When Apex Legends launched in 2019, it came with a bunch of cool quality of life features that every battle royale under the sun has started to borrow. You’d be hard pressed to find a battle royale in 2022 without a respawn system or contextual ping, but Apex will soon be removing an influential kit item from its loot pool: self-revive.
Self-Revive is a self-explanatory ability that is only possible in Apex after picking up a Gold Knockdown Shield. The ability has been around since the beginning of Apex, but it’s only recently that the community sentiment has tended to be tamed. This is partly due to the launch of Apex’s revised ranked mode in Season 13, which changed the mode’s rating metrics and made its highest ranks harder to achieve. Now that all rank levels must increase rank points which can only be recovered by killing or staying alive longer than the majority of the server, self-reviving is worth its weight in gold.
The recoil from self-reviving was strong enough for Respawn’s designers to take notice. “Self-resolve comments are heard loud and clear” tweeted (opens in a new tab) Apex game designer John Larson in June. Some players were anticipating a nerf (opens in a new tab) to the Season 14 ability, but Respawn will take it a step further by completely removing self-revive and replacing it with something else.
In its place, Gold Knockdown Shields will inherit the Guardian Angel perk previously held by the Gold Backpack item. This means teammates revived with a Gold Knockdown Shield will now come back with more health and armor. Meanwhile, Gold Backpack is getting a new perk: Deep Pockets, which allows players to stack more large healing items in their backpacks (even two Phoenix Kits in one slot!).
As a once-casual Apex player, I’m torn by the change. Self-revive is a nice clutch perk, but it also takes a long time to get out of it without any means of defending itself, so I’m surprised to hear that its potency has gone rampant. By comparison, the self-revive version of Call of Duty: Warzone is fast-paced and far more boring. But I can also appreciate how self-reviving cheapens Apex’s combat. It can be disheartening to land an unlikely sniper shot just to see the downed enemy block your follow-up bullets with a golden shield, crawl behind a rock, and get back up. No self-revives will definitely make team play more important in solo queued matches. I wonder if games that followed Apex’s lead, such as PUBG and Warzone, will also re-evaluate the need for self-revive in the future.
In other Apex balancing moves, one of the best guns just got nerfed. The Wingman, a highly skilled revolver that hits as hard as a rifle, will now use Sniper ammo instead of heavy ammo, meaning ammo is more scarce and you can’t carry as much. I’ve seen particularly talented players tear up entire teams with this thing getting consistent headshots, so turning it into an Honorary Sniper Rifle makes sense to me.
Season 14 of Apex Legends arrives August 9 alongside a new hero, Vantage, and new Kings Canyon map changes.