By Cody Perez
March 25, 2020
Respawn Entertainment is expanding the Apex Legends scene with the latest small update for the game. Though the update wasn’t large at all, the implications of this particular update are quite important and will change the way the game is formatted forever.
As previously revealed at the start of Season 4, Respawn Entertainment introduced the first-ever season split this week. This strange change is effectively splitting the season in half and introducing some major changes along the way.
In the first three seasons of the game, it was all about new content introduced at the start of each season. They were all marked by the release of a new character to play as, changes to the overall map, new weapons, and balancing for the current metagame.
But this latest update for the game changes all of that by throwing a new wrench into the mix. From now on, it looks like the future of the ranked series each season will be totally different. There is no telling what this all will mean for the next season of battle royale.
With this split, we are now halfway through with Season 4, an amazing season that introduced the interesting but somewhat underused Revenant, brought some necessary and wild changes to the World’s Edge battle royale map and paved the way for a major change happening right now.
With the first split in the history of Apex Legends, players can now experience one major change that has been long-requested. The original battle royale map Kings Canyon is finally back in the game. Players can now hop back into it for the remainder of Season 4.
Before, players had to wait for seasonal events or limited-time game modes in order to experience playing on the classic Apex Legends Kings Canyon map again. For many, the Apex Legends Kings Canyon is the peak of battle royale gameplay in the popular free-to-play game and there is no comparison.
With the huge differences between how the Apex Legends Kings Canyon and World’s Edge maps work, there are many players who still prefer the original over the second map. Fortunately for you, you can now play on the first map introduced well over a year ago once again permanently (at least for now).
Better yet, if you are a fan of the World’s Edge map, you can still play on that one as well. The original Apex Legends Kings Canyon map was first introduced at the launch of the game and then went through the first two seasons of battle royale.
From Season 3 onward, though, Respawn Entertainment surprised everyone by doing something unprecedented and changing out the main battle royale map not even close to a year after the game’s release. This was both welcomed and disliked by fans.
Some loved the new map of World’s Edge while others wanted the original to come back. We have now seen World’s Edge as the main battle royale map for a season and a half, and so Respawn decided it was time for the first map in the game to make its comeback.
That said, the return of the original Apex Legends Kings Canyon is kind of weird and not what we expected at all. When Respawn announced near the launch of Season 4 that it would return in the second half of this season, we didn’t quite expect it in this way.
There are only two online competitive modes in Apex Legends currently: normal battle royale and the ranked series. You can only play on the Apex Legends Kings Canyon map if you are in the ranked mode of the game, which is a really surprising and somewhat off-putting move for some players.
If you are only wanting to play in the unranked mode for the game, so you don’t have to worry about tiers and moving up and down the leaderboard, you will not be able to play on Kings Canyon. Instead, you will only have World’s Edge as your sole option.
So, if you really want to return to Kings Canyon, you will have to deal with the ranked mode and all that comes with it like the pros and tougher players who are there solely to compete. This is an unfortunate move by Respawn but it is good at least that the options are there for both maps.
We just hope that this is a step forward towards a Season 5 where both maps can coexist in the game together unranked. We hope that players will eventually have the option to choose between the two for unranked matches, so they can practice their skills without too much worry besides the controversial skill-based matchmaking system.
Given that the old Apex Legends Kings Canyon map is out now as part of the ranked split two, you might be wondering what exactly this split is and what it really means for you. Well, Respawn announced at the start of this season that it would essentially split the season in half for the fourth iteration.
This doesn’t mean that the splits would be like full-on new battle royale seasons but they would have some significant differences like a mini-season. At its base, though, the ranked split two follows after the ranked split one that was in the first half of Season 4.
What links them together is that they are the same season still and, therefore, use the same battle pass for both halves. In addition, there is no new legend introduced in the second half like we were hoping as this isn’t actually a new season at all.
But it does shake up the metagame considerably by having players compete on the Apex Legends Kings Canyon map instead of World’s Edge like in the first split of Season 4. And perhaps just as important as that, players now have to deal with a reset.
One thing that this ranked split two has in common with the start of a new season is the fact that ranked tiers are reset yet again. Yes, even though it has been only six weeks since the launch of Season 4 and the reset of the ranked tiers from Season 3, they are being reset once again.
In fact, the reduction in your ranked tiers is exactly the same here as it would be at the start of a brand new battle royale season. This follows up on the first two ranked series that was three months and four months long, respectively.
For the third-ranked series in the popular battle royale game, Respawn wanted to do something different by allowing for a much smaller ranked season before resetting and starting all over again. Thankfully, the reset does mean that it is a soft one rather than a complete reset.
This means that players will not start from square one but rather lose some of the tiers that they have accumulated over the course of the first six weeks of Season 4. Like in previous ranked series, you will see your ranked tier position go down by about one and a half tiers.
What this means in practice is that if you are, say, gold two at the end of the first ranked split Season 4, you are brought down to the silver four-tier. Platinum four players will reset to silver two and so on. In this way, nothing has changed from the previous ranked series.
The difference is that it is happening only six weeks into the season and, in addition, the current ranked split with Kings Canyon will likely come to an end in six more weeks with the launch of the next season of battle royale. As such, players should use up this time to get as far as possible because the split does affect rewards.
Your tier position isn’t the only thing affected by the strange change with the ranked split two in Season 4. It also affects how the ranked rewards will work for you this season. Like with the previous ranked series, you will get various cosmetic rewards for doing well in the split.
You can get things like badges, gun charms, and dive trails that will match the highest tier that you earned for that series. One major change for this, though, is that moving forward this season, you will only earn the dive trail item for the following season.
In addition, it will expire after that next season if you don’t reach the same tier that you did before. The one exception to this is that players who obtained the dive trails in series one and two will keep those forever and not have to worry about it expiring.
And like before, the ranked rewards are earned based on the highest tier that you get to in either split of the series, so both will count for your rewards when the season is all done. However, if you are able to get the same tier in both splits, you will receive an exclusive animated badge.
Beyond all of that, there are some other new features in the ranked system with Season 4. There is the new Master tier that began in the first ranked split of the season. Master fills the gap between the diamond and Apex Predator tiers to shake up the leaderboard significantly.
It is basically what Predator used to be, requiring a whopping 10,000 ranked points to reach this coveted tier. From there, the top 500 players with the most points on each of the three platforms are granted the impressive title of being in the Apex Predator tier.
No longer will there be potentially thousands of players with that highest tier, but this also means that you can reach Predator and lose it during the ranked split two. If someone else is able to get more ranked points than you and knock out of the top 500 players, you will bump back down to Master.
This keeps the top of the ranked tiers exclusive as always while rewarding those players who are able to truly be the best in the ranked mode for their respective platform. In addition, there are some party restrictions in this season that weren’t in the first two ranked series.
Once you get to the platinum tier, you can only party up with players who are one tier different from you, meaning one above you and one below you. There are changes to the penalties and loss forgiveness as well. You are allowed one loss forgiveness for players who leave the game once per day.
However, if you do this more than three days out of the ranked series, you will lose all of your forgiveness for the remainder of the series, so you are basically given three freebies in total. Players will always have warnings when they are leaving the game, so you should always know about the consequences.
With all of these major changes in ranked split two and Season 4 in general, there are some key features that are staying the same, thankfully. For one, the ranked points cost for each match that you do will remain the same this season.
In addition, scoring will largely remain the same in the ranked split two. Both Master and Apex Predator use the same match points cost and reward the same number of points. What has changed are assists as they have been boosted significantly in the form of timers to ensure that your assists count for the scoring system.
That said, kill scoring and placement scoring will remain unchanged this season.