Escalation is a 5v5 team deathmatch style mode where players kill and race the enemy team through a cycle of different weapons and abilities, advancing together as a team through Escalation levels. Players load into game with a random agent. The first team to finish level 12, or the furthest along in 10 minutes, wins the game.
There are 12 Escalation levels, and each level has a specific weapon or ability that the player is equipped with. Players do not have any other weapons or abilities other than those granted by the game. Each player has their own individual weapon level, and must earn at least 1 kill on a weapon to unlock the next weapon level. Other players on the team can still advance Escalation levels even if some players are on an older weapon level.
Killing an enemy grants points for the team and drops a health pack on the victim's body that lasts for 10 seconds and can be picked up to fully restore the user's health, shields, and ammo. Teams must earn 7 points on a level to advance to the next one. A kill by players on the team's current level earns 1 point, and a kill by players on a previous level earns .5 points. upon being killed, players will respawn in a random location and are invulnerable for either 5 seconds or until they move.
Escalation games run for about 7–9 minutes, and grant 800 XP for completing the game, plus 200 XP for the winning team.
Players can be given any of the following tools each level:
- Any gun
- Snowball Launcher
- Boom Bot
- Paint Shells
- Shock Bolt
- Showstopper with two Blast Pack charges that refill on touching the ground
- Big Knife, with one Tailwind charge that resets on kill
- The Big Knife is a weapon unique to Escalation. It looks similar to a normal knife except it has a larger hitbox and cannot use alternate slash.
- Showstopper now comes with two Blast Pack charges which refill when you touch the ground
- Snowball Launcher now comes with Skates that grant increased mobility
- Big Knife now comes with one Tailwind charge which refills on kill
- Bind's pickrate is again evenly weighted
- Reduced the chances of getting Bind
- This was a mid-patch hotfix in response to frustration over players camping the exit rooms of teleporters