New 'Friday the 13th: The Game' Update Changes Perks, Tweaks Counselor Balance

The next update to Friday the 13th: The Game will include substantial changes to the Counselor Perk system, publisher Gun Media announced Thursday. This planned update is (so far) less substantial than Jan. 30's addition of Friday the 13th Part V: A New Beginning Jason (the copycat killer Roy Burns) and the Pinehurst Map, but it does demonstrate an attempt to re-balance Counselors after recent updates substantially buffed Jason Voorhees.

Perk System Update details posted to the Friday the 13th: The Game forums include both gameplay and UI tweaks, beginning with a colorblind friendly change from the hard-to-parse color scheme, which ranks Perks from white "Poor" to red "Epic," to a 1-6 rating.

Far more consequential are value changes to existing Perks, many of which substantially improve Counselor skills. A few examples:

Easy Listening - a Perk that speeds Counselor stamina recharging when near a radio, will be more effective, with boosts between 10-40 percent, instead of 1-10 percent.

Lead Foot - a Perk that increases car speeds, will boost speeds by 5-20 percent instead of 1-10 percent.

Aquanaut - A Perk to increase swimming speed, will give 5-35 percent boosts instead of 1-15 percent.

In each example, the floor is brought up substantially, making even "Poor"-rated Perks worthwhile improvements to Counselor abilities. This could somewhat offset previous improvements to Jason's grab reach and running speed, allowing players to tweak Counselors toward specific strengths.

Other Perk changes will give Jason a slight, new advantage, to address player complaints the slasher feels underpowered. For example, Man at Arms, a Perk that increases weapon durability, now caps at 15 percent instead of 25 percent, preventing players from attacking Jason over and over without consequence. Another Perk, My Dad's a Cop, previously cut cop arrival time by a maximum of 30 percent, now reduced to 25 percent. That should give Jason a little more wiggle room to kill Counselors.

But beyond balance tweaks, the next Friday the 13th: The Game update also adds "Legendary" Perks, one rank above "Epic" Perks. Rolling a Legendary Perk adds a third Stat Bonus. Currently, Perks typically have two attributes, with a substantial bonus (like a Stamina Boost after breaking free from Jason's grab) offset by a smaller downside. The "Legendary" rating will add a third stat bonus, such as a 5 percent increase to your chance to stun Jason.

A mockup of what Legendary Perks might look like in-game. Gun Media

Vocal players often call for major changes to address perceived or actual gameplay imbalances, but this latest update looks like an exceptional example of small tweaks intended to optimize gameplay with accrued stat adjustments. Hopefully it works, with the buffed Perks offering Counselors new ways to customize play and the nerfs helping Jason players feel less frustrated by overpowered Counselors swarming them with high-durability weapons.

In addition to the Perk changes, this next update will also include previously announced changes to Jason's weapon loadout, allowing any Jason to use any other Jason's preferred killing implement.

This new Friday the 13th: The Game update doesn't yet have a release date, so it's possible that even more tweaks and changes are on the way before it drops to Steam, PS4 and Xbox players.