Apex Legends nerfs “pay to win” cosmetic weapon skin and vows to improve iron sights

Apex Legends developer Respawn has nerfed the Heat Sink skin iron sights and says it is “improving the competitive integrity of iron sights now and in the future”.

In an update posted to the game’s official website (via Reddit), Respawn responded to players’ reports that some of the battle royale’s weapon skins offered an unfair competitive advantage when aiming down sights.


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“Competitive integrity is and will always be a core pillar for Apex Legends,” Respawn said. “As part of that, our default iron sights are designed to push players to loot for better optics. We also believe that skins shouldn’t be a factor in the sights functionality as well.

“During Season 4, we released the Heat Sink reactive skin for the VK-47 Flatline rifle and we heard feedback from some players that the Aim Down Sights (ADS) felt superior to any other skin available.”

The post goes on to explain that in order to “make things as fair as possible”, it has reworked the Flatline’s Heat Sink skin. The Revelations skins has also been tweaked to give better visibility, as the original version’s “side fins” created “larger blindspots than intended”.

“We believe that any competitive edge in Apex Legends should be gained by honing your skills and not due to any perceived advantages from buying gun skins,” the post concludes. “As our good friend Kuben Blisk puts it: ‘You kill me, you’re better. I kill you, I’m better’. We hope players who own these skins will appreciate these improvements and support us as we work to keep Apex Legends fun and fair.”

The community has broadly been happy about the changes, with one player saying: “I’m sad about this change ’cause that’s my favourite skin on my favourite gun, but man at least this will stop the community yelling ‘pay to win!?!?’ for every Flatline skin. Seems like this is gonna be healthy for the game in the long run.”

For a closer look at Season 14 of Apex Legends – during which Respawn set a new peak player count of 500,000+ concurrent players – check out our guide all about it here.

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