Apex Legends' Legacy patch notes are absolutely massive

valkyrie apex
(Image credit: Respawn Entertainment)

To me, Apex Legends is that battle royale game that I periodically get back into long enough to check out new heroes and remind myself how good it is. But taking a closer look at the upcoming Legacy update, complete with new legend Valkyrie and the 3v3 Arenas mode, this may just be the season that makes me stick around.

Legacy doesn't drop until Tuesday, May 4, but the exhaustive patch notes coming in with the update are live right now. Respawn is tweaking just about everything under the sun: weapons, starter loot, hero abilities, loot pools, and even the circle. It's a massive patch that will undoubtedly change the free-to-play battle royale game forever.

We've listed the biggest highlights below to look out for. For the full patch notes, head over here.

Valkyrie, the new legend

As much as I was hoping Respawn's titan-related teases meant the next legend would hop into the cockpit of a giant robot, Valkyrie's jetpack is pretty cool too. She can't shoot while she's soaring through the air, but she can combine that mobility with her missile barrage tactical to send big damage in a rectangular area. Her ultimate seems especially handy as the match goes on, allowing her and both teammates to fly high in the air and quickly reposition.

  • Passive: VTOL Jets
  • Tactical: Missile Swarm
  • Ultimate: Skyward dive
  • Class: Recon

Watch our video breakdown of Arenas mode above.

Arenas, the new 3v3 mode

That's right, Apex is no longer a battle royale game exclusively. Arenas is a 3v3, round-based elimination mode that sounds like Call of Duty's Gunfight mode and with a splash of CS:GO weapon economy.

Arenas is launching with five maps, two original to the mode and three based on areas from battle royale maps:

  • Party Crasher
  • Phase Runner
  • Artillery (King's Canyon)
  • Thermal Station (World's Edge)
  • Golden Gardens (Olympus)

Bocek, the new weapon

Pronounced "bow-check," Apex's latest weapon is its first ever bow. It comes with its own rare ammo type (arrows) that can be retrieved when stuck in objects or looted from fallen enemies. It's a powerful precision weapon, but you'll need a disciplined aim to be effective.

Starter kits

apex legends

(Image credit: Respawn Entertainment)

Gone are the days of landing on the map and immediately scrambling to find a helmet, armor, and healing items. You'll start with all that automatically now, but you'll still have to find a gun on your own. Come on, Respawn, not even a pistol? I thought Call of Duty: Warzone solved this problem.

Legend balancing

A total of eight legends are getting significant updates in Legacy, including Octane, Crypto, Bloodhound, Loba, Fuse, and Bangalore. You can see the full rundown in the official patch notes, but the biggest changes by far arrive with Lifeline's rework and a significant nerf to Horizon's popular Gravity Lift tactical.

Lifeline rework

  • 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.

Horizon nerf

  • 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.

There are a few other fun tidbits, like how every legend now has emotes that you can trigger in-game. Every character gets a basic emote that mimics the introduction action you usually see when you select them at the start of a match, but Respawn will start offering premium options soon enough.

If you're wondering how all these radical changes feel in action, our resident Apex-pert Emma went hands-on with the Legacy update last week (spoilers: she really likes Arenas mode). 

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.