Apex Legends Season 16 will usher in a mode that players have been asking for since launch: Team Deathmatch. The highly anticipated game mode will drop on February 14 alongside Revelry, the newest season in the battle royale, and will focus on “enhancing the core experience,” says design director Evan Nikolich during a preview event.
“We’ve been hearing the community ask for this one for a while,” says game mode designer Marty Wong. Team Deathmatch in Apex Legends will look like TDM in any other game, really: a fast-paced 6v6 mode with no downs, just deaths and fast respawns. The first team to 30 kills wins the round, winning two rounds takes the game. At the beginning of the match, you’ll get a loadout selection similar to the one in the Control game mode: close-quarters, heavy, assault, specialist, and long range, with two weapons and a grenade in each loadout. You’ll be able to switch your Legend and loadout throughout the match, and pick up some weapons throughout the map.
But Apex Legends isn’t just adding Team Deathmatch—it’s removing another non-battle royale mode entirely. Arenas will disappear with Season 14, as the 3v3 mode wasn’t “hitting our goal of being a good place to practice the core combat loop of Apex,” explains Nikolich, who also suggests that it overlaps a bit too much with the BR experience. The idea behind Arenas and other non-BR modes is that, if you can get used to the game’s rotating weapon pool, its unique movement mechanics, and its roster of characters with their unique abilities, you’ll likely be able to translate your knowledge into the battle royale—rather than trying to drop into a BR match just to get rolled and eliminated within the first few minutes.
“Arenas was supposed to be our smaller slice of BR mode,” explains Wong. “What ended up being was, it was kind of a sweatier, more high-stakes mode. A lot of players would go into it feeling like they couldn’t make mistakes or couldn’t really experiment, they always had to play really hard. We’re hoping that TDM comes in and provides a place for players to die fast and feel comfortable making mistakes, hoping that gives Apex a lot more accessibility for new players.
Instead of Arenas, Apex Legends Season 16 will offer Team Deathmatch at the start, then bring in Mixtape, a rotating playlist of community favorite modes. Apex Legends Season 16 Revelry kicks off on February 14.