Apex Legends Season 20 update patch notes including Legend Upgrades & huge armour changes

Apex Legends Season 20 update patch notes including Legend Upgrades & huge armour changes
Images via Respawn Entertainment

Written by 

Alex Garton

Last updated 

13th Feb 2024 10:50

Contents

Apex Legends Season 20 has finally been announced by Respawn and the Breakout patch is bringing massive fundamental changes to the game.

With Legend Upgrades introducing ability augments for every single character, armour changes that have removed RNG, the new Straight Shot LTM, and of course, top-tier cosmetics - there’s a lot to get excited about.

So, without further ado, let's check out everything you need to know about Apex Legends Season 20 and all the major features that are set to arrive.

Apex Legends Season 20 Breakout release date

Apex Legends Season 20's release date is February 13, 2024. So, there's not long to wait before you can check out all the changes for yourself!

Season 20 Breakout trailer & gameplay trailer

Here's the Apex Legends Season 20 trailer that gives us a first look at all the cosmetics and major additions coming with Breakout. And, as is tradition, here's the slick gameplay trailer, too.

Legend Upgrades in Season 20

Legend Upgrade Apex Legends
Click to enlarge

Yes, that's right, there's no new Legend coming to the game in Season 20, but Respawn has cooked up something much bigger instead. Legend Upgrades are an in-match progression system that players can advance through as they level up their EVO Shields.

From white to blue, you'll be able to select one of two ability upgrades, and once again from blue armour to purple. These are all completely different for every character on the roster and make a Tactical or Ultimate significantly more powerful.

Choosing the correct option in your matches is going to be key, so if you want a breakdown of every Legend Upgrade in Apex Legends, we've got you covered.

Apex Legends armour changes

Fuse armour Apex Legends
Click to enlarge

Season 20 of Apex Legends is taking the RNG out of armour, meaning they're no longer part of the loot pool. Instead, players will have to level up their EVOs manually by dealing damage or completing team activities for XP.

The goal of this change is to make armour "healthier" and ensure everyone is on a level playing field, so no more purple shields straight after a drop. Check out our interview with the devs for more.

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Don't panic though, shield swaps are still possible with a new item called Shield Cores. These will restore your shields just like a swap does, but they won't permanently improve your armour. If the Shield Core is a higher tier than your current armour level, you'll simply overcharge to keep the added shields for a limited amount of time.

New Thunderdome Mixtape Map in Apex Legends

Thunderdome Apex Legends
Click to enlarge

The Thunderdome Mixtape map is making its debut in Breakout as the deadliest entertainment venue on the Frontier. A classic location that's familiar to OG Apex fans, this new version has been modernised with futuristic upgrades.

Not only that, the whole area is surrounded by a stadium filled with onlooking fans, who will cheer when you make an outplay or secure a kill.

This should add to the immersion on the battlefield and make those eliminations feel all the sweeter when spectators are cheering out your name.

New Straight Shot LTM

Wattson shooting in Apex Legends
Click to enlarge

Straight Shot aims to streamline the BR experience and deliver action as soon as you drop onto the map. 10 total squads will be sent to predetermined POIs on a smaller map where they will find fully kitted-out weapons and supplies instantly.

As you're so close to your opponents, the skirmishes will immediately begin, allowing you to jump straight into the chaos and as rings close faster, you'll have to stay on your toes.

Don't worry if you get eliminated though, you can queue up for another round of Straight Shot without even having to leave the lobby.

Apex Legends 5th Anniversary Collection Event

Fuse Octane Apex Legends
Click to enlarge

If skins are your main focus for Breakout, then Respawn will be delivering them with the 5th Anniversary Collection Event. The event will as always feature 24 limited-time cosmetics but this time, there's no specific Heirloom up for grabs.

Instead, players will be able to earn 150 Heirloom Shards, allowing you to unlock any Mythic item of your choice. This reward doesn't come around very often, so snatch it while you can!

Apex Legends Season 20 patch notes in full

Breakout Rewards

  • One new Legend will become free-to-play for the rest of the season every two weeks
  • Each Legend will have a set of challenges to permanently unlock them
  • Complete all challenges before the end of the season to earn the Reactive “Top Tier” Flatline and the Legendary “Runaway Renegade” Wraith

Breakout map rotation

  • Olympus
  • Storm Point
  • World's Edge

Performance mode

  • New 'Performance Mode' is available on PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X|S, letting players target 120 FPS performance on 120Hz displays

Crafting

  • Decreased interaction time with Replicators
  • Inventory can now be accessed from the crafting menu
  • Printed times left alone will auto-eject from the Replicator after some time
  • Every individual Replicator is now single-user per player
  • Every game will start with 12 Replicators spawned

World's Edge: Rampart's Big Maude

  • All Big Maude paintball weapons are now free
  • Players can only claim one free weapon
  • Increased variety of weapons, but no more gold kitted weapons

