Apex Legends nerfs assault rifles in Season 16 with R-301 hit hardest

R-301 AR on Broken Moon Apex Legends backgroundRespawn Entertainment

Apex Legends Season 16 will nerf assault rifles as a weapon class, with the historically dominant R-301 being weakened most significantly by Respawn Entertainment. 

As is the case with most battle royales, the weapon pool has to be balanced and varied to allow different playstyles to flourish.

That rings true with Apex Legends, even if trusted weapons have a habit of rising to the top of the meta each season. 

Thanks to their versatility, assault rifles have long been some of the most popular guns in Apex, with weapons like the Havoc, R-301, and VK-47 Flatline regularly picked up and equipped by players of all standards. 

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That looks set to change in Season 16, though. 

Apex Legends Season 16 nerfs all assault rifles

With the new season, which promises a host of balancing changes, assault rifles across the board will be nerfed.

This will be in the form of a hip fire accuracy decrease, so it will be harder for players to hit their shots before they are aiming down sight. Given ARs slower draw speeds, it will be a boost to players who generally rock SMGs. 

Not only will the perpetually popular R-301 be affected by the hip fire nerf, but it will also see its damage decreased. 

Where it previously did 14 damage per shot, it will now only do 13. With players in Apex having 100 HP as a base (up to 250 with armor) it could mean an extra few shots to kill.

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R-301 Apex Legends skinRespawn Entertainment
The R-301 has long dominated Apex Legends’ weapon pool.

In short, the R-301’s dominance might be at an end, especially with the new Nemesis burst-fire AR shaking up the weapon class as well. 

The nerfs may be unpopular with some R-301 mains, but they fit with Respawn’s wider aim to make Season 16 a meta-defining campaign in the game’s history. 

You can check out our updated Apex Legends weapon tier list here, so you know exactly what to pick up when you’re in the thick of it.