A new season is finally here! Apex Legends welcomes its thirteenth season with a new legend, revamped Ranked system, and yes, a nerfed Kraber. These changes are the tip of the sea monster’s claw, because there’s a tidal wave of both welcomed and controversial shake-ups to the game’s core formula.
So, as Pathfinder would say, hold your breath if you have a respiratory system and let’s drop into the nitty-gritty details of Apex Legends’ Season 13: Saviors.
If you prefer more traditional hero shooters, here’s our article of Gundam Evolutuion vs Overwatch.
1. The Spitfire is back!
The menace has returned! The Spitfire has left the care package and returned to ground loot! In the past, even as far back as Titanfall 2, Respawn has struggled to balance this LMG and it returns with a whole bunch of nerfs to hopefully bring it in line with the other weapons.
- Spitfire back to floor loot
- Damage decreased from 19 to 18
- Purple & Gold Magazine capacity reduced from 55 to 50
- Crouched hipfire spread increased
- Removed barrel attachment slot
- Reduced headshot damage multiplier from 1.75 to 1.5
- Reduced headshot distance from 64m to 57m
- Increased reload time from 3.2 to 3.4
- Draw time increased to 0.8 from 0.7
- Holster time increased to 0.75 to 0.65
- Raise time increased to 0.65 from 0.55
- Lower time increased to 0.6 from 0.5
Despite these many nerfs, the Spitfire still feels like it’s competing with the Flatline and Wingman for “best heavy weapon.” Its large magazine, low recoil, and high damage-per-bullet makes it one of the best weapons in Season 13.
2. Reworked Ranked
Ranked has been reworked to reward teamwork and placement more than kills and strong solo play. Whenever any player on a team gets a kill, their entire team is rewarded with Rank Points (RP). Removing the kill cap also encourages teams to fight more, and teams are also rewarded more RP for being in the top ten surviving squads. This rewards teams for picking smart fights and figuring out how to live longer than the rest of the lobby instead of focusing on kills like in previous seasons.
- All players on a team get RP when a teammate gets a kill.
- Removed kill RP cap, but kills are worth fewer RP the more kills you get.
- Extended assist timer from 10 to 15 seconds.
- Tier demotions
- New ‘Rookie Tier’
The biggest change is the introduction of tier demotions. Previously, players couldn’t fall out of a rank tier. For example, players that reached a Gold Rank may have fluctuate between Gold 1 and Gold 4, but never dropped out of Gold. In Season 13, you’ll have to fight to keep your rank tier, because you might drop out of it if you don’t. if they do not perform well enough to keep their ranks.
3. Newcastle, who dis?
Apex Legends’ 13th season marks the release of the latest Legend, Newcastle. His strengths are similar to Gibraltar and Rampart in that he is able to create cover for his team on a moment’s notice. He also has access to an ability that’s similar to Lifeline’s old resurrection shield, allowing him to revive and protect teammates.
So far, Newcastle doesn’t appear to be replacing Gibraltar anytime soon. Creating destroyable cover that only protects your team from one direction isn’t as powerful as creating an indestructible bubble that covers your team from all directions. But Newcastle’s abilities have enough nuance to them to justify the Apex community taking their time to figure out what the optimal way to play him is.
His ultimate is capable of saving teammates or himself in a pinch, and players are still experimenting with how he performs in final ring fights where his abilities will be put to the test.
4. Rampart’s Amped Cover is more durable
Rampart has received some sizable buffs. Sheila now spins up faster, making Rampart more effective at area denial, and her Amped Cover now sets up faster and has more health while they set up. This is a fascinating buff since the former Lead Designer of Apex Legends, Daniel Klein, noted in a Reddit AMA that they had designed Rampart so she “can’t just throw [Amped Cover] down for instant cover in a firefight. She was crazy busted when she was able to do that.”
- Sheila spin-up time decreased from 1.75s to 1.25s
- Amped Cover deploy health increased from 45 to 120
- Amped Cover deploy time decreased from 4.25 to 3.6
These buffs suggest that point may no longer be a concern for the current development team. After all, Gibraltar and the new Legend, Newcastle, are both able to create instant cover in a firefight. Whether this buff is enough to increase Rampart’s low usage rate will be intriguing to see as the season develops.
5. The Kraber can no longer one-shot you
With the new helmet changes and nerfs to the Kraber’s damage output, the Kraber is now unable to one-shot players. The Kraber will only deal 189 damage to purple and gold helmets and 210 damage to a blue helmet. To survive a Kraber headshot, players need to have purple armor with purple/gold helmets, or red armor with a blue helmet.
- Kraber Headshot multiplier down from 3.0 to 2.0
- Kraber Damage reduced from 145 to 140
This leaves the Kraber in a strange place. One could argue that without one-shots, the Kraber becomes a useless weapon. However, the removal of one-shots also keeps Apex more fun since players won’t suddenly be knocked down without warning.
There is still a workaround to get that Kraber one-shot kill back: use the newly updated Rampart since she can buff the Kraber’s damage back to pre-nerf levels.
6. Helmets block more damage
Helmets are now far more useful than in previous seasons. Season 12 saw the rise of the Wingman as one of the best guns to use, and the dominance of Gibraltar and Caustic in the competitive scene and higher ranks. Season 13 looks like it will change things up by first making Fortified no longer protect against headshots. In exchange, the protection offered by helmets has been increased.
- The passive skill Fortified no longer reduces headshot damage.
- Blue helmet headshot damage reduction increased from 40% to 50%
- Purple helmet headshot damage reduction increased from 50% to 65%
This means weapons like the Wingman or Longbow will have to work a little harder in order to secure their knockdowns. Fortified Legends will also need to get a good helmet to protect their large heads. However, no other gun has been as heavily affected by these changes as the Kraber.
Need more action? Here’s our list of the Best Competitive Shooters in 2022 and our article about how Apex Legends’ new Control mode is the Chaos the Game Needed.