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Apex Legends Provisional Matches Explained

Apex Legends Provisional Matches Explained
Written by: iamharoongill

As "Apex Legends" continues to evolve and captivate its massive player base, Season 18 introduces a fresh twist to the competitive landscape with its redefined Provisional Matches. In the previous season, many players felt the matchmaking system didn't adequately capture their skills, with some ending up in lower ranks than expected. Season 18 brings changes to this system, aiming to offer a more accurate reflection of players' capabilities.


For both newcomers and seasoned Legends, understanding these changes is crucial to effectively climb the ranks and truly embrace the competitive spirit of the game. Let's dive into the intricacies of Season 18's Provisional Matches and unravel what they mean for players on the frontier of the Apex arena.





What Are Provisional Matches in Apex Legends?


Provisional Matches, often referred to as "placement matches" in many competitive online games, are a set of initial matches that a player must complete when entering a competitive or ranked mode for the first time or at the start of a new season. The primary purpose of these matches is to gauge a player's skill level and determine an appropriate starting rank or tier for them.




Here's a breakdown of their importance:


  1. Skill Assessment: These matches allow the game's matchmaking system to assess a player's performance, skills, and capabilities. The results of these matches help in assigning a preliminary rank that aligns with the player's perceived skill level.
  2. Rank Calibration: In games that have periodic ranked seasons, players might need to play provisional matches at the beginning of each season to recalibrate their rank, even if they've previously been ranked. This ensures that players are consistently placed in the appropriate tier based on their current skill level, as skills can evolve or change over time.
  3. Balanced Matchmaking: By assessing players early on, the game can create more balanced matches in the future, grouping players of similar skill levels together. This promotes fair play and offers players a more enjoyable and competitive experience.


Provisional Matches in Apex Legends would serve the same general purpose—to determine a player's rank for the competitive season based on their performance in these initial games.


Related: Apex Legends Patch Notes Season 18



How does it work in Apex Legends Season 18?


In Apex Legends Season 18, Provisional Matches have been given a significant overhaul to provide a more refined ranking system for players. Here's how they function:


Apex_Legends_Provisional_Matches_Explained_in_Season 18


  1. Reset to 0: At the beginning of Season 18, all players see their Ladder Points (LP) reset to zero. This levels the playing field, ensuring everyone starts the season afresh.
  2. Ten Matches to Prove Your Worth: Every player is allocated 10 Provisional Matches. The performance in these matches will determine the initial rank a player gets for the season.
  3. Maximizing Gains, Minimizing Losses: The Provisional Matches are designed to be forgiving. While they amplify the rewards and gains for good performance, they offer a safety net by mitigating losses. This encourages players to give their best without the fear of severely damaging their rank from a few bad games.
  4. Focus on Performance Metrics: While winning is crucial, other performance metrics, like eliminations and placement during these matches, play a vital role. High kill counts and top-tier placements can lead to a significant boost in rank post the provisional period.
  5. Direct Calibration: If players excel in these matches, they have the potential to calibrate directly to higher ranks, like Masters. This serves as an incentive to perform exceptionally well during the Provisional Matches.
  6. Projected Rank View: As players progress through their Provisional Matches, they can view a projected rank. This gives an idea of where they might end up post the provisional phase, depending on their ongoing performance.
  7. Differentiation from Orientation Matches: It's essential to note that Provisional Matches are different from Orientation Matches in Apex Legends. While both serve as initial matches for players, their purpose and the way they influence ranks might differ.


By introducing these changes in Season 18, Respawn Entertainment aims to offer a more balanced and fair ranking system, allowing players to land in ranks that genuinely reflect their skill level and game prowess.



How to Shine in Your Provisional Matches


Every new season in Apex Legends feels like the first day of school, with a new beginning and fresh challenges. As you dive into these ten Provisional Matches, remember: your performance here will set the tone for your season's rank.




Placement is your key to success, especially since Season 17. Yes, kills and assists do weigh in, but emerging among the top players in a match will be your ticket to a better rank. A steady, strategic gameplay approach emphasizing survival and smart engagements will put you among the Apex elite.


However, remember that team play is vital in Apex. Teaming up with two trusted allies can be the game-changer, ensuring you're all working in harmony towards a common goal.



Changes to Ranked mode in Apex Legends Season 18


Apex Legends Season 18 brought a slew of changes to its Ranked mode, aiming to refine and balance the competitive experience. Here's a breakdown of the major updates introduced:


  • LP Gains Adjusted: Respawn Entertainment decreased the overall LP (Ladder Points) gains per match. This adjustment was made to combat the significant shifts observed in rank distribution, ensuring that players truly earn their ranks.
  • Special Diamond+ Ruleset: A unique set of rules now applies specifically to players ranked Diamond and above. This change aims to make the top-tier ladder more competitive. Players in these ranks now face increased stakes and losses while their rating bonuses and loss mitigations are decreased. Essentially, being in these tiers requires more dedication and skill, making the competition fiercer.




  • Elimination Bonus Revamped: The elimination bonus system was enhanced in two main ways:
    • The game now introduces a minimum elimination bonus increase based on a player's MMR (matchmaking rating).
    • The general elimination bonus was buffed, reinforcing the notion that eliminations should always contribute significantly to ranking up.
  • Ring Changes for Increased Action: Two main adjustments were made concerning the game's rings:
    • Ring damage was adjusted to make it more impactful, urging players to be more strategic about their positioning.
    • Ring timings were modified to foster more mid-game encounters and reduce periods where little action takes place before the finale.
  • Enhanced Matchmaking: The matchmaking system received an update to better manage players actively challenging their MMR. This is aimed at producing matches that are more competitive, truly reflecting players' rankings, and providing them with worthy opponents.
  • End of Ranked Splits: From Season 17's introduction of "Arsenal," ranked splits became obsolete. Instead, a full rank reset happens at the beginning of each season, requiring players to recalibrate their ranks through the Provisional Matches system.


These changes underline Respawn Entertainment's commitment to continually improving and balancing the competitive experience in Apex Legends. By making these adjustments, they aim to provide a more accurate and challenging ranking system, promoting skill, strategy, and teamwork.





Season 18 of Apex Legends promises an exhilarating journey, especially with the revamped Provisional Matches. It's a fresh opportunity for players to showcase their skills with an evolved ranking system that acknowledges their prowess. So gear up, join the Apex arena, and let your skills determine your fate!


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