The most significant update yet to EA and Respawn Entertainment’s wildly popular battle royale game, Apex Legends, is nearly its launch. Season 1 is set to release on March 19 and brings with it both a battle pass and the first new character since the game’s launch in early February. Much like the game itself, we weren’t given a lot of heads-up before release, although details have been leaking in advance of the battle pass’s official announcement.
Perhaps the most significant component of Season 1 is the release of a new playable character Legend, Octane. Despite some confusion, however, he is launching alongside the season and battle pass, but is not actually part of the latter. Instead, he can be purchased independently of the battle pass. Read on for all the details about what the battle pass is, what it includes, what it costs, and more.
Release Date And Time
This is the most anticipated detail of all: the battle pass’s release date. Respawn has confirmed Season 1 launches on Tuesday, March 19 at 10 AM PT / 1 PM ET / 5 PM GMT (4 AM AET on March 20). The update might release alongside a patch implementing the recently announced character hitbox changes.
Rewards And What’s Included In The Battle Pass
In Respawn’s year-one roadmap for the battle passes, it stated that all four of this year’s battle passes will include new weapons and loot like exclusive cosmetics, and at least one new Legend character. Each battle pass will include 100 rewards: skins for characters and weapons, stat trackers, Apex Coins, and more.
For Season 1, anyone who plays during the season can earn the Wild Frontier skin, five Apex Packs, and 18 Wild Frontier stat trackers. Those who purchase the battle pass can also get loads more loot, including instant unlocks of Lifeline Revolutionary skin, Wraith Survivor skin, and Mirage Outlaw skin. This is done by leveling up the battle pass with XP; there no Fortnite-style challenges here, although Respawn’s statements suggest those could come in the future.
Among the rewards you can earn by leveling up the battle pass are Apex Coins–provided you make it to level 97, you can actually earn 1,000 coins, enabling you to buy the next battle pass without spending any additional money.
As for the new weapons and items in the roadmap, Respawn didn’t share any plans to introduce these at the start of Season 1. That doesn’t mean March 19 won’t have some surprises in store for us, but it could be that weapons and items will be introduced through subsequent updates, much like how we got the new Havoc gun seemingly out of nowhere.
Respawn will offer two tiers of the battle pass pricing. For 950 Apex Coins (roughly $10) you can get the standard battle pass and start grinding away at earning your rewards. For 2800 Apex Coins you can purchase a Battle Pass Bundle, which grants you the first 25 levels instantly.
If you’re on Xbox One or PC, you might be able to get the battle pass for cheaper. Subscribing to EA Access or Origin Access gets you some free rewards on the respective platforms, including 1,000 Apex Coins. Because a month of these services is cheaper than buying 1,000 Apex Coins (the lowest amount that will cover the cost of the battle pass), subscribing for a month and then canceling will both save you a few bucks and get you other rewards and perks. And, as noted above, you’ll be able to buy a future battle pass with Apex Coins earned by leveling up this one.
How It Works
The first Battle Pass is centered around XP and leveling up–you won’t find any challenges here, as some had speculated. In a blog post explaining the philosophy behind its approach, Respawn explained, “Season 1 is about keeping it focused and allowing players to earn a lot of rewards at a great value (you even get the cost of the base Battle Pass back if you reach level 97). We’ll begin adding more and more innovations each season, as we evolve the Battle Pass.”
In a post on Reddit, Respawn explained, “Basically there are now two progression paths–Player Level and Battle Pass Level. Battle Pass Level is earned similarly to Player Level–via playing the game an earning XP, with a few BP-only bonuses. Both tracks are separate and independent–so two rewards tracks!”
You can read more about how the Battle Pass works in our explainer.
New Character, Octane
The new seasonal character is Octavio “Octane” Silva, who lost his legs in a gauntlet speed run. He has an Adrenaline Junkie ability that trades health for speed, and he has unlimited Stim health supplies. His Ultimate ability is a Launch Pad, which gives him and his teammates a serious boost.
Octane will be released alongside the battle pass but will be a separate purchase. He will cost the same as other purchasable characters Mirage and Caustic–12,000 Legend Tokens or 750 Apex Coins.
Respawn teased his Ultimate ability by littering launch pads around the in-game map in the days before the announcement. We can probably expect similar in-game teasers to come for subsequent characters in future seasons.
Respawn acknowledged that the leak of Octane was legitimate. That said, datamining has revealed several other possible Legends, and these are much less certain. Respawn appeared to address these purported leaks in its statement as well.
“There’s stuff in there that is very old, or things we’ve tried in the past and cut–remember our design process is to prototype and play lots of ideas–and some of it may be things we’re still building for Apex Legends,” said community manager Jay Frechette. “Finding this stuff by no means confirms that it’ll ever come out. At best you should treat any posts about this as a rumor and the real info will come from us when we’re ready to show off what’s coming next.”
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