The feature doesn't exist yet, but what are the pros and cons when it does?
Apex Legends stepped on to the Battle Royale scene in 2019, ready to take the crown from all the other titles in the genre, and with the graphics and gameplay to do so easily. Apex can currently be played on PC and console, but no overlap has come to the fore just yet. Developers Respawn Entertainment have hinted that crossplay could eventually come to the game, and be supported across all platforms.
When could cross-play be coming?
Developers at Respawn Entertainment have remained silent on a possible crossplay introduction in more recent times, however, at the launch of Apex Legends in February 2019, they spoke to several news outlets about the feature being included.
Lead Producer Drew McCoy told Eurogamer they have “plans to allow players to play with their friends on other platforms.”
In an interview with Game Informer, General Manager Dusty Welch echoed this sentiment, saying;
I think on crossplay we see it's something that is kind of expected in the industry and is important to a game like ours.
As for a timeframe of the introduction of crossplay – nothing new has happened on that side since these interviews, but the recent leaks of Apex Legends being released on Steam soon could provide some more fuel to the fire about crossplay between PC and console.
Do Apex Legends players want crossplay?
Whether or not the fans actually want crossplay in Apex Legends or not is something being hotly debated within the community, and has been since launch. Curiosity about the purported addition is the main topic. It’s the not knowing…
However, a contingent of players aren’t too happy about crossplay being included (whether or not it will eventually turn out to be) and say the feature would just cause problems in wider gameplay.
Some fans believe Respawn would be more interested in fixing bugs and issues for console players if crossplay was to become used over the platforms, and these same fans see a bias towards PC players and their issues with the game being louder.
What would be the benefit of Apex Legends crossplay?
The main benefit would be being able to play Apex Legends crossplay with friends on other platforms, be that other consoles or PC.
One Reddit post on r/ApexLegends raises this very point.
Drew McCoy has also been quoted as saying that cross-platform progression could never become a reality, in short, trying to play on PC with an account made and played on a PS4 won’t be doable, and no progress of levels or tiers can be crossed over, saying this was "due to the way systems were set up early on" which "can't [be] reconciled after the fact."
What would be the drawback of Apex Legends crossplay?
The Apex Legends subreddit is the hotbed of all discussions and debates over crossplay, and any other pertinent issues or additions to Apex and the drawbacks of possibly adding crossplay to Apex is brought up time and time again.
One comment suggests that a dedicated report system would need to be in place, to assure that gameplay is fair across the board between PC and console players, and prevent cheating.
The discussions around crossplay always bring up the issue of “skill disparity” between PC and console players, arguing that keyboard and mouse are more accurate, and aim-assist features on controller can be both under and overpowered in some scenarios.
There may even need to be a closer look taken at Respawn Entertainment’s current skill-based matchmaking service for Apex Legends if PC and console players were to start playing against each other on any one server.
SBMM is already contended within the Apex community, with some believing it only creates unfair environments for gameplay where you cannot win, and others saying it has helped them raise their skill level.
Will the aim assist argument come into play?
Whenever we talk about games with k/m and controller capability, we must talk about aim-assist. Aim-assist is currently being debated in the Fortnite community, and most notably streamer Tfue leaving the game temporarily to pursue Warzone. Aim-assist is necessary to make playing with a controller feasible from the outset, but some players argue that it is giving those who use them an unfair advantage. This may become a huge issue in the Apex community if crossplay were to be introduced, and is something Respawn devs would have to put a lot of time, effort, and research into, lest they create an unbalanced gameplay experience for the fans.
Some players who are playing Apex on console for the first time are concerned that aim assist is OP and therefore would prove difficult to balance in a crossplay scenario.
Will PC players be overpowered in comparison to console?
Infamous streamer shroud has made statements in the past about controller being “broken” in terms of FPS games such as Apex Legends and Warzone, and even stating that it compromises “competitive integrity”.
During a stream on Mixer, Michael ‘shroud’ Grzesiek voiced his opinions about controller aim assist being overpowered, saying;
No random schmuck can just pick up mouse and keyboard and do somewhat well, they’re going to suck, and they’re going to suck a lot. But, if you grab like a controller there is a chance it will just assist you in some situations. That’s the whole point of it. I don’t mind it.
It’s worth mentioning that if and when crossplay is introduced into Apex Legends, the option to turn off crossplay should hopefully exist within the game, so nobody is forced to enter mixed servers where they may not want to.
Despite the Apex Legends devs crossplay tease at launch over a year ago, there appear to be no concrete plans to introduce the feature to the game just yet.
Images via Respawn Entertainment