Apex Legends is getting a ranked Arena mode - here's how it'll work

Apex Legends characters
(Image credit: Respawn)

Apex Legends is getting a ranked Arena mode next season, and Respawn has explained in detail exactly how it'll work.

Game director Chad Grenier announced the new ranked queue a couple of weeks back at EA Play's Future of FPS panel, later saying that it'll have "a bit of a different ranked system than we have in the battle royale mode." With a newly published blog post from EA and Respawn, we now have the full details about Arena's new ranked system.

The way ranked Arenas work is distinct from the system used in Apex Legends' classic battle royale mode in a few ways. While you'll rank through the usual tiers - Bronze, Silver, Gold, etc., just like the battle royale mode - the ranked Arena mode will have a separate rating system specifically for matchmaking that won't be visible to any player, including you. Your MMR (matchmaking rating) determines who you're matched up with based on a more granular set of data than simply your rank.

Respawn says the main draw of the MMR rating system is that it allows the developers to "quickly adjust your MMR up or down based on your performance, without making you lose your rank just because of a few bad matches." Basically, instead of just throwing all Silver ranks together, Arenas will match players together whose MMRs suggest they've been playing above their rank. Likewise, players who might be struggling to maintain their rank will be paired together so there's more of an even match.

Apex Legends

New legend Seer, arriving next season (Image credit: Respawn)

Your MMR is tied to your visible rank in that it affects how quickly you progress through the ratings. So, if you're a Silver but you're consistently playing at whatever level Respawn deems to be Platinum, you'll be ranked with other players who are killing it as well. And if you win those matches, you'll earn more Arenas Points (AP) and rank up quickly, while if you lose, it'll cost you fewer AP and your MMR will be adjusted accordingly.

Once your starting rank is determined based on your performance across 10 matches, you'll start earning more AP for wins than you lose for losses. Then, as your rank converges with your MMR, the bonus AP you get for wins will start to shrink. Respawn says the goal is to have everyone's rank more accurately measure their skill and represent where they actually rank in relation to other players within each season.

Another difference from ranked battle royale mode is that ranked Arenas won't have a mid-season split, allowing you to work on your rank all season long. Respawn says it's considering adding Ranked arenas splits in future seasons, but for now, you'll get your rewards and your rank will reset at the end of the season, after which you'll start off in placement matches again.

Everything else will work just like it does in the battle royale's ranked system. You'll still be hit with a temporary matchmaking ban for leaving matches, you'll still receive loss forgiveness if a teammate bails on you, the same party restrictions apply, and map rotation is exactly the same.

Apex Legends season 10 is called Emergence, and it's expected to arrive on all platforms August 3.

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Jordan Gerblick

After scoring a degree in English from ASU, I worked as a copy editor while freelancing for places like SFX Magazine, Screen Rant, Game Revolution, and MMORPG on the side. Now, as GamesRadar's west coast Staff Writer, I'm responsible for managing the site's western regional executive branch, AKA my apartment, and writing about whatever horror game I'm too afraid to finish.