Control will be quite the mix-up, compared to what Apex Legends players are used to. Rather than being a drawn-out battle royale that prioritizes measured, strategic play, it’ll be more like a full-on brawl, with three squads of three teaming up to fight each other in a 9v9 battle for map control. Here’s exactly how Control will work.
Assembling the team
Each nine-person Control team will actually consist of three teams of three players each, so the Legend select screen will have the standard three-person selection. To this end, duplicate Legend picks won’t be allowed in the three-person team you’re part of, but they will be allowed within the larger team. Yes, that means you can (and probably will) have three Mad Maggies on your nine-person team.
When you spawn in, you’ll be presented with five loadout options: Close-Quarters, Heavy, Assault, Marksman and Sniper. Loadout guns all only have Level 2 (blue) weapon attachments. All of these loadouts are fixed and consist of one gun from the category they’re named after, plus one secondary close-range gun, like a shotgun.
Each loadout also comes with infinite ammo, one grenade and infinite Syringes and Med Kits. You won’t have any shield healing items but shields begin to regenerate passively after an 8-second period of not taking any damage. Everybody starts with Level 2 (blue) normal shields, not the Evo shields that have become the standard. In other words, damaging enemies won’t allow you to upgrade your shield. The only way to obtain better shields is from neutral care packages that drop every few minutes.
You can’t change your loadout once you spawn in, but if you get killed, you can switch loadouts between respawns. And, if you realize you’re unsatisfied with your Legend choice, or want to switch it up for any reason during the match, you can switch to a different character between respawns, too. This potential for reactive weapon and Legend picks allows for all sorts of strategy change-ups depending on the flow of the match.
Controlling the map
At the core of the Control game mode is, of course, control. You’ll spawn into a part of one of the battle royale maps with your squad and charge into battle. The section of map is divided into two spawn points at the far edges and three control points — labelled A, B and C — which are equidistant from each other and the spawn points. The ultimate goal is to capture as many of these control points as possible. You can do this by standing near them and defending them from opponents. By doing so, your team’s overall points tick up, and the first team to either hit 1250 points or control all three points, and hold them for 90 seconds, wins the game.
Once your team controls a point, it comes with certain individual advantages, too. For one thing, the game mode operates on a rating meter, with everyone racking up points depending on how they contribute to their team’s overall victory. Defending a point from interlopers, successfully capturing a point and netting kills all increase your ratings meter.
Everybody starts at Ratings Tier 2. As you work your way up, your weapon attachments will automatically upgrade, too. Gaining a new rating tier also gives you your ultimate ability, which is the only way you can get it in this game mode.
Controlling a point also gives you a new spawn point. As long as your team holds a control point that is somehow connected to your original spawn point, you can respawn there after dying, allowing you to get back into the fight quickly. Respawns are infinite and happen in waves.
Strengthening your position
To add to the chaos of brawling it out in Control, the game mode also has two possible map events that will occur every few minutes. One of them is double points for an objective, creating an incentive for teams to clash there. Another is neutral care package drops, which is a staple across nearly all Apex Legends game modes. The care packages will contain upgraded shields (again, this is the only way you can get them, other than Lifeline’s care package) and Legendary weapons such as the Kraber, Spitfire or Volt.
Still unhappy with your loadout? When you kill opponents, you can pick up their weapons and grenade. Plus, if they have an upgraded shield, you can take that, too.
If you’re raring to play Control, you won’t have to wait for too long. Apex Legends Season 12: Defiance is set to release on Feb. 8.