, the battle royale shooter set in the Titanfall universe, has ushered in season 13. Titled Saviors, the season introduces a new hero and substantial changes to the ranked system.
The launch of Saviors follows Apex's third anniversary celebration, which kicked off in February. Alongside a new battle pass, players get a heap of fresh content as well as myriad balance tweaks to weapons and other items.
Loba mains be warned: Some players are also reporting that Loba's tactical ability is broken in season 13, sometimes preventing her from teleporting when she tosses her bracelet. The ability worked somewhat consistently when I tested it in Arenas, but not 100% of the time.
Before you dive in, here's what you need to know about the new Apex Legends season.
What time does Apex season 13 start?
Apex Legends season 13 began at 10 a.m. PT (1 p.m. ET) on Tuesday, May 10, on all platforms. Seasons typically last three months, so the season should run through early or mid-August.
Apex Legends' new hero: Newcastle
Season 13 introduces the Legend Newcastle, a defensive specialist and brother to Bangalore. If you've ever wished you could just build a castle in the middle of the battlefield, Newcastle is your hero. He joins other defensive Legends like Gibraltar and Wattson by providing cover and protection for teammates.
Here's a breakdown of Newcastle's abilities:
- Tactical: Mobile Shield. Throw a movable shield drone that blocks gunfire and grenades.
- Passive: Retrieve the Wounded. You can drag allies as you revive them and protect them with a revive shield.
- Ultimate: Castle Wall. Jump through the air and deploy a fortified stronghold to give your team cover wherever you need it.
Apex Legends ranked changes
Three years after Apex Legends launched, developers at Respawn decided the ranked system needed an overhaul. Apex season 13 majorly reworks the ranked experience, focusing more on team play and better measuring and rewarding skill.
Many of these changes make it easier to earn ranked points (RP) if your team performs well and you contribute to your team's kill count. Other changes are aimed at ensuring rankings are an accurate measure of player skill.
Here's a quick summary of how ranked games are changing in Saviors.
- New tier: Rookie. Rookie tier has no entry cost and awards no RP. Players can't be demoted to this tier.
- Players can now be demoted to a lower rank if they drop below the rank threshold. But they'll be protected for three games after a promotion, meaning you won't immediately derank if you lose your first game or two after promotion.
- Entry costs have been modified across all ranks. Costs for Master rank increase the higher your rank.
- RP rewards have been adjusted based on final placement in a match. Kills are now worth less if you don't place 10th or better. Placement RP rewards are also lowered at higher placements, meaning you'll earn less RP if you don't contribute to kills.
- The cap on earning RP for kills has been removed. Instead, each kill is worth progressively less RP.
- Killing players from lower skill tiers rewards more RP (i.e. the RP penalty for killing players from lower tiers has been reduced).
- Assists are now measured on a 15-second timer, up from 10 seconds. If an enemy is revived, the assist timer refreshes.
- RP thresholds for tiers and divisions have been adjusted to account for the increased ways to earn RP.
For full details, check out Apex Legends' blog post on the ranked update.
Map updates: Storm Point
Season 13 changes up the Storm Point map with a few new additions. The most noticeable will be the washed-up carcass of the Downed Beast, which we saw in the Saviors cinematic last month. You'll be able to fight around, on top of and even inside the creature, where you'll find a high-tier loot zone.
Storm Point is also getting IMC Armories: new bunkers that add a PvE element to the game. Take out waves of hostile Spectres inside the armories -- if you survive for 60 seconds, you'll earn loot and the ability to launch out of the armory. Killing more Spectres earns you better loot.
For full details, check out Apex Legends' blog post on the Storm Point updates.
Season 13 battle pass
With every new season comes a new battle pass, and Saviors is no different. The Apex season 13 battle pass is themed around knights and dragons, which lines up pretty nicely with the vibe and look of Newcastle. You'll get the usual assortment of Apex coins, crafting metals and Apex packs in addition to epic skins for Newcastle, Mad Maggie and Pathfinder.
Apex Legends patch notes
You can check out the Apex season 13 patch notes for the full details on Survivors, but here are a few final changes worth calling out:
- Being out of bounds now disables the following features: Legend abilities (including active passives), healing items (unless you were healing before you went out of bounds) and any weapons, ordnances and survival items.
- Fortified no longer protects Legends from headshot damage. Instead, blue and purple helmets now reduce headshot damage by higher percentages (50% and 65%).
- Cell and syringe respawn rates have been reduced 18%.
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