Apex Legends launched its third season on Oct. 1 to serious fanfare. Some of the biggest updates include a new map, a new character and a new weapon, which is called the Charge Rifle. The game's Season 3 trailer showed a powerful charge-delayed weapon that could deal significant damage in short bursts. And, while it certainly lives up to the hype, some of the game's biggest professional players and streaming personalities think the weapon is hurting the game.
How did the charge rifle make it pass testing🤔— CujoThaGod (@CujoThaGod_) October 2, 2019
Charge Rifle has to fucking go— SoaR Daltoosh 🎒 (@daltoosh) October 3, 2019
Charge rifle single handily ruining Apex for me right now, perfect accuracy on Ziplines/Jump Towers, insane fire rate, low ammo requirement, no attachments requirements other than scopes, HITSCAN ACROSS MAP.— Brandon (@oh_Nocturnal) October 2, 2019
WHO THE FUCK THOUGHT THIS WAS GOOD.
Apex team fights atm:— kangakanga (@kangakangaFPS) October 2, 2019
1: They're on this floor!
2: Which floor?
3: I CAN'T FIND YOU GUYS!
1: My floor!
3: WHERE IS THE DOOR?!
2: I'm on second floor, no one here??
*dead by charge rifle 300m away*
A weapon derived from the Titanfall games that preceded Apex Legends, the gun is classified as a sniper rifle. It uses energy ammo, which is frequently harder to find than light, heavy or shotgun ammo. However, due to the gun's small clip size and high damage potential, a single ammo stack can go a long way.
Rather than dealing damage with bullets, the gun shoots a single laser beam that can follow an opponent's movement. This is unlike the rest of the game's sniper rifles, which require a player to accurately predict an enemy's movement and time shots accordingly.
It has strong hip-fire accuracy over long distances and functions as a hit scan weapon, meaning players don't have to account for projectile dropoff. As the name implies, players can charge this weapon by holding the trigger, which can more than double the amount of damage it deals. A charge will increase the gun's base body shot damage from 45 to 90, according to stats from Rock Paper Shotgun.
The weapon can knock enemies in as little as two or three shots, even ones equipped with top-level armor and helmets. When augmented with a Level 3 extended magazine, the gun can hold seven rounds of ammunition.
A skilled, well-positioned player with a Charge Rifle could theoretically wipe an entire squad in seconds from hundreds of meters away with a single clip. And, because it's easier to find than the Kraber, a full squad of three can find themselves each armed with a Charge Rifle within moments of dropping into the game.
Taken together, this makes it an extremely powerful weapon. Even weak players who spam-snipe opponents can do significant damage with the gun.
In a clip, TSM_TannerSlays demonstrates the Charge Rifle's power. Upon hitting his shots, the look on his face says more about the weapon than any tweet possibly could.
"why no ranked"— TSM TannerSlays (@TannerSlays) October 5, 2019
Imagine some of the best players in the world using this weapon as a team. Only a matter of time until it's tweaked. pic.twitter.com/phfUbn0Y0x
As one might expect, players are unhappy to have to contend with such a strong gun.
Fortunately, game developer Respawn takes player feedback into account as it iterates on the game, so there's no doubt the team is listening to feedback on the Charge Rifle. In the past, complaints about guns like the Wingman and the Longbow resulted in nerfs to those weapons.
The game's newest weapon comes alongside Respawn's decision to remove the Disruptor Rounds attachment for Apex Legends Season 3. Disruptor Rounds also divided players, with some top gamers choosing not to use the hop-up as they felt winning with such a weapon was not a true demonstration of skill.
We hit apex predator! We also did it without using the broken alternator once (pretty sure)— SoaR Daltoosh 🎒 (@daltoosh) July 10, 2019
For now, players are trying to enjoy the game even with the new Charge Rifle meta.
Gentleman's agreement: we just all won't pick up the charge rifle, ok?— AverageAden (@AverageAden) October 4, 2019
Until the gun gets tweaked, players will have to contend with a weapon that feels too powerful to have a place in the game. No matter what a player's skill level, an encounter with a team full of opponents using Charge Rifles frequently ends the same way.
*Dies to Charge Rifle*— Apex League of Sweats (@LeagueOfSweats) October 3, 2019