Apex Legends Control mode is nearly perfect and should be permanent

The popular Apex Legends Control mode has once again come and gone, but I think it’s about time it became a permanent fixture in the multiplayer rotation. The mode returned in the latest Limited Time Event – the Warrior Collection – and only for a two-week stint after it was previously available for just three weeks in February of this year. Despite its limited availability, Control is the kind of mode that should remain readily available to players. 

Not only does the mode give veterans a chance to test out new Legends and new tactics, but it’s the best game mode to court newcomers. There’s a reason a Reddit thread asking if Control should be permanent has nearly 4,000 upvotes (opens in new tab) – players want a chance to enjoy Apex Legends in a variety of ways. Perhaps Respawn is only soft-launching Control in spurts as a way to test it out – after all, it could use a few tweaks to make it a rock-solid option when compared to the larger battle royale mode and more tense Arenas playlist. Apex Legends Control mode is nearly perfect, and with some small tweaks it should become a permanent game mode.

A need for Control

Apex Legends Control

(Image credit: EA)

Apex Legends can be rather unforgiving, especially for newer players. The depth of its weapon pool and Legend lineup coupled with the sheer size of its matches makes it one of the more difficult battle royales to get into, and perhaps the hardest to master. “Control is an example of how the Apex team wants to push boundaries and experiment with our LTMs,” Respawn PR tells me via email. While the Arenas mode that debuted last year gives players a chance to play something other than a battle royale, there’s still a fairly high skill ceiling, and with a finite amount of deaths, it isn’t exactly the place for experimentation. 

But Control is a different story. As described in our Control mode hands-on preview, the 9v9 mode lets players change Legends on the fly, choose from a set of loadouts, and most importantly, come back after every death. The teams compete to gain control over three zones, with points ticking up faster for the team with the majority. Control maps are set on larger sections of the battle royale maps, which affords just a bit more breathing room than the tighter Arenas maps – I say a bit because there are 18 players in a match as opposed to six. 

With very little punishment for dying and a preset loadout that means you won’t have to go searching for a weapon, Control is the perfect mode for new or lapsed players. There’s ample opportunity to get used to the game mechanics and movement, the gunplay, and try out each Legend to see which kit is the best fit. These luxuries are an impossibility in any other Apex Legends mode, which is why many are puzzled by the decision to remove it from the matchmaking lineup again.

As someone who didn’t play for a few weeks, Control was an excellent way for me to get my bearings again. Veteran players consider Control the perfect warmup for battle royale matches, and new players can get the most authentic Apex Legends experience without the threat of permadeath – but Control isn’t perfect. 

Changing it up

Apex Legends Control

(Image credit: EA)

Respawn introduced a new Control map during the Warrior Collection event: Caustic Treatment on Kings Canyon. Adding a third map to the rotation helped make the mode feel fresher, as the longer games (when compared to Arenas) can get a bit tedious rotating between the same two maps. But the introduction of Caustic Treatment highlights the same problem the other two Control maps have: point B. 

Control matches are won by maintaining majority control over three points: A, B, and C. One of each of those points is near either team’s spawns, while B is always a little ways away. On maps like Olympus, point B can feel a bit too far away for players not using hyper-mobile Legends – especially when the map’s Trident vehicles are snatched up and driven away by solo players with several empty seats in the back. And point B on Olympus is inside of a building with only a few ways in, which means by the time you finally schlep over there, you’ll likely die within seconds. As a result, Olympus matches end up being lopsided, with the team who secures B first maintaining a vice-like grip on it the entire time. 

Now, the newest map doesn’t have an issue when it comes to distance, but it does have the same problem in terms of accessibility. Point B on Caustic Treatment is – you guessed it – inside of a building, so if you secure the point early and have a few Wattsons and Ramparts on your team, you can safely camp there the entire time. It makes for some seriously frustrating matches that feel unwinnable from almost the very beginning. 

Respawn should take this Control downtime to open up the points on all three maps – whether that’s by reworking the existing locations specifically for Control matches or readjusting where the points themselves are. It would make for much closer matches that feel more even-keeled – but that’s not where the potential changes end. Control’s predetermined loadouts could use a rework to offer players a bit more variety, as well. And it would be brilliant if we could queue up for matches in a stack of nine, instead of each match consisting of three separate teams of three. While there’s no word on if and when Respawn plans to brings Control back, when pressed via email Respaewn did say that they’ve “learned a ton since the release of Control in Apex Legends: Defiance a few months back and are excited to continue to innovate and refine this game mode.”

Control is a brilliant game mode that should be a permanent part of the Apex Legends experience. If Respawn is using these small tastes of the mode as a way to iron out any wrinkles, then here’s hoping it’ll be here to stay sooner rather than later.

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