Apex Legends’ solo experience negatively impacts shooter

Developer Respawn Entertainment permanently added in a duos mode to Apex Legends, but don’t expect solo competition to also become a mainstay in Electronic Arts’ first-person battle royale shooter.

Apex Legends4.2 update is available now and makes duo-play a permanent addition on both the Kings Canyon and Worlds Edge maps. While duos won’t be available for ranked play, this is a welcome change as duos was previously a limited-time mode in the past. The decision came after developer Respawn was impressed by the mode’s popularity and its reinforcement of the teamwork necessary to succeed in the free-to-play game’s default trios mode.

While duos will be a regular option for Apex Legends players going forward, the solo setting isn’t likely to get a permanent place in the game. Respawn explained that the limited-time mode had several negative side effects. New players weren’t able to learn the skills necessary to succeed with others and new players had confusing experiences since certain character skills aren’t designed for solo play. So Respawn will retool the gameplay to see how a solo mode can be a better fit.

“When we introduced solos as a limited-time mode last year we saw it actually negatively impacted the game, especially when it came to new player retention,” Respawn said in the latest patch notes. “We’ve also purposely designed Legends and their abilities to complement team play and squad composition, but when played solo, some Legend abilities become useless. These are just some of the reasons we decided not to include solos in today’s update.”

The Apex Legends 4.2 update also adds in a new town takeover mode called Bloodhound’s Trials that will allow players and their squads to take on a horde of prowlers in an attempt to gain high-level loot. In the way will be other Legends looking to gain the rewards for themselves.

Electronic Arts released Apex Legends with no prior announcement in February 2019. Since then, the free title set in the Titanfall universe has found success on PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC. It quickly became Respawn’s most popular title to date as it reached 50 million players in just a month after launch. It reached the 70 million registered player milestone in October 2019 and is currently on its fourth season of content updates.

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