Apex Legends just released Arena Mode as part of its Season 9 update, also known as The Legacy Update. While Apex has always followed the general Battle Royale blueprint, Arena Mode puts a unique spin on the genre. The Arena is more combat-focused, allowing players to choose their favorite weapons and Legends to face off without the worry of a third-party team. Of course, Arena Mode is a wholly different experience than what Apex fans have grown to love. Here are 10 essential tips for playing and winning Arena Mode in Apex Legends.
What is Arena Mode?
Arena Mode is a 3v3 round-based game where teams focus on winning a quick engagement rather than rotating into a closing ring. At the beginning of each round, players will spend crafting materials on building a custom Loadout. As the rounds increase, players will have more crafting material to play with. This works similarly to Rouge Company, a free-to-play third-person shooter developed by First Watch Games.
Players will battle it out on small mapped-off sections of the larger Apex Legends map along with rotating maps unique to Arena Mode. Winning the round is simple: Eliminate the enemy team. Players can still revive each other, but once you’re dead, you’re out until the start of the next round.
As the rounds progress, players will gain better armor, so there’s no need to worry about buying it or finding it. By round 3, all players will have full purple armor.
As players fight, there is a ring that closes in and forces both teams together. We’ll get into how to play the ring later on. While “kill the other team” sounds simple enough, Arena Mode in Apex Legends takes some coordination and nuance that players may not be used to. Let’s get into our 10 tips for Arena Mode.
Building your Arena loadout
When creating your loadout in Arena Mode, it will be tempting to buy two primary weapons. While the lure of an AR/Sniper combo is hard to resist, players should only buy one primary weapon and focus more on healing items and ordnance. Players will also be buying their Hero’s class abilities in the shop. Hero abilities are essential in Arena Mode as they can flip the battle on its head.
As the rounds go on, players will be upgrading their weapons from white to purple. Upgrading the weapon costs a chunk of crafting materials and gives you attachments based on the color. You can also choose your preferred optic. Carrying two low-powered weapons is not going to beat out a souped-up Spitfire or lethal sniper. Once round six rolls around, and both teams are deadlocked, then you can start thinking about carrying two primaries. Until then, don’t bother.
It’s also pointless to buy extra syringes and small shield canisters. Stick with medkits and shield batteries for the full heal.
Know the buy menu
Weapon pricing differs, allowing players who prefer the G7 Scout to buy one along with a shield battery or Hero ability. However, guns like the Flatline and Spitfire cost 550 crafting materials, which is everything players have in round one. While your initial round one loadout is up to preference, there are a few strategies players can employ.
Keep in mind, you’re rebuilding your loadout every round. That means the gun you bought and upgraded in the previous round will have to be bought and upgraded again. This way, players are free to change weapons at any point without setting themselves back. Unused crafting materials also carry over between rounds. You can also sell items back for a full refund.
Players will always start with one charge of their Hero ability when using a character like Lifeline or Bloodhound (two important players we’ll touch on later). However, characters like Pathfinder will have a few changes of his grappling hook. Hero ability charges do carry over in between rounds.
One final piece of advice about the buy menu is that you can back out of it once you’ve made your selections, as well as go back into it any time before the match. Back out to get as close to the spawn boundary as possible to ensure your team is the first to secure a vantage point or piece of high ground.
Finally, the buy menu will tell players what will be arriving in the care package shortly after the round begins. They’ll know if it’s worth going after. However, in most cases, the care package isn’t worth the risk. Players should focus more on eliminating the other team.
Crafting material canisters
There are canisters of crafting materials placed throughout each map. Some maps keep them evenly split between both teams. Others, like Phase Runner, have materials meant to be picked up by one team. However, both teams can access it. Picking up these crafting materials will grant each team member 200 bonus crafting materials to spend on the next round. That’s another shield battery, Hero ability, or med kit they may be able to buy.
Players should focus on grabbing material canisters in round one especially. Going into round two with an advantage is better than running and gunning in round one. Players can keep each other covered as one member runs out for the canisters. A coordinated team should send their fastest player, like Octane, to grab the crafting material and come back to avoid incoming fire.
Outside of round one, there’s no reason not to grab the material canisters. Those 200 bonus materials will come in handy no matter what. However, if on match point, players should focus more on winning the match. Ideally, there never is a next round.
The best Legends for the Arena
We wrote this guide to make Arena Mode accessible to everybody, which means this section will be geared toward the default Legends that players have access to. Those who have purchased and unlocked other Legends are free to experiment with which Legends suit their needs. However, they’ll find that the base cast of Legends are some of the best equipped to get the win.
Bloodhound is the best Legend to use in the Arena for one reason, Eye of the Allfather. Winning games in the Arena quite often comes down to who sees who first. Eye of the Allfather will highlight enemy players in the path of Bloodhound’s scan. Alternatively, if Eye of the Allfather doesn’t reveal anything, you’ll know the other team is on the other side of the map.
Maps in Arena operate on a standard left, right, middle layout. Most of the time, players stick to left and right, so there’s a 50/50 chance both teams are going to roll up on each other off the bat. Before engaging, Eye of the Allfather will tell Bloodhound’s team if they should prepare for a fight or if they’re safe to gather crafting materials and set up a position.
