- Apex Legends Season 20 Breakout is launching on February 13, 2024, with a brand-new 'Legends Upgrade' system.
- This season also changes the workings of EVO Shields, the replicator, and there are new ranked changes in store.
- To celebrate Apex Legends' fifth anniversary, we get a new Straight Shot LTM and collection event with 150 Heirloom Shards as a reward.
We are five years into the Apex Legends journey, and the game has gone through various changes with each update. Now, as we enter Season 20: Breakout, Respawn is overhauling some of the core aspects of the game, and it’s going to turn a lot of heads. So, without further ado, let’s take a look at the new changes in Apex Legends Season 20, which arrives on February 13.
First things first, let me address the most common question. No, we are not getting a new legend, a new map, or a new weapon in Apex Legends Season 20. However, Respawn revealed how the game is evolving with the next season, bringing in features like a legends upgrade system, upgraded EVO Shields, ranked revamped, a new Thunderdome map, and more.
New Legend Upgrades System
Yes, after five years, Respawn is ready to augment the core legends gameplay in Apex Legends with perks. Called Legend Upgrades, this in-match progression system will roll out in Season 20. It will be tied to your EVO Shield tier, which means you will be able to unlock perks when your shield gets upgraded.
You will have two decision-making options, one when you upgrade to blue armor and another when you upgrade to purple armor. Each legend will have four distinct perks for you to choose from, and you can select the upgrades that will benefit you in the ongoing game. The perk progression will be reset after the match ends.
“Legend Upgrades and Armor will only impact Battle Royale modes. Mixtape modes will not have upgrades and will continue to use Body Shields this season,” as per the official blog post.
We have explained the new Legend Upgrades system in Apex Legends Season 20 in detail, so check out the linked guide.
Evo Shields Reworked: Cores?
Since Legends Upgrades are dependent on EVO shields in Season 20, Respawn has overhauled how shields work in Apex Legends. The first major change is that body shields have been removed from floor loot. Every player drops in-game with a white EVO armor and needs to work on leveling it up via combat and non-combat methods, such as EVO Harvesters, Caches, and more.
The Body Shield is no longer a lootable item and has been replaced with Shield Cores. You can now pick up Shield Cores from the enemies’ death boxes to replenish your shields. So, this is the new way to swap armors in Apex Legends. The cores also have an “Overcharge” feature, which we have explained in detail in a dedicated ‘changes to EVO Shield in Apex Legends S20‘ guide. So, do go through it to learn all about it.
Ranked Revamped, Again!
Yeah, another new season, and another set of ranked changes. Over the last few seasons, Respawn has experimented with a variety of updates to the ranked mode – introducing provisional matches, promo trials in Season 19, no splits, and more.
With Season 20, Apex Legends is dialing back on its wild experiments and returning to the ranked changes that actually worked back in the day. So, first, LP is now RP. Ranked points, FTW! You can now earn “bonuses for kills, match placement, and outperforming higher-ranked squads (the Challenger bonus),” as per the official press release.
There is a new “Top 5 Streak” bonus in place, and the total RP calculation will be easy. Moreover, every player will be reset to 1 RP next season and will have to start their ranked grind afresh. The dev team is also bringing back ranked splits, where you will be pushed back by six divisions.
The changes don’t end there. The matchmaking will now be based on your RP (instead of a hidden MMR), and you will be matched with players closer to your rank. The entry point for ranked is also being adjusted, down to Level 20, to enable new players to squad with friends and start sweating in ranked mode.
Also, the features mentioned above, provisional matches and promo trials, have been put to rest for now. The cost of entry has also been adjusted for every rank. It all sounds pretty good, and I cannot wait to jump into ranked next season!
While you are here, don’t forget to check out the Breakout rewards tracker, which will get you the Heat Sink Flatline recolor for free. There are a lot of other free goodies in store, so do not miss out on them!
Replicator Crafting Changes
Respawn is completely overhauling how the Replicator (aka crafter) works in Apex Legends. As we are moving to Shield Cores in Season 20, there is no use for the shield upgrade option in the crafter. Also, with no shields on the floor, it opens up the loot pool to accommodate more weapons instead of them being rotated through the crafter. The same is the case with attachments.
The biggest change, however, is the fact that you no longer need to collect any crafting material to use the replicator. Instead, each replicator has been limited to one use per player. After you use a certain replicator, its use is exhausted for you, and you will need to go to a new one to craft other things.
Starting next season, you will only find the following four items in the replicator — Heals, Battery, Ammo, and Respawn banners.
Legend & Weapon Balances
- Conduit tactical, Radiant Transfer, is getting a nerf, as revealed by Respawn. No specifics were mentioned to us.
- As spotted in the Game Informer feature, Wingman is back as floor loot.
- You can no longer equip digital threat optics on SMGs like R-99, Volt, and more, as confirmed by Respawn. It can only be used on shotguns and pistols.
- Hemlok Burst AR and 30-30 Repeater are getting nerfed, as confirmed by Respawn.
We await the official patch notes to learn about more legend balance changes. We will update this post once they are revealed, so stay tuned.
New Mixtape Map: Thunderdome
Unlike most previous seasons where Respawn pulled popular POIs and converted them to Mixtape maps, Apex Legends Season 20 brings a brand-new custom Mixtape map – Thunderdome.
Thunderdome, as Apex veterans might remember, pays homage to the King’s Canyon map and will be available in all three Mixtape modes – Control, Gun Run, and TDM. It is a floating arena and the signature feature of this map is the live audience, an inspiration that devs possibly took from The Finals. Check out the different areas of the Thunderdome right here.
120Hz Support on Consoles
Yes, it’s finally happening! Respawn rolled out the next-gen update earlier last year but it was, well, lacking the biggest upgrade – 120Hz support. With Season 20, you get the option to enable 120Hz performance mode on current-gen consoles, i.e. PS5 and Xbox Series X. The team is also adding support for haptics and adaptive triggers.
New LTM + 5th Anniversary Event
Respawn is celebrating the fifth anniversary of Apex Legends with a new “Straight Shot” limited-time mode (LTM) that aims to deliver a fast-paced and thrilling fighting experience. “It’s all about getting you into the action faster,” said the devs in a virtual briefing.
This LTM will see only 10 squads (30 players as opposed to 60 in a standard BR match) drop into pre-determined POIs on a smaller portion of the maps. The biggest difference in this mode is that there is no jumpmaster. Each squad is dropped directly into a random POI, along with one other team.
Another huge is related to looting. You don’t need to scour for attachments as you will find fully-kitted weapons (be it white, blue, purple, or golden) spawning on the floor. The final ring will close up on you in half the time too, i.e. roughly 10 minutes.
The standout feature of the Straight Shot LTM is the ability to re-queue into the next match right from the spectator screen. You can watch your killer decimate the lobby or be put down while you wait for your next match.
In addition to this, there is also the fifth-anniversary collection event, which will arrive with Apex Legends Season 20. You will be able to earn 150 Heirloom Shards by purchasing 24 limited-time cosmetics. All of the maps in rotation in Season 20, including Olympus, World’s Edge, and Storm Point, will be decked out in colorful balloons, graffiti, and more.
Clubs Retire; Tags Take Over
[UPDATE | February 5, 9:40 PM] – As revealed in the official blog post, Clubs in Apex Legends are being retired in favor of “Tags” in Season 20. Much like the Club name, tags are 3-4 alpha-numeric characters long that will appear ahead of your username.