Apex Legends Spellbound Update Patch Notes: Private Matches For All
There's more to next week's update than meets the eye, including the addition of private matches and a new set of special player challenges.
Apex Legends developer Respawn Entertainment just announced the next event to hit its award-winning battle royale: The Spellbound Collection Event will introduce a new cosmetic collection to the game (including a new Heirloom Weapon for Seer), alongside a free reward track.
But this new Collection Event is bringing more than just cosmetic goodies to the table--it's also introducing some serious gameplay tweaks. From rewards for spawning into in-progress matches to the ability to create private matches of your own, keep reading for a look at all the changes hitting Apex Legends when the Spellbound Collection Event launches.
The popular Control LTM is set to make another appearance when the event goes live on January 10, but the fan-favorite mode is getting a bit of a makeover first. For starters, the time period for a player to be sorted into an in-progress match has been increased, meaning there's less likelihood that your team will find itself significantly outnumbered by the enemy. Matchmaking will try to fill empty player slots until one team has a score of 625, or there is a 300-point score difference between teams.
But if you're groaning at the thought of getting tossed into an ongoing match, don't worry--as of the Spellbound update, joining an in-progress match now comes with a reward. Players who are sorted into an active match will skip the first spawn wave, spawn with purple armor (helmet included), and instantly gain a full Ratings Tier (read: purple weapons and a fully-charged ultimate). Additionally, all players now receive an extra 150 XP for simply completing a match, regardless of the outcome. Any teams who find themselves struggling will also get a little boost to help even the playing field: If a squad is losing by 62 points or more, they will also skip any spawn waves until the score changes.
During the event, Control will be played on the following maps:
- Storm Point: Barometer
- World's Edge: Lava Siphon
- Olympus: Hammond Labs
Control isn't the only aspect of the game facing some changes, however--while legends and weapons aren't getting too much attention in the upcoming patch, other features will be added or tweaked when the new event goes live. Among these, amusingly, is a fix for a long-standing Firing Range issue. The patch notes mention that when changing characters in the Firing Range, the transition between legends will be smoother. This presumably means that when a new legend is selected, the current legend will no longer drop dead and ragdoll like they've just been wasted in GTA Online.
Of course, more impactful changes are also on the way. The bug that causes Mobile Respawn Beacons to sometimes spawn an out-of-bounds dropship has been fixed, as have issues with ability previews when entering Wraith's portals. Problems Mirage's decoys were having when deployed too close to one of Wattson's Pylons have also been addressed.
The G7 Scout's damage has been reduced from 34 to 32, and it will be entering the Replicator along with the C.A.R. SMG. The Spitfire and Peacekeeper will return to the ground loot pool. Additionally, the Prowler (the weapon, not the bloodthirsty populace of Storm Point's PvE POIs) has had its damage output increased from 14 to 15, and the Sentinel now requires only one Shield cell to charge instead of two.
The update appears to be mainly devoted to quality-of-life changes. Smaller changes--like a reduction in the gas flash VFX from Caustic's barrels, and all doors now physically appearing damaged whenever they are one hit away from being destroyed--are among these tweaks which, though they are small, are sure to be appreciated by players. Even an issue with one of Bloodhound's skins failing to depict their raven as white is listed among the fixes in the upcoming patch.
One of the most interesting new features being added is a set of "Welcome Challenges." There are 10 Welcome Challenges in all, and they're meant to help new, unfamiliar players get their bearings in the game. Players who complete all 10 Welcome Challenges will earn the new Apex 101 banner badge.
It's possible that a previously datamined tutorial trailer may accompany the addition of these challenges, as the fully animated CGI trailer--complete with voiceovers from the legends' voice actors--appeared to be aimed at new players who may need a more in-depth introduction to the game than the current tutorial's offerings. But as with all datamined content, this should be taken with a grain of salt--it's always possible the trailer was scrapped entirely.
Another major change coming to Apex is the addition of private matches. Once the Spellbound Collection Event launches, all players will gain access to a new UI section where they can create their own private matches. Little else is currently known about this feature, but the recent developer blog post about the event claims that a FAQ regarding the new feature will be released closer to the Spellbound Collection's launch date.
