The Primal Shotgun has been nerfed, again

Epic Games
Epic Games /

The new kid on the block can’t seem to catch a break. The Primal Shotgun has, once again, been nerfed. Is this enough to put the weapon out of favor?

When Chapter 2 Season 6 dropped, the Primal Shotgun was by far the best weapon the game’s seen in a while. It even overshadowed the return of the much venerated Pump Shotgun.

I love the Primal Shotgun. It feels amazing to tear through the early game if you got one in your starting loot and gave you the security to be safe at close range during the final circles. It made you feel invincible when you had it, but that also meant if you didn’t have one and your opponent did you’d get blasted and your game ended.

Primal Shotgun nerfed again

Yesterday’s hotfix lowered the damage of the Primal by about 10 points across all rarities, and increased the pullout time. The Primal Shotgun played much like any other shotgun: run in close and let it go. While it has even worse accuracy and range than the Pump, getting hit by the Primal Shotgun’s one-two punch basically ensured certain death.

The most common criticism I’ve seen about Season 6 is about the Primal Shotgun. Players hate being killed by this thing, and Epic seems to agree that it’s a bit too strong.

With the nerf to pullout time, it’s less reliable to switch into if you find yourself in a tight situation. You’d have to have the Primal Shotgun ready before engaging and commit to the attack.

These nerfs comes less than a fortnight from the last adjustment to the Primal Shotgun, where its firerate was slowed down. Considering the Primal Shotgun already has a slower firerate, I’m concerned about the weapon’s longterm viability.

Ideally, both shotguns should occupy their own niches. Mechanical weapons are more accurate and consistent while Primal weapons do more damage. Every other weapon follows this design principle, but the Primal Shotgun doesn’t seem to follow the rule.

For the Primal Shotgun, the drawbacks were just the normal drawbacks to using a regular shotgun. It either needs to be more inconsistent to balance its high damage output, or be more punishing when you miss a shot. The current suite of nerfs to the Primal Shotgun makes it both.

It may take some more tinkering to get the Primal Shotgun just right, but I hope that it becomes a viable alternative to the Pump.

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