In case you missed it, Apex Legends' second season of content kicked off this week - and it brings a lot more than just cosmetics. Offering a new weapon, a new character, and the long-awaited Ranked Mode, there are plenty of reasons to drop back into King's Valley 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.
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.