Apex Arenas ranked mode dropped this past week along with Apex Legends Season 10, and high-level players have reportedly already found a way to boost the MMR system to rank up faster than their opposition. According to reports from numerous high-level players, the only way for max MMR players to increase the rate of MMR points is to counter-intuitively take losses every few matches.
While the exploit/overwight in the Arenas MMR system is not as severe as the exploits that allow high-level players to get into bronze games, the new loophole has divided the Apex community. Some players are angry at top-level Predator players using the exploit to boost their rank, while others seeing it as a fair strategy for grinding up leader boards.
How are Apex Arenas Predator players boosting their scores?
Apex Arenas uses a weighted MMR system. When you are against players higher ranked than you, you will gain more when you win and lose less when you lose. If you are against lower-ranked players, you will typically gain a little less for a win, and take a bigger hit for a loss. Generally speaking, this system is designed to place people into the correct ranking pretty quickly.
However, at the top of the ladder players are running into a point wall.
When players hit the maximum MMR in Apex Arenas, many players are reporting topping out at only 12 points per match, even when defeating another high-level opponent. This has been a big frustration for many players looking to grind up faster. However, it turns out that players who have hit the 12 point limit get more points in Arenas right after they lose a match.
As explained by Top 100 ranked Apex Predator Aidan the Destroyer, for Predator players winning repeatedly will eventually result in a measly 12 points per match, players have found that by intentionally taking a loss they will lose something like 10 or 20 MMR points, but in their very next match they will be able to pick up 48 points if they win. Using this strategy repeatedly, players are grinding up faster by scoring these extra points.
According to Aiden The Destroyer's testing, this strategy is not particularly useful at lower levels, where winning and losing will happen as a normal matter of course and RNG is more of a factor in the points you gain. However, for the Predators who are ramming their heads against the 12 point wall, this strategy is allowing some players to climb the leaderboards, even though they might actually have fewer wins.
This trick is valuable enough that top-level predator players who are more than capable of going on extended winning streaks are taking L's intentionally.
Apex Community reacts to the boosting
The Apex Legends community is divided on whether using this method to boost your points is okay.
Some players see it as part of the point system, and therefore completely fair game for those going for those top levels on the leaderboard. According to this group, people shouldn't be mad at boosters, they should be mad at the Respawn developers who made the system this way.
Other players see this exploit as bad and unfair. To this group of players, the strategy is clearly a result of an unintentional exploit and therefore the use of it should be against the rules. Many from this group have complained that it forces people who do want to be top-ranked to engage with this unintuitive point system.
Top 100 ranked Apex Predator Stevee explained, "I’m asking everywhere to someone change this, is f*cking sad that I’m forced to lose matches in order to keep up with other preds bc I want a 100 spot, my first thought was top 10 but is impossible when I Drop 40 ranks in one night and then can’t catch up bc of how broken this is."
As of now, it is unclear if the developers plan to change this system or if they will punish the players abusing the exploit to climb on the leaderboard. The developers did, however, confirm on Friday that they are looking into reports of the broken Arenas matchmaking system.
Aaron is an esports reporter with a background in media, technology, and communication education.