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Apex Legends’ Season 16 update might actually make scan meta worse

The new Apex Legends update is packed with changes aimed at reducing the impact of scans, but the new class system might actually make the scan meta worse.

Apex Legends can meta beacon UAV: an image of Lifeline looking shocked from the battle royale FPS

It’s safe to say that Respawn Entertainment’s battle royale shooter Apex Legends is undergoing quite a few major changes in Season 16. From a completely new Apex Legends classes to Apex Legends’ Ranked playlist joining the map rotation, a lot of these changes seem like they’re going to make quite a positive difference to battle royale fans’ day-to-day gameplay. However, Respawn Entertainment is also tackling Apex Legends’ infamous scan meta in Season 16 and we’re just not totally sure the changes on the way are going to result in the undeniable improvement the developers are hoping to achieve.

As you might expect given the sheer dominance of the scan meta in Apex Legends’ latest season, Respawn Entertainment is nerfing both Seer and Bloodhound in the Season 16 update.

Saving all the specific details for the next set of Apex Legends patch notes, lead legend designer Devan McGuire has shared that Respawn Entertainment’s nerf is “aimed at reducing the overall frequency of scans in the game” without compromising each legends’ identity.

What does that translate into specifically? Well, McGuire shared that the cooldown and duration of Seer’s Exhibit ultimate ability are both going to be hit pretty hard alongside new alterations to Seer’s Heart Seeker heartbeat sensor; this unique passive ability is going to have an audible activation and an effective cooldown, meaning Seer mains won’t be able to spam it anymore. You can read more about the Apex Legends Season 16 Seer nerf right here.

In a similar fashion, Bloodhound’s Beast of the Hunt ultimate ability isn’t going to refresh or accelerate their scan anymore. Coupled with their new “White Raven” passive, McGuire explains that this change is Respawn Entertainment’s attempt at “shifting power away from their scan and back into their tracking fantasy”. We have more details on that interesting new Apex Legends Season 16 Bloodhound passive for you here.

Now, we know that all sounds like a little bit of a godsend for Apex Legends players getting sick of the scan meta, but Respawn Entertainment isn’t just leaving them without anything to fall back on. No, instead, Respawn Entertainment is using Apex Legends’ new and improved legend class system to introduce a larger scan mechanic akin to a UAV in Warzone 2 – something we can only imagine will make scans more effective in-game.

Characters sorted into Apex Legends’ new Recon class – which currently include Bloodhound, Seer, Crypto, and Vantage – will now be able to activate newly-modified Survey Beacons to trigger a Beacon Scan that will “reveal enemy positions on the map for about thirty seconds”, as explained by McGuire. We don’t know how big this Beacon Scan is going to be just yet but, from the images we were shown during the pre-release Revelry preview, it’s going to cover quite a lot of ground – if not the entire map.

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Recon legends won’t be able to use Survey Beacons to ascertain ring data anymore, though, if you’re looking for a silver lining in all this; that has been shifted to Controller legends: Caustic, Rampart, Catalyst, and Wattson. However, it’s hard not to see this new UAV-like feature as a huge boon to both Seer and Bloodhound – even if their individual scans are being limited somewhat. We’re not updating our Apex Legends tier list just yet, but expect some major changes going forward.

We know we think Apex Legends’ exclusive mobile characters need the console treatment, but we can’t help but wonder if bringing characters like Fade and Rhapsody into a world where Recon legends can keep you scanned for half a minute seems fair. But, whether it is or not, Apex Legends is one of the best battle royale games out there right now and we can’t wait to see how this new mechanic impacts everyone’s attempts at climbing the Apex Legends ranks. You have to imagine a late game Beacon Scan is going to be devastating.