Apex Legends Season 21 patch notes: Release date, new Legend Alter, Solo mode, more

Joseph Pascoulis
apex legends season 21 key art with Alter

Apex Legends Season 21 release date has been revealed, but what can you expect to see in the new update? Here are the patch notes for Upheaval, including details on the new Legend Alter, Broken Moon map changes, and more.

Apex Legends Season 21 is the next major update for the free-to-play battle royale, and after Season 20 skipped a new Legend, many are excited to learn more about the new Legend Alter.

So, here are the early patch notes for Apex Legends Season 21, which is also known as Upheaval, including the release date, Alter’s abilities, the new Solo Takeover mode, and more.

Contents

Apex Legends Season 21 release date & time

Apex Legends Season 21 will start on Tuesday, May 7, 2024. Apex updates always arrive on Tuesdays at around 10 AM PT / 1 PM ET / 6 PM BST, so this is the time we expect the update to go live on May 7.

While Respawn Entertainment have always been consistent with their season release dates and times, there’s always a chance that things get delayed, so we’ll be sure to update this article if anything changes.

Apex Legends Alter abilities: New Season 21 Legend

Alter is the new Legend arriving in Apex Legends Season 21. She is described on the Apex Legends website as a “trickster with an unknown past.” Here’s all of Alter’s abilities in Apex Legends:

  • Passive – Gift from the Rift
    • Can remotely interact with a deathbox to claim one item. Cannot be armor.
  • Tactical – Void Passage
    • Creates a portal passageway through a surface.
  • Ultimate – Void Nexus
    • Create a regroup point that all allies can remotely interact with to open a phase tunnel back to that location.

Armor upgrades

  • Level 2 options
    • Ultimate Cooldown: Reduce Ultimate cooldown by 30 seconds.
    • Void Vision: Extend highlights and see health bars after exiting Tactical.
  • Level 3 options
    • Eternal Nexus: Void Nexus no longer times out.
    • Tactical Cooldown+: Reduce Tactical cooldown by 10 seconds.

Alter is all about getting in and getting out, so Apex Legends players who like to play quickly and aggressively will feel right at home with the new Season 21 Legend’s playstyle.

Broken Moon map changes in Apex Legends Season 21

Following Olympus’ crash into Cleo’s status node, Broken Moon has changed drastically in Apex Legends Season 21. The map has been reshaped and there are even some new POIs to explore.

Here are all the new POI’s coming to Broken Moon:

  • Quarantine Zone: Replaced the border between Promenade East and West.
  • Breaker Wharf: Moved to where Backup Atmostation was.
  • Space Port: Replaced Breaker Wharf area.
  • Cliff Side: A smaller POI that sits between Quarantine Zone and Stasis Array.
  • Solar Pods: Introduced a new bridge between Foundry and Cultivation.
  • Underpass: Smaller POI for slower beginnings.
  • Experimental Labs: Addition to a small camp area, now has more loot.
New POI on Broken Moon in Apex Legends Season 21
Apex Legends Season 21 brings some hefty changes to Broken Moon, including new POIs.

Additionally, the patch notes confirmed that Broken Moon, World’s Edge, and Kings Canyon will be in rotation for the first half of the season.

Solo Takeover mode arrives in Apex Legends Season 21

A brand-new Solo Takeover mode is replacing Duos from May 7 to June 24, 2024 in Season 21 of Apex Legends. Players will dive into this mode completely solo and take on a lobby of other players to be the last man standing.

In Solos, players get access to “Battle Sense,” a new mechanic exclusive to Solo Takeover that allows you to detect nearby enemies. The mode also features auto heal and a new “Second Chance” mechanic which gives you two lives.

Apex Legends Season 21 introduces Apex Artifacts

Apex Legends Artifacts are a new universal Mythic Heirloom melee cosmetic item in Season 21 that any Legend can use in any mode. It can also be heavily customized to make it a more personalized melee cosmetic.

You can unlock Apex Artifacts using Exotic Shards, which can be purchased directly or earned through the Battle Pass. There are six variants to choose from: Cobalt, Electrum, Gladius, Molten, Rhodium, and Nitride.

You can start with any of the variants with the exception of Nitride. Customizations, though, must be unlocked in order of Base > Theme > Power Source > Activation Emote > Death Box.

