Apex Legends Season 20 launch date confirmed, new Legend Upgrades explained

Apex Legends: Breakout, the 20th season of the fast-paced battle royale is due to launch on Tuesday, 13th February and there are a few big changes coming including a new Legend Upgrade system, Shields being removed from ground loot and a ranked reset.

To celebrate the game’s fifth anniversary, maps will be strewn with celebratory confetti and balloons, plus the potential to earn six Legends previously only available through premium currency.

If you’re playing Apex on a next-gen console, then you might be pleased to hear that Breakout will be introducing 120Hz for you as well as haptics and adaptive triggers for controllers. This will apply from launch for all PS5 and Xbox Series S/X users.

So, what is the new Legend Upgrade system? As you play through a match you’ll earn Evo to progress through a tracker. When you hit certain points on it, you will be given two choices as to how you want to enhance your Legend. The final choice on this tracker is earning the coveted red shield.

Shields are completely removed from ground loot and they upgrade alongside your Legend Upgrades, but you can still steal other people’s Shields from Deathboxes via a special type of Shield Cell.

apex legends breakout official landscape art of world's edge
The celebrations have even reached World’s Edge. | Image credit: Respawn Entertainment.

Crafting Materials have been entirely removed map-wide and Replicators are now free for everyone. Players can use them once per match but the time it takes to create something has been significantly increased. Items in them have been reduced to mostly healing items.

The map rotation for Breakout will be Stormpoint, Olympus, and World’s Edge. Mixtape has a brand new map that pays homage to the original King’s Canyon called ‘Thunderdome’. Also, keep an eye out for a new exhibit in the Apex Museum on World’s Edge celebrating the game’s history or visit the lobby location to catch up on any lore you’ve missed.

There will be a new limited-time mode at launch called Straight Shot aimed at getting you into the thick of an Apex match much faster. Also, the much-loved Three Strikes mode will be returning to Mix Tape later in the season.

apex legends breakout official thunderdome map teaser image
Welcome to the Thunderdome! | Image credit: Respawn Entertainment.

At the start of Breakout there will be a complete ranked reset and the return of RP (Ranked Points). Matchmaking will no longer rely on your MMR value (Matchmaking Rating), it will only be determined by your RP Value. Also, there’s no hard-rank matching, if you’re gold there is a chance you can get silver matches or gold or plat matches.

If you’re queuing as a Trio then the matchmaker will take into account the highest RP value of that team and match with that.

The scoring system for gaining RP has also been altered to be more transparent for everyone and more rewarding for kills, though your shot placement will still matter. You will get a bonus for taking out anyone who is of a higher rank which is called a ‘Challenger Bonus’ and you won’t be penalised for accidentally killing someone who is a lower rank than you are.

Also, if you can keep in the top five placements for a period of time (known as a streak), you will gain more RP. The longer you hold your streak, the more RP you will gain. However, provisional matches and promotional trials have been removed for Breakout.

apex legends breakout apex champion museum exhibit official image
Could you be the next Apex Champion? | Image credit: Respawn Entertainment.

Finally, there are a few more titbits to know about Breakout. Wattson can now stack Pylons again and there’s a Pylon upgrade that will allow it to spawn Arc Stars if broken. Crypto’s drone deploy and recall transitions are being sped up, and I learned from the online press briefing that Ash could be getting a strong upgrade or two.

The Digital Threat 1x is no longer compatible with SMGs, you can only add it to Shotguns and Pistols. The 30-30 Repeater and Hemlok are both nerfed as well as the Care Package and Weapon balances being altered for the season.

The team is also highly aware of the issue with Steam Configs and are currently working on fixes to address this issue. They, understandably, didn’t want to mention when these fixes would be rolling out but assured us that they are actively on it.

That’s it for now! Apex Legends: Breakout launches on Tuesday, 13th February 2024 for PS4, PS5, Xbox One, Xbox Series S/X, PC and Nintendo Switch.

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