How to play Locked and Loaded in Apex Legends

Locked and Loaded is available until the end of the Anniversary Collection event on Feb. 23.

Image via Respawn Entertainment

Respawn is celebrating Apex Legends’ anniversary with a bang. The Locked and Loaded game mode takeover is available for a limited time, and it shakes up the game. The mode is part of the Anniversary Collection Event and players can dive into Locked and Loaded until Feb. 23, when the party ends.

The new mode grants players a loadout on drop and removes all white attachments from the loot pool, with the exception of sights. The result is an avalanche of blue or better gear, which makes early-game skirmishes feel like the final rings of a match.

How to Play Locked and Loaded

Diving into the new mode is a simple task. Since Locked and Loaded is a takeover and not a limited-time mode, all casual matches take place under the new ruleset for the duration of the Anniversary Collection event, which ends on Feb. 23. Ranked games, however, don't change.

In Locked and Loaded, all legends get an identical loadout when they touch the ground. It contains a Mozambique, a white Evo Shield, two shield cells and syringes, a white shotgun bolt and backpack, and a x1 HCOG sight—the bare essentials to get into a fight. The armaments spice up hot drops, since all players have at least one weapon and a shield.

But that's not the only novelty that Locked and Loaded brings. Since players already have white-level gear, all drops in the arena are blue rarity or better (with the exception of sights and healing items). This unclutters the loot pool and makes it easier to find better equipment, from shields to attachments.

Despite the changes, the core mechanics of Locked and Loaded are similar to the base game modes. The loot pool changes allow squads to duke it out early into the match, so aggressive players can take advantage of it.

Loba's Black Market Boutique is still a handy tool to sift through all the loot in an area, and with an improved loot pool, it offers a quick and easy way for a squad to gear up and move out. Its utility falls off throughout the match, however, as squads already have high-level equipment, but it can still be useful in the right circumstances.

Locked and Loaded is available until the end of the Anniversary Collection event on Feb. 23.