Apex Ranked reloaded has changed how players are climbing ranked. 

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Apex Ranked Reloaded: Respawn Talks About The State Of The Game

Nutan Lele
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The Apex Legends Ranked Reloaded update went live earlier this season and many players were not happy about the changes. Compared to older seasons, the current ranked season has proved difficult for players. Last season lower RP costs and higher gains meant a record number of players climbed into Platinum and even Predator ranks. That changed with this season’s update which increased entry costs across the board as well as lowered gains, making it significantly harder to climb.

Apex YouTuber Thordan Smash noted that at one point 95% of Apex Legends players were ranked Gold 2 and below. This made climbing the ranks even more challenging for lower ranked players since previous Masters and Diamond players were playing in Silver, Gold, and Platinum lobbies. In a recent interview to The Loadout Apex Legends Design Director Evan Nikolich talked about ranked queues and how the Season 13’s Ranked Reloaded update has panned out.

How Apex Legends Ranked Reloaded has changed the state of the game

As stated in the Ranked Reloaded patch notes, the main focus of the changes was not only to create a more satisfying and less frustrating ranked experience, to divert focus to playing as a team, and playing for the win. This also meant changes to RP costs and gains which would be a more accurate representation of overall player skill. According to Evan Nikolich Respawn thinks the rank system is headed in the right direction with a “ better competitive environment and better quality play” with the new system. However there are still “several valid pain points around matchmaking and the grind. We take a hard look at community feedback and along with the back end data we have, the team is looking at those pain points to see what we can do next.”

According to player feedback, the Ranked Reloaded update has lead to more accurate rank placement and better team play. The changes have resulted in players focusing more on playing to win as a team. Nikolich said that “Teams are surviving longer, and focusing on working together to get a win over individual performance in racking up kills.” Respawn noted that in Season 13 it was easier to climb with ‘degenerative strategies’ and while that seems to be dealt with a number of high-skilled players are sitting in lower ranks for too long. Nikolich said his team is actively working on improving player placement.

Gold Knockdown Shields on their way out?

The Gold Knockdown Shield lets players self revive and can be used to clutch final zones in Apex Ranked.  

Players have been using Gold knockdown shields to self-revive and stretch out their survival time to rack up extra RP during the end game. When asked about removing or nerfing the Gold Knockdown, Nikolich said, Respawn does “not want to adjust RP costs on a team by team basis because that adds confusion and potentially an unfair advantage.” Their main philosophy for ranked Apex is wins should be based on overall team skill. However, the developer is still looking for ways to improve the solo experience.

Will the Apex ranked meta continue shifting?

Nikolich thinks the team doesn’t have a formula per se of what ranked Apex should be but they do have a “solid direction of where we want to go”. Respawn wants ranked Apex to be able to ‘create a path to pro-play’. “We aspire that one day pro teams will be able to look for the next great player to join their team from the top Apex ranked players.”

However, it isn’t all about top ranked players, Nikolich also stated that “ we also want people who aren’t Diamond to enjoy ranked games as well. We want ranked to feel impactful for players who are building their skills and for those players to get a sense of growth as they master skills and move up the ranks.”


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Nutan is AFK Gaming's source for everything from Twitch to the Twitterati. Her focus lies in distilling esports content from around the world. As the former captain of Girlaxy India, she brings an experienced eye in analysing the League of Legends scene.


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