Apex Legends dev explains how they balance weapons and meta
Respawn developer Brent ‘Scriptacus’ McLeod has explained how the Apex Legends team tries to keep weapons balanced, the meta fresh, and not let lower-skilled players fall to the wayside in matches.
Like many of its battle royale competitors, Apex Legends is constantly being updated and filled with new content by Respawn Entertainment in order to keep fans engaged as well as freshening up the game.
The bigger changes that fans can usually find are new challenges, new cosmetics, and sometimes new weapons – though weapon balancing is a major part of every update. The developers react to what the community is saying about a particular weapon and then decides to either buff or nerf it.
McLeod, lead game designer on Apex Legends, gave fans a deep and insightful look into that process during conversations on the Apex Legends subreddit – revealing how the devs try to keep things fresh as well as fair for all skill levels.
He noted that many players will watch those that are pretty talented and constantly playing in order to get cues on what weapons, items, and characters to use. This usually means that things can get stale with only a few weapons and characters being used in higher skill matches – though the devs do try and prevent that.
“We do try to move the meta around each season with different hop-ups and various balance tweaks of course,” he said. “It’s difficult to push on skills too much, especially when a high skill ceiling is involved.” The dev pointed to the Charge Rifle being an example of how when a player got how to use it, it became incredibly powerful even if others hadn’t perfected it.
Aside from that particular example, he also noted how the changes have to fit all skill levels. “If it’s significant enough to move the needle and get lower skill players using it, it’ll be an absolute terror in the hands of a skilled pro,” he added.
The developer also explained that while fans of Apex would probably like to see a more predictable set of recoil patterns, the team is unlikely to remove any and all randomness from weapon recoil because it is a part of a shooter game after all.
If you’re looking to become a master of the recoil patterns in Apex, look no further than our spray pattern guide.