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Apex Legends Season 2: Battle Charge update, start date and new characters

The Apex Legends Season 2 start date is July 2, meaning it's less than a month away, and we've gotten all of the important details straight from E3 2019.

It's an onslaught of Apex Legends updates: a new character (Wattson), new modes, additional weapons (L-Star from Titanfall 2) and a much-needed improved battle pass and challenges. We're going hands-on with Apex Legends Season 2 today.

Officially dubbed Apex Legends Season 2: Battle Charge, the changes here are based on Season 1 feedback, according to developer Respawn Entertainment and EA. They admitted that not everything went right at launch and well-received by players.

Chief among the changes is a new ranked mode and the advent of daily and weekly challenges, something Fortnite excelled at and Apex Legends did not. It'll also take less time to reach Battle Pass level 100 and you'll find three additional Legendary skins along the rewards track.

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The new weapon for Season 2? It should actually be familiar to fans of Respawn: it's the L-Star from Titanfall 2, only it's an SMG this time. It's powerful enough to break doors (something only melee and explosive can do currently), but there are some drawbacks. It only arrives in care packages (you can't equip it at load out) and there's no ammo around the map.

Coming even sooner to the Apex Legends universe is Apex Elite Queue. The top five players of a match are entered into this elite designation, letting them test their skills against each other in guaranteed epic matches. But they have to keep finishing in the top five to remain in Apex Elite Queue.

Before you get your hands on it in Apex Legends Season 2, you'll also be able to play through a Double XP Weekend until June 10 at 10am PT. 

Previous news below...

EA surprised many with the sudden announcement of Apex Legends back in February, a free-to-play battle royale shooter that sees the publisher going toe-to-toe with genre mammoths PlayerUnknown's Battlegrounds and Fortnite Battle Royale.

Developed by Respawn Entertainment and set in the Titanfall universe, Apex Legends is a squad-based battle royale shooter where teams of three go up against 57 other players to try to gather loot and be the last person (or squad) standing.

However, unlike Fortnite and PUBG, Apex Legends sees players take on one of eight classes, each represented by a unique character (imagine Fortnite mixed with Overwatch and you’ll be on the right track.) 

Whether that sounds like your kind of gaming or not, Apex Legends hit the ground running. It managed to reach a million players in its first eight hours and amassed 10 million players in three days.

That's good going. Really good going. Particularly when you consider that it took Fortnite two weeks (a fortnight!) to reach those same numbers. Similarly, it took Fortnite 24 hours to accrue a million players, compared to eight hours for EA’s shooter. 

However, things seem to have slowed down for Apex Legends with revenue dropping and Respawn opting to implement less-frequent, more meaningful updates in lieu of constant, smaller updates.

Do we have another Fortnite on our hands or just a passing fad? Let's not get ahead of ourselves and instead take a look at everything we know about Apex Legends.

Apex Legends

Apex Legends: the TechRadar verdict

Apex Legends is an engrossing, revamped take on battle royale that as it stands cannot be beat for its attention, detail and care:

Great customization

Beautiful visuals

Great use of team interaction 

Definitely not a single-player game

Predictable story

Frequent bugs

As we said in our full Apex Legends review:

"Truth be told, the Battle Royale movement has never quite grabbed me. I dabbled in PUBG and spent a dozen hours or so with Fortnite, yet nothing ever quite stuck the landing. Apex though, has got me hook, line and sinker. Featuring intuitive controls, an outstanding comms system and remarkable rogue’s gallery, Respawn has created what feels like the AAA outing for the genre." 

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Apex Legends update newsWhat's new? The Legendary Hunt is on

Apex Legends' Legendary Hunt event has started. This is the first proper in-game event for Apex Legends and offers players rewards for completing challenges and playing while the event is active, as well as offering extra experience boosts.

Legendary Hunt introduces a new elite queue, themed rewards, bonus XP, and more for a limited time.

Apex Elite QueueFrom June 4 to July 2, any players who make their way into the Top 5 of a match will earn their way into a select queue full of Top 5 winners. 

Legendary Hunt challenge rewardsFrom June 4 to June 18, players can complete special in-game challenges to score free Legendary Hunt loot. Here are the special rewards:

Legendary Hunt Badge – Finish in the Top 5 in any match.Rare Wolfpack G7 Scout weapon skin – Finish in the Top 5 in an Elite Top 5 match.Epic Master of the Hunt Bloodhound Legend skin – Finish in the Top 5 five times in any queue (consecutive or nonconsecutive).Legendary Tamed Beast Triple Take weapon skin – Win twice in any queue (consecutive or nonconsecutive).

Meanwhile, Battle Pass owners will also be awarded a Legendary Honored Prey R-301 weapon skin, simply for owning the Season 1 Battle Pass. Battle pass owners level 15 and above will be awarded the Legendary Night Terror Wraith skin.

Apex Legends

Battle Pass bonus XPFrom June 4 to June 18, players will earn an entire Battle Pass level when they finish in the Top 5 of a match. However, this award can only be claimed once per day.

Double XP weekend

Respawn will also be running a Double XP weekend for Apex Legends between June 7 and June 10, which will see players score double level XP and Battle Pass XP throughout its duration.

Legendary Hunt store skins

Finally, between June 4 and June 18, new Legendary Hunt items will be available in the store. These items will rotate every three to four days and are event limited.

Apex Legends tips and tricks

Apex Legends can be difficult to get to grips with. There are a lot of different characters each with their own abilities and skills, plus this battle royale arguably leans more heavily on strategy and teamwork than some of its competitors. 

