The Apex Legends ranked grind can be quite the mountain to climb, but it helps knowing where you stand and what to expect. Here’s the lowdown.

Season 17 brought changes to the Apex Legends ranked system that have drastically changed the lay of the land. While the devs have confirmed changes are coming in Season 18, this is our guide to how the current system works and rank distribution as it stands.

The Apex Legends Ranked system

Unlike most other modern competitive shooters, Apex Legends has a fairly simple Ranked system. Players must grind through seven tiers of ranks, after completing a series of placement matches. As of the latest update, Respawn has also introduced a new hidden MMR system. This system tracks a player's performance through games. This hidden MMR will determine who you are matched to play against, instead of simply your rank as was the case in previous seasons.

Players can no longer earn dive trails as rewards in Season 18 Ranked.
Players can no longer earn dive trails as rewards in Season 18 Ranked.

How to play ranked in Apex Legends?

To play Apex Legends ranked mode in your account must be Level 50 or above. You must then complete 10 compulsory placement matches which will be used to determine your hidden MMR level. After completing your 10 placement matches, you will be assigned a rank.

The Ladder Point System (LP) prevails in Apex Legends Season 18, and players will need to climb through the ranks throughout the season.

The lowest rank is Bronze and can potentially climb all the way through Silver, Gold, Platinum, Diamond, Master and finally, Apex Predator. Apex Predator is a rank assigned only to the top 750 players by RP count.

Should a player choose to not start their placement matches, their account will display the rank of Rookie.

How players can earn LP in the Season 18 ranked format

Total LP entry cost now differs between ranks
Total LP entry cost now differs between ranks

While the LP system from Season 17 has remained untouched, Season 18 introduces several key tweaks to the Apex Legends ranked system to make it more competitive. To begin with, LP gains have decreased across the board and ranking up will be noticeably slower and more challenging.

Additionally, certain implementations in the backend incentivize a more aggressive playstyle, encouraging players to get more kills.

Players can farm LP in many different ways.

  • Kills, damage and performance will reward players with more LP, based on the lobby's average MMR.
  • Players can gain LP for assists, as long as they dealt damage to an enemy within 30s of their death.
  • Elimination bonuses have been buffed in Apex Legends ranked Season 18. This means players can earn more LP if they manage to successfully eliminate an opponent. (Finishing off a player you knocked).

Ranking up the ladder is more challenging in Season 18

Developers at Respawn Entertainment realized that too many players were playing for placement in the Season 17 ranked format. To address the issue, they've introduced some changes in Apex Legends Ranked mode in Season 18.

  • 50% increase in entry cost
  • Players and teams that finish lower than 10th lose more LP
  • Higher risk of deranking due to more LP loss
  • Higher placements now reward less LP than in Season 17

A quick look at the difference in LP earned for placement in Season 18 compared to Season 17 reveals the full picture.

Placement
S17 LP
S18 LP
S18 Cost/Earned
1
200
150
150
2
175
100
100
3
150
85
85
4
125
70
70
5
100
55
55
6
80
45
45
7
60
25
25
8
40
10
10
9
24
0
0
10
20
0
0
11
-25
-30
-45
12
-25
-30
-45
13
-25
-30
-45
14
-25
-30
-75
15
-35
-50
-75
16
-35
-50
-75
17
-35
-50
-75
18
-35
-50
-75
19
-35
-50
-75
20
-35
-50
-75
Apex Legends Ranked LP earned comparison Table Source: EA

Will the changes in Apex Legends ranked improve rank distribution?

Evidently, with entry cost shooting up to 50 LP and teams not earning any net LP unless they place 8th or higher, it'll be significantly more challenging for lower-skilled players to rank up.

The reduced earnings, combined with the readjusted ring size and damage will mean players are encouraged to play more aggressively in Apex Legends ranked, and not for placements by remaining outside the ring until it becomes too painful.

Add to that the adjustments made to elimination bonuses and it appears the developers have made changes to facilitate a more combative gameplay experience in ranked.

Rank distribution remains to be seen but it appears some steps have been taken in the right direction to address problems from Season 17.

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