus’ brand-new map, so with the new year approaching and players excited for the next character, Apex Legends season 8 (known as Mayhem) had to be explosive.
As the Apex Games return to King’s Canyon, the legends are introduced to the grenadier gunman Fuse. Fuse’s inflated ego rivals that of Mirage, and his abilities are perhaps some of the most devastating in the entire Apex Legends game so far. The Australian Legend can carry double the grenades of any other player, shoot them farther, and can scorch the playing field with his powerful mortar launcher.
Eight of the other Legends were modified slightly with Mayhem’s debut. Those that prefer the speedster Octane, for instance, will notice a sizeable change to the way the launch pad works. Whereas before timing was key to pull off Octane’s super jump, Apex Legends season 8 simplifies the launchpad mechanics for everyone. Now, when players are in a crouched position, the launchpad’s spring will throw them lower and farther. From a standing position, players’ arc is much higher (similar to that of Octane’s old super jump). The change is a huge equalizer among the Legends.
Players can breathe easy that fan-favorite Wraith has no changes to her coveted abilities in Apex Legends. Her notoriously small hitbox, however, has been increased slightly to balance her with the other chracters. Rampart, the LMG-loving stationary defender, remains a much lesser used character since her arrival to the games. To boost her practicality in the heat of battle, her tactical walls’ HP has increased from 1 to 45 while building. Additionally, her signature gun Sheila’s range of motion has bumped from 120 degrees to 180.
The high-class thief Loba now has access to unopened Care Packages. Both her passive ‘Eye for Quality’ ability and her tactical Black Market Boutique have been granted access to this higher-tier loot, making her a stronger asset to any squad. Crypto’s tactical has been tweaked slightly as well. Players recently discovered the ability to stick arc stars to his drone to extend their range. Respawn has simply made sure that is no longer possible, making Fuse the sole grenade expert in the arena.
Both Caustic and Mirage have had interesting changes to somewhat opposite effects. Big, bad, & brilliant Caustic can no longer deal damage from the grave. The scientist’s gas now dissipates as his team dies, making him a new target to eliminate quickly. Meanwhile, Mirage’s decoys now make audible footsteps in Apex Legends, offering the trickster a notable new advantage when bamboozling predators.
Horizon’s season 7 debut was so successful that developers aren’t eager to weigh her down just yet. With Apex Legends season 8, Horizon’s Gravity Lift cooldown rate has been bumped 4 seconds and won’t begin counting until the lift disappears, but otherwise the Legend remains mostly unaltered for now.
Apex Legends: Mayhem also rings in the second anniversary of the Apex Games, and Respawn clearly isn’t out of ideas yet. Every chapter seems to top its predecessor as the game’s lore and popularity expands. So far, the season 8 changes have been an exciting shakeup, securing Apex Legends‘ seat at the top table of battle royale gaming.