Respawn Explains Why It’s Building New Apex Arenas Maps From Scratch

Respawn Entertainment has explained why it is building brand new Apex Arenas maps from the ground up.

The new 3v3 Arenas mode was added to Apex Legends in the most recent season update, titled ‘Legacy’. The smaller scale game type is the first mode of play outside of Battle Royale to come to the game since it launched in 2019.

The smaller-scale 3v3 fights give players a chance to test their raw duelling power without the worry of a third party spoiling the fun.

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To accommodate these smaller fights, Respawn has developed a couple of new maps from the ground up. ‘Partycrasher’ and ‘Phaserunner’ cater directly to Arenas and don’t exist anywhere else in the Battle Royale maps.

Respawn promise that more dedicated Arena maps are on the way. For now, it has padded out the roster by adapting existing areas from the various Battle Royale maps. The one currently in rotation is Artillery, found on Kings Canyon.

Fans of Apex Legends are excited by the concept of having uninterrupted firefights in their favourite areas of the map. Some eager gamers have earmarked locations like Skull Town and Octane’s Gauntlet for areas that would make for a good 3v3 experience.


A short lesson in multiplayer map design

The Respawn team responded to a few of these suggestions on Reddit. It explains why directly copying an area from BR might not be the best idea for Arenas.

Daniel Klein, the lead game designer on Apex Legends, says: 

“It would be too small! It’s important to have multiple POIs in an Arenas map, ideally POIs with direct line of sight between each other. This might be one good POI (although there’s a lot of sight blocking with the tall structures), but it wouldn’t be enough for an arenas map.”

Another Reddit user suggests that the team look into simply reworking the area to accommodate Arenas. Expanding and resizing the map, moving assets around and putting in more of an effort than a simple copy and paste.

Credit: EA/Respawn

Kleiner responds by saying that Respawn might as well put all of its efforts into creating a brand new map at that point. 

If you’ve played a bunch of Arenas already, you will probably have found that Phaserunner and Party Crasher play a lot better than Artillery – that is because they were built from the ground up for Arenas gameplay, and we’ve learned even more since then so our next Arenas maps are going to be even better (IMO),” Klein explains.

Another Respawn developer, David Bocek, also gave their thoughts on why the copy-paste meta doesn’t work for Arenas. 

Credit: EA/Respawn

“We learned a lot about what works and what doesn’t, and unfortunately small maps just didn’t really work IMO,” says Bocek. “In my personal experience, they felt like they got too same-y really quickly, you lose most of the interesting and meaningful decision making about where to go based on where you think the enemy will go, weapon loadouts, etc.”

More new Arenas maps are on the way

Three maps are currently in the rotation for Arenas. ‘Partycrasher’ and ‘Phaserunner’ are mainstays, while Artillery will be rotated out with ‘Thermal’ and ‘Gardens’ in the following weeks.


Arena’s is here to stay – it’s not a limited-time event. We’ll likely see new maps arrive alongside new season updates. It’s a great time to be an Apex Legends fan!

Read our handy guide if you’re looking to get the best results from the latest Legend, Valkyrie.

[Featured Image Credit: EA/Respawn]


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