Get ahead of the pack with our selection of Apex Legends guides, designed to help you become a champion.

Apex Legends

How to download Apex Legends

Apex Legends can be downloaded for free from the PlayStation Store, Xbox Store, Origin Store or Apex Legends website. Simply search for the title, download the game and enjoy! 

But do keep in mind that a good internet connect and subscription to either PS Plus, Xbox Live or Origin Access is required to play.

The good news is that Apex Legends is also coming to mobile in the future, following in the footsteps of Fortnite and PUBG.

Apex Legends

Apex Legends Battle Pass 

Apex Legends has now officially launched its first Battle Pass season, dubbed Wild Frontier.

Players on PlayStation 4, Xbox One and PC are now able to purchase the Wild Frontier Battle Pass for 950 Apex Coins, entitling them to a new character in Octane (available separately for 750 Apex Coins or 12,000 Legends Tokens) and the ability to earn 100 new items, such as Legend Skins, Apex Coins and a new legendary Havoc skin.

As a reference, Apex Coins start at $9.99 (around £7.50 / AU$14.15) in real world money for a pack of 1,000.

Along with this speedy new Legend, the Wild Frontier Battle Pass also offers the ability to earn 100 new items, such as Legend Skins, Apex Coins and a new legendary Havoc skin. 

Players who want to get a head start can immediately unlock the first 25 levels (out of 100 available in Season 1) by purchasing the Battle Pass Bundle, which costs 2,800 Apex Coins.

According to EA, Apex Legends will follow a seasonal model with each themed season bringing new content to the game in the form of new weapons, new Legends, new skins and more.

Check out our full guide to the Apex Legends Battle Pass.

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Apex Legends roadmap - what's next?

Respawn Entertainment has shared the season roadmap for Apex Legends. Apex Legends Battle Pass seasons run for approximately three months. Currently four seasons have officially been announced:

Season One: March 19, 2019 until June 18, 2019. Season Two: June 2019Season Three: September 2019Season Four: December 2019

Apex Legends

Is Apex Legends coming to mobile?

Yes. In EA’s quarterly earnings report, the publisher announced that it’s looking at bringing the Respawn Entertainment-developed game to mobile platforms and to both South Korea and China. 

“We’re in advanced negotiations to China and mobile”, EA’s CFO Blake Jorgenson stated, before later mentioning South Korea as another expansion point. 

While the specific platform details haven't been confirmed, it’s fair to assume that this will include both Android and iOS releases down the line, and as far as the Eastern market releases, this will be via EA’s PC platform and marketplace, Origin.

Apex Legends characters and abilities

Octane

Adrenaline Junkie

Apex Legends' newest Legend is the ultimate death-defying adrenaline junkie, speeding his way through the map, healing himself as he goes and getting into as much trouble as possible. 

Tactical Ability: Stim

Passive Ability: Swift Mend

Ultimate Ability: Launch Pad

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Bloodhound

Technological Tracker

Bloodhound is one of the the Outlands' greatest hunters. There's little known about them except that they are non-binary and super-skilled at tracking enemies in the battlefield.

Tactical Ability: Eye of the Allfather

Passive Ability: Tracker

Ultimate Ability: Beast of the Hunt

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Wraith

Interdimensional Skirmisher

Wraith is a fighter with a dark twist. She's able to execute swift attacks and open rifts in reality to benefit herself and her teammates.

Tactical Ability: Into the Void

Passive Ability: Voices from the Void

Ultimate Ability: Dimensional Rift

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Gibraltar

Shielded Fortress

Built like a brick house, Gibraltar is essentially the tank of Apex Legends. He is great for defending teammates and unleashing massive damage on any enemies who dare get close enough.

Tactical Ability: Dome of Protection

Passive Ability: Gun Shield

Ultimate Ability: Defensive Bombardment

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Bangalore

Professional Soldier

Bangalore serves as a classic offense character, at her best when she's inflicting damage on enemy teams and using strategic attacks to unleash devastating assaults.

Tactical Ability: Smoke Launcher

Passive Ability: Double Time

Ultimate Ability: Rolling Thunder

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Lifeline

Combat Medic

Prefer to play a healer? Then Lifelines is probably the Legend for you, providing medical assistance to her teammates on the battlefield with her healing drone and calling in extra supplies when needed.

Tactical Ability: D.O.C. Heal Drone

Passive Ability: Combat Medic

Ultimate Ability: Care Package

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Pathfinder

Forward Scout

It's important to survey and scout potential locations before sending your team in. Better to be safe than sorry. That's where Pathfinder comes in, checking areas for enemies before making a speedy exit and guiding your team along the safest route.

Tactical Ability: Grappling Hook

Passive Ability: Insider Knowledge

Ultimate Ability: Zipline

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Caustic

Toxic Trapper

Prefer to trap your enemies rather than combat them head on? Then Caustic is your guy.  He's one of two current characters unavailable in the base game and requires you to pay 12,000 Legend Tokens or 750 Apex Coins to unlock.

Tactical Ability: Nox Gas Trap

Passive Ability: Nox Vision

Ultimate Ability: Nox Gas Grenade

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Mirage

Holographic Trickster

Arguably the most charismatic Legend, Mirage is a master of illusion and uses decoys to confuse enemies. Like Caustic, Mirage is unavailable in the base game and requires you to pay 12,000 Legend Tokens or 750 Apex Coins to unlock.

Tactical Ability: Psyche Out

Passive Ability: Encore!

Ultimate Ability: Vanishing Act

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(Image credits: Respawn Entertainment/EA)

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