Rank Protection, Apex Legends' ever changing mechanism, explained!

The way rank protection works in Apex Legends has changed a lot and it is important to know how it functions. Find out here!

Rank Protection, Apex Legends' ever changing mechanism, explained!
Rank Protection, Apex Legends' ever changing mechanism, explained!

Since the launch of the Apex Legends ranking system, the game has been through so many changes that it can be hard to keep track of what is what. New terms and game mechanics have been coming and going, in the effort to create a functional and balanced ranked system. Even the ones that have been around since always are being changed into something new.

In this article, we are going to talk about rank protection, since with the introduction of Apex Legends season 13, its meaning has changed completely and it is important for the player to understand how this mechanism works.

What is rank protection in Apex Legends

Rank protection, or tier demotion protection, is a system that guarantees you are not going to fall to a lower rank for three matches after you rank up. Keep in mind that this only applies for the ranked Battle royale mode, since the ranked Arenas AP system is different.

As you know, the ranking system RP for Battle Royale is split into several tiers with the Rookie tier being the lowest one and Apex Predator the highest. These big ranks are also divided into smaller ranks. The more ranked points you get the higher rank you can reach. This is the simple part.

It used to be, that you couldn’t fall to the previous rank tier, no matter how many ranked games you lost. So if you reached Gold iv, you couldn’t go back down to Silver. Due to that, many Apex Legends players were staying in a rank that they didn’t deserve and that was obvious with the ranking distribution.

The developers at Respawn Entertainment decided that this is not how they want their system to function and that is why they introduced rank demotions. Now after you reach the bottom threshold of a rank, you are no longer safe from a derank. If you don’t earn ranked points, you will fall to the previous division and even lose a substantial amount of RP in the process. And this is where rank protection comes in.

If the ranking points that you have are close to the tier threshold for the lower tier, and you lose three games, you are going to suffer a rank demotion and go down to the previous tier. This can be pretty confusing so we will see a more concrete example to understand how it works in practice.

Example of Rank Protection in Apex Legends

Let us assume you are Diamond iv and you have 11450 RP. Because the entry cost of a ranked game in Diamond iv is 63 RP you are automatically placed on the Demotion Protection timer.

If you play a ranked match and you lose enough RP to be placed in the lower rank (i.e. 51 RP or more, since the Diamond threshold is 11400 RP), one “charge” of demotion protection will be used. Note, that if you lose less than 50 RP you will not use a charge and just lose the RP normally.

Once you use all of the remaining rank protection charges, you will be demoted back to 50% of Platinum iv. This means that you will lose 400 RP and go back to 11000 RP. If that sounds like too much of a blow, that’s because it kind of is, and many players have criticized how the demotion system works.

Is there a problem with Rank Protection?

There is no problem with rank protection in Apex Legends. The problem is with the difficulty of the ranked system.

A 50% demotion is very punishing. Don’t get us wrong, tier demotions are necessary to create a balanced competitive system, and Apex Legends Battle Royale definitely needed them, but anyone that has played the latest competitive season knows the struggle of trying to rank up. Nowadays, only the people that have consistently managed to reach the Apex Predator rank are the ones unaffected by the changes in the ranking system.

Everyone else has felt the difficulty spike of season 13 and is trying their hardest to climb the ranks. So even though rank protection is helpful for many players, by giving them a fair chance to avoid losing their hard-earned points, it is not enough to offset the damage that has been done by the increase in the difficulty.

How can you use rank protection?

If you are an experienced Apex Legends player, you are probably already trying to find a way to make this system work in your favor. Unfortunately, there are not a lot of things you can do. The rank protection can function as a great wake-up call so you take your games more seriously, but not much more than that.

From our experience, we would recommend you to play these matches much more carefully. The very least you can do is try to get enough points to not lose a rank protection charge. It is ok to act a bit selfishly and if it is almost sure that your team is going to die, just run away and hide, to try and get a higher position. We are not big fans of ratting, but making sure that you will not fall to a lower rank is probably the only time that we would recommend it to you. You cannot get to the highest RP without using any tool you have.