Apex Legends Season 21 patch notes

Here are the full patch notes for Apex Legends Season 21:

Balance Updates

Care Package

  • Wingman returns to the floor
    • Projectile size reduced to pre-care package values
    • Damage reduced to 45 (was 50)
    • Skullpiercer Elite removed
    • Hipfire accuracy reduced
    • Now takes Boosted Loader Hop-Up
    • No longer takes magazines as an attachment
  • Devotion enters the Care Package
    • Reverse Hipfire: Sustained hipfire will tighten accuracy instead of widen
    • Damage increased to 16 (was 15)
    • Magazine size increased to 54 (was 48 at purple)
    • Reserve Ammo: 324
    • Empty reload time significantly reduced

Gold Weapons Rotation

  • Nemesis Burst AR, Triple-Take, Peacekeeper, Prowler PDW, Longbow DMR

Guaranteed Weapons out of Loot Bins

  • The first loot bin opened by an unarmed player will always contain a weapon

Retrieving Banners from Death Boxes

  • Collecting a banner will no longer lock the player out of critical gameplay actions
  • Running, shooting, punching and reviving will all break out of the banner collect animation while still registering as a successful collection
  • Players can immediately interact with a Death Box a second time while the animation is playing or continue holding the interact button to collect and enter a Death Box in one flow

Survival Items + Support Bins

  • Survival items now only spawn from a support bin’s tray if the team is in need

Weapons and attachments

30-30 Repeater

  • Skullpiercer Hop-Up removed

Charge Rifle

  • ADS recoil improved and stabilized

Longbow DMR

  • Skullpiercer Hop-Up removed
  • Barrel Stabilizer attachment removed
  • Base recoil significantly improved
  • Projectile gravity reduced
  • ADS in and out time reduced

Triple-Take

  • Now takes Boosted Loader Hop-Up

Hop-Ups

  • Skullpiercer removed from the loot pool
  • Boosted Loader added to the loot pool
    • Reloading while near empty will speed up reloading and overload the next magazine with extra rounds

1x Digital Threat Optic

  • Removed from loot pool and all locked set weapons

Legends

Ash

  • Arc Snare
    • Changed to left-hand cast
    • No longer stows weapons or interrupts consumable use when launching
  • Phase Breach
    • Inspired by some Alter tech, nearby enemies will be highlighted for players traveling through the Void

Ballistic

  • Whistler: Damage from a planted smart bullet increased to 10 (was 5)
  • Upgrades
    • Care Package Insight: Removed
    • Sling-Shot: Improves Ballistic’s base sling weapon to a blueset at Level 2 and a purpleset at Level 3

Bloodhound

  • Beast of the Hunt
    • Cooldown increased to 4m (was 3m)
    • Knocks with Ult active no longer extend duration
  • Upgrades: Level 3
    • Tactical Cooldown: Removed
    • Taste of Blood: Buffed HP gain on knock to 50 (was 25)
    • Long Hunt: Knocks extend Beast of the Hunt duration

Catalyst

  • Piercing Spikes
    • Cooldown decreased to 20s (was 25s)
    • Long Cast upgrade integrated into base Tactical
  • Dark Veil
    • Dark Veil length increased to 45m (was 40m)
  • Upgrades
    • Long Cast: removed
    • Long Veil: moved to Level 2
    • Ferro-Door: fully rebuild and reinforce missing doors with Passive.

Caustic

  • Gas damage and slow now stops immediately after Caustic’s squad is eliminated
  • Gas damage ramps from 4 → 10 max (was 5 → uncapped), damage on knocked players down to flat 4 (was 5)

Conduit

  • Radiant Transfer
    • Can no longer target a Revenant while Forged Shadows is active
    • When Revenant activates Forged Shadows, any temporary shield generation ends immediately. Revenant will keep any temporary shields generated before activating his Ultimate.
  • Upgrades
    • Battery Collection: Removed
    • Battpack: Can stack up to 3 Shield Batteries per inventory slot (doesn’t stack with Gold Backpack)

Crypto

  • Neurolink
    • Network Traffic upgrade now integrated into base kit
    • Squadcount banners are now visible anytime the drone is in a deployed state
  • Upgrades: Level 2
    • Tac & Ultimate Cooldowns: removed
    • Network Expansion: moved to Level 2
    • Quick Ping: improved drone handling (faster accel/decel)
  • Upgrades: Level 3
    • Satellite Imagery: drone scan persists for an additional 1.5s
    • Hackathon: cut the drone cooldown in half, gain a speed boost anytime he uses his Ult or the drone is destroyed

