Apex Legends Mastiff Update - Chaos Theory Weapon Changes Explained

Changes, changes everywhere.

March 4, 2021

The new Chaos Theory Collection event has brought a huge update to Apex Legends. Among changes to game modes, character perks, and items, this new event is attempting to answer and fix the age-old question of Apex players: is the Mastiff shotgun too OP? The Apex Mastiff has been a top-tier weapon in competitive play for nearly the entirety of its existence but many consider it to be too powerful. The new update is going to change the gun in a few ways to hopefully balance the game better.

Mastiff Changes

  • Pellet damage decreased from 13 → 11.
  • Fire rate increased from 1.0 → 1.1.

These two changes may seem subtle but will definitely change how the Mastiff feels. Reducing its damage output might change its place in the meta as a reliable shield cracker. Depending on the angle and distance of the enemy, this update might relegate the Mastiff to being an early game weapon for use only on low-tier shields.

The fire rate time increase also seems small, but in the heat of battle will make all the difference in the world. The developers at Respawn made it clear that they wanted to make each shotgun even more distinct between the “fast fire EVA-8 and the heavy-hitting Peacekeeper.” This will put the Mastiff between those two weapons, but it’s unclear right now how that will resonate. Players might ask “why grab a Mastiff if the EVA-8 is faster and the Peacekeeper hits harder?”

Other Weapon Changes

The other three weapon changes are as follows from the official patch notes:

Weapon Optics

  • All gold AR and LMG default optics updated to 2x Bruiser.


  •  +1 bullet to every magazine size, including base.


  • Increased hip-fire spread.

Dev Note: The burst damage from the Hemlok’s hip-fire was feeling a little too consistent for an AR that should excel at medium range. This change mitigates the Hemlok’s close quarters damage spikes that felt bad on the receiving end.

For more on the Chaos Theory Collection event changes, make sure to check out our coverage of all Legend updates and the big takeaways from the upcoming event.


Peter Hunt Szpytek

Peter is from Chicago. He's played more JRPG's than he can count despite being not totally great at them and you can usually find him on the weekends dropping hot in Apex Legends. When not holding a controller, he's at the gym trying to get in shape for his next cosplay.

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