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Three Strikes returns alongside 2 new LTM’s in Apex season 20 Dot Esports

Apex Legends has a rich array of limited-time modes at this point in its lifetime, and in season 20, it’ll be adding two new ones to the rotation and bringing back a fan favorite in the form of Three Strikes.

In the eyes of lead battle royale designer Josh Mohan, limited-time modes in Apex are more than just a simple remix of the formula. As he explained at a recent press event, LTM’s are a place where Respawn can “experiment” with the core gameplay loop, with results that might influence more permanent changes or just make Apex more approachable for new players. Mohan said we can expect more modes in 2024 “that make it easier to jump into Apex Legends.”

Apex Legends Arenas
Limited-time modes have gotten more complex and expansive as time has gone on. Image via Respawn Entertainment

That all starts with Straight Shot, a new LTM kicking off the new season. “Straight Shot is all about getting you into the action faster,” he explained. “It’s a sped-up match of Apex, giving you more drops, more fights, and more end rings.”

It achieves this in a couple of different ways. There are only 30 players in a Straight Shot lobby and the game will be focused on a “smaller part” of the map, with the end ring closing in around half the time it usually would. Finding a fight won’t take much time either, as the dropship sequence has been removed entirely—teams instead get immediately dropped into a random POI alongside one other squad.

Even the looting has been dramatically simplified. Any weapons you find come fully kitted with all the attachments you need. Guns will still range in rarity from white to gold to maintain some amount of random luck, but you’ll never struggle to gear up or find upgrades.

But the feature coming with Straight Shot that will undoubtedly excite Apex’s player base the most is a simple quality-of-life one—the ability to instantly re-queue for another match after dying. “When you’re eliminated, you and your squad can immediately queue into your next match from the spectate screen without going back to [the] lobby,” Mohan said. “All these changes keep you focused on the action, and let you play more matches in less time.”

It’s a feature that’s become normalized in other battle royales like Fortnite and, until now, has been tragically absent from Apex. It may have been introduced as an exclusive feature of Straight Shot, but with any luck, it’ll become a permanent addition down the line.

Aside from Straight Shot, design director Evan Nikolich also mentioned an upcoming LTM called Lockdown, which he described as a “team deathmatch style” mode with “a focus on zone control.” Unlike Straight Shot, no other details were provided on what to expect from this mode, nor when it would be released.

Nikolich also teased that Three Strikes will return to Apex “toward the later half of the season.” The mode, first introduced in the Post Malone event and has since been brought back numerous times, has been a huge hit with players across the board. There have even been several calls to make it a permanent fixture, but no mention of any such plan was made during the press event.

These limited-time modes will all be available at some point throughout season 20 of Apex Legends, Breakout, which releases on Tuesday, Feb. 13.

Alexis Walker

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