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‘Apex Legends’ Solo Mode Won’t Be As Good As You Think

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On August 6th, fans got exactly the Apex Legends reveal they were waiting for, an announcement that the long-awaited solo mode will be coming to Respawn’s hit battle royal title. Dropping alongside the Iron Crown Collection event, this new Season 2 game type will only be available for a limited time from August 13th to the 27th. In a very brief video posted to their Twitter account, Respawn showed Bloodhound dropping into King’s Canyon alone, seemingly suggesting that the mode will be a simple no-frills deathmatch without a squad and not a re-imagining of its most popular game type.

While many have been begging for a solo mode since Apex Legends’ release in February, this limited run event might actually be Respawn attempting to show gamers how poorly suited the title really is for individual modes. Players have long debated both the positives and negatives of including solo mode and Respawn obviously left the game mode out for a reason, so this solo experiment might be only to silence the doubters and show that players are nothing without their teammates. In a recent video, Twitch personality and professional gamer Shroud recently echoed these concerns, saying that “the game isn’t going to be very good in solos” and “I think it’ll come out, limited time… two weeks, people are going to try it, they are going to hate it, and then they are gonna pull it… and probably won’t do it again.”

So, let’s face it, Shroud is right, Apex Legends solo mode probably isn’t going to be all that great. While it may be a fun diversion and create some much needed extra hype around the Battle Royal title, it is not going to revolutionize the game in the ways that many seem to believe. Here are the main reasons why:

Unbalanced Abilities

In a title purely designed for the interplay and combined power of a squad of three, separating these characters and their abilities from squads in Apex Legends solo mode is really going to damage the fun and excitement of the experience. Similarly to a title like Overwatch, characters are designed to have skills that work together in tandem with each other, making smart character ability and special usage an important part of achieving victory. Taking away this carefully established harmony will sorely harm the meta for the game and render some characters basically useless. In solo combat, Gibraltar becomes a giant bullet sponge imprisoned in a bubble shield, Caustic loses his charm as a squad trapper, and Pathfinder turns into a quick-moving but under-performing character in terms of abilities.

Lack of Variation

Because of these balancing issues, the Apex Legends solo mode lmatches will be full of the characters best suited for individual combat, most likely Bloodhound. With their Tracker, Eye of the Allfather, and Beast of the Hunt abilities and specials, they are designed to operate as a scout and succeed as the last member of his squad, so it is safe to say that they will picked most often. Presumably, Lifeline and Bangalore will be the next most picked, although not with the same frequency. Having matches full of the same characters with the same abilities will undoubtedly lead to both frustration and boredom, as echoing “Allfather, give me sight” lines will surely reverberate around the Canyon.

Waste of Features

Remember the Ping feature that revolutionized the Battle Royal genre and put the game on top as the leading squad title? It’s useless in Apex Legends solo mode and will exist as a waste of a button. The shield, excluding the gold, will serve no purpose either, as getting downed will now result in instant death and a boot to lobby. These features are ultimately a part of the charm of the Apex Legends and do nothing but make it a more enjoyable title, and the absence of these parts will only serve as a reminder of what made the game great in the first place.

In All Fairness…

To be fair -regardless of these concerns- Apex Legends solo mode will be very interesting to try and might have the benefit of bringing people back to the title. Although on the surface solo mode’s launch feels like a move designed to please the fans -let’s face it- this is a marketing move at best. EA has been hiding the game’s overall player count, Twitch viewership has declined drastically, and Fortnite is creeping back into its position as the king. Launching solo mode at this time is mostly a PR stunt and a grand experiment to remind casual players that the title still exists.

That being said, will it be fun? Maybe. Will it be worth a shot? Absolutely.

What do you think? Will Apex Legends solo mode work or will it fail miserably? Ultimately, does it even matter?

August 12, 2019 1:23 PST: Edited to reflect Bloodhound’s non-binary gender pronouns

Ty is here to talk gaming and chew bubblegum, but he's all out of gum. Writer and host of the Stadia Wave Podcast, he is an Animal Crossing Fanatic, a Mario Kart legend, and a sore loser at Smash. Add him on Switch @Creepshow101, PSN/Live at Grimelife13, or Stadia at Grimelife and play!

28 Comments

28 Comments

  1. Ads

    August 11, 2019 at 1:35 pm

    Why dont we all stop listening to Youtubers and make up our minds for ourselves

    • Ty Davidson

      August 12, 2019 at 1:57 pm

      Hey, Ads. That’s a fair opinion. As a gamer though, I feel like Shroud has earned a certain amount of credibility because of his understanding of multiplayer game modes and just overall dominance. The guy is an absolute madman!

