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Apex Legends Season 20: Breakout Ranked reset and changes – everything you need to know

Respawn opened its presentation about the upcoming Ranked changes by admitting defeat

“The last several seasons have led us down a path that isn't working the way we wanted to or hoped,” lead progression designer Chris “C4” Cleroux explained. “It's not as rewarding as we want it to be for players. Frankly, we know that we can do better.”

That all starts with a complete reset. No placement matches and everyone is back to Bronze 4, whether you’re a Predator or a Platinum player. While it means the first few weeks of Apex Legends Ranked will be more chaotic than Black Friday at Walmart, it should set the game up for a fairer playing field once everyone’s settled where they should be.

“The first piece that we're focused on is trust,” C4 said. “Not only our players trusting us to build systems that they'll enjoy, but they also trust those systems to be an accurate reflection of both their skill and their time spent in Apex Ranked.”

Respawn aims to rebuild that trust with transparent scoring. When you finish a match, you’ll know exactly how much RP (yes, they’ve ditched LP) you earned and what contributed to it, whether that’s squad wipes, fighting higher-ranked players, assists, or placement.

Apex Legends Season 20 straight shot

“We want to create a system that has actionable feedback,” C4 said. “[When players] finish a match, they can take a look at it and they can very easily digest how to improve.”

Combat, placement, and bonuses all have breakdowns now, as well as tooltips that explain in more detail where the points are coming from. It’s a wall bounce in the right direction.

Layered on top of this, Respawn has reworked how RP is doled out. “It’s a combat-focused game, so let’s make a combat-focused scoring system,” C4 explained.

According to C4, Respawn has previously focused too much on placement or too much on kills, but this new Ranked system should place the crosshairs right back on the bull’s eye. As well as RP for kills and placement, there’s now RP for skilled play, which could be winning consecutive matches, consecutive top-five placements, or wiping a full squad, for example.

Kills, assists, and participations have different values depending on your placement, so you’re able to get more out of a combat-heavy win than you would for creeping your way to first. Combined with the new evo upgrade system and the replicator changes for Season 20, Respawn is making some big steps toward incentivizing engagements.

Apex Legends Season 20 legends upgrades

So, how does this all work with matchmaking? Instead of using a hidden MMR, players will match based on their RP value. If you rock up in a pre-made squad, the game will take the highest rank from your trio and match you based on them.

This doesn’t mean you won’t end up in games with Predator players – because making sure everyone can play and isn’t waiting around is still a priority – but you should mostly be matched with people around your skill level that season (except at the reset, which will be Hell).

There will also be a little more of this (Hell, I mean) around the mid-season because splits are coming back. Respawn says it’s doing this to support mid-season play, giving lapsed players a reason to get into Ranked even when they missed the first few weeks. New players can also get into Ranked more quickly, as the account level to access Ranked play is being reduced from Level 50 to Level 20. When the split happens, all players will be demoted up to six divisions.

Apex Legends Season 20

You’ll also be aware of who you’re fighting because visible Ranked badges are coming back to the kill feed and banners. This should give you more information about whether or not to push a fight. It’s all about knowing what’s happening and why it’s happening (you’re dying and it’s because you’re bad).

So, yeah, here’s another thing that’s happening: Promotional Trials are going away. I’m quite happy about this one. I liked them in concept, but sitting at the top of a rank, coming second, and missing the trial felt like taking a headbutt from Fuse. “We're reevaluating this to make it more fun and celebratory,” C4 said.

I didn’t have chance to check Ranked out during a recent playtest, but Respawn is saying all the right things. Combined with the rest of the changes, it should make for a more active and exciting game.