Apex Legends' Heirloom Shards is the rarest currency type available, used to redeem unique cosmetic items for a select number of legends.
These ultra-rare cosmetics are available both as an unlockable set of three during Collection Events, or as bundles up for purchase on the Heirloom Store. The catch is that outside these specific instances, Heirloom Shards are required to obtain these items, which is a rather elusive currency.
If you want for your legend to show off these rare drops in every match, this guide will cover how to obtain Heirloom Shards as well as explaining how Heirlooms work and what exactly you're obtaining in these sets.
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If you're looking for more guides, our Apex Legends Tier List can help.
Apex Legends Heirloom Items: What they are and how they work
You can find plenty of cosmetic items available in Apex Legends, ranging from legend and weapon skins to charms and poses. These have no effect whatsoever on gameplay, but can inject personality to your favourite characters or online matches with emotes and banners. As of now, Heirloom items are the most rare of them all, and will likely remain as is for the foreseeable future.
There is a good reason why these items are so appealing. While you can purchase specific cosmetics from the store or just try your luck in Apex Packs, the only way to modify the appearance of melee weapons is through Heirloom sets. In addition, not every legend has gotten theirs yet, which opens up the door for more events in the future to see them.
Regardless of when we'll see the complete collection, the steep requirement stays the same, but so do their personalized looks that pair with the corresponding legend perfectly - from Pathfinder's boxing gloves with animated LED screens to Mirage's statue of himself.
How to get Heirloom gear has changed over time - first it was through events, and more recently, they are available through the spending of a dedicated currency, Heirloom Shards.
Apex Legends Heirloom Shards: How they work and how to find them
Heirloom Shards arrived as an alternative to the old system. Now, instead of finding a Heirloom set for a random legend in Apex Packs, there's a chance you can receive 150 Heirloom Shards instead. The amount of Heirloom Shards per Apex Pack does not vary, since they're distributed as three slots of 50 shards each.
As of now there are is only one way of obtaining Heirloom Shards in Apex Legends, which is through Apex Packs (the game's lootboxes).
There are two ways to get Apex Packs. You can continue gaining as much experience as possible during matches (keeping an eye on daily and weekly challenges helps to speed this up!) to unlock an Apex Pack every time you level up (which, as we noted above, may vary depending on your level), or opt to purchase Apex Coins with real money, which can then be used to purchase Apex Packs on the store.
That being said, you can also hold onto the next Collection Event for a chance to obtain Heirloom Items by playing. There have been 9 Collection Events up to the time of publication, each introducing a new Heirloom set. If you happen to obtain all 24 event limited cosmetics during the event, you'll be rewarded with a Heirloom set. But again, it may end up being rather pricey to get there.
Apex Legends Heirloom Shards drop rate and chance explained
Before you get your hopes up, the drop rate for Heirloom Shards in Apex Packs is incredibly low: at the time of publication, you get a chance of one in 500 of stumbling upon them.
It's a slim chance from the get-go for sure, although there is a bad luck protection in place put in by developer Respawn. This means that if you happen to open 499 Apex Packs with no sight of this currency yet, the next one is guaranteed to have Heirloom Shards inside.
As we mentioned above, Apex Packs can be obtained by levelling up, albeit this occurs less frequently as time goes on; levels 2-20 sees you gain one pack per level, but from 22 to 300, one pack every two levels, and from there to 500, one per five levels.
How Heirloom Items worked previously in Apex Legends
Up to early 2020, Heirloom Items could be obtained directly from Apex Packs, based upon the same chance of one in 500. Collection Events intertwined with drop chances in not so favourable ways, however, unless you happened to be EA. As per our report back in August 2019, due to the way the odds worked, obtaining the full Bloodhound heirloom set had a cost between £135.97 to £151.81.
To this day the community continues to be vocal about the pricing of cosmetics in general. While Heirloom Items are certainly the most expensive ones to obtain, premium skins can cost around 1800 Apex Coins ($18/£13). During a Reddit AMA in May 2021, Respawn attributed it to "content creation costs," explaining that the small team size and efforts to continue supporting the game for a long time has led to these decisions, given the amount of work that comes from creating skins.
Ever since the implementation of Heirloom Shards, you can only obtain these cosmetic bundles by spending Heirloom Shards in the Heirloom Store - or by obtaining all event limited cosmetics during certain events.
Apex Legends Heirloom Sets: Full list of Heirlooms so far
If you look at Heirloom sets on the Heirloom Store, only the melee weapon skin is visible, so there is no way of knowing what else you're getting from the bundle unless you purchase it. That being said, there is a record of the available bundles, which you can find below:
Bangalore Heirloom bundle (March 2021)
- Melee Weapon Skin: Cold Steel
- Banner Pose: No Gun, No Problem
- Intro Quip: "Hope you're not afraid to get your hands dirty"
- Debut event: Chaos Theory Collection Event
Gibraltar Heirloom bundle (January 2021)
- Melee Weapon Skin: War Club
- Banner Pose: Like a Rock
- Intro Quip: "When this is over, they'll all know the name 'Gibraltar'"
- Debut event: Fight Night Collection Event
Caustic Heirloom bundle (October 2020)
- Melee Weapon Skin: Death Hammer
- Banner Pose: Hammer Time
- Intro Quip: "I look forward to getting my hands on you"
- Debut event: Aftermarket Collection Event
Mirage Heirloom bundle (June 2020)
- Melee Weapon Skin: Too Much Witt
- Banner Pose: You Really Love Me
- Intro Quip: "Excited to see you all in the ring. Don't worry, there's plenty of 'mes' to go around"
- Debut event: Lost Treasures Collection Event
Octane Heirloom bundle (March 2020)
- Melee Weapon Skin: Butterfly Knife
- Banner Pose: Spin and Flick
- Intro Quip: "Run fast. Hit fast. Win fast"
- Debut event: System Override Collection Event
Pathfinder Heirloom bundle (December 2019)
- Melee Weapon Skin: Boxing Gloves
- Banner Pose: Lights Out
- Intro Quip: "Did you see how great I was? I did all kinds of really amazing moves... are you listening?"
- Debut event: Holo-Day Bash Collection Event
Lifeline Heirloom bundle (October 2019)
- Melee Weapon Skin: Shock Sticks
- Banner Pose: Shock Sticks
- Intro Quip: "Check yo self - or wreck yo self"
- Debut event: Fight or Fright Collection Event
Bloodhound Heirloom bundle (August 2019)
- Melee Weapon Skin: Raven's Bite
- Banner Pose: Glory Hound
- Intro Quip: "I honor those who've risen, not those who've fallen"
- Debut event: Iron Crown Collection Event
Wraith Heirloom bundle (February 2019)
- Melee Weapon Skin: Kunai
- Banner Pose: Fearless
- Intro Quip: "You know what I look like - come find me"
- Debut event: Apex Legends' launch