  2. bump

    August 11, 2019 at 4:32 pm

    “You think you do but you don’t”. Many people, like me, didn’t play for long as there is no solo mode. I know what I will be playing on 13-27th then!

    • Ty Davidson

      August 12, 2019 at 1:55 pm

      I’ll see you in the Canyon then, bump! I can understand why people are super hesitant to play a game based on cooperation, as there is a lot that can go wrong! When it goes right, though, it is so so satisfying, at least for me.

  3. Qwerty

    August 12, 2019 at 6:39 am

    I think you’re mistaken. Many people play different legends, for different reason. Almost all legends have the ability to shine in solo play. The assumption that Bloodhound will be one of the most used legends is actually far less likely. This opinion actually makes me believe that you don’t play this game regularly and just creating an article to draw traffic.

    • Ty Davidson

      August 12, 2019 at 1:52 pm

      I think that you are totally right that each character serves a very distinct purpose and players adjust their play styles accordingly, but I’m still wary as to how that translates to a solo game. For this event, I’m really interested in seeing how characters are balanced 1v1 and what the overall spread of characters is like in matches. Hopefully Respawn actually posts some data on the solos event so we, the players, know how things go. I’m also interested to see how Mirage does…

  4. Sarvisp

    August 12, 2019 at 8:32 am

    What I think is you aren’t very good at the game, and thus, are missing the point. None of the abilities are strong enough to turn games around by themselves, which means even if the characters are imbalanced for solos, just the fact that your performance isn’t dictated so heavily on how your two teammates happen to play means solos is going to be a far more balanced experience than playing squads with random teammates. The reason shroud can be against the experience is because he get’s to play with two other pro players basically every time he plays. For the rest of us, who have to settle for whoever the game gives us more often than not, then proceed to play 1v3 for most of the game, this a bigger balance update than any other they could provide. Doesn’t matter what character I pick. I’ll still destroy you, now that it’s 1v1, rather than 1v3.

    • Ty Davidson

      August 12, 2019 at 1:48 pm

      I love the energy, Sarvisp. Looking forward to seeing how solos allows my individual skill to shine as well. I’m most interested to seeing how abilities will be used and how character choice is affected as a result. See you out there!

  5. Kyle

    August 12, 2019 at 9:03 am

    For the many many many of us who don’t have friends who play Apex, we are left with random garbage teammates and end up taking on 1, 2, or even 3 players at once all alone most of the time anyways. Anyone who thinks solo is going to be a bust is someone who has the benefit of playing with regular teammates. I wreck teams by myself. I’m going to absolutely demolish people when they can’t team up on me. Bring on solo mode.

    • Ty Davidson

      August 12, 2019 at 1:46 pm

      I’m right there with you, Kyle. It’s super frustrating getting stuck with garbage teammates. Maybe Respawn should invest more energy in improving matchmaking and player support initiatives?

  6. Gun1Up

    August 12, 2019 at 10:50 am

    All of the characters will still be usable in solos except lifeline since she’s been nerfed to the ground. I guess the writer has never cued with randoms. Playing with Randoms is like solos except worse because team members are toxic, and rarely if ever stick together unless you get paired with other decent players. Also, the abilities are overrated. The only conclusion that I have come to about the usefulness of abilities is movement around the map, such as getting to places quicker or stopping other players from pushing you. You really can’t compare this to overwatch. It’s a battle royale. The writer stated that the reason why Apex doesn’t have solos is that the developers know it’s not going to work? No, the reason is that it will cause the player base to shift and you won’t have so many people playing squads, creating a longer cue time. Have you seen the que time for Diamond in competitive mode? Apex developers just don’t want long que times. I’m looking foward to this game mode.

    • Ty Davidson

      August 12, 2019 at 1:45 pm

      Don’t get me wrong, I’m totally looking forward to solos. I just think that Apex is a game geared around cooperation and ability balance. Take that away and you might as well just play PUBG

  7. Modestos Papapetrou

    August 12, 2019 at 12:58 pm

    DO YOU EVEN PLAY THE GAME?

    • Ty Davidson

      August 12, 2019 at 1:44 pm

      Thanks for taking the time to leave a comment! I do! I’ve been having a lot of fun with season 2, although I didn’t buy the battle pass.

