One of the most polarizing topics surrounding Respawn’s battle royale Apex Legends is the lack of game modes. Only featuring one mode, three-man squads, players are forced to queue with either friends or random users. For players without an abundance of squadmates, this can become extremely irritating.
Nearly every battle royale released has featured at least three modes: Solos, Duos, and Squads. This allows for each individual player to make a decision on what kind of experience they have. For lone wolves, Solos are the way to go. Although, Duos and Squads are also there if a friend or two hop online.
Since its inception, players have been asking one question: Will Solos and Duos matchmaking come to Apex Legends? However, the real question is will Solos and Duos upset the balance of the game?
There’s no question as to why Apex Legends launched with only a Squads mode. Respawn clearly built this game with an emphasis on team play and communication in mind. The revolutionary pinging system that allows players without microphones to communicate is evidence of this.
So, with such an emphasis placed on this aspect, the only mode that makes real sense is a Squads mode. Solos and Duos would hinder the focus on communication and team orientation compared to Squads.
Another factor to consider is the different Legend combinations Squads allow. The different abilities each Legend has are what really separate Apex Legends from its competitors. Pairing a Bangalore with a Bloodhound and Lifeline can have a real effect on the outcome of a match. In a regular Solos or Duos playlist, this aspect of the game would be thrown out of the window.
Almost two months into Apex Legends, it seems as though Respawn is standing pat on keeping the game Squads only. There were some rumblings in early February about data-mined files revealing a Solos and Duos playlist but nothing since. However, the public outcry and monotony of playing only one mode could sway them to add another playlist.
For argument’s sake, let’s say Respawn finally caves to the community and adds in Solos and Duos. These modes would theoretically work the same as Squads — 100 player lobbies, a character select screen, and the ability to pick your own landing spot. The respawning system would work in Duos but not in Solos for obvious reasons.
With all of this in mind, how would these modes play out? In theory, Duos would more than likely play similarly to Squads. The pinging system is still a valuable tool but isn’t as helpful as in Squads. There could be a problem with Legend variety in any given lobby, however. Although, with only one less player on every team, there wouldn’t be too much of a change from Squads.
Solos, on the other hand, could be a disaster. For one, giving players the ability to select whatever Legend they want is an obstacle. Every Solos lobby would be filled to the brim with Wraiths and Octanes, with a few Lifelines here and there. The pinging system Respawn has emphasized so much is completely useless without a teammate. And to top it off, hackers would have a field day in this mode due to no teammates holding them back.
While adding Solos and Duos might seem like a good idea on paper, there are major complications involved. Other game modes, like the LTMs in Fortnite, would work much better than either Solos or Duos. Apex Legends is a team-oriented battle royale and should remain this way for the foreseeable future.
What’s your opinion on different game modes in Apex Legends? Should Respawn give the community what they want? Let us know in the comments below. Make sure to stay tuned to Daily Esports for all your Apex Legends coverage.
Joey Carr is a University of North Georgia Journalism graduate. He has 5+ years of experience covering esports and traditional sporting events, including Dreamhack Atlanta, Call of Duty Championships 2017, and Super Bowl 53.