It’s the dawn of a new era for Apex Legends. Season 2 of the battle royale shooter will bring the biggest changes the game has seen since it took the world by storm in February. The update is set to go live on Tuesday at 1 p.m. Eastern and is expected to reshape the game’s map, introduce challenges, and alter one of the most popular weapons in Apex Legends: shotguns.
Apex developer, Respawn Entertainment, shared the tweaks it’ll make to the game’s firepower in a June 19 blog post. Buried at the very bottom was a substantial nerf to shotguns that quickly stirred up fans on the Apex Legends subreddit ahead of Season 2.
Players will only be able to carry a 16 stack of shotgun ammo in one of their inventory slots, down from 64. That means gamers will need to take up four bag slots just to hold 64 shotgun shells like before. Anyone who ran a shotty as their primary weapon will need to fundamentally adjust their strategy.
A post on the subreddit by /u/XxMrSlayaxX titled “Can I get a moment of silence for 64 stacks of shotgun shells, they will be missed…” garnered almost 1,000 upvotes and a flurry of comment mourning the loss of shotguns’ former glory.
But there were equally as many people cheering for the nerf. Redditor /u/FIFA2016 explained why the change is warranted and how it could diversify the kinds of weapons players use.
“Because 64 rounds with the shotgun is the equivalent to like 3-4x stacks of 80 with any other weapon,” they said. “Choosing a shotgun means you don’t really have to sacrifice much inventory space, and the devs believe it shouldn’t really have that advantage.”
Their reasoning is that shotguns are able to output much more damage in their optimal range than any other of the game’s mid-to-long range weapons. Players have complained about being “two shotted with a Peacekeeper while at full health and full level 3 armor.” The balance to weapons like the Mastiff, Peacekeeper, and EVA-8 should be that they require players to make riskier plays by approaching enemies at pointblank range. But their pervious ammo capabilities made that strategy simple to pull off.
Players could stash all of the shotty ammo they’ll need for an entire game, while also being able to hold a good amount of throwable, health, and armor items. While players using longer-range weapons, like the R-99, need to sacrifice more bag space for ammo in the hopes of winning a firefight at a distance compared to the one or two shots required from a Peacekeeper.
Plus Apex Legend’s map gets smaller and smaller as the game goes on, which forces closer-quarter combat in the end-game phase. This has made half of the game’s top-tier guns (the weapons considered to be best in the game) shotguns. Season 2 likely won’t change that but will make them riskier to run.
Players will have two choices when it comes to running the weapons: Use them as a secondary gun with limited ammo or go all-in and engage in close-range combat with limited health items. The Mastiff, Peacekeeper, and EVA-8 will be just as potent as they used to be, but gamers will need to plan their approaches more strategically than going in guns blazing.