If you’ve played Apex Legends, you’ve probably found yourself stuck in a room with Caustic at some point, watching your health dwindle as your character becomes enveloped in green gas before turning into a loot coffin. It’s not terribly fun, and it’s situations like these that have made Caustic a bit of a bane in the battle royale’s community.
While it appears that the fart machine’s days of raining terror are numbered, Respawn hasn’t quite figured out how to nerf him just yet. Someone posted a clip to Reddit of a Caustic play where he was able to wipe the enemy team due to the ring’s small size. The Caustic player simply tosses in his toxic smoke and hides until everyone is no more than a loot box.
Another player asked how you could counter that strategy, and got a reply from none other than Respawn lead game designer Daniel Klein. The dev admits that there isn’t really a counter, and that it sucks. The challenge, though, is nerfing the Legend in a way that doesn’t ruin him for long-serving Caustic mains.
“Once you get to this exact situation, there isn’t one, and that fucking sucks,” he says. “It’s something we’re talking about, but we don’t exactly have a solution yet. Creating a shootable central thing for the [ultimate], like Horizon, would work but it’s such a heavy-handed fix (and would probably require us making barrels destructible post-trigger because otherwise, they’re just better than the [ultimate]).
“The problem with all that is what do we give him in return? Because we can’t just make him an unpickable character either. You may not like them, but Caustic mains exist and deserve to have fun too.”
This isn’t the first time Respawn has spoken about nerfing Caustic. Respawn held a Reddit AMA following the launch of Season 8. Associate live balance designer John Larson admits that the gassy Legend is “undeniably strong” and has “the highest win rate in matches that last longer than 20 minutes” following a recent change to his kit.
“Ever since the change to gas allowed teammates to play in gas with relatively no repercussions, there was a lot of unrealised potential that was quickly tapped into within the past couple months,” he says. “Long story short, we hear the community feedback, as a player I feel it’s valid, the data backs up that he’s strong, and he’ll be getting some attention in the near future. In regards to Apex becoming ‘Ability Legends’, as new characters are introduced, it’s important they take up a unique design space.
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“This opens the door to potentially devastating synergies between legend abilities. I’ve seen (and experienced myself) the clips of chaotic ability driven end games, and that’s something we’re actively working on resolving.”
So when is Caustic going to get the wind knocked out of him? Who knows. It could well be at the start of Season 9 or sometime before. If you’re looking for some help to bring the annoying fart man down, then our Apex Legends tier list has a few picks for getting you started.