Fuse

  • Upgrades
    • Big Bang: removed
    • Ring Master: gain access to Ring Consoles
    • Scar Tissue:
      • Simplified and buffed damage mitigation to remove lingering burn effects
      • Take a flat 20 damage when crossing The Motherlode instead of 37 (50% of 75 hp) over time
    • Wreckless: fixed explosive damage mitigation not being applied on continuous Knuckle Cluster hits (should only take about 32 damage from a full Knuckle Cluster now with Wreckless)

Newcastle

  • Mobile Shield: Throw anim speed increased (~2.5x faster)
  • Castle Wall
    • Will now destroy incoming projectiles headed towards the front of the wall while energized. It will not destroy projectiles fired from behind the wall nor bombardments from other Legend’s Ultimate projectiles.
    • Castle Wall energized duration increased to 1m (was 30s)
  • Upgrade
    • Stronghold: increased energized duration to 3m (was 2.5m)

Octane

  • Upgrades
    • Wreckless: Removed
    • Mad Hops moved to Level 2
    • Thick Skin: Now Level 2 and 3, updated to take 5 less Stim damage to reflect that it can be selected twice (was -25%)

Wattson

  • Upgrades
    • Falling Stars: Pylons will stop spawning Arc Stars when her squad is eliminated
    • Split Circuit: no longer reduces shield regen capacity

Wraith

  • Into the Void and Dimensional Rift: nearby enemies will be highlighted for players traveling through the Void

Maps

  • Broken Moon shattered
    • New POIs: Cliff Side, Experimental Labs, Solar Pods, Space Port, Quarantine Zone, Underpass
    • Breaker Wharf updated
    • New rotations to switch things up and keep squads on the move
  • Added new possible Ring Console, Survey Beacon, and Crafter spawn locations to World’s Edge and Storm Point, and further evened out the probability of a prop spawning at any specific location
    • World’s Edge
      • Added possible Ring Console spawn locations to Mirage à Trois and Survey Camp
      • Added possible Survey Beacon spawn locations to Survey Camp and The Geyser
    • Storm Point
      • Added possible Crafter spawn location to Command Center
      • Added possible Survey Beacon spawn locations to The Wall, and the unnamed POIs Northeast of Checkpoint and at the edge of the map East of Storm Catcher

Modes

Solos

  • Six week Duos takeover 
  • 50 players
  • Second Chance Respawn
    • Automatically respawn once if you die in the first 4 rounds
    • Second chance converted to EVO if unused by the round cutoff
  • Battle Sense: HUD indicator when enemies are within 50 meters
  • Auto Heals
    • Health regenerates out of combat
    • Auto heal starts after each kill
  • Additional adjustments to loot pool, circle sizes, and round times to accommodate solo play

Mixtape

  • Lockdown added to rotation: Zeus Station, Monument
  • Mixtape Map Rotations
    • Default rotation
      • Control: Production Yard, Thunderdome
      • Gun Run: The Core, Wattson’s Pylon
      • Lockdown: Monument, Zeus Station
      • TDM: Skulltown, Zeus Station
    • Mixtape rotation (5/24-5/28)
      • Gun Run: The Core, Wattson’s Pylon
      • Lockdown: Monument, Zeus Station
      • TDM: Skulltown, Zeus Station
    • 1st Week of Pride Month (6/1-6/7)
      • Control: Barometer
      • Gun Run: Wattson’s Pylon
      • Lockdown: Zeus Station
      • TDM: Zeus Station
    • Mixtape Rotation (6/11-6/17)
      • Control: Barometer, Caustic Treatment
      • Lockdown: Monument, Zeus Station
      • TDM: Skulltown, Zeus Station
    • TDM 24/7 (6/18-6/24)
      • Rules
      • Scorelimit: 35
      • Time Limit: 10 minutes
      • Increased health regen
      • Skull Town, Zeus Station, Monument, Thunderdome, Wattson’s Pylon, Fragment
  • LTM Rotations
    • 5/24-5/28 Control: Production Yard, Thunderdome, Caustic, Barometer, Lava Siphon
    • 5/31-6/3 Control: Production Yard, Thunderdome, Caustic, Barometer, Lava Siphon
    • 6/11-6/17 Gun Run: Skull Town, Zeus Station, Thunderdome, Wattson, Fragment, The Core

