Apex Legends Update Will Soon Change Character Hit Boxes
Get excited, Gibraltar mains.
Apex Legends fans have complained since launch that the game's biggest characters are much easier to shoot than its smallest characters, making big folks a much less viable choice in matches. Developer Respawn Entertainment is listening, and on Reddit announced it is planning some balance changes for several characters that'll be in the game soon.
Respawn's Reddit post first detailed a new update that's now live in Apex Legends, which makes a few changes to the Wingman and Peacekeeper weapons. It also explained that the studio's approach to making balance-changing design alterations is to be cautious and make sure they're thoroughly tested when they go live. A few changes are part of the most recent update, but the ones that address character size and hit boxes are being held back until later this month, when they've been more-thoroughly vetted.
A "hit box" is the invisible area on a video game character that registers impacts; when a bullet hits a character inside the hit box, the character takes damage, but if a shot lands outside the box, the hit doesn't count. Big characters in Apex have similarly large hit boxes--Gibraltar has the largest one, followed by Caustic and Pathfinder. That means it's easier to hit them than smaller characters, but that's partially by design. Respawn means for those characters' larger surface area to be balanced by their abilities, so that all the characters in the game have roughly the same power, viability, and win rate.
Still, players have debated whether the hit boxes on the biggest characters are too big, and players testing hits have discovered that some hit boxes are a bit wonky. For instance, the robot Pathfinder's hit box is slightly larger than his actual character model, extending down between his legs a little lower than his actual frame.
Respawn wrote that it's making changes to those bigger characters. Caustic, Pathfinder, and Gibraltar are all getting their hit boxes sized down and better optimized to match their character models. Respawn also said it'll make further changes if necessary, but those could include powering up those characters' abilities, since messing with hit boxes are big adjustments that take players a long time to get used to.
Other characters are getting some minor tweaks as well. Both Wraith and Bangalore are getting their escape abilities reduced a bit. Bangalore's passive ability which increases her run speed while under fire, is being reduced from a 40% speed increase to 30%, and the cooldown on Wraith's Into The Void ability that makes her invulnerable is getting increased from 20 seconds to 25 seconds.
You can check out the full list of character balance changes below. One remaining question is when these changes will actually hit the game. Respawn hasn't announced just when Season One will start for Apex, and therefore it's not yet clear when the rebalancing update that goes with it will go live. Meanwhile, check out our character guides, which can help you make the most of all the Legends in Apex.
Major Balance Changes
- Hit box size reductions and optimizations for Caustic, Pathfinder and Gibraltar
- Respawn is better sizing hitboxes to character gear & model.
- Since these adjustments have a MAJOR impact on the game, Respawn wants to make sure there aren't any major bugs, so they didn’t want to rush them out.
If these adjustments prove to be insufficient, Respawn will consider additional adjustments during Season 1.
Minor balance changes
- Traps - Reduced cooldown to 25 seconds from 30 seconds
- Traps - Increased radius and proximity radius by about 10%
- Traps - Removed a 1 second delay on the smoke dealing damage to players
- Insider Knowledge - Increased the number of beacons in the world to 12 from 10
- Care Package - Removed slight chance that level 4 armor and helmets will drop
- Into The Void - Cooldown increased from 20 -> 25 seconds
- Double Time - Reduced move speed bonus to 30% from 40%