In case you missed it, Apex Legends' fourth season of content kicks off soon - and it will bring a lot more than just cosmetics. Offering new weaponry, a new character, and updates to Ranked Mode, there are plenty of reasons to drop back in as Assimilation makes things all the more exciting for those in search of Champion Status. But what is Ranked Mode, and why should you care?
Ranked Mode puts players into matches against similarly skilled opponents, reducing the likelihood of casual players being sniped across the map by a professional and hopefully leveling the playing field. You'll also need to be level 10 or higher in Apex Legends to be able to play in Ranked Mode, so if you're fairly new to the game use the first few matches to find your feet.
There are six ranks: Bronze, Silver, Gold, Platinum, Diamond and Apex Predator. Other than Apex Predator, all of these ranks are formed of four smaller sub-ranks. Players earn Rank Points within matches for kills, finishing positions, or for a win as shown below:
- Per Kill - 1 Rank Point (Up to a maximum of 5 Rank Points)
- Top 10 - 2 Rank Points
- Top 5 - 4 Rank Points
- Top 3 - 7 Rank Points
- Champion - 12 Rank Points
This means getting five kills and winning a match will earn you the maximum Rank Points, 17 in total. Entering a Ranked Mode match also costs Rank Points from Silver upwards – 1 Rank Point up to 5 points for Apex Predator mode.
Each rank offers a new badge upon completion of the season, while Gold and upwards also offers a weapon cosmetic. If you make it to Diamond or Apex Predator, you'll unlock a new dive trail as well to add some colour to your skydive.
You can see a summing up of the structure below.
Other than Ranked Mode, there's something called Elite Queue in Apex Legends. Arguably the ultimate challenge, Elite Queue is unlocked once you finish in the top five of a match for the first time. Once you're in the Elite Queue, you need to earn top five finishes consistently to stay in there. This streak can be shown on your stat tracker, showing off your skills to all who dare face you.
It's no picnic, though. There are two big shifts in the way a match works, particularly regarding the ever-encroaching ring of death. Firstly, there's less time between the ring's movements, and when it does move, it does so at a more rapid pace. This means matches are shorter, and more lethal, in Elite Queue.
Supplementing that (and prying players away from the edge of the play area) is that the ring does a lot more damage in Elite Queue. It's around fifty-percent more powerful, and after the fourth round can kill you in four "hits". With this in mind, it's crucial that you loot quickly, but on the plus side players are less likely to drop into the same hotspots as they usually might.
Updates for Season 4
Season 4’s changes to Ranked Mode are more of an addendum to the changes made when the mode was introduced for Season 2. So here’s a quick rundown of what’s new.
New Season, Old Map
Ranked Mode in Season 4 will take place across two maps, with Apex Legends’ first map, Kings Canyon, returning in the next few months.
This won’t be a case of selecting your favourite map, or being randomly assigned, though - the choice is time-gated. So from the start of Season 4 on 3rd February until 23rd March, you’ll be playing on Season 3’s World’s Edge.
After that date, and up until Season 4 ends on 5th May, you can jump back into the classic Kings Canyon.
Ranked Mode has now gained an extra tier, with the previous Apex Predator top rank being renamed Master, and a whole new Apex Predator tier being added on top.
That means the new tiers for Ranked Play are as follows, along with the required number of Rank Points required for each.
- Bronze - Base
- Silver - 1200 RP
- Gold - 2800 RP
- Platinum - 4800 RP
- Diamond - 7200 RP
- Master - 10000 RP
- Apex Predator - Top 500 Players on each platform
With the change to the Apex Predator ranking, only 1500 players will be able to hold those spots - with 500 from PS4, Xbox One, and PC being available.
With the Dive Trail being available only to Master and Apex Predator players, it’d be a good idea to dodge anyone you see jumping with one.
These new ranks will factor into fresh end-of-season rewards, as denoted by the chart below.
How May I Assist You?
Season 4 is giving players a slight boost when it comes to team play, making it easier to get assist points.
This is done by slightly increasing the window of time for an assist (from five seconds to seven and a half seconds), and there are new methods of getting an assist, too.
Mirage’s Decoy can trick an enemy and hand you assist points, Bloodhound’s tracking can do the trick, Pathfinder can grapple an enemy, or Season 3’s new character Crypto can damage enemies with an EMP or simply scan them with his drone. All of these will earn you assist points.
Respawn has changed up the way players party-up in Season 4, preventing better players dragging their teammates up through the ranks with them.
Once you hit the fourth round of Platinum rank, you can only party up with players one tier rank above or below.
What this means is that you’ll only be able to team up with your friends in Gold or Diamond, but once you reach Diamond you’ll need friends in Master Rank or Platinum to squad up with.
This should prevent too much carrying going on, but fear not - you can still party up with anyone you’d like in non-ranked play.
Doesn’t Get Much Better Than Free
Just for logging in for Season 4, you’ll get a free emblem to celebrate the game’s first anniversary and a paper crane gun charm. Just hop into Apex Legends on 4th February to claim both.
Now that we've explained all of the exciting Ranked changes coming to Apex Legends, all that remains is for you to earn those Rank Points or jump into the Elite Queue. Don't forget, Apex Legends is free-to-play on Xbox One, PlayStation 4 and PC.