Respawn adds abandon penalty to Apex Legends' Arenas mode

UPDATE: Temporarily removed after players were unfairly punished. 

UPDATE 26/05/21: Apex Legends' new abandon penalty for Arenas is off to a pretty bumpy start, as the feature has been temporarily disabled after it accidentally punished some innocent players.

As discussed in the original story below, some players said they were given 10-minute bans for quitting during the end screen animations - even though the match itself had already ended. Director of communications Ryan K. Rigney explained that "this problem had to do with game logic after everyone on the opposing Arenas team left the match.

"Basically you'd sometimes still get a leaver penalty after leaving the empty game," he said in a tweet. "It's one of those things that never showed up in playtesting. Dumb bug! Fix should be p quick."

As a result, Respawn has disabled leaver penalties in Arenas while the team works on a fix. The tweet mentions that a fix is scheduled to arrive sometime later this week, which will hopefully see the penalty system re-introduced.

ORIGINAL STORY 25/05/21: A much-requested feature has finally been introduced to Apex Legends' Arenas mode, as the 3v3 team deathmatches now have a leaving penalty - something that should hopefully deter players from flaking on their squadmates.

Several changes were announced via patch notes posted on Twitter, including the new abandon penalty for Arenas games. Respawn explained that this is similar to the penalty for Ranked Battle Royale games, and will apply to those who leave a full squad in the middle of a match.

Apex Legends - Legacy Launch Trailer

Unfortunately it seems a couple of people are currently getting unfairly punished by the new penalty, with some reporting being slapped with 10-minute sin bins for leaving during the end screen animations. Director of communications Ryan K. Rigney assured one player that the team was investigating the problem.

Once the issues have been ironed out, the abandonment penalty should discourage players from quitting games prematurely. Many in the Apex Legends community had highlighted this as an issue, reporting that players would often quit matches as soon as they started losing. Not everyone is happy with the new penalty, however: one player expressed frustration at having to waste time with AFK teammates in a casual Arenas match, unable to leave without getting a penalty. You win some, you lose some.

Another change of note is that Wattson's fences have been partially restored in this update. Last month Wattson's fences suffered from a glitch which removed their slowdown effect, making the kit pretty ineffective. The new patch restores this effect, as you can see in the demonstration below (featuring a very slow Octane):

Trying to run through 20 Wattson fences from r/apexlegends

The patch also fixes a number of annoying bugs - adding an input delay to Valkyrie's ultimate to prevent players from accidentally cancelling the ability, for instance, along with fixing "various Arenas bugs and errors". Loot distribution has been tweaked in Arenas, with more backpacks spawned on the floor rather than hidden inside loot bins. The amount of survival time XP you can earn in Arenas is also being given a temporary boost until Respawn can adjust survival time calculations to include the buy phase. Oh, and you can no longer use that Valkyrie firing range exploit to pad your stats - that just won't fly.

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Emma Kent

Emma Kent

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Emma was Eurogamer's summer intern in 2018 and we liked her so much we decided to keep her. Now a fully-fledged reporter, she loves asking difficult questions, smashing people at DDR and arguing about, well, everything.

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