Respawn Entertainment has revealed the changes it is making to the Apex Legends ranks system in Season 8: Mayhem. There will be different maps in rotation, an increased focus on skill-based matchmaking, and more players crowned Apex Predators than ever before.
The developer revealed that between 30% and 40% of all Apex Legends matches take place on the ranked ladder and that more people are ranking higher than ever before. In Ranked Season 7, 4.37% of players who played more than five hours of ranked achieved Diamond status, over twice as many as the previous season. More players also reached Platinum rank, and nearly twice as many hit Master and Apex Predator rank in Season 7 compared with Season 6 (0.2% compared with 0.12%).
Looking forwards, in Season 8 Respawn is improving matchmaking, even at the expense of longer queue times. The developer believes that its focus on skill-based matchmaking will create competitively fairer matches all the way across the ranked leaderboard.
In today’s blog post, Respawn outlined two main goals for Ranked Season 8:
- Create a healthier top end in Diamond+. Diamond, Master and Predators are reserved for the best of the best. We don’t want to change that. But, we do want these players competing against more players of similar skill, more often. In previous seasons, the player pool in Diamond+ was too small to consistently provide fair matches, so we aim to improve this by providing more opportunities for good players to earn RP.
- Improve match quality for ranked matches. This means we are aiming to fill most, if not all, of players in your Ranked match with players in the same rank tier. This may cause slightly longer queue times, but more competitively fair matches. We think this is worth it, and we’ll monitor queue times and sentiment closely around these changes.
In order to achieve these goals and improve match quality in Diamond tier and above, Respawn has tweaked the RP system for Season 8:
- Earn placement RP earlier in a match
- RP rewards begin at placement 13 instead of 10 in a match.
- Kill/Assist count has been raised to 6
- Earn RP for more of your kills and assists in a given match.
- This is a slight nudge to give really good players a slightly faster trip back to their competitive rank, while giving our top tier players more ways to pull ahead of the pack in the Predator ranks.
- Assist Threshold Increased to 10 seconds
- Earn assists for up to 10 seconds (up from 7.5 seconds) after dealing damage to a target that is killed by someone else.
- Predator has been increased to the top 750 players
- Allowing more players to enter predator should improve queue times while remaining an exclusive tier for the highest levels of play.
- Matchmaking Tightening
- Players below Diamond will matchmake much more often within their own Ranks.
Season 8 also sees the return of Diamond Skydive Trails as a ranked reward. Despite what the image in the blog post appears to suggest, Diamond Skydive Trails will not be a reward for Season 7.
Furthermore, for the first split of Season 8, from February 2 until March 23, King’s Canyon will be the only map available in ranked matches. For the second split, which lasts until the end of the season, Olympus will be the only map available. World’s Edge will not appear in ranked play this season.
We’re still waiting to hear more about new legend Fuse, but if he’s anything like the latest addition to Apex Legends, Horizon, then he’ll be a force to be reckoned with. We’ll see if he brings an explosive-laden meta with him into Season 8, and update our Apex Legends tier list as soon as we get to grips with how powerful he can be.