Pathfinder rework: Apex Legends grapple & hitbox changes explained

Isaac McIntyre
Pathfinder standing in front of Apex Legends Season 7 logo.Respawn Entertainment

Respawn has finally handed Pathfinder long-awaited buffs and changes in the Apex Legends Season 7 update, targeting the Forward Scout’s grappling hook and hitbox ⁠— here’s what it all means for the popular Legend.

Pathfinder has been in an interesting place over the last few seasons, flipping between the leading Legend in the game, to a mid-tier pick at best.

After taking control on top of the Apex Legends meta, Respawn bumped the Forward Scout’s power down slightly in patch 6.0 by dramatically hiking up his grappling hook cooldown.

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The Season 6 nerf ⁠— which boosted the grapple cooldown all the way up to 35 seconds per use ⁠— saw Pathfinder dip drastically in both win and play rates across Apex’s last season.

In response, Respawn has dropped two new Pathfinder changes.

Here’s what the Apex Legends Season 7 update means for Pathfinder, how it may bring the Forward Scout back into the meta, and what plans Respawn has for the loveable robot just in case he still struggles heading into ‘Ascension.’

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Pathfinder flying across screen with grapple hook.Respawn Entertainment
Apex’s loveable robot could be flying back to the top of the meta with these changes.

Pathfinder grapple buff: what it means

Pathfinder has been handed a number of small buffs for his iconic Grappling Hook ability in the Season 7 update. These include a five-second drop in the cooldown ⁠— now 30 seconds, down from 35 seconds ⁠— as well as an earlier “endpoint.”

Apex Legends players using the grapple will no longer need to hit the ground in order to have the hook “finish”. The hook’s end range has also been increased to 500 units/second.

“In 6.1, we shipped a very conservative version of this Pathfinder change,” the Respawn devs said in the ‘Ascension’ patch notes. “This didn’t meaningfully affect his win rate… we will now ship a much more aggressive version of the changelist.”

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This time around, this grappling hook buff should help Pathfinder a lot. The “aggressive” tweaks to both cooldown numbers, and ability end range will give all Forward Scouts one huge bump in combat power, and overall maneuverability.

Respawn also wanted to make sure Pathfinder players “weren’t punished for chaining grappling hooks perfectly into other movement mechanics,” which should be the end result of these Nov. 4 balance changes for the happy simulacrum.

EA.Respawn Entertainment
Pathfinder got two major changes in the Apex Legends Season 7 update.

Pathfinder hitbox rework: what it means

The grappling hook changes are a straight buff, but Pathfinder is also getting what could be considered a nerf too; his hitbox will be bulked up slightly in the Season 7 update coming on Nov. 3.

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The reason this is a nerf for the Forward Scout is because Respawn has decided to keep the “Low Profile” status on him too. That means he’ll get hit more often ⁠— because of the bigger hitbox ⁠— but still take 20% more damage for his size.

Before and after comparison of Pathfinder’s hitboxes.Respawn Entertainment
Here is a before and after comparison of Pathfinder’s hitboxes:

Respawn may ‘inject more power’ soon

Respawn’s aim, they explained, is to manage Pathfinder’s overall power. If he can be killed quicker, they can begin to inject more power back into his already strong ability kit.

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“As you can see, there’s a lot of negative space around his arms and legs. We’re hoping that by making it easier to hit Pathfinder we can bring his winrate under control [and can then] put meaningful power into his kit,” the devs wrote.

“Even with these increased hitboxes, Pathfinder will still be considerably harder to hit than most other characters in the game. 

“If this change does make a difference in terms of his win rate we will drop Low Profile; but we really didn’t want to take it off him this patch only to have to put it back next patch when it turns out his win rate spiked.”

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This is all good news for Pathfinder mains!Respawn Entertainment
This is all good news for Pathfinder mains!

Last time Respawn handed out small buffs for Pathfinder, his win rate ticked up by just a single percent. This time, it looks like they’ve gone a little harder on the boosts; expect the loveable Apex Legends robot to return to the meta in Season 7.

Pathfinder is far from the only Legend buffed or nerfed this patch too. Loba, Rampart, Wattson, Mirage, Caustic, and Bangalore all got tweaks, while Apex speedster Octane was handed a monster boost to his ‘Swift Mend’ healing passive.

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Season 7 is also adding a new Legend, gravity-controlling Horizon, and taking the battle royale to its third map, Olympus. Read all the ‘Ascension’ patch notes here.

About The Author

Isaac was formerly the Australian Managing Editor at Dexerto. Isaac began his writing career as a sports journalist at Fairfax Media, before falling in love with all things esports and gaming. Since then he's covered Oceanic and global League of Legends for Upcomer, Hotspawn, and Snowball Esports.