If you've been playing Apex Legends pretty regularly throughout the year, then you've likely hit the level cap, unlocked all the characters, and run out of free loot not tied to battle passes or events. Hopefully, if you're not the type to spend money on cosmetics, you've gotten some good freebies—but if you haven't, the update coming to Apex on December 3 might just net you the skin you've always wanted, instantly and for free.
Respawn Entertainment's Lee Horn details the level progression and corresponding free loot changes in a new post on the official Apex Legends blog. On top of raising the level cap from 100 to 500, Respawn is adding 154 free Apex Packs to the progression track. The rate at which these free Apex Packs are doled out is also being tweaked and applied retroactively: for instance, when a level 100 player logs in on December 3, they'll have 14 new Apex Packs to open.
Respawn is also adding a few dozen new gun charms and badges. 36 new charms are joining the general loot pool, and players will receive level-icon badges and gun charms as they reach new milestones from level 1-500.
Apex has weathered some serious criticism for running limited time events with pricey cosmetics, and the level cap has been a sore point since shortly after launch. Though last month's Halloween-themed event may have helped Apex hit its best month in spending since launch—indicating that plenty of players are willing to pay for cosmetics—this update will greatly expand the sheer amount of free stuff (and, yes, the grind to get it) for all players.
Here's the breakdown of how all 199 free Apex Packs are distributed:
- Level 2 - 20: One pack every level
- Level 22 - 300: One pack every two levels
- Level 305 - 500: One pack every five levels
Players currently below level 100 may log in on December 3 to find their level has been bumped up as a result of Respawn readjusting the XP curve—but all players like me who've kept earning XP long past 100 will start the climb to 500 from there. With each level and for every 18,000 XP past the new level cap, players will still earn 600 Legend Tokens, the free currency that used to pile up for Apex players until a recent update.
For tips on playing that'll make the climb to level 500 that much faster and easier, check out USG's Apex Legends guide section.