  8. israwr

    August 12, 2019 at 2:22 pm

    The game is built around squad play

    • Ty Davidson

      August 12, 2019 at 2:30 pm

      Thanks for taking the time to leave a comment! I think so too, but I’m still interested to see how solos works.

  9. AK

    August 12, 2019 at 2:31 pm

    Bloodhound is a female character…

    With his Tracker, Eye of the Allfather, and Beast of the Hunt abilities and specials, he is designed to operate as a scout and succeed as the last member of his squad, so it is safe to say that he will picked most often.

    Shows how much this dude knows/plays the game

    • Ty Davidson

      August 12, 2019 at 4:20 pm

      You’re right AK, I actually missed this bit of lore. That being said, I believe it’s possible to be able to understand game mechanics without knowing the backstory of each of the characters. Also, a bit of digging shows that Bloodhound was announced as “non-binary” by Respawn. The article will be edited to reflect proper pronouns. Thank you!

      • MrXakaRebel

        August 13, 2019 at 7:19 am

        Players who really know their characters are going to have a blast and those of us who constantly think about how to best use their abilities are going to dominate. Has this guy ever seen a good Pathfinder? If anything Pathfinder becomes OP because of his ability to see the next circle and go anywhere. Does he understand a smart Caustic or Wattson can trap an entire building and play room to room around their traps. Caustic can even gas an agile roof camper from their perch if the player has a brain. Sure some characters work better than others depending on your playstyle but that’s how the game is already. A smart, skilled Gibraltar is going to dance in and out of his shield that is strategically placed half in, half out of a building in the zone and drop their ult on their own head and wipe the whole area, even a Bloodhound who would arguably be the worst in a solo situation would reward cautious, calculated sniping for a player who knows how to position thenselves using the extra ingo that class gives.

    • Rob

      August 12, 2019 at 4:45 pm

      “Bloodhound is a female char” keeps talking about his and him…. LOL

  10. about gawd damn time

    August 12, 2019 at 4:30 pm

    The way I see it, the main problem with the way this game is now is FINALLY being addressed…

    If you don’t have a premade squad of 3, you get matched with 2 randoms that are either: A) idiots B) not team players or C) both A&B. If they don’t quit before the round even starts because someone selected THEIR character, that is…

    You might as well be playing solo anyway. In other words, I’d much rather play against enemies 1v1 rather than 1v3 constantly.

    • Ty Davidson

      August 12, 2019 at 4:35 pm

      That’s a fair point. Nothing sucks worse than having a no teammates and knowing that there is no way that you can win. I’m interested to see how it pans out in solos. From my perspective, Respawn maybe needs maybe investing a little more time into addressing matchmaking and toxicity issues to improve player experience.

  11. Shane

    August 12, 2019 at 8:12 pm

    Blizzard said Overwatch would never have a death match mode because they said it wouldn’t fit the game. Now death match is one of the most popular game modes in Overwatch. Sometimes you dont know unless you try…

  12. Charles davis

    August 13, 2019 at 8:12 am

    Go back to playing Nintendo. This article was opinionated trash. Everyones gonna play as bloodhound,bang, and lifeline? Haha thats a joke, and you just generalizing before the game mode is released. “Pinging” is annoying as f&$c when 11yr olds spam it every time they get knocked. Ggs mate

  13. RYAN

    August 13, 2019 at 8:40 pm

    This is a pretty stereotypical hate article. It brought plenty of people back and everyone I know enjoys it. Everyone liked the game but it lacked variety so here you go. And saying only a couple of legends will be used so therefore it will suck is a horrible argument. It’s no different than wraith, Wattson (now), and Pathfinder being the only legends used in almost every ranked squad. Also I’ll have to disagree with shroud here, I’ll admit everyone was skeptical but it turned out fine.

    • Ty Davidson

      August 14, 2019 at 8:31 pm

      Thanks for taking a time to leave a comment, Ryan. I think you’re right that a lot of people will be brought back to the title with the promise of something new and different, but it will be interesting to see if they stay around afterwards. I think Apex might want to spend some more time balancing their title and make squads more enjoyable instead of giving in to pressure.

  14. Howie

    August 18, 2019 at 6:11 pm

    I love solos, did your opinion change after playing solos and giving it a FAIR chance?

  15. Ian Teters

    August 20, 2019 at 12:14 pm

    I hated playing with other players that can’t keep up, why should us good players be held back by a team of noobs? I’m sick of carrying people, solo mode is the only mode I’m going to be playing from now on.

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