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Everything To Know About Apex Legends Season 21: New Legend Alter, Map Makeovers, And Solos Mode

Season 21 is jam-packed with new content for players to enjoy--and some major game-changers, including a massive change to Newcastle's kit.


Apex Legends Season 21: Upheaval is set to introduce the first new Legend to join the Apex Games in 2024, but it also features a number of other big changes, like a much-needed makeover for the Broken Moon map, the long-awaited return of Solos Mode, a new Season 21 battle pass, and some surprising new Legend buffs and nerfs.

We've got the scoop on everything from the season's launch date to Alter's ability set and details on Broken Moon's revamp. Keep reading for a closer look at everything you need to know before you dive into Apex Legends Season 21: Upheaval. Be sure to also check out the Apex Season 21 patch notes for more details.

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Now Playing: Apex Legends - Official Alter Legend Animated Reveal Trailer | "Based on a True Story"

When does Season 21 begin?

Apex Legends Season 21: Upheaval goes live on Tuesday, May 7 at 10 AM PT / 1 PM ET.

Who is Season 21's new Legend?

Alter's past may be a mystery, but her abilities aren't.
Alter's past may be a mystery, but her abilities aren't.

Season 21's debut Legend is Alter, a mysterious, dimension-hopping new character who Respawn describes as a "villain."

What we do know is that she was trained in combat by a secretive organization, and appears to have a history as an interdimensional assassin. In her episode of Stories From The Outlands, Alter can be seen telling a series of increasingly exaggerated lies and half-truths when asked who she is.

"Alter is from another dimension, although which dimension is kind of hard to say--she's not the most reliable narrator when it comes to her past because she will only let others know what she wants them to know," Alter narrative lead Jaclyn Seto said during Season 21 previews. "Definitely take what she says with a grain of salt, although if you look hard enough, you might find some bits of truth in her words. In general, her past is whatever it needs to be. Not only can she use it as a tool to manipulate others, but she knows that knowledge is power. Only she knows what her past is, and she's unwilling to give anyone the power to know those details about her."

There is one verifiable fact about Alter's background, however: She's fluent in Cantonese.

"We didn't have any characters with a Chinese background, so I jumped at the chance to write one," Seto said. "It's any developer's dream to be able to create a character that shares their same background. [Alter] definitely grew up in her culture, and you'll definitely see her display that within the game."

Alter's episode of Stories From The Outlands shows her holding a photo of Horizon and her son, Newton, which has raised questions about what sort of connection the two Legends may share.. But Seto says Alter doesn't have a relationship with Horizon so much as she has a "fixation" on her. "There are gonna be some really world-shattering events that stem from this fascination [with Horizon]."

Despite knowing very little about who she is, we do know what she's capable of. Alter has the following in-game abilities:

  • Tactical: Void Passage--Create a portal passageway through a surface
  • Passive: Gift From The Rift--Remotely interact with a deathbox to claim one item (cannot be armor).
  • Ultimate: Void Nexus--Create a regroup point that all allies can remotely interact with to open a phase tunnel back to that location.

Solos Mode is returning

Despite Respawn's previous assertions that the mode would never return, it's back for the first six weeks of the season.
Despite Respawn's previous assertions that the mode would never return, it's back for the first six weeks of the season.

Season 21's gameplay trailer confirmed that Solos Mode is returning to Apex Legends--despite Respawn previously stating that the mode was gone for good. Solos will replace Duos Mode for the first six weeks of Season 21.

"Solos will run as a six-week takeover of Duos for the first half of the season," Apex Legends events lead Mike Button explained during previews. "We're excited to give everyone an extended period of time to experience this new take on Solos, and for us to be able to collect more feedback over the course of a longer run. With growing demand from players and a desire on the [development] team to explore the concept again with everything we've learned since the mode's last appearance in 2019, Upheaval seemed like the right time to reintroduce a Solos experience to Apex."

The new version of Solos Mode will include some features that weren't included in previous iterations of the mode, like fully-kitted weapons and a new item called a Respawn Token, which gives players a second chance to get back in the game if they're killed.

Broken Moon is getting a facelift

Broken Moon's main POI has been entirely replaced.
Broken Moon's main POI has been entirely replaced.

Broken Moon's centerpiece POI, Promenade, is being replaced by a new POI called Quarantine Zone in Season 21. Respawn has shared that its main goals with the map revamp are addressing loot deserts and making squad rotations a bit smoother. Mutated foliage and a new skybox are among the aesthetic changes to the map, meant to reflect the changes occurring on the moon after a recent collision with the stasis net satellite severely damaged it and sent an entire chunk of the moon itself floating off into space. During the cleanup process, some "unknown alien eggs" were discovered, so the Quarantine Zone POI was created to contain any potential threat the eggs may pose.

"Trees are wrapped up for protection, spray stations can be found throughout [the map], which are meant to keep everything as sterile as possible, and if you really wanna soak up all the details, you'll find some samples tucked away in some cold storage containers," lead level designer Steve Young said of the lore behind the aesthetic changes to the map. "Broken Moon feels really unique now, it's got super bright colors and just an overabundance of alien plant life. It's really cool."

Legend buffs & nerfs

We won't know the full extent of Legend buffs and nerfs until Upheaval's patch notes are released.
We won't know the full extent of Legend buffs and nerfs until Upheaval's patch notes are released.

One of the biggest changes to Legend abilities is the reworking of Newcastle's Castle Wall ultimate ability. Developers saw that Newcastle players frequently teamed up with Wattson players, using Newcastle's Castle Wall to block bullets, and placing one of Wattson's Interception Pylon's to block grenades. For Season 21, Respawn decided to give Newcastle's Castle Wall the ability to block grenades and bullets.

"You could still get a [Gibraltar Defensive Bombardment] or a Bangalore [Rolling Thunder] strike in from above, and you could still get other abilities or grenades in from the sides or from above or from the back," Apex Legends balance designer John Larson told GameSpot. "It's just if you are facing the [Castle] Wall, you will not be able to sneak a [grenade] through or in."

"It's something we had been wanting to do to help the [Castle] Wall succeed more--even before watching scrims--but I coincidentally had been watching scrims and [Northeption] has a team that had been experimenting [and] they're still running Newcastle/Wattson," Larson added. "It's like, 'Oh, that'd be nice if they could free up a whole legend pick so they can do the thing that Newcastle should just be able to do.'"

Catalyst and Crypto are getting some love this season, too, while Legends like Bloodhound, Fuse, and Octane are getting a few minor tweaks as well, though we won't have the details on these changes until Respawn releases the Upheaval patch notes.

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