Apex Legends tackles its grenade spam problem with inventory changes

Ordnance survey.

If you've ever been fortunate enough to make it to the final few circles of an Apex Legends match, you may have encountered something like this:

Grenades in ranked be like from r/apexlegends

Grenade spam has been a bit of an issue since Apex Legends was released last year, particularly in tight final circles where grenades become harder to avoid. The inventory system previously allowed grenade stacks of two, meaning you could store up dozens of explosives and simply unleash them all onto an enemy squad.

Well, it sounds like that tactic will work no longer, as Respawn is rebalancing the entire inventory system as part of the changes introduced alongside the System Override Collection Event.

"We're trying to address the problem of grenade spam," lead game designer Carlos Pineda explained in a devstream. "People who carry a lot of grenades, towards the endgame they're just chucking grenades... it makes Wattson almost a must-have."

As a result, grenade stacks are now being reduced to one: enough for tactical use without merely unleashing a barrage of arc stars. But that's not all, as to make this grenade change work, the number of base inventory slots is being increased by two. At this point the inventory apparently became "too loose", so ammo stacks for light, heavy and energy weapons are being reduced by 20 - while healing item stacks are also being adjusted. Syringe and shield cells will now stack as four instead of six, while med kits and shield batteries are being reduced from three to two.

Although it's not exactly glamourous, the inventory rebalance could potentially change the Apex Legends meta - with players having to be a little more careful with their health, and finding alternatives to overusing grenades. Having said that, Respawn hopes players will not notice much of a difference.

"Ideally you're not really feeling that much of a change to the inventory, other than grenades," Pineda said. "As with [all] balance changes, we monitor feedback and data."

The patch notes on Reddit also detail a few other changes: including a slight buff for Bloodhound, whose scanning tactical now has extended range and will work more as a pre-emptive ability when approaching a fight. Muzzle flash is finally being reduced for all weapons except shotguns and snipers (thank goodness), and a new heirloom crafting system is being introduced to let players pick which one they want.

The System Override Collection Event, meanwhile, is introducing EVO shields, which upgrade as you damage other players (and can go beyond gold to a red colour), along with a limited-time mode called Deja Loot where all loot spawns in the same place with each round, thereby eliminating RNG. Apart from all the loot boxes, I guess. Keep an eye out for those additions over the next two weeks, as the event runs from today until 17th March.

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Emma Kent

Emma Kent

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Emma was Eurogamer's summer intern in 2018 and we liked her so much we decided to keep her. Now a fully-fledged reporter, she loves asking difficult questions, smashing people at DDR and arguing about, well, everything.

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