Apex Legends patch notes: what’s new in Season 9 and Arenas

Here are the latest Apex Legends patch notes, updates, and changes

Six Apex Legends characters stand around a big blue portal

Apex Legends is a live service game, which naturally means it’s always getting updated. Whether it’s a new season, a new character, a new map, or just some subtle changes to weapon damage and fixing bugs, the developers at Respawn usually keep us in the loop with what’s changed.

If you’re new to the battle royale game – or just want to check what’s changed after an update – then you’re in the right place. We’ve rounded up all the latest Apex Legends patch notes so you can check out what’s changed and what’s new in the competitive FPS game.

Apex Legends usually pushes out a big update at the start of a new season – that’s when they’ll reveal all the abilities of a new character or add an entirely new map – but each season is punctuated by more, smaller updates that we’ll also keep you up to speed with. Changes big or small will keep things feeling fresh, and future patch notes might give us a glimpse into Apex Legends Arena mode as the game moves into formats different from battle royale.

The last big update was the Chaos Theory Collection Event, which saw Caustic takeover Water Treatment and suffer a big nerf.

Apex Legends Season 9: Legacy and Arenas patch notes

We’ve finally got the Apex Legends Season 9: Legacy patch notes, but before we dig into them, we’ve covered three large sections of the update in the following guides:

Various pieces of armour in Apex Legends against a black background

Starter kit

The biggest change for Season 9 is that every player starts the match with a level one helmet, armour, and knockdown shield equipped, as well as two shield cells and two syringes. Furthermore, level one helmets and knockdown shields will no longer be found in the loot pool, and level one EVO shields will be less likely to spawn.

This change limits the battle royale’s RNG, especially in the early stages of matches, and seems to be inspired to the players’ positive reaction to the Locked and Loaded LTM.


Emotes have been available when you’re dropping into matches or repositioning via a balloon before now – showcasing characters’ personalities while you’re skydiving. However, Season 9 brings floor emotes to the party, starting with three for each character.

Lifeline resurrects Bloodhound in a rocky chasm

Legend updates

There have been a few buffs and nerfs this season, and we’ve updated our Apex Legends tier list accordingly – although it will likely change once we’ve had more of a chance to play with every character.


  • Combat Revive: No longer deploys a shield. Can now revive two players at the same time. Can now cancel active revives in progress to allow your teammate to defend themselves with their knockdown shield
  • D.O.C. Heal Drone: Heal rate increased from 5hp per second to 8hp per second. Deployment time before healing begins reduced by roughly 33%
  • Care Package: Cooldown reduced from 6 minutes to 5 minutes. Now guarantees an upgrade (if possible) in three categories: Body Shield, Other Equipment (Helmet, Backpack, and Knockdown Shield), and Weapon Attachment, based on your team’s current gear when the Package arrives



  • Stim: Reduced cooldown between stims from 4s to 1s. Increased health cost from 12hp to 20hp
  • Increased bullet spread while in the air and shooting from the low Launch Pad trajectory



  • Burglar’s Best Friend: Can now run and slide at full speed while aiming the bracelet and while the bracelet is in the air. Loba will no longer be slowed after translocating
  • Fixed a lot of bugs that caused bracelet tosses to fail
  • Black Market Boutique: Increased cooldown from 90s to 120s



  • Gravity Lift: Reduced lift speed by 30%. Reduced side-to-side acceleration. Limited the time you can sit at the top of Gravity Lift to 2 seconds. Increased cooldown from 15s to 20s
  • Horizon’s abilities will now get zapped by Wattson pylons


  • Knuckle Cluster: Fuse now has two stacks of Knuckle Cluster. Reduced cooldown from 25s to 20s


  • Smoke Launcher: Thickened Bangalore’s smoke


  • No longer receives assists from Eye of the Allfather


  • Crypto’s drone can now scan and open care packages
  • Can no longer use his drone to “hijack” a respawn beacon that’s already in use

WEapon updates

There are a lot of weapon changes this season, including a change to care packages and a whole new class.

Marksman category

Four weapons have moved to the Marksman category, which sits in between snipers and assault rifles. These weapons are the Bocek Bow, G7 Scout, Triple Take, and 30-30 Repeater.

These weapons now allow players to move slightly faster than before when aiming down sights, and hipfire spread has been made more consistent.

Supply Drops

The Triple Take has been moved to Supply Drops, and the Peacekeeper has moved to ground loot. Both have slightly different profiles to reflect this, which you can check out below. However, as a way of balancing two long-range weapons in Supply Drops, the Kraber will spawn less often in the early game and more often in the mid game.

A player inspect a sleek, white R-99 SMG in front of a desert background

Fully kitted weapons

The new fully kitted weapons that you can find as floor loot are the Bocek Bow, Hemlok, R-99, Sentinel, and Wingman. The previous weapons will no longer be found fully kitted.

Hop ups

  • Shatter Caps – Fire select to toggle between standard mode and shatter mode. In shatter mode, rounds split into a blast pattern on firing. This hop up will be equipable to the 30-30 Repeater and the Bocek
  • Deadeye’s Tempo – Firing at the perfect moment increases fire rate. This can currently be attached to the Sentinel and the Bocek
  • To make room, the Hammerpoint and Skullpiercer hop ups are being vaulted for now, and won’t be available

Read more: Apex Legends weapons tier list

Assault rifles

All assault rifles have had their headshot multiplier reduced from 2.0 to 1.75.


