Apex Legends is going beyond the Battle Royale next week with the introduction of the new small scale Arenas game mode, but what is this new game mode all about? How does it stack up against the main battle royale, and what twists has Respawn put on the game mode in the name of balance and pacing?
Let’s dive in with our list of seven key facts you need to know about Apex Legends Arenas.
It’s Apex Legends, but without the battle royale
Arenas is built on the same foundations as the rest of Apex Legends. Much like the game at launch, you step into the fight in a team of three, you pick characters in turn, there’s the same roster of heroes, the same weapons, the same game balance, and there’s even some maps and locations ripped from the full battle royale maps.
Arenas is Apex Legends’ gameplay transposed into a different setting, but with the same fundamentals as the rest of the game.
Some might call it 3v3 Elimination
Apex Legends Arenas mode would be called Elimination in many other games. These are 3v3 fights decided over multiple rounds where each player has a single life – though you can be revived by a teammate.
Respawn has set it up a little like tennis. The winning team is the first to take three round and have a two-round advantage, so a score of 3-0 or 3-1 will have a clear winner, but 3-2 will need more rounds to decide it. It goes up to 4-4 before there’s a final sudden death, winner takes all round.
Beware the Ring and get the Care Package
Just like the battle royale modes, Arenas is keen to get the party started. A ring will gradually close in and force the two teams together to sort out their differences. You’ll have to pretty quickly figure out where the opposition is and how best to counter them.
Another factor is that a care package will air-drop in, with control of this giving a team a leg up, while also making for an ambush spot…
Goodbye Death Boxes
Time is of the essence in Arenas, and to that end, Respawn has done away with the Death Boxes from the main battle royale. Instead, when someone is fully knocked out of the round, all of their gear and items drop on the floor for rapid pick up by their enemies.
Shop ’til you drop
Each round is preceded by a spot of retail therapy, as you get the opportunity to spend a bunch of credits to equip your character. You start off with a small pot of credits to buy some of the basic guns, but each round awards you more and more cash to splash, until you can kit yourself out with purple upgraded guns.
Here’s what’s important to know: whatever you buy is for that round and that round only. You don’t carry weapons forward to later rounds. Everyone gets the same amount to spend each round, but that can be boosted. There’s 200 credit pickups that are dotted around the map for a boost across the whole team, and personally you can earn yourself a 75 credit bonus for a kill.
Keeping abilities in check
Character abilities are one of the defining aspects of Apex Legends, but the way you can earn and use them has been reworked a little for Arenas. Your passives all work pretty much as expected, but your tactical and ultimate abilities do not charge over time. Instead, you have a set number of charges of your tactical to use through each round, with the ability to buy extra charges in the shop, and you have to buy your ultimate. These character ability charges will carry over between rounds!
Some maps you know, some maps you don’t
Arenas launches with five maps, three of which have been taken from the battle royale maps. You have Artillery from Kings Canyon, Thermal Station from World’s Edge and Golden Gardens from Olympus. Alongside these are two new creations. Party Crasher takes place in a downtown plaza with a crashed Voyage ship on one side and a two-story building on the other, while Phase Runner is an experimental version of the one found on Olympus. Half of it has been fully built, but the other side hasn’t been constructed, giving different tactical options.
So there you go, pretty much everything you need to know about Arenas in Apex Legends. Arenas launches as part of the Season 9 Apex Legends: Legacy update, which is hot dropping onto PlayStation, Xbox, Switch and Switch next week on 4th May.