Apex Legends Dev Confirms Respawn is Looking to 'Tackle' Shield Meta

It appears Gibraltar could be in line for a nerf in the near future.
It appears Gibraltar could be in line for a nerf in the near future. / Image courtesy of Respawn Entertainment

With the start of Apex Legends Season 13: Saviors, it appears we won't be getting Gibraltar nerfs just yet, but soon enough perhaps.

In Defiance, Gibraltar has continued to see a mere 3.1% pick rate overall, a stark contrast to the 100% pick rate he had in the NA Apex Legends Global Series (ALGS) Pro League Split 1 Playoffs. This remains one of the most interesting balance topics in Apex moving forward as Respawn Entertainment has already acknowledged in the past that it's tough to nerf Gibby for the pros without making him even worse in the eyes of the general community.

According to Respawn senior game designer Devan McGuire, however, it appears the "shield meta" could be what's next for the developers to focus on.

During a Q&A press event for Apex Legends: Saviors, McGuire revealed that although no Gibraltar changes are coming just yet at the start of Season 13, Respawn is evaluating the Shielded Fortress' kit "very seriously."

Additionally, McGuire added that the dev team wants to "tackle the shield meta" so it doesn't dominate too much ⁠— a concern that's certainly plausible considering Respawn is about to introduce its first character aside from Gibby that can provide strong tactical protection during fights.

Back in Season 9, Respawn live balance designer John Larson mentioned the oddity of balancing Gibraltar's kit.

"When we think, 'We've got to do a Gibby nerf,'" Larson said, "it's a little scary because we don't want to tank that pick rate any more for the majority of the player base. So the question is, how do we make him a sexier pick without incorporating too much power?

"I would just want to think about something that could sort of complement that, to maybe give him a bit more selfish power or just make him a little sexier."