Since entering soft launch on iOS in Canada back in June, Supercell’s Brawl Stars has received a number of updates and tweaks that have impacted player strategies and character popularities. From the introduction of powerhouse sniper Piper in July to the recent buffs awarded to lesser-used brawlers Dynamike and Barley in mid-August, the version of the mobile MOBA we have today is vastly different than the one that was downloadable just three months ago. This is even truer after this week’s update, which adds two new brawlers, two more maps, an entirely new game type, and a slew of balance and quality of life changes that breathe fresh air into a game most people haven’t even had a chance to play yet.
The biggest change is the addition of two new brawlers, bumping the total roster up to 18 playable characters. Pam is an Epic junker who uses a vacuum gun to rapid-fire sprays of scrap metal at enemies. Her Super allows her to drop a stationary turret which heals her teammates instead of attacking opponents, restoring 60 HP per second (at level one) for anyone standing within its area of effect. The second new character, Tara, is a Mythic fortune teller who throws three fanned, piercing Tarot cards for her main attack. Her Super creates a vortex that draws in nearby opponents, both trapping them and dealing damage.
Along with the new characters comes a brand new game mode: Brawl Ball operates like a soccer match, with a ball that spawns in the center of the map and goals stationed on either end. Teams will attempt to transport the ball to their opponents’ goal to score while the enemy team attacks them along the way. The ball carrier cannot attack, only kick, which means teammates will have to cooperate well as in any other mode to reach the two-goal victory. Brawl Ball will be a rotating event just like the other game types with three unique maps, and the first playable instance will open this Wednesday evening.
Brawl Ball isn’t the only mode with new maps: Bounty and Heist have each received one new location. Bounty’s Groundhog Burrow is unique in that players’ spawns are sparsely defended with most of the walls and grass gathered near the center of the map. Heist’s G.G. Corral places the safe inside a cocoon of wooden crates with a box of dynamite on either side. Unlike other Heist maps, defenders won’t actually be able to stand right next to or in front of the safe until those crates are destroyed, so this layout may encourage more central positioning and some interesting outcomes.
Bounty and Heist have also received some gameplay changes in addition to the new maps. Players now spawn in Bounty with two stars instead of only one—at the beginning of the game and after every death—and the center star no longer affects the Bounty count of the player who picks it up. The former change means every kill has a greater impact on the total score, resulting in more points per game overall as well as a need for newly respawned players to be a bit more defensive when rushing back into battle. The safe in Heist has had its health lowered on specific maps: Bandit Stash and Kaboom Canyon received a 200 HP reduction while the infamous Safe Zone was lowered by a whopping 1,200, making all three maps more balanced between offense and defense.
New brawler rarities have been introduced and some characters’ rarities adjusted. Jessie and Brock have been upgraded to Rare; Ricochet, Poco, and Bo make up the new Super Rare category; and the new Mythic tier contains both Tara and Mortis. For the most part, this makes a number of brawlers slightly harder to acquire, but players with their eye on Bo can now snag him for only 20 chips (as opposed to his original 60). Besides all of this, there are a ton of other fantastic changes that include: a number of small nerfs and buffs have been implemented to adjust for the new characters and last month’s changes, a Season system has been added that awards gold based on trophies every two weeks, an auto-kick system for AFK players has been introduced. There are too many changes in this update to detail every one, but you can see the full changelog on the Brawl Stars subreddit.
Finally, while the Supercell team has yet to reveal any global or Android release plans, one specific addition from this update gives us hope that the worldwide launch will be soon (or, at least, actually happen): the in-game shop has been overhauled, with new items available for purchase—including IAP-only boxes with guaranteed brawlers inside and starter packs containing gems offered to players as they reach certain level milestones. Up until now, most changes have been focused on gameplay and brawler tweaks, so the fact that Supercell is looking at Brawl Stars’ monetization is likely a positive sign that they’re planning for the game’s longterm, global release. Again, Supercell has given no actual indication or confirmation of the game going live outside of iOS and Canada, but we’re definitely curious to see what adjustments they focus on going forward.
Players with a Canadian App Store account and an iPhone or iPad can play the latest Brawl Stars update now.