Apex Legends Season 12: Defiance – Patch Notes, Crypto Buff, And Everything To Know

Apex Legends Season 12: Defiance is right around the corner and kicks off Year 4 for developer Respawn’s battle royale. Year 3 proved a transformative year for Apex Legends–alongside the usual new weapons and characters, it saw the introduction of Arenas and a tighter narrative focus on the legacy of Titanfall 2. Respawn doesn’t seem to be letting up for Year 4, with Season 12 introducing a whole bunch of new content. Below, we go over everything Season 12 is changing about Apex Legends or adding to the game, including legend and weapon rebalancing, map changes, new modes, and events.

Start date

Apex Legends Season 12 is set to start February 8. If Respawn keeps to the same start time as Season 11: Escape, Season 12 will kick off at 10 AM PT / 1 PM ET. However, Respawn has not announced a start time yet.

Patch notes

Respawn has not yet released the full patch notes for Apex Legends Season 12. Patch notes for the major seasonal updates traditionally get revealed the day before a new season starts. So the Season 12 patch notes will likely be posted on February 7.

New character: Mad Maggie

Season 12 sees the addition of Mad Maggie to Apex Legends’ playable roster. Mad Maggie is an “aggressive playmaker”–her abilities are geared towards pushing enemy squads and engaging them in close-range combat, similar to Octane and Revenant. Maggie is the second playable character in Apex Legends with an ability that makes her especially adept when she’s using specific weapons (the first being Rampart, who gets an extended clip and faster reload speed on LMGs). Maggie excels with shotguns, gaining increased running speed when holding one.

Changes to Crypto and Caustic

Season 12 makes several balancing adjustments to Apex Legends’ existing cast of playable characters. Most notably, Crypto is getting a good buff–starting in Season 12, the recon legend will be able to toss his drone in a straight line, allowing him to quickly scan in front of him or attach the drone to a wall as a stationary webcam. Caustic will also be getting an update in Season 12. The toxic trapper is getting a nerf–his traps will now be destructible, preventing the legend from using them as reliable cover.

Weapon & hop-up changes

In Season 12, the Alternator SMG is rotating out of Care Packages and the Volt SMG is rotating in. On top of this, the VK-47 Flatline and Longbow DMR are both being rotated into Replicators, with no way to loot these firearms save for finding them in an enemy’s deathbox. You’ll otherwise have to craft them with Materials in order to nab them.

In terms of hop-up attachments, Hammerpoint Rounds are returning. The hop-up will still go on the P2020 and Mozambique, but Season 12 changes the attachment so that it can be put onto the RE-45 Auto as well. Additionally, Shatter Caps are changing so that it’s no longer a toggle–when attached, the 30-30 Repeater and Bocek Compound Bow will automatically switch to a shotgun-like bullet spread when firing from the hip. And finally, a new hop-up will be added in Season 12. Called Kinetic Feeder, the attachment can go on the Triple Take and Peacekeeper. It automatically reloads and starts focusing either weapon when you slide.

Map changes

Though it received smaller changes in both Season 7: Ascension and Season 9: Legacy, Olympus gets its first major adjustment in Season 12. The new season adds two major points of interest to Olympus, as well as several adjustments throughout the map. Now called “Sabotaged Olympus,” the new map features plenty of new ways to loot and navigate on the south side of the city with Phase Driver and Terminal.

Phase Driver is a huge, circular POI that will be wedged in between Hydroponics and Bonsai Hillside, causing Solar Array, Icarus, Bonsai Hillside, and Bonsai Plaza to all shift away from the center of Olympus in order to make room. Those POIs are still there though, don’t worry–the shape of the city has just shifted. Phase Driver can be interacted with–squads can use it up to three times to teleport in blue-, purple-, and gold-tier loot rollers (like the ones found in Pathfinder’s Fight Night).

Terminal is a large internal POI with five entrances, connecting Phase Driver, Bonsai Hillside, Bonsai Plaza, and Solar Array to Hammond Labs. So, what was once a simple hallway beneath the Phase Runner is now an interconnected series of passages that should make it a bit easier to travel and fight in between these locations without getting third-partied.

