'Apex Legends' Needs More Than Solo and Duos Modes to Beat 'Fortnite'

But it's a start.

Recent leaks indicate that the new hit battle royale game Apex Legends might soon release additional game modes beyond the current three-player squads currently offered. That may sound fast for a game that just launched last week, but if developer Respawn Entertainment really wants to compete with (or even overtake) Fortnite: Battle Royale, then it was only a matter of time.

@ShiinaBR often posts various Fortnite leaks on Twitter, but like many of us, they’ve begun focusing more and more on Apex Legends. Their first Apex Legends leak, shared on Saturday, focuses on two key lines found in the game’s code: “2-man Squads” and “#SOLO_MODE.” This quickly sparked rumors that the game would let players experience the game on their own or with just one teammate, marking a departure from the current format featuring 20 teams of 3 players each.

As of right now, the Year 1 road map released by Respawn mentions a season-based structure akin to Fortnite’s, along with new weapons, loot, and characters, but there’s nothing about new game modes. Then again, Respawn’s made it clear that they plan to keep the growing Apex Legends community on their toes.

“The team is already hard at work on tons of top-secret new stuff we’ll be adding to the game this year and beyond (which we’ll be talking more about soon),” lead producer Drew McCoy wrote in a letter players. “First up will be the launch of Season 1 in March when we introduce a Battle Pass.”

If Respawn truly want to compete with Fortnite and maintain Apex Legends’ status as a top-tier experience, then it has to mimic Epic Games’ propensity for frequent game updates. That means a regular rotation of new modes and in-game events (Fortnite just hosted an EDM concert inside the game!). By that measure, duos and solos already look quaint.

So maybe the question isn’t when Apex Legends will let you play solo. Instead, we should be asking when Respawn plans to drastically alter the map, host an in-game event experienced by millions of players, or launch a real-life augmented reality game. That’s when we’ll know Apex Legends is ready to fight Fortnite on its own turf.

Apex Legends is available now for PC via Origin, PlayStation 4, and Xbox One.

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