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Apex Legends Season 9: Everything we know

Apex Legends Season 9 Legacy
(Image credit: Respawn Entertainment )

Ready for Apex Legends Season 9? The Titanfall 2 free weekend has finished, and it won't be long followed by the next phase of Respawn's celebrated battle royale game. Which is fitting, considering that among the changes are a bunch of Titanfall-related goodies, so hopefully you've been doing your FPS research over the past few days.

But that's not all that's coming to Apex Legends Season 9 (aka Legacy): We're also getting a new Apex Legends character, and all sorts of changes to the Olympus map. We've broken down the headline features below, but here are the lengthy patch notes if you need them. So let's get into it, here's what you need to know about Valkyrie in Apex Legends, when the new season is coming out, and more.

Release date

When is the Apex Legends Season 9 release date?

It's official, Apex Legends Season 9 starts on May 4. Today, in other words. This gives you a couple of weeks to wrap up outstanding challenges and unlock the final tiers on Mayhem's battle pass. Previous seasons have launched on PC at around 10am PT/ 1pm ET/ 6pm BST, so this is a safe bet for Legacy's release time, but we'll keep an eye out for updates.

Battle pass

How much does the Apex Legends Season 9 battle pass cost?

The Season 9 battle pass shouldn't differ from previous seasons in terms of pricing and cosmetics. The standard Legacy battle pass will likely cost 950 Apex Coins ($9.99/£7.99). This usually includes a small selection of Legend and weapon skins to celebrate the launch of a fresh chapter.

Alternatively, you can part with 2,800 Apex Coins to claim all the goodies in the first 25 tiers of the battle pass immediately. The cheapest way to pick up the bundle is by purchasing 1,000 Apex Coins and 2,000 Apex Coins separately for a combined total of $29.98/£23.98.

In the new battle pass video above, you can grab a sneak peek of some of the new cosmetics you'll be grinding for such as skins, music packs, and loading screens, plus another look at the new legend, Valkyrie.

Trailer

Watch the Apex Legends Season 9 trailer

The latest Stories from the Outlands episode, Northstar gives us a good look at the new legend and a fleeting glance at her father, Viper, who you may remember from Titanfall 2. We also get to spend some more time with Kuben Blisk, another Titanfall mercenary who now headhunts new competitors for the Apex Games and frequently pops up in these shorts.

The video doesn't give too much information away, but it spends a fair amount of time focusing on Titanfall's mechs, showing us a memory in which Valkyrie took her father's for a spin.

The new legacy launch trailer is a lot longer, showing off more of Valkyrie against all the other legends. You can spot her tactical ability early on in the video too, a cluster missile that fires off in an area on the ground beneath her.

New legend: Valkyrie

Apex Legends new legend: Who is Kairi "Valkyrie" Imahara?

It looks like Valkyrie is going to be a force to be reckoned with. She had no problem tracking down Blisk and picking a fight with him, even though she ultimately accepts his invitation to join the Apex Games.

It's also clear that she wasn't afraid of taking a few risks in her younger days when she took Viper's titan for a joyride. From what we can tell, she's spent her life hoping to avenge her father, but she's keen to make a name for herself in the Outlands going forward.

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Apex Legends Valkyrie abilities

Respawn's titan-related teases had us hoping the next legend would hop into the cockpit of a giant robot, but Valkyrie's jetpack means she'll be incredibly mobile. And while she can't shoot while she's moving through the air, she can combine that mobility with her missile barrage tactical to dish out big damage. 

Check out Valkyrie's abilities below:

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

What's most interesting is her Ultimate. Being able to redeploy without relying on the balloons around the map could give Valkyrie and her squad the chance to hunt down a team in the distance quickly. It could also be useful for escaping the ring in later rounds where it deals considerably more damage, and you don't have a Heat Shield to hand.

Map changes

(Image credit: Respawn Entertainment )

What's happening to Olympus?

Last season, Kings Canyon received a bit of a makeover, but Legacy has its sights set on Olympus. A fleet of ships have made their way to Olympus, resulting in an infestation that has surfaced on Psamathe. The city has been strangled by the roots of some sort of parasitic plant. Considering Olympus is filled with neat lawns and cherry blossom tree-lined paths, this could twist the map into a botanic monstrosity. The lead ship, the Icarus has also docked with the city, which changes the landscape considerably.

New weapon

New weapon: Bocek

Apex has a healthy variety of guns split into several classes, but this is the first season where we'll get to test out a weapon that doesn't rely on bullets or laser beams to score kills. Season 9 will introduce the Bocek Bow, which Respawn has mentioned will be especially potent at medium ranges. This weapon will likely see a new pool of ammo added to the game as it uses arrows. Similar to other games, I'd expect it to be a one or two-shot killer at short-medium distances, but I'm interested to see how it fares at longer ranges.

New mode

Arenas, the new 3v3 mode

The new mode is a 3v3, round-based elimination mode, similar to Call of Duty's Gunfight mode, and it's already my favourite. According to the patch notes, "Squads start each round in a spawn room, where they can get weapons, gear, and abilities, and adjust their loadout as their strategy changes." 

It will launch with five maps—two originals and three that are based on existing battle royale maps:

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

We've been expecting a new mode for a while, and after a flurry of LTMs in Season 8, now feels like the perfect time to hop into a smaller, more intimate mode that moves away from the standard battle royale setting. 

While I love how Apex approaches battle royale, it would be great to have other modes to dip into when things feel a bit stale. Splitting the player base across playlists can introduce its own problems though, so we'll have to wait and see what happens.

Legend rebalancing

(Image credit: Respawn Entertainment)

Legend rebalancing

Lifeline 

Apex's resident medic, Lifeline is no stranger to reworks, and Season 9 will be tweaking her abilities once more. Removing the shield entirely sounds quite extreme, but it does feel a bit overpowered in its current state. Having the power to resurrect a buddy while you carry on fighting and being able to stand behind the shield to avoid incoming fire is a very good passive, compared to other legends. It'll be interesting to see whether this needs further tuning down the line.

  • 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

Horizon is also getting an update by way of a fairly substantial nerf to her popular Gravity lift tactical:

  • EGravity 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.

Eight legends are getting updates including Crypto, Bloodhound, Octane, Loba, Fuse, and Bangalore, though these aren't quite as impactful as those listed here. You can find the details in the official patch notes.

Starter Kits

(Image credit: Respawn Entertainment)

Starter Kits

If you're someone that struggles to find helmet, armor, and healing items once you've landed on the map, you'll be pleased to hear about the new Starter Kits. You'll start with all of that stuff automatically, though you'll still need to locate a firearm. 

A Starter Kit will contain:

  • Level 1 EVO Shield
  • Helmet
  • Knockdown Shield
  • Shield Cells x2
  • Two Syringes x2

Not too shabby—and it should take some of the sting out at the beginning of the match, and give you a bit of breathing room as you scramble to get your hands on a gun.

As PC Gamer's guides writer, Emma is usually juggling several games at once. She loves competitive first-person shooters like CS:GO and Call of Duty, but she always has time for a few rounds of Hearthstone. She's happiest when she's rescuing pugs in Spelunky 2.