Apex map update brings a bigger, glitched Olympus with 2 new POIs and a new loot mechanic

We're gonna need a bigger city.

Image via Respawn Entertainment

Olympus is getting a new look thanks to Duardo Silva’s machinations—and it’s bigger than the version we’ve seen in Apex Legends so far.

The Psamathe arena will be expanded in season 12 with two new POIs and a terrain zone that aim to tackle “some of the pain points” on Olympus and will take over empty areas of the map. Due to Duardo’s sabotage, however, the city will also be glitched. Fans can expect some shifts in color or terrain to make it clear that something is wrong with Olympus.

Phase Driver

The first POI and the star of the Olympus map update is Phase Driver, located “in a spot that had no gameplay before”: between Hydroponics and Bonsai Plaza, level designer Alex Graner said in a press conference yesterday. This “massive” POI is featured in the trailers and will help create new routes from Bonsai Plaza.

Its positioning and novelty aren’t the only part of its allure, though. Players can interact with a machine in the area, which will spawn three Loot Rollers. One is always guaranteed to have gold-tier loot, while the others can spawn as blue, purple, or gold. “This map toy is meant to help drive traffic into this new area and help players hit it up on their way to new routing,” Graner said. Activating the device sends a loud sound to the area, though, and lets enemy squads know that there are other players nearby.

To help combat squads farming loot, the developers added a 45-second cooldown after each use, which could be enough time to draw the attention of other enemy squads in the vicinity. Between the novelty of the area and the allure of gold-tier loot, though, Phase Driver might quickly become a top landing spot in Olympus.

Terminal and Shifting Grounds

The second POI is Terminal, an “opening in the Phase Runner tube that replaces that really linear choke connecting [Hammond] Labs to the exterior of Bonsai,” according to Graner. This area “introduces a little more tactics when navigating the center of the map and hopefully draws and balances out a lot of the action that happens around Labs.”

Image via Respawn Entertainment

Olympus will also get a new terrain section called Shifting Grounds, which expands the glitched atmosphere in Olympus. The sabotage of the city’s system created a mesh of terrain that doesn’t exactly work as intended. “Some are raised and lowered in unintentional ways, which would offer a really unique aesthetic, as well as gameplay opportunities that we have not seen in Apex yet,” Graner said.

The map update isn’t just made of big, terrain-altering changes. Olympus will also get minor quality-of-life changes, including a new opening in the Turbine tunnel toward Rift, final circle rotations, removed jump towers from Solar Array and outside of Labs, more ziplines, some changes to loot (including more supply bins in Oasis), and another ramp in Grow Towers, Graner said.

Additionally, the devs removed the guaranteed high-tier loot in Research Basin—the waterfall above Hammond Labs—and moved it to the outer ring of Docks. “We wanted people not to always land Labs and take some of the hotness out of that center area, and land in other spots they may not go to otherwise,” Graner said. Since Docks was “a very low-traffic area, especially for drops,” putting gold-tier loot there can change people’s experiences and drop preferences. Respawn also dropped some Survey Beacons from elevated positions into “lower, less ideal” positions to introduce more risk/reward, Graner said.

Players can try the new version of Olympus—complete with a new skybox—when Defiance launches on Feb. 8.