No running around by yourself on an empty map.
When Apex Legends fans first heard of private matches in the patch notes released on Jan. 4, there was excitement for the many different possible game modes and exploration that could be held on all of the maps, in seasonal rotation and out of season. But they will be sorely disappointed with the most recent news announced by Respawn Entertainment today that confirms recent rumors of a minimum player count for private lobbies.
The Spellbound collection event for Apex Legends began today at 12pm CT, serving as a new collection event that features 24 new collectibles, Seers Heirloom, and many other changes for the midseason event. Control returns to Apex with the new ability to join matches in progress, alongside private lobbies that allow any player to create their own matches on any map they wish.
But Respawn clarified the sharp limitations of custom matches in a tweet an hour before the patch was released to the public today. A normal Apex match has a lobby of 60 players in 20 teams of Trios or 30 teams of two for Duos. After Spellbound drops, players will have to at least fill up the private lobby halfway with a minimum of 30 players to start a match or be stuck at the preparation screen.
The ability to host private matches comes with a steep requirement to start the lobby. Many fans speculated that with the release of custom lobbies, the realm of content creation and competition would sharply rise. Free roam map exploration, movement practice, mini-games like hide and seek, and private tournaments would be opened up to the public player base. Never has there been a dedicated Solos mode, and with the introduction of custom matches, the possibility was presented before being snuffed out. This news comes at a poor time with content creators and pros like FURIAs HisWattson hosting his own Prop Hunt custom matches.
Although the ability to host custom matches and set up private tournaments is still unprecedented ground for Apex players, the barrier to entry in setting up and starting a custom match will leave many without use for the new feature altogether. Respawns clarification will leave a sour taste for players going into the Spellbound collection event with high hopes for a private match experience.