Apex Legends received a huge update about two weeks ago, starting off a new season, adding a new weapon, and introducing a new Legend. But the best part of Season 6 isn’t a new playable character or new cosmetic content. It’s the brilliant crafting mechanic, because it effectively counters two huge problems all battle royale games have. But before we dive into why crafting is such a brilliant move by Respawn Entertainment, here’s a quick summary of how it works.
How does Apex Legends’ crafting work?
How to get crafting Materials
Crafting is done by inputting Materials into a Replicator. Materials can be found by opening Supply Bins. 5 Materials per Supply Bin, to be exact. Alternatively, Material Stations are spread around the map (randomly placed, though very frequent around Replicators). Extracting these grant you 25 Materials.
How to craft
When you’ve gathered enough Materials, you have to visit a Replicator. These crafting stations spawn randomly around the map, and occasionally ‘land’ just like Care Packages. Here, you synthesize items of your choice. What you can craft, changes every day/week. In fact, craftable items do not spawn anywhere on the map.
For example, one weapons stops spawning per day and can only be obtained by crafting it. Other craftable items, like body shields, helmets, backpacks, and mobile respawn beacons, change every week. Lastly, you can permanently craft the ammo required for your equipped guns, and you can upgrade your EVO body shield.
Apex Legends changing the meta every week
But why is the ability to craft items so important for Apex Legends? Glad you asked! When you’ve ever played an online shooter, you’ll know how impactful the meta can be for your gameplay experience. What weapons players generally use depends at least partially, on which guns the developers decided to make strong or weak. That subsequently means that the meta can get stale; after all, variety is the spice of life!
And with Apex Legends’ new crafting mechanic, there is no meta! Of course, some weapons are still stronger than others, but they might not spawn at all. Then, you have to make due with whatever is available, or rotate towards a Replicator to craft the weapon of your choice.
Additionally, with certain items not spawning for a week, the whole fundament of the game changes. If epic helmets are out of the rotation, it’s unlikely enemies have anything better than a level 2 helmet. And so, for a week, headshots likely do more damage than usual. In other words, every day and week is slightly different in Apex Legends, keeping the game fresh in the process.
You are in control of your loadout
The new crafting mechanic really hits two birds with one stone though. It’s not just that the meta is forcefully changed continuously. It’s also that you now have more control over how you play, whatever the meta.
Simply put, the battle royale genre is insanely random. You might only run into weapons you hate. Maybe you have to drop your favorite gun because you can’t find any ammo for it. Hell, sometimes you spend the first few frantic minutes running around with a backpack full of grenades and scopes and no weapons at all!
With the Replicators, you can always rely on crafting ammo and/or a weapon. If you’re lucky, you can even be guaranteed your favorite weapon, provided it’s in the crafting rotation that day.
So once again, Respawn Entertainment has truly enhanced the battle royale genre with innovative mechanics. Because let’s be honest, despite all it’s seemingly undying popularity, the battle royale shooter subgenre has a lot of inherent flaws. Not being in control over what weapons you use is one of those flaws. The game being all about finding one of the few valid weapon choices is another one.
And with the new crafting mechanic, Respawn has once again worked out some of the fundamental flaws of Apex Legends. Even after 6 seasons, the game is still innovating like crazy!