Apex Legends weapon buffs & nerfs in Season 18: Disruptor Rounds, SMG nerf, more

Apex Legends Disruptor rounds and Alternator SMG weapon from the game.Respawn Entertainment

Season 18 of Apex Legends releases with a new wave of weapon buffs and nerfs coming to the game, and the reintroduction of the controversial Disruptor Rounds hop-up.

Respawn Entertainment is once again returning with new changes for Apex Legends for a new season landing on August 8, 2023.

The update will look to refine the weapon balancing as the developers try to achieve an enjoyable and balanced meta for the game. 

The aim after every update is to make overpowered weapons less powerful and underperforming guns more powerful, and with this update there is a heavy nerf on all SMGs.

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Other major changes include the Prowler moving to Care Package loot and the reintroduction of the previously overpowered Disruptor Rounds from Season 2.

Apex Legends Prowler SMGRespawn Entertainment
Prowler SMG is moved to the Care Package.

Here is the full breakdown of all the tweaks and changes coming to Season 18 regarding weapons.

Season 18 weapon buffs & nerfs

Care Package rotation

The Prowler is now exclusively found in Care Package loot returning with select fire to shoot either a burst or fully automatic.

The Hemlok returns back to floor loot, but will receive a damage recoil buff that improves it over its previous non-care package version.

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Disruptor Rounds

Disruptor Rounds return from season 2 and are equipped as a hop-up attachment with the Alternator SMG and Peacekeeper shotgun. 

These controversial rounds were seen as being too overpowered in previous seasons with their enhanced shield damage proving useful in the middle to endgame.

Crafting rotations 

Returning to floor loot:

  • Rampage LMG
  • R-99 SMG

Returning to crafting:

  • Nemesis burst AR
  • Mozambique shotgun with enhanced Hammerpoint Rounds


Replacing the Prowler, the Hemlock burst AR is the only buff we know about so far as it returns back to floor loot along with a damage increase and recoil buff compared to the Care Package version.

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Respawn is also pleased with the popular Nemesis AR in its current build, and so no changes are planned due to it rivaling well against the R-301 and Flatine ARs.



The biggest change of the nerfs comes from all the SMGs being hit with the following:

  • Strafe speed reduced
  • Headshot multiplier reduced

R-99 SMG

With the R-99 SMG being nerfed even further:

  • Ammo magazine size reduced
  • Vertical recoil increased

Mastiff Shotgun

The shotgun blast pattern has been tightened to gain more consistency in shooting instead of a more widespread spray.

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Here are all the changes to the weapon meta from the Season 18 patch notes in full:


Charge Rifle Rework

  • New ballistics and projectile
    • Removed hitscan
    • Removed pre-fire laser
    • Projectiles have player passthrough: 80% damage retained
    • Opens doors
  • Projectiles gain damage with distance
    • 50 meters: 75 Damage
    • 300 meters: 110 Damage
  • New charge mechanics
    • Holding the trigger down will increase charge
    • Releasing the trigger will decrease charge
    • Fires at 100% charge
  • Added Extended Sniper Mag attachment slot
    • Base: 4
    • White: 5
    • Blue: 6
    • Purple/Gold: 8
  • Ammo Consumption per shot reduced to 1 (was 2)
  • Handling timings adjusted
    • Tactical reload time decreased to 3.5 (was 4.0)
    • Empty reload time decreased to 4.6 (was 5.1)

All SMGs (R-99, Alternator, CAR, Volt)

  • Strafe Speed:ADS strafe scale reduced to 0.75(was 0.85)
  • Headshot multi reduced to 1.25 (was 1.5)


  • Vertical Recoil slightly increased
  • Ammo capacity reduced
    • Base Ammo reduced to 17 (was 19)
    • White Mag reduced to 20 (was 21)
    • Blue Mag reduced to 23 (was 24)
    • Purple/Gold Mag reduced to 26 (was 27)

M600 Spitfire

  • Added Barrels for improved stability
  • ADS Recoil improved
  • Hipfire spread slightly improved


  • Blast pattern tightened


Boosted Loader (Hemlok, Wingman)

Reloading when near empty will speed up reloading and overload the next magazine

  • Hemlok overload ammo: 9
  • Wingman overload ammo: 3

Disruptor Rounds (Alternator, Peacekeeper)

Increases shield damage

  • Alternator shield damage increased by 20%
  • Peacekeeper shield damage (per pellet) increased by 25%

Double Tap Trigger (EVA-8, G7 Scout)

  • Removed from floor and crafting bundles


  • Frag Grenade
    • Outer Radius increased to 350 units (was 320)
    • Inner Radius increased to 125 units (was 96)
  • Thermite
    • Adjusted fire VFX to better match damage area

EA and Respawn Entertainment’s weapon balancing will hope to land with a more successful launch than their underperforming Season 17 when Season 18 launches on August 8, 2023.

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