The northern half of the map has gotten some love too. Most notably, Supply Track (the hallway that connects Turbine to Rift) has been expanded with a new entryway, which should keep that location from becoming a choke point as regularly as it did in Seasons 7-9.

New mode: Control

At the start of Season 12, a new limited-time mode called Control will be added to Apex Legends. Control is chaotic fun, streamlining the Apex Legends’ experience to be more approachable for newcomers. The mode sees two teams of nine face off in a tug-of-war over controlling objectives across the map. Capturing and defending objectives nets your team points, and the first side to reach 1500 points takes the win.

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Limited-time events

Respawn has released its Apex Legends Season 12 roadmap. In it, two limited-time events are teased: Warriors and Unshackled. Warriors is a Collection Event, so it will likely feature a new legend heirloom–though it may also add a new mythic-tier legend cosmetic, like the Bloodhound skin seen in the Season 12 gameplay trailer that evolves over time. Unshackled is listed as a normal event, which means (if Respawn holds to pattern) it’s likely geared towards adding a new limited-time battle royale mode or Arenas map. Respawn has not confirmed either to be the case though, so we could just as easily get something totally brand-new.

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Ranked splits

Like previous seasons, Apex Legends Season 12 will feature a ranked split, allowing players to climb up the in-game rankings on two different maps. The Ranked playlist will start on Olympus. Midway through the season, your ranking will reset and Ranked will switch over to Kings Canyon.

For those who aren’t interested in Ranked, standard Trios and Duos will feature a regular map rotation between Olympus, Storm Point, and Kings Canyon. That means World’s Edge is out of the map rotation entirely in Season 12.


With the Alternator returning to ground loot and the Volt being placed in Care Packages, you’ll be able to once again buy the Alternator in Arenas. Conversely, you will not be able to buy the Volt. Additionally, the RE-45 will now be able to be upgraded to have the Hammerpoint Rounds hop-up attachment.

Quest storyline

In Season 12, Apex Legends’ Quest will dive into Mad Maggie, finally giving players her point of view. Octane’s dad, Duardo Silva, is setting Maggie up as a villain who’s putting the people’s beloved legends in danger (in the world of Apex Legends, the legends are basically just famous athletes, and the battle royale bloodsport they engage in is just good TV).

This plan is all in hopes of attracting more sympathy to his stance that the Syndicate (the group that runs the Apex Games and most of the populated worlds in the Titanfall/Apex Legends universe’s Outlands) is incompetent and in need of some new leadership: Duardo, himself. Octane and Lifeline (whose rich parents are also pretty evil and side with Duardo) are wise to his villainous nature, and have already set their own plans in motion to try and stop him.

Battle pass

Season 12 introduces a new battle pass to Apex Legends. Respawn has not yet revealed what all of the rewards will be, though you can see some of the new cosmetics in the Season 12 gameplay trailer–legendary skins for Seer and Loba and reactive legendary skins for the Hemlok Burst AR.

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Year 3 anniversary

In celebration of Apex Legends’ three-year anniversary, Season 12 will kick off a three-week giveaway. Log into Apex Legends during each of the first three weeks of Season 12, and you’ll be able to unlock Octane, Wattson, and Valkyrie for free. Each character comes with themed Apex Packs that will drop random items or cosmetics.

To unlock Octane, log into Apex Legends between February 8-15. To unlock Wattson, jump into the game February 15-22. And finally, Valkyrie can be unlocked by logging into Apex Legends February 22-March 1.

On top of that, Apex Legends Year 3 is ending with an Anniversary Collection event. During the first three weeks of Season 12, you can buy 24 collection-exclusive epic and legendary cosmetics from Apex Legends’ in-game store.

PS5 + Xbox Series X|S versions

Season 12 won’t see Apex Legends getting native PS5 and Xbox Series X|S versions, but current-gen versions are on the way. During a preview event, Apex Legends game director Steven Ferreira said, “We got a bunch of details [on PS5 and Xbox Series X|S versions of Apex Legends] coming soon, so I don’t want to spoil those.”

Cross-progression support

Though Apex Legends supports cross-play, it still does not support cross-progression, meaning players have to use separate accounts when they want to play on a different system. Cross-progression support is coming to Apex Legends in 2022, but it doesn’t seem to be scheduled for Season 12.

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