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The available play area on the island shrinks over time, forcing players to keep moving or else find themselves outside the play area which can be fatal. By October 2019, it had approximately 70 million players. Apex Legends is an online multiplayer battle royale game featuring squads of three players using pre-made characters, similar to those of hero shooters. Alternate modes have been introduced allowing for single and for two-player squads since the game’s release. The game is free-to-play and monetized through microtransactions and loot boxes, which allow the player to spend both real money and in-game currency on cosmetic items, such as outfits for the Legends and new colors for weapons.
Each match generally features twenty teams of three-player squads. Players can join friends in a squad or can be matched randomly with other players. Before the match, each player on the squad selects one of the 16 playable characters, with the exception that no character may be selected more than once by a squad. Each character in the squad has a unique design, personality, and abilities that provide different playstyles to the team. One player in each squad is the jumpmaster, selecting when the squad should skydive out of the aircraft and where to land with the concurrence of the other squad members. However, players are free to deviate from the squad’s path. Once on the ground, the squad can scavenge for weapons, armor, and other equipment that is scattered around buildings, or in crates randomly distributed around the map, while keeping an eye out for other squads.
Apex Legends includes a nonverbal communication «ping system» which allows players to use their game controller to communicate to their squad certain directions, weapon locations, enemies, and suggested strategies. The last squad with any members left alive is crowned the «Apex Champions» of that match. Players are awarded in-game currency based on their squad’s placement as well as experience points. Players who become knocked down in the course of a game can be revived by their squadmates. Should a player be killed completely, they can still be resurrected if their team member collects their respawn banner, which appears at the place where they died, and bring it to one of several beacons on the island. The banner, however, must be collected within a time limit, before expiring and fully eliminating the player.