Battle royale shooter Apex Legends is getting a unique game mode fans have been asking about for months: duos. The limited-time duos playlist goes live on November 5th, developer Respawn announced today, and it will break with the game’s strict three-person squad format. In the past, Respawn has added limited-time solo events, but it’s never before allowed just two people to team up. If previous events are any indication, it’s likely Respawn will stick to 60-person matches, so 30 teams per game.
With the launch of Apex Legends back in February, Respawn has stuck to its guns with a tight focus on three-person squads. The entire game — including how firefights are designed to play out and the way subclass abilities combine together — is oriented around trios and being able to adequately provide cover, heal, and revive members of your squad throughout an intense fight. The approach has earned Apex Legends 70 million registered players as of this month, making it one of the most popular shooters on the market.
But requiring players to team up with total strangers over the internet is indeed a big ask, even with the game’s robust nonverbal communication features. It’s not always fun to play Apex when you can’t adequately rely on your teammates and you keep getting cleaned up by more skilled and organized squads. And Apex, more so than competing battle royale games like Fortnite, doesn’t offer players a lot of in-game activities that don’t revolve around winning. The harder it is to win or even place high, the harder it is to enjoy the game.
So Respawn has been experimenting with casual, limited modes that could give the solo crowd their fix without compromising the game’s core mode and its competitive playlist. Now, we’re going to get to see how duos will work as well.