Apex Legends devs explain why they scrapped bomb-style mode for Arenas - Dexerto
Apex Legends

Apex Legends devs explain why they scrapped bomb-style mode for Arenas

Published: 20/May/2021 10:27

by James Busby


Apex Legends Arenas mode has quickly become one of the game’s best additions, but the 3v3 round-based mode could have turned out very differently.

Arenas is the latest addition to Apex Legends in Season 9, bringing with it adrenaline-fueled matches that share similarities with other round-based shooters. Instead of duking it out on the game’s massive 60 player battle royale mode, Arenas offers 3v3 firefights on smaller custom tailored maps. Not only does the new mode enable players to test their might against other squads, but it also helps players get straight into the action.

Despite the positive reception around Arenas, many fans have been calling for leaver penalties and a ranked mode. Fortunately, Respawn has been eager to address these issues and has even hinted at the content they’d like to bring to Arenas. However, during a recent AMA, an Apex Legends dev outlined how the game’s Arenas could have been very different from the one we see today.


Apex Legends tested a bomb style mode for Arenas

Arenas spawn room in Apex Legends
Respawn Entertainment
Apex Legends Arenas did originally have a bomb-style mode.

As many players have noted, Apex Legends Arenas shares many similarities with other round-based shooters. Purchasing weapons, upgrading items, and earning cash are certainly very reminiscent of CS:GO and Valorant.  The only thing missing is that of a plantable bomb. However, speaking over on the official Apex Legends Reddit page, Lead Game Designer Carlos Pineda gave insights on this feature.

“We definitely playtested a bomb mode early in Arenas development,” says the Respawn developer. “It was… not as good as you think it would be… it creates a weird situation where you start looking at characters in context of the objective, and it really exposes how many of the characters aren’t built for a bomb mode.”


apex legends arena
Respawn Entertainment
Apex Legends Arenas is set to receive numerous content updates.

It’s this design difference that directly contrasts games like Valorant, where the characters are purely designed around defending objectives and attacking them. While Apex Legends has a handful of traditional characters that would excel in a bomb mode, the vast majority would certainly struggle to shine.

“At the end of the day, it was really important for Arenas that character abilities feel valuable. Now I get that not EVERY ability is valuable in Arenas, but 90% is way better than 25%.” It’s certainly not hard to see why Respawn has been keen to avoid an Arenas bomb mode, particularly when it would impact the meta so significantly.


Whether Arenas will see the introduction of a bomb-style mode in the future remains to be seen, but for now, Respawn is focused on fixing the mode’s current issues.