Apex Legends dev breaks down why Caustic is so hard to balance

Jacob Hale

With calls constantly growing for a Caustic nerf in Apex Legends, one dev has explained why he’s such a tough character to balance — so it sounds like we might be waiting a while longer.

Caustic’s abilities are incredibly frustrating to play against, making entering rooms or confined spaces almost impossible to navigate when he’s involved.

This is especially true when late into the game, with the ring closing and being forced into ever-smaller spaces.

Apex Legends players call for Caustic nerf

User AadrianN_ posted the clip below to Reddit, showing a ring that worked perfectly for Caustic’s gas grenade ult, leaving his opponent with absolutely no choice but to die. One player went on to ask what the counter would even be.

This is a question many have asked about the powerful character, but now we actually have a bit more insight into why a nerf isn’t coming quite as quickly as some would have hoped.

“Once you get to this exact situation, there isn’t one [a counter], and that f**king sucks,” explained lead game designer Daniel Klein. “We don’t exactly have a solution yet. Creating a shootable central thing for the ult, like Horizon, would work but it’s such a heavy handed fix (and would probably require us making barrels destructible post-trigger because otherwise they’re just better than the ult).”

“Caustic mains exist and deserve to have fun”

Klein expanded on his point by questioning what you can give Caustic in return to keep him balanced, before adding that “we can’t just make him an unpickable character either. You may not like them, but Caustic mains exist and deserve to have fun too.”

Respawn dev explains why it's so difficult to nerf caustic
Nerfing Caustic in Apex Legends is proving to be a difficult job for Respawn.

Klein’s points definitely make sense, and pose a huge issue for the devs as to the best way to nerf Caustic but not make him absolutely useless.

All in all, it seems like somewhat of a headache for both player and developer, but the folks at Respawn are clearly capable of making this work — it all just comes down to how best to do so.

Without doubt a Caustic nerf is due to arrive at some point, the biggest question right now is how exactly that looks.

About The Author

Jacob is Dexerto’s UK Editor and Call of Duty esports specialist. With a BA (Hons) in English Literature and Creative Writing, he previously worked as an Editor at Ginx TV. Jacob was nominated for Journalist of the Year at the 2023 Esports Awards. Contact: jacob.hale@dexerto.com.