Is The New Wingman Skin In Apex Legends Really Pay To Win?

The controversial new Prestige skin for the Wingman pistol in Apex Legends has led many players to claim it provides an unfair advantage. With its refined iron sights and clean scope reticle, some argue the skin gives Wingman users improved accuracy over those using the base weapon skin.

But is this new cosmetic truly pay to win, or just a minor change that doesn’t impact gameplay as much as some claim?

If you’re short on time, here’s a quick answer: While the new Wingman skin provides slightly improved sights, the advantage is minor and likely doesn’t drastically improve player performance. Skill and practice with any gun still play a larger role than small cosmetic changes.

Details of the New Prestige Wingman Skin

Release Date and Cost

The new Prestige Wingman skin was released in Apex Legends on September 12, 2023 as part of the Awakening Collection Event. It can be obtained by unlocking all 24 items in the collection, which costs around 160 USD in total based on individual item prices.

Iron Sight and Scope Changes

The Prestige Wingman skin provides a slimmer iron sight compared to the default skin, giving players a clearer view for aiming down sights. The skin also removes the rear sight post when using a 1x holo scope on the Wingman. These changes make it easier to precisely aim with the Prestige Wingman.

Player Reaction and Pay to Win Accusations

Many players have reacted negatively to the iron sight change on the new Wingman skin, accusing it of being “pay to win.” Some key points from the community:

  • The improved iron sights give an advantage to players who pay for the skin over those using the default Wingman.
  • The change forces players to pay 160 USD if they want the optimal Wingman experience.
  • Similar skins in the past like the Outlands Avalanche also provided enhanced sights.

However, some argue the minor iron sight change does not drastically affect gameplay. Overall the community feels this continues a troubling pattern of paid weapon skins affecting weapon usability.

Default Wingman Iron Sights Prestige Wingman Iron Sights
Default Wingman iron sights Prestige Wingman iron sights

You can see comparison images of the default and Prestige Wingman iron sights above. Many feel the Prestige version provides a clear improvement for aiming. Check out more discussion on the Apex Legends subreddit.

Comparing the Old and New Wingman Sights

Less Visual Clutter with New Iron Sights

The introduction of the new Wingman skin in Apex Legends has sparked a debate among players regarding its impact on gameplay. One aspect of this discussion revolves around the differences between the old and new Wingman sights.

The new iron sights on the Wingman skin offer a clearer and less cluttered view compared to the older version. This means that players using the new skin may have an advantage when it comes to target acquisition and tracking enemies, as there is less visual distraction.

Reticle Differences in scopes

Another point of comparison between the old and new Wingman sights is the reticle design. The new skin introduces a fresh reticle that some players find more visually appealing. However, it’s important to note that the reticle design itself doesn’t necessarily provide a significant advantage in terms of accuracy.

While a clearer and more precise reticle can improve aiming, the actual impact on gameplay is subjective and largely dependent on individual player preference and skill.

Minor Improvements Don’t Drastically Boost Accuracy

While the new Wingman skin does offer some improvements in terms of sight clarity and reticle design, it’s crucial to understand that these enhancements do not drastically boost accuracy or make the skin inherently pay-to-win. Apex Legends is a game that emphasizes skill, strategy, and teamwork.

The performance of a player using the Wingman skin is determined by their ability to aim, position themselves strategically, and make smart decisions in the heat of battle. The slight advantages provided by the new Wingman sights are unlikely to make a significant difference in the outcome of a match.

Weapon Skins in Other Games: Do Cosmetics Ever Confer an Advantage?

When it comes to cosmetic items in video games, players often wonder if these items can actually provide them with an advantage during gameplay. One popular example of this is the new Wingman skin in Apex Legends.

Many players have questioned whether this skin is truly pay to win or if it’s simply a cosmetic upgrade. To answer this question, it’s helpful to look at how weapon skins have been implemented in other games.

Weapon Skins in CSGO and Valorant

In games like Counter-Strike: Global Offensive (CSGO) and Valorant, weapon skins have become a significant part of the gaming experience. These skins are purely cosmetic and do not provide any gameplay advantages.

Players can purchase or unlock different skins to personalize their weapons, but they do not affect the weapon’s stats or performance. This approach ensures that players are on a level playing field and that skill is the primary factor in determining success in these competitive games.

Examples of Truly Pay to Win Cosmetics

While most games take a fair approach to cosmetic items, there have been instances where certain cosmetics have provided players with actual gameplay advantages. One example is the “Pay to Win” skin in a popular mobile game called “Battle Royale Extreme.”