There's one final change on the horizon, though it's not yet ready to be unveiled. Earlier this week, Respawn tweeted an image of a graph showing the result of tests the studio has been running on a new skill-based matchmaking system. Players have been vocally critical of Apex's lackluster matchmaking for ages, but the calls for change have increased in recent months, with many players complaining of unbalanced lobbies and begging the game's developer for "mercy." Respawn's tweet--which showed a massive increase in the number of kills the average player gets in a match under the new matchmaking system--was met with excitement and gratitude from the playerbase.
The Spellbound Collection Event begins next Tuesday, January 10, at 10 AM PT / 1 PM ET, and runs until January 24. You can learn more about the event via Respawn's blog post, or check out the full patch notes from the developers below:
- Join In Progress extended further into match ( Matchmaking will try to fill empty player slots until 1 team has a score of 625 or there is a score difference of 300 between the teams)
- Players that join a match in progress get some helpful boosts for their first spawn:
- Skip the first spawn wave
- Spawn with Purple Armor and Helmet
- Get a full Ratings Tier ( Purple Weapons and an Ultimate Charge)
- Added new end-of-match XP reward to Control (150 XP for completing a match).
- If a team is losing by a score of 62 or more, they skip spawn waves.
- Added Distance Indicator on the MRB in-world Icon.
- Added Time Remaining Indicator on the MRB spawn point Map Icon.
- Display a hint message when MRB placement is not possible explaining why placement is failing (too close to friendly or enemy Home Base, too close to a Zone).
- Bloodhound clues clean up after 30 secs instead of 90 secs.
- Clean up Bloodhound clues when the player that left them behind dies (except for the player death clue).
- Some more spawn tuning to further try to prevent players from spawning close to enemies.
- Set the Inventory Tab as the default ( instead of Scoreboard ) when accessing menus during gameplay.
- Updates to Loadouts in the Loadout Selection Menu based on Weapon Meta Changes
- Bug and Crash Fixes.
- G7 Scout enters the crafter
- C.A.R. SMG enters the crafter
- Spitfire returns to the floor
- Peacekeeper returns to the floor
Anvil Receiver Hop-Up
- Limb damage multiplier reduced to 0.75 (was 0.9)
- Flatline damage reduced to 39 (was 43)
- R301 damage reduced to 32 (was 35)
- Damage reduced to 32 (was 34)
Prowler Burst PDW
- Damage increased to 15 (was 14)
- Now requires 1 shield cell to Energize (was 2)
- Fixed mirage decoys not showing shield regen fx when near a Wattson Pylon or in Control or Gun Game modes.
- 10 new Welcome Challenges added to help new players learn Apex.
- New “Apex 101” badge reward for completing all 10 Welcome Challenges.
- Changing characters in the Firing Range now has a smoother third-person transition.
- Fixed rare issue with Mobile Respawn Beacon sometimes spawning the Dropship out of bounds.
- Fixed issue with ability previews when entering Phase Portals.
- Doors now always appear as damaged when they’re one melee attack away from being destroyed.
- Caustic Town Takeover loot canisters now behave more reliably in Control Mode.
- Reduced the VFX of Caustic’s gas flash.
- Fixed rare client crash with IMC Armories.
- Fixed the raven in Bloodhound’s Niflheim Hundr skin to appear as white more reliably.
- DirectX 12 beta: added support for the Brightness slider in all Display Modes.
- DirectX 12 beta: Fixed crash with setting.mat_backbuffer_count "0" in videoconfig.txt settings. Note that Apex Legends running in DirectX 11 (DX11) requires the operating system to use an additional buffer for compositing, which was not counted in mat_backbuffer_count. DX12 includes that required buffer in mat_backbuffer_count, so DX12 in full-screen mode with "1" will be just as low latency as DX11 with "0".
- Fixed issue where Crypto could inspect while using their drone removing the HUD.
- Fixed issue where the lobby tabs would enter an unresponsive state after changing resolution on PC.
- Adjusted hold and tap logic for controller players viewing weapons in Loadouts to be more responsive.
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