The developers must fix the problems in Apex now, or it could be too late as the player base has grown increasingly impatient and agitated. With limited content, bad bug issues and cheaters running rampant, it’s no wonder that Apex has fallen behind the curve on its competitors. More support, communication and meaningful changes are needed or else Apex risks falling into irrelevancy and dying. Here are 10 issues that Apex should attempt to fix or address with the new season and its major update coming soon.
By no means an easy proposition, map changes need to keep happening in order to keep the gameplay experience fresh and add new dimensions of gameplay. In saying that, finding the balance so the whole chemistry of the map doesn’t suffer is essential. The devs need to understand that with every released Legend, the maps are also affected. King’s Canyon was good initially for the inception of Apex as it didn’t have characters that allowed for long-distance travel in a short time. Now with Valkyrie, the buffs to Pathfinder’s ultimate, and the lack of space between the POIs, King’s Canyon is playing a third-party simulator, except the third party is also going to be third-partied every time. The map is simply too small and easy to manoeuvre around with the current state of the meta.
Equally, Broken Moon’s zipline also offers a similar problem. While the map itself is big and the spaces between POIs are plentiful so players cannot just jump onto you by foot, the ziplines located around the map make quick and almost noiseless travel too easy to do. This is partly due to the audio issues that plague Apex, but the dev team at Respawn designing a mechanic that encourages third partying and a map with a massive differentiation in geometry is truly head-scratching. With Broken Moon being a newer map, it’s understandable that drastic changes won’t be made too quickly.
Now for the maps that do work for ranked and competitive, those also have problems of their own. While Storm Point is annoying to play on in pubs due to the steep elevation changes with 80% of the map being a literal 40% incline, and how difficult it can be to find enemies, it still does its’ job and is well-liked by the community.
Fixing gameplay bugs
The RP gains and losses on ranked have been a prevalent issue in this season of Apex. An official Answers forum on the EA website and Reddit posts show that players are gaining and losing rank points that aren’t in line with the proper ranked calculations. Players being affected by ranked changes saw teammates way out of their skill level being matched with them on their team.
The community was understandably frustrated by the unpredictable nature of the RP gains and losses and it affected their gameplay experience. While EA state that it is a purely visual issue and that all RP is tracked by the dev team accurately, it’s another bug in the long list of bugs that Apex has suffered from this season.
It is understandable that the game feels so unplayable right now with so many of these bugs and gameplay issues affecting players. The bug also had new level 20 players being shown to be in Masters, and overall it feels like the community is being inadvertently pushed away from the game.
Audio and VFX issues
Thankfully Apex has committed to fixing the Audio and VFX issues in the tweet below. Despite this, Audio has been one of the worst experiences in Apex since its inception. Having teams fully run up behind you while hearing no sound between a full 3 stack with comms forced me to stop playing ranked. Audio is one of the core pillars of any FPS game, and I don’t know how many times I had to say, “Sorry didn’t know where they were, no audio,” honestly made the gameplay more depressing than infuriating.
If the audio issues don’t see major improvements with the Season 17 update, I will continue to avoid ranked play and therefore will play less Apex. I’m sure many players echo that sentiment as it’s not just an inconvenience but a game-breaking issue that cannot be played around. It’s so disappointing that things that worked before are actively not working now. Apex Legends has regressed with this past season and the developers have no one but themselves to blame as the community grows more impatient and distant.
A @PlayApex fix has been deployed for major audio and VFX drops seen since the launch of Season 16.
We share your frustration. While this won't resolve all audio and visual concerns raised by the community, we are dedicated to improving awareness on the battlefield.
— Respawn (@Respawn) April 26, 2023
Weapon balancing has been tough at the best of times in Apex Legends. From the consistency of the R-301 to when the Charge Rifle was broken upon release, the game has had weapons that were unbalanced and made gameplay difficult. As a player it is up to us to adapt to such changes but Season 16 has seen the Charge Rifle return as a go-to weapon, while the other snipers are largely unused. This kind of meta is problematic due to the Charge Rifle being perhaps the least mechanically demanding weapon to give consistent results and promotes a playstyle centred around poking and no actual close combat until the zone forces teams into it.
