Apex Legends’ limited time solo mode kicked off today, allowing players to ditch their squad for a lonesome contest for survival. While Apex Legends is built around teamplay—picking the right hero combinations and communicating with the other two members of your squad—the solo mode offers a more deliberate but equally exciting way to play.
The solo mode is part of the game’s Iron Crown Collection Event, which features boosted experience gains, new cosmetics, and a visual overhaul to one part of the map. While it’s fun to explore the stunt-course inspired “Octane Town” or level up faster via the XP boost, the real star attraction of the Iron Crown event is the solo mode. Like the regular squad mode, 60 players dive into King’s Canyon, only now it’s everyone for themselves.
Apex Legends relies on teammates for coordinating attacks and reviving downed teammates. Not having squadmates makes for a more thoughtful, sneaky pace. Fighting on my lonesome encouraged me to grab weapons I might not otherwise consider and to make sure my loadout could handle whatever situation I found myself in. If I’m going to need to cross a larger distance, it makes sense to grab a Triple Take sniper rifle to go with my close-range R-99 even if I might ignore it in a squad match.
Fighting with two other players often leads to rushing enemy positions and engaging in loud gunfights. You might be able to play solo mode like that and win, but in the matches I played today, I found it better to wait for the right time to strike. Why go hog wild if you don’t have other wild hogs with you? Instead, I’d try to catch enemies while they were looting, then sneak behind them and take them out. In the time I’ve played the solo mode, I made much more deliberate decisions than usual, because getting too aggressive could be disastrous without the luxury of backup.
Of course, solo play is missing some of the things that make Apex Legends great, such as group tactics and the complex interplay between hero characters. But the mode shows how fundamentally enjoyable Apex Legends is to play even without those features—this is, after all, the battle royale featuring Titanfall 2’s silky smooth controls. Solo mode breaks up the pace of group matches and makes way for something with a bit more cerebral. Solos are a great fit for the game, one that I hope Respawn decides to keep for the long haul.