Pathfinder Grapple “buff” in Apex Legends is actually a nerf
After months of waiting, Pathfinder mains were excited to try out his new and improved grapple in Apex Legends, following the Aftermarket update. But, it turns out that it wasn’t actually an improvement at all.
Pathfinder’s grapple previously had a much shorter cooldown, only 15 seconds. This meant that in any given engagement, Pathfinder would likely be able to shoot his grapple multiple times.
This was eventually deemed too strong, and the cooldown was increased to 35 seconds, essentially reducing it to one use per engagement (unless it’s a particularly long firefight).
Immediately, Pathfinder mains complained that this was far too long a cooldown, and the character’s pick rate plummeted in Season 5.
Respawn confirmed ahead of the Aftermarket event that Pathfinder would be getting some “love” in the update, and it certainly was a big change. Whether it was “love” or not, is now up for debate though.
Pathfinder’s grapple cooldown now depends on how far the player grapples. A shorter distance = a shorter cooldown. In the patch notes, Respawn explained: “the maximum cooldown is still 35s, but you’re going to have to swing a very long distance to get there.”
This was actually a suggestion that came from Reddit. But, back on Reddit after the update, players are not totally convinced this is really a buff at all, as demonstrated by u/laughie1:
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As demonstrated, this rather small distance pre-patch, would result in the standard 35 second cooldown. But, the Cooldown began immediately after the grapple was launched.
Post-patch, 1) the cooldown doesn’t begin until the player lands, and 2) the timer for the length of the grapple continues to increase even after the grapple has disconnected.
As the player explains, “If you get the cooldown to 35 seconds, the countdown starts when you hit the ground, not when you first grapple, basically making your grapple cooldown 4-5 seconds longer then before the “buff”.”
To make matters worse, if you land into a slide, the timer will continue to hold at 35 seconds, and won’t start counting down until you stop sliding.
It’s not clear if this functionality was intended by the developers. They’ve already identified and are working on a fix for a visual bug related to the grapple, but this issue seems to be hard-coded into the new design of the cooldown system.