There is little time to revive fallen teammates in the Arena. A winner is decided as soon as both teams collide. However, Lifeline’s combat revive will pick up her teammates while keeping her in the fight. A 3v1 now becomes a 3v2 as Lifeline can aid her teammate while her drone picks up the third player.
Because there’s little room for revives in the Arena, many players won’t finish their kills. Once they down someone, they’ll move on.
Since being seen first puts you at a disadvantage, breaking the line of sight can gain the advantage back. Bangalore’s Smoke Launcher will create a large enough smokescreen for her teammates to reposition or move through a bottleneck. Smoke Launcher is also helpful for going after the care package that drops in each round.
As far as paid legends are concerned, Fuse, Caustic, and Crypto will prove useful based on their skills. Fuse’s Knuckle Cluster is great for staggering and damaging an enemy team as you push. Caustic can deploy gas mines to make close-quarters areas deadly for incoming enemies, and Crypto’s drone will help spot the enemy team wherever they are on the map.
Play the circle
When the round begins, you can see where the first ring is going to close. Players who can get to and hold the boundary of that first ring will be at an immediate advantage. However, you can assume the other team is thinking the same thing. Be ready for a fight right off the bat, and use Bloodhounds Eye of the Allfather to see if you’ve got company.
Playing the first circle also eliminates the need to move, and your team can hold position inside. Furthermore, you’ll have better access to the incoming care package if there’s a weapon in there you might want.
When playing with friends, which is the recommended way to play, it’s smart to coordinate who will be fulfilling which role. Since spotting the enemy team first is crucial, one player should run a sniper rifle to chip away at the enemy’s armor before both teams collide.
Since players will have a limited number of healing items and little time to heal in general, breaking an opponent’s armor before your teammates engage will ensure the win. Even if you can’t break their armor with your sniper, those enemies will have to stop and heal, allowing your team to move up and catch them off guard.
Shotguns aren’t very viable in the Arena. Players should stick to Assault Rifles for the most consistent results. Sure, there’ll be a time when you can sneak up behind someone, and a shotgun/SMG would be useful, but those instances are few and far between. Most of the time, enemy teams are engaging from a distance and slowly closing the gap, rushing in if one team can get a down.
Don’t underestimate throwables in the Arena. Arc stars and grenades are helpful to keep in your back pocket, especially if you have some spare crafting materials at the start. Thermites, though, aren’t very viable. Grenades and arc stars will force enemies out of cover. If you can get the down with one, cool, but it’s not a priority.
There’s no room for freelancing in the Arena. At the start of each round, pick a direction and go that way. Unless you’re the greatest Apex Legends player ever to walk the earth, you’re not winning a 3v1. It’s OK to break off and flank the enemy team once they’ve been engaged, though. Let your teammates know what you’re doing.
How to win Arena Mode
Although it may seem it, the Arena winner is not decided by the first to win three rounds. Instead, winning teams must win by a two-game margin over their opponent. That means a team can win 3-0 or 3-1. However, they’ll have to win 4-2 to be crowned the champion.
Rounds will continue in a deadlock until a final sudden death round crowns the winner. Developers implemented this extended system as too many players were getting shut out 4-0 or 4-1 in five-round games. Nobody likes getting blown out of the water for four straight rounds.
Tactics do change once a Matchpoint round arrives. When on the losing side, players should opt for full firepower instead of healing ordinances. They can find Shield Batteries and Phoenix Kits in loot pods. This all-or-nothing strategy can end the match swiftly or pull your team back from the brink.
On the other hand, if you’re on the winning team, especially if you’re up 2-0, you can afford to play more cautiously and let the other team fall into your lap. Buy enough Shield Batteries and Health Kits to hold out while you chip away at the opposing team’s armor and health.
When sudden death arrives, both teams will have enough crafting material to wield a fully upgraded primary weapon, their preferred secondary, enough healing ordinances, and a few charges of their Hero ability.
Play with friends
One downside to the Arena in Apex Legends is there’s no mid-game matchmaking. That means if a player leaves, their spot will not be filled by someone searching for a game. Going down a teammate makes losing inevitable and ruins the Arena for the remaining players. Even if you’re part of a whole team, will you feel satisfied knowing you won playing 3v2?
Playing with friends will ensure a full team. It’s also helpful in coordinating weapons and implementing a strategy. On the other hand, unless it’s an emergency, don’t leave your fellow Apex players in the dust by rage-quitting after round one. That’s 15 minutes of their lives wasted as they try to overcome a 2v3 or, in some cases, a 1v3.
Watch for indicators
Keep an eye out for anything that may tip you off to an enemy’s location. For example, bouncing zip lines on Artillery is a good indicator that an enemy just used it. Players can also see when crafting material canisters have been picked up by looking at the main map. If one’s not where it should be, you know an enemy just picked it up.
Valkyrie, the latest edition to Apex Legends, will leave behind VTOL rocket trails whenever she uses her jetpack. Players will have a general idea of where she just took off from.
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