This skin granted players increased damage and faster movement speed, giving them an unfair advantage over others. This sparked significant controversy and backlash within the gaming community, as the game shifted from skill-based competition to a pay-to-win model.

Backlash When Minor Advantages are Perceived

Even when cosmetic items in games only provide minor advantages, they can still face backlash from the player community. In a game like Fortnite, for example, certain skins may have camouflage patterns that make it slightly harder for enemies to spot the player.

While this advantage may seem insignificant, some players argue that it still creates an unfair playing field and undermines the game’s competitive integrity. Developers need to carefully balance cosmetic upgrades to ensure that they remain purely cosmetic and do not provide any noticeable gameplay advantages.

The Role of Skill Over Cosmetics for In-Game Success

Apex Legends players are no strangers to the debate over whether cosmetic items, such as weapon skins, give players an unfair advantage in the game. The introduction of the new Wingman skin has sparked discussion once again.

However, it is important to recognize that skill and gameplay mechanics play a far more significant role in determining success than any cosmetic item.

Wingman Still Requires Practice and Skill

The Wingman is a powerful handgun in Apex Legends, known for its high damage and accuracy. While the new skin may give it a fresh look, it does not alter the fundamental mechanics of the weapon. In other words, players still need to possess the necessary skill and precision to effectively use the Wingman, regardless of the cosmetic appearance.

It’s important to note that the Wingman has a steep learning curve. It requires players to have excellent aim and timing to land shots consistently. Even with the newest skin, players who haven’t invested time and effort into mastering the weapon will not suddenly become unstoppable forces on the battlefield.

Better Players Can Excel With Any Weapon Skins

In Apex Legends, the true measure of success lies in a player’s skill, strategy, and decision-making abilities. Experienced players who have honed their skills can excel with any weapon, regardless of its cosmetic appearance.

They understand the nuances of each gun, such as recoil patterns and bullet drop, and can adapt their playstyle accordingly.

It’s worth noting that some players may argue that certain weapon skins provide better visibility or camouflage in specific environments. While this may have a marginal impact in certain situations, skilled players can quickly adapt and make the necessary adjustments to overcome any perceived advantage.

New Players Won’t See Major Boost from Cosmetics

For new players, cosmetic items like the Wingman skin are purely aesthetic enhancements. While they may add a sense of personalization and style to their gameplay experience, they won’t provide an instant boost in their performance.

New players still need to invest time in learning the game mechanics, understanding different weapons, and improving their overall skills to see significant progress.

It’s important to note that Apex Legends has a matchmaking system that aims to match players of similar skill levels. This means that even if a new player were to acquire the new Wingman skin, they would still be matched against opponents of similar skill, leveling the playing field.

The Verdict: More Pay to Style Than Pay to Win

Apex Legends players have been buzzing about the new Wingman skin and whether it gives players an unfair advantage in the game. After careful analysis and player feedback, it’s safe to say that the new skin is more pay to style than pay to win.

Small Sight Changes Aren’t Game-Breaking

One of the main concerns with the Wingman skin was that it offered a different sight compared to the default skin. However, upon closer inspection, the changes are minimal and do not significantly impact gameplay.

While some players may prefer the default sight, others may find the new sight more visually appealing. Ultimately, it comes down to personal preference and does not give players an unfair advantage.

Entertainment Value Drives Prestige Skin Sales

The popularity of prestige skins in Apex Legends is driven by their entertainment value rather than any potential gameplay advantages. Players are willing to spend money on these skins because they want to stand out from the crowd and show off their personal style.

The Wingman skin, with its unique design and eye-catching effects, appeals to players who want to make a statement in the game. However, it’s important to note that these skins do not offer any significant gameplay benefits.

Skill Matters More Than Skins in Competitive Play

In the competitive world of Apex Legends, skill is the key factor that determines success, not the skins you have equipped. While having a stylish skin may boost confidence and enhance the overall gaming experience, it does not automatically make a player more skilled or give them an advantage over others.

In fact, many top-level players prefer to use the default skins, as they are more accustomed to their appearance and find them less distracting. So, while the Wingman skin may look great, it won’t make you a better player.


While the cleaner iron sights and scope of the new Wingman Prestige skin provide slight improvements to the base weapon’s sights, these minor changes likely don’t drastically improve player accuracy and kill potential. Apex Legends still requires skill with any gun, regardless of cosmetic skin.

For most players, the new skin is likely more about prestige and style than conferring any major in-game advantage. But the debate around weapon skins and perceived pay to win advantages will likely continue among passionate gamers invested in equal competitive play.

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