The Havoc assault rifle, Apex Legends' first piece of post-launch content, is a bit of a mixed bag. Since its addition on February 20, millions of players have dropped into Kings Canyon to test out the game's newest weapon. Of course, we at Screen Rant are to be counted among them, and the verdict is in: the Havoc rifle is a middle-of-the-road weapon that, despite its interesting use of the game's transformative hop-ups, isn't really worth holding on to after the immediate post-drop fight for survival.
Of course, that's not to say the Havoc isn't a wholly unwelcome addition. Apex Legends has a remarkably balanced arsenal, and wielders of the Havoc rifle can no doubt hold their own against foes equipped with other weapons currently favored by Apex's fast-evolving meta. Nevertheless, there's little reason to pick the new weapon up beyond a session's earliest mad grab for loot, and it's largely due to the Havoc's novel but gimmicky reliance upon the game's Hop-Up attachments, the Selectfire Receiver and Turbocharger. Whereas the Selectfire Receiver and Turbocharger were before exclusively relegated to enhancing the fire rate of the Prowler and Devotion, respectively, either Hop-Up can be fitted onto the Havoc.
A Selectfire Receiver-equipped Havoc allows its user to switch between a charged single-fire mode and the gun's default automatic setting on the fly. The single-fire blast does significant damage, but its power is checked by its noticeably low rate of fire, meaning players that opt to use the Havoc as a sniper rifle have to either also carry a weapon with greater DPS or tactically switch between the two firing modes as situations call for them. Meanwhile, the rarer Turbocharger Hop-Up eliminates the automatic rifle's firing delay, allowing players to more quickly spit rounds at enemies at short-to-medium range with fairly manageable recoil.
By and large, the Turbocharger is the better attachment for most combat situations, as its immediate automatic fire makes the default Havoc feel archaic by contrast, and the slow semi-automatic fire offered by the Selectfire Receiver is easily out-classed by actual sniper rifles. Only one attachment can be equipped at a time, so players are left to make the not-so-tough choice between Hop-Ups.
That is, if you can consistently find your Hop-Up of choice every game session - you can forget about trying to find both a Havoc and your favorite attachment after respawning any later than during the first couple of rounds. On its own, the Havoc suffers from two glaring issues: its spin-up delay before firing can and likely will cause frustrating deaths when players are faced with stronger weapons, and its 25-round energy magazine demands near-perfect accuracy and, like that of other energy weapons, cannot be upgraded.
Furthermore, since the Wingman, G7, and Hemlok (when set to single-fire), as well as high rate-of-fire automatics like the Spitfire, Flatline, and R-99 (which eclipse the Turbocharged Havoc's DPS) offer players the option to upgrade their magazine capacity, the Havoc is easily beaten in each category it seeks to inhabit. One intriguing option exists in which a player can equip two Havocs, each carrying one of its accepted Hop-Ups, but there's the final caveat that energy ammo is still scarce, and anyone brave enough to go all in on the Havoc would likely find themselves desperately switching weapons and ammo types in a claustrophobic late-game circle.
Overall, the Havoc isn't a bad rifle. It's just not likely to be the gun that many will find themselves brandishing when the the victory screen flashes - barring streamer hijinks, of course. That said, the Havoc is a conceptually fascinating gun and a welcome inclusion to a destructive repertoire that has so far been exclusively derived from the Titanfall series. Best of all, it's a solid piece of evidence that Respawn can introduce a unique weapon capable of filling multiple roles without breaking Apex Legends' balance. With the game's inaugural season and Battle Pass coming this March, the Havoc is only the first in a line of many new weapons that will slowly pad out the available armory of Apex Legends.