Time to learn a new recoil pattern.
Move over, Nemesis, R-99, and RE-45. Season 17 will feature a different weapon that you’ll commonly see in your matches when it drops on May 9. And if pros and streamers are right, it will turn its wielder into a raid boss.
The L-STAR was the first new weapon added to Apex Legends after the game’s release, and it was also one of the game’s first big flops. The blinding particle effects of the gun and its underwhelming DPS led many players to skip picking it up out of a care package, and it was moved to ground loot shortly after. In season 17 it finally returns to the care package, and the buffs its received this time around finally make it the monster Respawn probably wanted it to be back in 2019.
According to the season 17 patch notes, the new and improved care package L-STAR has Disruptor Rounds added to it for a 60-percent damage buff against enemy body shields, as well as damage passthrough being added to the gun. Not only will this make the L-STAR one of the best guns in the game in terms of quickly downing an enemy, but it also opens up the possibility of collateral damage as its bullets can now pass through enemies and damage their teammates behind them, as well.
It’s this combination that’s been so eye-opening for players at the highest levels of Apex.
“Bro. Woah… ” was most of what NRG’s Chris “sweetdreams” Sexton could say about the L-STAR change as he read through the season 17 patch notes. He also noted one of the other big bonuses to the care package weapon: it will have 324 ammo when picked up.
Care package weapons can be tricky when it comes to the ammo that comes stored in them. Some weapons, like the much-maligned care package G7 Scout, simply didn’t have enough ammo stored up in them to make it worth picking up. Running out of bullets with the gun and having to swap weapons is a real danger, and if you already have a kitted weapon that’s about as good as the care package weapon, it doesn’t make much sense to trade it out.
Related: Complete Apex Legends season 17 patch notes
The L-STAR runs through ammo quickly, sure. But 324 ammo is more than enough to run through a few teamfights, provided you’re not using the gun to snipe people out from long range. Instead, the L-STAR figures to be a two-in-one powerhouse that can excel in both short-range and mid-range combat for those players that take the time to learn its recoil patterns.
There’s a strong possibility that the ideal weapon loadout for season 17 is double energy weapon, with players being able to stockpile massive amounts of energy ammo to use the Nemesis Burst AR for long and mid-range poke, before swapping to the L-STAR when fighting gets closer to them.
There are more changes coming to the L-STAR as well, such as reduced visual effects when hitting a player without a body shield, increased projectile growth, and an easier-to-control recoil pattern. These buffs are slightly offset by a nerf of one damage to the gun’s base damage and it no longer accepting barrel stabilizers, but not much.
So, if you want to be the raid boss terrorizing a lobby next season, get into that new Firing Range and start practicing with the L-STAR. It’s going to win you plenty of fights when Arsenal drops on May 9.