Ranked

  • All players in a premade Ranked squad must be within 3 Rank tiers of each other or they will not be allowed to progress to matchmaking
  • No tuning changes to be made to ranked scoring for the launch of Upheaval

Season Reset

  • Where you ended in your last season of Ranked will determine where you start in Upheaval
    • If you ended your last season in Rookie, you will be reset to 1 RP
    • If you ended your last season above Rookie, you will be reset to Bronze IV

Split Timing

  • Split 2 will take place at the same time as the .1 patch, not a week after like in previous seasons

Upheaval Ranked Rewards

  • Your end-of-season rewards will now be determined by the highest Rank tier you achieved during the entire season
  • Split Rewards: your season-end reward badge will be animated if you match or surpass your Split 1 Rank in Split 2
    • If you do not achieve this, you will get the normal version of your badge

World Systems

  • Improved end ring generation system

Bug Fixes

  • Equipping an Evac Tower or Mobile Respawn Beacon will no longer close the inventories of all other players in the match
  • Firing Range: fixed some edge cases where Legend change was available when it shouldn’t be
  • Fixed occasional crash when interacting with an enemy’s crafted banner
  • “Mischief Medic” no longer appears as “Highlighted Healer”
  • Olympus: players can no longer enter/exit Vault without key
  • Survey Beacons and Ring Consoles should now be pingable again from the map
  • When hip firing with the Devotion, it will now properly track its reticle

Legends

  • Ballistic: duration of speedy whistler restored to 2s
  • Bloodhound
    • Passive markers no longer appear for teammates not on player’s squad
    • Players can once again be scanned by two Bloodhounds at the same time
  • Catalyst: fixed Dark Veil not charging for a short duration off of spawn
  • Crypto:recall audio when the drone is far away from you is audible once again
  • Maggie: Removed drill burn audio for players in the area of effect while phased
  • Removed Wraith Shadows from the void if you aren’t playing as Wraith
  • Wattson: resolved bad spawn points for Arc Stars generated from the Falling Stars upgrade

Quality of Life

  • Additional security improvements
  • Airdropping Replicators now project a beam upwards as they are descending to help differentiate them from other airdrops.
  • Back by popular demand, you can requeue at the end of Pubs BR and Mixtape matches.
  • Ballistic: can now add any locked-set weapon into the sling where it will be converted to the proper locked-set tier and restored to its original state when being moved out (red-tier still not allowed).
  • Death Box Flyers: option to automatically ping the location of the Death Box will be prompted when knocking it from a Flyer’s grasp.
  • Improved the choice of consumables that are auto-selected when either reaching full health, reaching full shields, or when dropping your last selected item. The new choice should more intelligently select shield consumables or prioritize syringes for quick healing. These changes were made to help new players have more optimal outcomes. 
  • Improved use interactions with doors when self res is available.
  • Map spawn audit for all Mixtape Modes: Phase Runner, Habitat, Thunderdome, Zeus Station.
  • Upgraded to the latest version of Easy Anti-Cheat.

Pings

  • Should now go through all translucent surfaces like windows.
  • Players can now request for Grenades (Arc Stars, Frag Grenades, and Thermites).
    • Works similar to healing items: hold the Grenade button to open the Ordnance Wheel, hover on an ordnance item, select Ping to request.

Thunderdome

  • Airdrop location adjustments
  • Control
    • Moved C capture point to landing pad
    • Adjusted spawns attached to B capture point

Graphics

  • Added new “Map Detail” PC video setting to adjust the amount of environmental decoration and set dressing (this may improve performance for players with low-spec PCs and those targeting high framerates).
  • Changed the way players opt-in to the DX12 beta: if you’re playing via the DirectX 12 beta now, the launch argument “-eac_launcher_settings SettingsDX12.json” should be changed to “-anticheat_settings=SettingsDX12.json.”
  • Improved accuracy and visual fidelity of baked environment lighting for static outdoor objects.
  • Improved accuracy of baked lighting for dynamic objects, to avoid situations where Legends would appear unlit.
  • Significantly improved CPU performance of the Rendering Hardware Interface (RHI), mostly benefitting the PC DirectX 12 beta.

That was everything we know so far about Apex Legends Season 21. For more on Respawn’s battle royale, check out some of our other guides:

How many people play Apex Legends? | How to find your perfect sensitivity in Apex Legends | All Apex Legends voice actors | Best PC settings for Apex Legends | How to unlink & link Apex Legends and EA accounts | How to get Heirlooms in Apex Legends