Apex Legends' ninth season is officially underway. Dubbed the Legacy update, Season 9 has introduced a load of fresh content for players to try out; a new battlepass, weapons, and even a new hero have all made their way into the battle royale. But one of the biggest — and most anticipated — additions to the game is the new Arenas mode.
If you've played Counter-Strike: Global Offensive or Valorant, then the design of Arenas will sound pretty familiar. Instead of the classic battle royale, Arenas pits two teams of three against one another in round-based combat. The inspiration from tactical shooters is clear, but there's still a fair bit that’s unique to Apex Legends. Here's everything you need to know to get started in Arenas.
Arenas is a new permanent game mode that has been added to Apex Legends in the Legacy update. Two new maps unique to Arenas, Phase Runner and Party Crasher, have also been added. The setup is simple: two teams of three compete over a maximum of nine rounds in head-to-head combat.
In order to come out on top in Arenas, a team must have at least three round wins, and lead by at least two. It’s similar to tennis rules but with more high-powered rifles. A score of 3-1 would be a win for the first team, while a score of 3-2 would be match point for the first team. If the score reaches 4-4, a sudden death round occurs. Whichever team wins there, wins the game.
Players pick their Legend at the start of an Arenas match but cannot change between rounds. A ring begins closing in shortly after round starts, just like in the battle royale mode. Downed players can be revived but cannot be resurrected.
Just like in CS:GO, each round in Apex Legends Arenas mode starts with a buy phase. During this, players can spend materials they've earned or started with to buy weapons, hero abilities, armour, and consumables. Unlike CS:GO or Valorant, purchases do not carry over from one round to the next. This makes the economy in Arenas far more important, as a big purchase in one round may lead to your downfall in the next.
Our advice? Instead of opting for high-tier weapons that need upgrades right from the start, go for cheap-but-powerful guns that don't require extras. You start with 550 materials, so weapons like the G7 Scout and L-Star are perfect picks for the early game. With a price of 350 and 400 respectively, these weapons still allow you some wiggle room for a few medkits (50 each) or frag grenades (75 each).
You have 30 seconds in the buy phase before each round begins. Use the time to communicate with your team and see how everyone is doing materials-wise. If more than one person is running low, it may be worth doing a "save round" in which everyone buys extremely cheap gear to have more materials in the next round.
Save rounds can help your team stay in the game while down on materials. A better strategy is to never need to save. While kills are integral to winning rounds, they only provide one person with 75 materials. The containers scattered around the middle of each map offer 200 materials for every player on your team. In most cases, it's worth rushing these to gain the economic edge.
It's worth noting that some Legends are more cut out for Arena Mode than others. Pathfinder is great for ziplining around in battle royale mode, but he doesn't have much to offer his team in Arenas mode. Instead, opt for Legends like Loba, Lifeline, and Bloodhound for a winning combination.
- Loba: Use Loba's ultimate at the beginning of rounds to steal healing items from the supply bins on the enemy team's side of the map. This saves your team from having to buy medkits and prevents the enemy team from getting free healing — a win-win situation!
- Lifeline: Lifeline is able to open a supply bin's secret compartment to give her team more Shield Cells and Syringes. Her healing abilities can also come in handy during a rough fire fight, and her Care Package can help make save rounds more tolerable.
- Bloodhound: There are only two teams in an Arenas match, which means that Bloodhound's Eye of the Allfather is indispensable. Use this ability to instantly track where the other team is, then rush them without worrying about a third party interfering.
Perez is a journalist who has played way too much Civilization 5. He's rambling on Twitter @Nic_Perez_.