Apex Legends S20 Is Changing How Evo Shields Work In a Big Way

apex legends season 20 - legend upgrade perk system
In Short
  • Body shields will no longer spawn as floor loot, reducing the randomness early in-game.
  • Body shields have been replaced by Shield Cores with an Overcharge feature in Apex Legends Season 20.
  • The game adds new ways to farm EVO, including EVO Harvesters, EVO Caches, assisting teammates, and more.

Over the last five years, there have been a bajillion changes to how things work in Apex Legends. But if you ask me to pinpoint one of the best upgrades to the gameplay experience, it would, without any doubt, have to be the EVO Shields.

EVO Shields were first introduced as an event item in Season 4 but ended up becoming a staple, replacing normal body shields in Season 6. This change was furthered in Season 9 with the “Starter Kit,” which saw players drop in-game with a white EVO Shield, white helmet, white knockdown, two cells, and two syringes.

EVO Shields Get Massive Overhaul

Despite this change, you had same or higher-level armor on the ground to pick up and get an upper hand in the fight from the get-go. Well, that’s changing with Apex Legends Season 20. The first big change to the game next season is that armors will no longer spawn as floor loot.

Every player will now spawn with a white EVO Shield, which they need to upgrade as they play the game. One of the primary reasons for this change is, of course, the new “Legends Upgrade” system that has been introduced in Season 20. However, Respawn also believes that removing shields as a lootable item will reduce the “randomness” (or RNG), especially in the early game, which plays a huge role in a BR game like Apex.

Now, you may ask, how does this affect my game? Will upgrading EVO Shields be harder? During the virtual briefing, I had the same doubts, but they were quickly addressed by the dev team.

While the EVO XP for each armor tier has been greatly increased (as you can see above), the game now adds new ways to farm EVO in addition to dealing damage to other players. The non-combat ways to gain points are new EVO Harvesters, EVO Caches in drops, assisting your teammates, and other actions like scanning beacons or opening bins in-game.

EVO Harvesters (L) and EVO Caches (R) in Apex Legends

This is going to greatly change how the game feels, especially since you’ll have to put in the work to upgrade your armor and unlock perks. Now, with the basics out of the way, it’s time for the biggest question that sweaty Wraiths and movement players will have.

“Legend Upgrades and Armor will only impact Battle Royale modes (Pubs, Ranked, and Comp). Mixtape modes will not have upgrades and will continue to use Body Shields this season,” as per the official blog post.

Since armor or shields are no longer floor loot, how does shield swapping work from Apex Legends Season 20? Well, here is the answer.

Shield Cores and Overcharge in Apex Legends

Armor swapping is still in the game, but it has some nuance to it now. The body shields have been swapped out for a new lootable item called Shield Core. Your armor in-game is now “powered by a Shield Core.”

So now, when you are looting a body, you will see these shield cores in place of body shields. They will display the charge that a player’s armor has – just sounds complicated but is the same concept as before. The color of the shield core corresponds to the charge it can hold. So, a blue shield core means it can absorb 75HP damage, and so on.

Temporary overcharge on picking up a Purple Shield Core

Now, while that concept is easy to understand, there is a slightly confusing aspect to it as well. In the current version of the game, you can choose armor swaps based on EVO remaining for the next tier, marked by little red and green arrows.

That no longer applies here. In Season 20, if you pick up a Shield Core with the same or lower level as you, then it will bring your shield to that player’s charge. However, if you pick a Shield Core with a higher level than you, then a new “Overcharge” feature will come into play.

Think of this as the temporary shields you get from Conduit’s Tactical. It’s a temporary shield pool that will decay over time (held for 30 seconds), bringing the armor back to its maximum capacity. You need to gain EVO to bring your armor to the same level as the core. Super confusing, I know, but it will kind of make sense once you try out these changes.

Finally, the Shield Cores can be dropped or swapped for other cores at any time. That means you can still collect cores instead of shield swaps to get an upper hand over your enemies in-game. So, what are your thoughts on these EVO changes? Good or bad? Let us know in the comments below.

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