The popular Titanfall-inspired battle royale, Apex Legends, is still going strong two years after its initial release. Players are diving head first into Season 9 of Apex Legends, which brings new cosmetics, a new Legend, a whole new game mode, and more. As players head off in battle royale mode, or face off in 3v3s, they will get to learn the ins and out of all the different playable Legends in the new meta.
However, with an increasing array of characters, players are worrying more and more about a Legend's passive. While these abilities aren't as prevalent as a Legend's tactical and ultimate ability, passives still affect the character's play style. With the introduction of newest Legend Valkyrie, the difference between passives between certain Legends has gotten even more apparent.
The passives for each Legend are a crucial part of their kit, meant to help define who they are as a character, as well as provide some utility during the course of a game. Legends like Lifeline have passives that can change the tide of battle, since she can now revive a teammate with her D.O.C. drone, freeing her up so she can still fight. Passives for other Legends like Loba, with her Eye for Quality, are more for information gathering. Unfortunately, it has become clear that some passives are more powerful than others.
Valkyrie, the Legend introduced in Season 9, very much fulfills a desire to bring more Titanfall content to the game. Valkyrie's passive lets her fly in decent bursts with her VOTL Jets, giving her an enormous edge in mobility, and making her the Legend with the best repositioning ability. Plus, Valkyrie technically gets a second passive with her Jet-Fighter HUD, which lets her and teammates mark enemy players on the ground whenever Valkyrie is skydiving or using her ultimate. Compare her passive(s) with say, Crypto's, and the difference is stark.
Crypto has been in a weird place since his launch, and it isn't helped by him practically having no passive. Technically, Crypto's Neurolink passive allows his teammates to see things scanned with his tactical drone, such as enemies, doors, and more. Neurolink feels like it should be a mechanic that is automatically part of his Surveillance Drone, and it's odd that the difference is such night and day between the two.
Certain squad compositions in Apex Legends can make for deadly teams, and each Legend's passive has a part to play. While it is okay for different Legend's abilities to overlap sometimes, the current array of passives in Apex Legends aren't fully balanced. Players may want to play certain Legends, but could end up being forced to choose a different Legend that's considered meta to win.
Of course, Respawn continually tries to improve Apex Legends and make it a better game. Part of that process has been to tweak and sometimes change altogether that passives for each Legend. A prime example is Pathfinder. Originally, his passive let him scan Survey Beacons in order to find out where the next Ring would be. At some point, Respawn decided to take away Pathfinder's unique passive and make it a general "perk" for the Recon class of Legends. Now, characters like Bloodhound and Valkyrie have access to an ability that previously made Pathfinder unique. Pathfinder now gets a fully charged ultimate whenever he uses a Survey Beacon, but that basically defeats the point of a passive since it relies on an outside interaction.
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