Respawn reverts “secret” Apex Legends SMG nerf targeting R-99, Volt, more

Andrew Highton
Volt in Apex Legends

Apex Legends players were stunned to log onto Season 12 and find an assortment of secret nerfs to their favorite SMGs like the R-99, Volt, Alternator, and Prowler. However, Respawn has confirmed the secret changes were “unintentional” and reverted them.

For the first few hours of Apex Legends Season 12, players felt like their sprays with the game’s SMG were wildly off the mark.

Only one, the Volt, got a mention in the patch notes though due to the fact it had been shifted to Care Packages in the February update.

Four guns were hit with secret nerfs in Season 12: the Volt, R-99, Prowler, and Alternator. However, Respawn has since reverted them within hours and apologized for the error.

legend using r99 in apex legends
The R-99 hipfire spray nerf has been reverted in Apex Legends Season 12.

Respawn apologizes for “unintentional” Apex Legends SMG nerfs

The changes, confirmed by data miner Shrugtal, saw three of the game’s SMGs get a significant hipfire spread nerf.

  • Standing: 1.0 -> 1.2 (+20%)
  • Running: 1.5 -> 1.7 (+13%)
  • Sprinting: 2.5 -> 2.7 (+8%)
  • Airborne: 3.5 -> 4.0 (+14%)

The Volt also did not get its promised magazine size buff in the update, remaining at 28 following the patch.

However, all the aforementioned has since been fixed. “We made some unintentional SMG hipfire changes with the launch of Defiance. We’ve just pushed out an Apex update to revert them back to their original values,” Respawn confirmed on February 9.

That doesn’t mean it’s the end for these changes though. SMGs like the Volt, Prowler, and R-99 have been mainstays in the Apex Legends meta due to their prowess in close quarters combat. Respawn could have been testing nerfs for these guns privately, but accidentally shipped the changes live.

For now, there’s no need to worry if you hunt for one of these guns off drop — just be mindful of potential nerfs in the future.

About The Author

Andrew Highton is a former Games Writer for Dexerto. He has a Creative Writing degree from Liverpool John Moores University and has previously written for games websites such as Twinfinite and Keengamer. With 13,000+ PlayStation Trophies to his name, Andrew is a fan of a huge variety of video games, his favourites being God of War and Metal Gear Solid. Contact him at, on Twitter @AndyHighton8 or at