Care Package & Gold Weapons

  • EVA-8 enters the Care Package
  • Prowler returns to the floor
  • Gold Weapons:
    • R-301
    • RE-45
    • Mastiff
    • Devotion
    • 30-30

Weapons & attachments

30-30

  • Base damage reduced to 39 (was 42)
  • Ammo capacity:
    • Base capacity unchanged (6)
    • White Magazine reduced to 7 (was 8)
    • Blue Magazine reduced to 8 (was 10)
    • Purple & Gold Magazine reduced to 10 (was 12)
  • Skullpiercer headshot multiplier reduced to 2.0 (was 2.1)
  • Dual Loader removed as an integrated Hop-Up, now only loads 1 shell per reload
  • Marksman Stock reload speed bonus normalized to match other sniper weapons
  • Reloading 3 shells in a row now increases reload speed by 20% for the remainder of the reload

EVA-8

  • Damage reduced to 6 (was 7)
  • Fire rate increased to 3 (was 2.4)
  • Recoil reduced to better match the much faster fire rate
  • Hammer Points: 20% damage increase against flesh (+1 damage)
  • Gold Shotgun Bolt: shells reloaded on slide increased to 2 (was 1)
    • Note: this change only affects the Care Package EVA-8

Hemlock

  • Damage reduced to 20 (was 21)
  • Hipfire spread increased
  • Spread delay increased to 0.28 (was 0.21)

L-Star

  • Can no longer equip Barrel Attachments

Prowler

  • Reverted to non-Care Package version
    • Damage decreased to 15 (was 16)
    • Select Fire Hop-Up removed
  • Burst delay increased to 0.28 (was 0.24)
  • Spread delay increased to 0.28 (was 0.15)

R-99

  • ADS vertical and horizontal recoil increased

R-301

  • Hipfire spread reduced

SMG Ballistics

  • Projectile gravity increased across all SMGs
  • Projectile launch speed reduced across most SMGs (Prowler unchanged)

1x Digital Threat

  • Can no longer be equipped to SMGs
  • Spawn rates reduced by 20%

Laser Sights

  • Spread multipliers reduced
    • White Laser Sight adjusted to x0.9 (was x0.8)
    • Blue Laser Sight adjusted to x0.8 (was x0.6)
    • Purple Laser Sight adjusted to x0.7 (was x0.4)

Legends

Heavy-Rig Legends (Gibraltar, Caustic, Pathfinder, Newcastle, Revenant)

  • Now use medium-rig first-person movement animations
  • Actual game speeds have not changed, these Legends will feel less sluggish when running

Support Legends

  • Extended Supply Bin contents have been improved

Ballistic

  • Sling:
    • Sling Weapons now have all White attachments while equipped
  • Tempest:
    • Effect radius for ally range has been increased to 90m (was 13m)

Bloodhound

  • Tracker:
    • Raven scan’s Ult Charge is now gated behind the Hunting Ravens upgrade

Catalyst

  • Dark Veil:
    • Lifetime decreased to 15s (was 25s)
    • Length decreased to 40m (was 55m)

Conduit

  • Radiant Flash:
    • Cooldown increased to 26s (was 21s)
    • Temporary Shield generation rate decreased to 15HP/s (was 20HP/s)
    • Temporary Shield generation time increased to 9s (was 8s)
  • Energy Barricade:
    • Mine duration reduced to 45s (was 60s)
    • Mine HP reduced to 200HP (was 250HP)
    • The distance at which mines are removed when deployed too close to one another has been increased by ~100%

Crypto

  • Surveillance Drone:
    • Speed of drone recall has been increased slightly
    • Transitions going in and out of drone are now faster

Horizon

  • Gravity Lift:
    • Cooldown increased to 25s (was 20s)

Lifeline

  • In modes with Upgrade Cores enabled, Lifeline's Care Package now has a 50/50 chance to drop an extra piece of smart equipment (vs. large consumable) instead of an Armor

Mad Maggie

  • Wrecking Ball:
    • Will no longer be destroyed on first enemy hit
      • Instead, the Wrecking Ball will trigger an explosion then keep going, allowing for a second explosion to trigger later
      • The same player cannot be hit again by the ball for 2s after first impact
      • Players can only be affected by the shellshock and knockback effects once
    • Will now bounce through devices it hits and destroys

Octane

  • Jump Pad:
    • Audio falloff of double-jump has been adjusted to be slightly less audible from long distances

Pathfinder

  • Insider Knowledge:
    • Scanning Care Packages now awards 50% Ult Charge (was 100%) and 15s Ult Cooldown (was 10s)
    • This also applies to Ring Console or Survey Beacon scans

Maps

  • The Apex Games Museum on World’s Edge has an all-new exhibit that honors the history of the Outlands and the origin of the Games. Filled with interactive kiosks, artwork and red carpet flair, the museum has many interesting tidbits of information, community artwork and even some easter eggs
  • Special celebration dressing in the form of flags, banners, and even the return of our larger than life Legend balloons can be found on every map. This year features an all-new cast designed with the Breakout aesthetic in mind
  • Tridents, jump balloons, gravity cannons, loot bins and more have a fresh look to compliment the theme of the season