I’d like the meta to change so that all weapons are viable. The R-99 and CAR SMG are good examples. Being full auto weapons that spit a lot of bullets in a short time, these guns are always compared and similar. If Apex can create a meta where both are relevant and usable instead of the clear superior weapon being one or the other based on the balance changes, Apex will have done a great job. The same goes for the Snipers and Shotguns as one of these weapons is generally far superior to the others in the category making it a clear choice based on performance in-game.
Making it so more weapons are viable and you aren’t locked into one weapon per category for use, especially in the less common categories would be such a breath of fresh air. Apex players are used to changing their Shotguns of choice or Sniper of choice every season as devs nerf the most used guns in the previous season and buff the ones with low usage. Perhaps if they can achieve more balance instead of making a clear favourite it would make a more healthy environment where people can express their playstyle without the cost of performance.
Communication with the community
It really was a slap in the face to get four collection events this season and still no real content or gameplay fixes. Selling the community skins for money but not improving gameplay doesn’t make the player base happy. Selling recoloured skins in the store is also just plain lazy and boring. EA will have to work hard to get rid of the bad rep it has for milking money out of players while killing games off with no performance fixes. Have the devs abandoned the performance aspects of the game to chase profit margins?
They’re severely understaffed as far as the community can tell and yet there is no communication on what is being worked on and what will come in the future. Outside of the patch notes which release days before the new season and are vague at best about performance improvements, generally, players have to wait half a season for the gameplay to change in any significant way. Keeping players in the loop is now more important than ever as Apex is reaching the twilight of its game cycle and prominence.
Heads up, legends! Today's @playapex patch includes:
-A fix to improve freezing, stuttering, and low-res UI on Olympus 🗺️
-A server issue used in DDOS attacks has now been fixed 🚫
-Gun Run matches with simultaneous winning knife kills will now properly end the match 🗡️…
— Respawn (@Respawn) April 19, 2023
Production and support for content and Esports events
This is more for community engagement than anything else but the community should have a better viewing experience and EA should support these events. These events are the reason players keep playing and supporting Apex with pro play and content streams being a highlight of the community interaction and support system. Yet the pros in ALGS complained about a multitude of issues including server crashes on pro play during the early weeks of play, and perhaps the most followed Apex pro in Imperial Hal taking a step away due to “the state of Apex”.
Acend’s K4SHERA also highlights the lack of support for organisations in pro play and the problem with hosting LAN events in the same place rather than spreading the experience across multiple regions and venues. It is worrying to see Apex take its pro teams for granted and not support them fully as they are a pillar of the community that show excellence and rake in popularity. I’d like to see them more fully embrace their role as custodians of this global game and support their content and pro play in a more significant manner.
I will be playing very little Apex going forward , I think I’m at an all time low with my mental with having to deal with the state of Apex + performance is not helping either . Hope you guys understand.
— TSM ImperialHal (@ImperialHal) April 25, 2023
Anti-cheat and cheaters
FPS games always seem to have a cheater problem in some capacity. Apex suffers from this problem, especially in ranked lobbies from Diamond and above on all the servers that I have played on which include Singapore, Tokyo and Oregon. Cheaters use aimbot, have wallhacks and some even have other exploits such as super speed. It’s one of the reasons I stopped grinding ranked games and is a major reason why I gave up on chasing a Masters finish at the peak of the game’s popularity.
Dying to cheaters and seeing them constantly lose RP is demoralising and wishing they could crack down on the sheer volume of cheaters is one of the biggest wishes I have. Time and time again the developers have said they are working on it with Hideouts also acting as a place where players can send their clips in and upon inspection, cheaters get banned. Yet Apex is a free-to-play game and with the development of VPNs and other software which can hoodwink IP bans, cheaters will just boot a new account and spoof their IP to play again.
Also, the number of cheaters in Apex is so rampant that Hideouts cannot keep up with the number of reports which is a staffing issue that Respawn shouldn’t have considered how much of a global hit Apex has become. More staff, better anti-cheat and a more stable ranked experience will go a long way in bringing players back to the game. Seeing the leaderboard of Predator rank constantly filled with cheaters is also bad for the game’s long-term health. It’s been going on for too long and they should assign more staff to keep tabs on players who finish with Predator rank each season.
