After popularizing self-revive in battle royale, Apex Legends is getting rid of it

Bloodhound holds a sniper rifle
(Image credit: EA)

When Apex Legends launched in 2019, it came with a bunch of cool quality-of-life features that every battle royale under the sun started borrowing. You'd be hard pressed to find a battle royale in 2022 without a respawn system or contextual pinging, but Apex will soon drop one influential piece of kit 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 Apex's start, but only recently has community sentiment trended toward it being overpowered. This is due in part to the launch of Apex's overhauled Ranked mode in Season 13, which rejiggered the mode's scoring metrics and made its highest ranks harder to achieve. Now that all ranking tiers have to ante up ranked points that can only be regained by getting kills or staying alive longer than the majority of the server, self-revive is worth its weight in gold.

The pushback on self-revive has been loud enough for Respawn designers to take notice. "Self-rez feedback heard loud and clear," tweeted Apex game designer John Larson in June. Some players anticipated a nerf to the ability in Season 14, but Respawn will take it a step further by completely removing self-revive and replacing it with something else.

See more

In its place, Gold Knockdown Shields will inherit the Guardian Angel perk previously held by the Gold Backpack item. That means teammates revived with a Gold Knockdown Shield will now come back with more health and armor. Meanwhile, Gold Backpack gets a new perk: Deep Pockets, which lets players stack more large healing items in their backpacks (even two Phoenix Kits in one slot!).

As a once-casual Apex player, I'm of two minds about the change. Self-revive is a pretty clutch perk, but it also takes a long time to pull off with zero means to defend yourself, so I'm surprised to hear its power has gone rampant. By comparison, Call of Duty: Warzone's version of self-revive is quick and way more annoying. But I can also appreciate how self-revive cheapens Apex's combat. It can be disheartening to land an unlikely sniper shot just to watch the downed enemy block your followup bullets with a golden shield, crawl behind a rock, and pick themselves back up. No self-revive will definitely make teamplay more important in solo queue matches. I do wonder if games that followed Apex's lead, such as PUBG and Warzone, will also reevaluate the need for self-revive in the future.

In other Apex balancing moves, one of the best guns just got nerfed. The Wingman, a high-skill revolver that hits as hard as a rifle, will now use Sniper ammo instead of Heavy ammo, meaning ammo is rarer and you can't carry as much of it. I've seen particularly skilled players tear apart entire squads with this thing by landing consistent headshots, so graduating it to honorary sniper rifle makes sense to me.

Apex Legends Season 14 arrives on August 9 alongside a new hero, Vantage, and new Kings Canyon map changes.

Morgan Park
Staff Writer

Morgan has been writing for PC Gamer since 2018, first as a freelancer and currently as a staff writer. He has also appeared on Polygon, Kotaku, Fanbyte, and PCGamesN. Before freelancing, he spent most of high school and all of college writing at small gaming sites that didn't pay him. He's very happy to have a real job now. Morgan is a beat writer following the latest and greatest shooters and the communities that play them. He also writes general news, reviews, features, the occasional guide, and bad jokes in Slack. Twist his arm, and he'll even write about a boring strategy game. Please don't, though.