Ranked

  • Level requirement now 20 (was 50)
    • Entry cost will return: 20 RP per Tier starting at Silver
  • Player Rankings now visible
  • Promotional Trials have been removed
  • Provisional Matches have been removed
  • Ranked Tier RP requirements will have some increases
  • RP value will be used to matchmake. For full-stack premades, the highest RP
  • value in the squad will be used
  • Splits are returning
    • Start at 1 RP at the beginning of the Season, split will drop ranking by 6 divisions
  • Updated Bonuses:
    • Challenger Bonus: earn a 50% bonus on a elimination of a higher ranked player that was contributed to
    • Top 5 Streak Bonus: for maintaining a placement streak of 5th or better, earn up to a maximum of a 40 RP bonus
      • 2 match streak: +10 RP
      • 3 match streak: +20 RP
      • 4 match streak: +30 RP
      • 5+ match streak: +40 RP

World Systems

Extended Supply Bins

  • Extended Supply Bins now give Smart Gear
    • Players can find gear upgrades for Knockdown Shields, Helmets, and Backpacks in the hidden shelf
    • Small chance of granting purple gear if a player on the squad has white gear or none at all
    • Small chance of granting gold gear if the entire squad has purple gear
  • More reliably gives Heat Shields & MRBs when needed
  • Increased likelihood of getting Med Kit over Syringes

Ring Exploit Prevention

  • Players spending too much time outside the Ring will be warned, then eliminated

Bug Fixes

  • Double-clicking in the Melee Tab now equips items
  • Firing Range dummies no longer clip through damaged doors
  • Heat Shields and Legend Ult items can no longer be placed on Tridents
  • In-match Challenge display now lists all 5 challenges
  • Player created pings can once again be removed
  • Players will no longer teleport into the building overlooking the fight night ring via Trident
  • Valkyrie can no longer get under the turbine on Olympus
  • Voiceline while picking up enemy Banner Cards no longer indicates it is a squadmate

Audio

  • Most in-game dialogue is now synchronized between clients
  • Squad members can now be muted while spectating

Graphics

  • DX12 (PC) fixed several causes of crashes

Legends

  • Ash Ult, Rampart Tac/Ult, Wattson Tac/Ult, and Loba Ult can no longer be placed out of bounds
  • Conduit’s Tac now appears for observers
  • Mad Maggie’s Ult now destroys Gibby’s Tac
  • Mirage decoys that are destroyed by Catalyst’s Piercing Spikes no longer keep the trap active nor make hit sounds briefly after dying

Quality of life

  • Destructible Legend abilities have consistent damage feedback
    • Objects which previously showed red (flesh) damage numbers will now show as gray and the damage numbers will indicate if the object is destroyed
    • Increased visibility for gray damage numbers
  • Firing Range: Nessie was inspired after watching some centuries old videos and wanted to change things up a bit. The yellow and purple polka-dots look quite dashing
  • Gun Run: Changed the Victory notification for the winning team to say “You Are the Champion” instead of “<Team> is the Champion”
  • Per Optic ADS Sensitivity: Added an option for Seer Passive which controls how quickly you can turn while unarmed and using Heart Seeker
  • Performance Mode aim assist has been tuned to feel similar to 60Hz mode
  • Added advanced haptics and adaptive triggers support for PlayStation and PC consoles
    • If you encounter an issue, please ensure to connect the controller via USB and complete any updates

Navigation

  • Event Tab: Dedicated tab appears when there is an active Event (previously under the Seasonal Tab)
  • Death Menu: Added a Squad Tab where you can access your groups information, report, and mute VoIP/pings while you’re dead
  • Legends Tab: Selected Legend will not reset to featured one when your cursor is not over a Legend
  • Melee Tab: Death Box icon is now clickable
  • Store Tab: New subtab containing offers that were previously in Featured,
  • Specials, Seasonal, and more with improved navigational flow and presentation

Graphics

  • General GPU rendering optimizations for FX
  • Improved Low Res FX rendering quality
  • Improved Volumetric Lighting
  • Optimized FX after stepping through a Catalyst wall for better GPU performance
  • Optimized FX when taking damage from Fuse's ultimate for better GPU performance
  • PS5 and Xbox X/S improved CPU graphics performance with parallelization of rendering workloads

Now you're familiar with everything coming in Season 20, why not check out our Apex Legends pick rate tracker so you know how popular your favourite character is in the meta? There's also our Apex homepage for all the latest news and guides.

Alex is a Senior Writer at GGRecon. With a BA (Hons) in English, he has previously written for Dexerto & Gfinity. Specialising in Call of Duty & Apex Legends, he loves (attempting) to improve his aim in competitive shooters and will always make time for a single-player RPG.

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