  • It comes with the Precision Choke by default, which can be toggled off
  • Pellet damage reduced from 10 to 9
  • Rechamber time increased from 0.9 seconds to 1.1 seconds
  • Reload times increased (regular from 2.45 to 2.5, empty from 3.35 to 3.5)
  • Pellet spread increased in general, and spread when charged increased for all charge levels (from 0.65/0.45/0.2 to 0.85/0.65/0.35)
  • Quickly loses charge after leaving ADS

A blue metallic Triple Take sniper rifle in front of a desert background

Triple Take

  • As a crate weapon, it will come with a 9 ammo clip and 63 reserve ammo
  • Fire rate increased from 1.2 to 1.3
  • Time to full charge reduced from 1.1 seconds to 1 second
  • Retains charge briefly after leaving ADS
  • Move-speed while aiming down sights has been increased to match other marksman weapons — faster than snipers, slower than ARs
  • Increased spread while airborne and aiming down sights


  • Increased recoil controllability early in the pattern


  • Reduced recoil controllability early in the pattern

30-30 Repeater

  • Increased leg damage multiplier from 0.75 to 0.85
  • Move-speed while aiming down sights has been increased to match other marksman weapons – faster than snipers, slower than ARs

G7 Scout

  • Move-speed while aiming down sights has been increased to match other marksman weapons — faster than snipers, slower than ARs
  • Increased hipfire spread size (reduced accuracy) to be more in line with other marksman weapons


  • Increased headshot multiplier from 2.0 to 2.15


  • Increased headshot multiplier from 2.0 to 2.15


  • Increased magazine capacity from 4 to 6
  • Moved the lower 2 pellets inward in the blast pattern



  • Increased bullet damage from 15 to 18
  • Lowered fire rate from 8.5 to 6.25

Arc Stars

  • Aim and movement slow removed from the initial stick

Wattson revives an ally under a bright orange dome that is a Heat Shield

Ring update

The timings of when rings start closing has also been changed this season:

  • Ring 4 pre-shrink time reduced from 2:00 to 1:45
  • Ring 4 shrink speed reduced from 33 second close time to 40 seconds
  • Ring 5 shrink speed reduced from 20 second close time to 40 seconds
  • Ring 6 pre-shrink time reduced from 1:30 to 1:00
  • Ring 6 shrink speed reduced from 1:40 close time to 2:00

For a complete list of bug fixes and quality of life updates, you can check out the Respawn blog.

Caustic's noxious gas has leaked into Apex Legends' iconic Water Treatment area





Apex Legends patch notes: Chaos Theory

Caustic Town Takeover

Anyone who has been landing towards the south of Kings Canyon since the Chaos Theory update will have smelled something foul. That’s because Caustic has flooded the Water Treatment POI with his deadly Nox Gas, and imaginatively called it Caustic Treatment.

For the Apex loreheads out there (myself included), this is where Caustic was planning on unleashing his Nox Gas on the population of Solace City, who would be unwitting test subjects in his deadly experiments. For those just interested in playing the game, this is where you can find a bunch of reasonably good loot hidden among the toxic waste. It’s already quite a popular drop spot, however, so beware of enemy teams when landing.

Apex Legends

New inventory slot

The March 2021 Apex Legends patch notes also explain the new inventory slot and what it can be used for. The Survival Slot can hold your Mobile Respawn Beacons and the new Heat Shields, meaning they don’t take up valuable inventory space that could be better used to hold Arc Stars or Shield Batteries.

The Heat Shield is new, too. This piece of kit works like Gibraltar’s Dome Shield, but protects you from taking ring damage instead of incoming fire. It’s a handy addition to the game for late rotations or resurrecting a teammate at an inopportune moment – and now doesn’t waste a precious inventory slot.

No-fill matchmaking

If you’re a solo player and fancy yourself as a Shivam ‘ShivFPS’ Patel-esque solo queue goat, then unchecking this new box in the lobby might be your best friend.

Unchecking the ‘auto-fill matchmaking’ box means that you won’t be joined by any teammates in the game. This may seem like a bad thing – and it undeniably will put you at a disadvantage – but if you want to flex your solo skills against full squads, then this new addition is the way forward.

Caustic wears a monocle and hat, surrounded by green noxious gas

Legend updates

There were quite a few changes to the characters in this update – but don’t worry, we updated our Apex Legends tier list and dropped Caustic a few tiers as a result.


  • Nox Gas Grenade cooldown increased from 2.5 minutes to 3.5 minutes
  • Nox Gas damages at a flat rate of five HP per tick instead of ramping up from six HP to 12 HP


  • Removed Low Profile


  • Removed 15% faster heal item usage while in Dome of Protection
  • Damaging a Gibraltar’s Gun Shield now counts as damage towards Evo Shield and stats
  • Damage that exceeds the Gun Shield’s 50hp will now bleed through to damage Gibraltar

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  • Increased Black Hole cooldown from two minutes to three minutes
  • Default finisher now has more frames from 141 (4.21 sec) to 180 (6.0 Sec). This change brings the completion time for Horizon’s finisher more into line with other Legends’ finishers


  • Revenant’s Silence now disables Mirage’s cloaked revive & respawn as well as Octane’s Swift Mend


  • Wattson now has passive shield regen at 0.5 hp/s (half of Octane’s current health regen rate)


  • Explosives damage Amped Cover normally, instead of inflicting 200 damage
  • Explosives damage Sheila normally, instead of inflicting 175 damage

Our recommendation is still just to use the characters that you enjoy playing with, but if you want to make some progress up the Apex Legends ranks, then maybe picking one of the top options will do you best.

Wingman pistol in front of a desert background

Weapon changes

Although our Apex Legends weapons tier list remains largely unchanged, the Mastiff has been knocked down a few places thanks to a nerf in this update.


  • Pellet damage decreased from 13 – 11
  • Fire rate increased from 1.0 – 1.1


  • Plus one bullet to every magazine size, including base


  • Increased hip-fire spread

If you want a full round-up of various bug fixes and quality of life changes, then head over to the Respawn blog for the full patch notes.

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