There’s nothing quite as deflating as getting 200 clipped from more than 200 metres away with an R-99 with an unlimited magazine from a cheater. With ranked entry points increasing, the cost of being killed by cheaters and the RP loss makes the game frustrating to play and reporting them while seeing them a few hours later on the same servers in the kill feed will make most players, including me go, “Well that’s enough Apex for the week…”.
Fans have compared the game’s state of anti-cheat to Call of Duty Warzone‘s 2.0 Update and are demanding similar features be included. For both the casual player and the competitive players and everything in between, cheaters need to be cracked down on. We’ve been saying this for years with Apex and they need to listen to us or the player base will just move on.
Lots of bans, lots of detections, lots of improvement and even more coming ! This year is shaping up to be a solid one already for Apex Security. Looking forward to seeing everything take shape the more we move into the year. 🔨❤️
— Conor Ford / Hideouts (@RSPN_Hideouts) January 27, 2023
Invisible bullet tracers and visual clutter
Visual clutter has been a problem for Apex for a long time. Muzzle flash has always been blinding, abilities can cause FPS drops and in this season, there are invisible bullet tracers that all directly affect gunplay. The invisible bullet tracers have affected gameplay even at the highest level with Pro Player HisWattson tweeting his frustration on another bug with gunplay.
For a shooter, Apex has had so many issues with gunplay that they should fix. With muzzle flash, not being able to see what you’re aiming at because of firing a gun is fairly counterintuitive in a shooter that is all about gunplay. Hopefully, the hotfix with the new season can fix these issues.
Apex is in the worst state it’s ever been this is actually pathetic at this point
— FaZe Snip3down (@Snip3down) April 21, 2023
What’s worse than dying to a cheater? Getting your server DDoS’ed and getting an abandon penalty on top of the RP loss while the DDoSers farm the whole unmoving lobby. It’s an issue that is becoming more prevalent as the seasons go by in Apex.
DDoS-ing happens often in ranked lobbies and losing RP to what is effective and exploit is something that the dev team should work on fixing immediately. The difficult part about this is that there is no counterplay to DDoS and there is no way to avoid it. Apex has rolled out DDoS protection patches but they seem to not have done the trick and here’s to hoping that this is at the top of the priority list for Respawn.
The DDoS situation is being addressed as we speak by our very own @ricklesauceur. It isn't the easiest fix in the world but huge steps are being made to take care of this. 31 abusers were shadow banned today in the meantime. We care and are just as frustrated as the players.
— Conor Ford / Hideouts (@RSPN_Hideouts) June 1, 2021
Cosmetics affecting gameplay
Now if it wasn’t bad enough that Apex was trying to milk users of their every last cent, they made a pay-to-win Flatline skin, said nothing for a few days after its release to get the community to buy it, and then retrospectively made the iron sight worse for ‘integrity’. The iron sight disparity in the weapons is bad enough already. You can’t see what you’re aiming at with most of the Flatline skins while some players prefer the Volt without a scope given its clear iron sight.
Another issue was that some dive emotes and emotes in the game made players harder to hit or game them wider POVs while in the animation. These big discrepancies highlight the need for a clear direction they need towards cosmetic updates and further test play to see their implications on the play. No matter how new something is, cosmetics shouldn’t give or lose a gameplay edge to a player and not refunding the players who bought the Flatline skin while making it worse seems very problematic.
Heads up, legends: the Splash Zone Flatline skin is currently missing a piece from its iron sights, making it appear smaller than it should be. In a future patch, we'll update it to match its intended design (see below)
Now go on and enjoy your day on the beach! 🏖️ pic.twitter.com/jfrvtQuYn6
— Respawn (@Respawn) March 28, 2023
The extensive list is too much to be fixed in one update. Apex has been negligent of their game’s health and the players are reaping the consequences with the game being cited as unplayable by pros and casual players like me playing less and less. As a fan of the game that has spent approximately 4000 hours on Apex, the game needs a major facelift in a big way and the gameplay problems need to be addressed in a meaningful manner. I hope that the devs realise that their once blockbuster game is on the decline and any more continued negligence will result in the beginning of the end of Apex. Communicate with the community, make meaningful gameplay changes, hire more staff in understaffed positions and for god’s sake don’t be releasing more Collection Events to siphon money out of your dwindling player base. Please make Apex great again.
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