Blog - February 5, 2024

Apex Legends’ ranked system will undergo another major rework in season 20

Experience is rated in Apex Legends is no stranger to big and far-reaching adjustments, with Respawn Entertainment always diligent in its efforts to improve the foundation it has built. The ratings overhaul coming in season 20 on February 13 might be the biggest yet, though.

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Next season, by Apex Ranked mode is returning to the Ranked Points (RP) system. With this system restored, they plan to make changes to both scoring and matchmaking parameters—hopefully players will have more confidence that their time is well spent. As development lead designer Chris “C4” Cleroux described it during a recent press event, they want players to “trust that the system works the way we say it does.”

Bangalore runs away from enemies in an Apex Legends match.The new ranking system combines new and old to try to find balance. Image via Respawn Entertainment

Everyone will have their rank reset to 1 RP when the season begins. With so many changes coming from the legendary upgrade system and the rework of the Evo shield, Cleroux explained that they want to ensure every player has the same opportunity “to learn, adapt and progress.”

“Philosophically, we focus on two fundamental elements of design: trust and accessibility,” he said. That means building new systems that reward players of all skill levels, which is when it’s time to tweak the scoring model.

“For Breakout, we’re tweaking the scoring model in a number of ways to push it toward providing more rewards for kills,” he said. However, Cleroux was quick to emphasize the position “remains important”. To navigate the delicate balancing act in section 20, position is linked to the degree of desirability. “Each time you get eliminated is worth a certain amount of RP,” he explains. “That value will increase with placement, so you can always decide to fight with the knowledge that the more valuable your stuff is, the better you place it.”

Additionally, two bonuses are being offered, which can further influence your RP gain in each match. The first is the familiar “challenger bonus” that grants extra points for eliminating players ranked higher than you. Second is the ongoing bonus: If you can maintain a streak of top five positions, you can also get bonus RP from that.

The scoring changes are the first of two major improvements Cleroux wants to focus on. “We constantly hear questions from players about how our scoring system works and why they get certain points and why their friends get certain points ,” I said. To further answer those questions, Respawn is also rolling out a “top-to-bottom revision” to the ranked match summary screen. “The goal of this revision is to show you exactly where your scores come from and generate useful feedback. A screen where you can test and understand how to improve your game.”

Understanding the RP you gain and lose is even more important in season 20 due to the big change in matchmaking at the same time. “This season, your matchmaker will not use hidden MMR values. Instead it will use the player’s RP value. The more you play, the more your RP value will reflect your skill.”

Considering the scope of upcoming changes in ratings, Top are also eliminating some elements that do not meet expectations. “There are no temporary matches in Breakout. They really don’t matter how we start the season,” Cleroux said. “In addition to removing temporary trials, we are now also removing promotional trials. They weren’t as happy or celebratory as we would have liked, so in Breakout, if you have enough RP, you’ll be promoted to the next rank.”

However, that’s not all the cuts are. Besides the return of RP, the split will also return as part of Breakout. “We wanted to create a slightly more exciting moment in the middle of the season when players return to chase their end-of-season rankings.”

Much of that sounds good on paper, but if shaky teases of other radical changes to the ratings in the past are anything to go by, we won’t know for sure. until these changes take effect. However, with the recent patching of controller configurations and the release of legendary upgrades, the ranked experience is likely to be solid this time around. Apex Legends season 20, Breakout, premieres Tuesday, February 13.