Halloween has come and gone from Apex Legends. Zombie hordes have vanished, replaced by the bitter chill of a November bloodbath. As the year cools down, it’s time to warm up. This week’s Apex patch 3.1 finally adds much-needed training mode Firing Range – a freeform arena for trying out all of Respawn’s toys – and a duos mode to pit you and a friend against the combined might of 58 brutal killers.
Apex’s new training mode, Firing Range, lays out the full murder menu on the ground. Every weapon, every addon, every piece of gear, free for you and up to two teammates to try on for size. But more valuable than loading up in full golden gear, you can also change character at a moment’s notice by slamming the M-key. Invaluable stuff for trying out Pathfinder’s grappling hook without alerting every team in a live-fire game.
A flat upgrade over the game’s tutorial mode then, in all ways but one – rather bafflingly, Firing Range is hosted online. I had to endure a not-insignificant queue time to get into a solo testing ground. Weird, that.
I’m not quite as sold on Duos, a new limited-time mode that arrived in this week’s patch. ApeLegs is quite nicely balanced for trio play, and cutting one poor sod from the team doesn’t really shift the game as much as, say, going solo. With only one teammate, it’s harder to justify picking more supportive heroes like Wattson or Caustic. But with 30 teams roaming about, firefights are frequent and fierce. Those moments where a third or fourth team gets dragged into a skirmish happen more often. With only one extra gun watching your back, they’re particularly brutal.
Is Duos a worthy addition? Right now I’m not sure. But if you can only wrangle up one pal for a round of murder, Duos mode will be active until November 19th.
This week’s patch also comes with a few notable weapon changes. Projectiles from snipers, shotguns and the L-STAR have been thickened out, hopefully making it easier to land shots with these sluggish heavy-hitters. The Wingman, ApeLegs’ devilishly dangerous heavy pistol, has also received another nerf – cutting its headshot damage down a smidge.
More changes to matchmaking, battle pass challenges and bug fixes can be found on the official patch notes. Or you can read our frighteningly in-depth Apex Legends guide, which has general tips plus specific advice for every character, mode, major weapons and more.