What Apex Legends Needs to Do to Keep Players
Apex Legends came out to astounding success, something that the developer Respawn Entertainment and publisher EA didn’t even expect. Since its release, though, content has been scarce, problems have arisen, and the developer has struggled to meet every need.
A myriad of issues has led to a steady decline in Apex Legends, both in terms of players and popularity on streaming services like Twitch. But I don’t think it has to keep going downhill like this. I, personally, find Apex to be my favorite battle royale game at this time.
I can also acknowledge the problems that players have with it because I have those same issues with it as well. Thus, I think I’m in a great place to give you the ways that I think Apex Legends can fix its numerous problems, but first, let’s take a look at what it’s doing wrong.
Apex Legends’ Issues and How to Fix Them
A great number of problems are making it hard to keep players in Apex Legends. These issues are ones that are easily fixed just by dedicating time to it, like fixing bugs, while others are more deeply rooted in the game and the developer behind it.
I’m going to take the next few moments of your time to go over every major issue that I think is plaguing Apex Legends. I’m not going to just point out the problems or failures, though, but present what I think are possible solutions for how to keep players in Apex Legends.
Problem: Lack of Communication
For starters, communication, or the lack thereof, is one of the biggest problems that Apex Legends has. Just like in a normal relationship, communication is key to making it work. Unfortunately, developer Respawn Entertainment and publisher EA have failed at doing this part.
Quietly coming out of nowhere and releasing an epic game like this is awesome, but staying quiet isn’t going to keep players in Apex Legends. In fact, it’ll turn the players away since no one knows exactly what’s happening with the game or what changes are coming, so it makes more sense to just drop it entirely.
More of this please!
Solution: How to Fix Communication Issues
This is a pretty straightforward problem that can be fixed by simply changing how Respawn is currently doing things. There need to be frequent blog posts and updates on what the team is working on. Nothing new to share?
That’s totally fine, but the team needs to say that loud and clear. If a person is having an insane bug issue that is breaking the game or meta, that needs to be addressed immediately. Even if it’s just to say, “We’re working on it,” that will make all the difference.
In addition, I think it’s okay to talk about what works and what doesn’t. It’s all right to make mistakes, and Respawn needs to acknowledge that. If the hitbox of a character makes the game unfair, note that, apologize for it, and say that a fix is on the way.
The best thing that Respawn can do right now is be super responsive on all channels, not just responding to Reddit questions that many players won’t see. It would be great to have frequent notifications that show what’s on the way pop up when entering the game.
The game’s performance isn’t the worst, but it’s also not the best. Quite frankly, it lags behind almost all of the other major battle royale games and similar first-person shooters. Fortnite, a game that features way more players and an ever-changing map, runs better on Nintendo Switch than Apex Legends does on any of the three platforms.
It doesn’t matter if you have a next-generation ready PC, either. The game will still hit you with unnecessary ping and frame rate issues that keep the game from being what it could be. This is a huge problem, as rage quitting because of unfair performance is probably a major factor for former players.
Solution: How to Fix Performance Issues
This problem is pretty simple to fix, too. You just fix them. It’s weird to say that, because I know that Respawn is probably doing just that. But it ties directly into the last issue. Respawn isn’t making it clear that it is fixing problems with the game.
If it were to make it 100 percent clear that problems like frame rate and server lag are being addressed, it at least eases the pain of it until a fix is issued. With all of the success that’s happened for the game, I think it’s worth investing in plenty of new employees.
These new workers can come in with a fresh set of ideas to work on the game. In addition, the added manpower will make it so that it’s possible to fix these problems quicker and without things like crunch.
Problem: Lacking Content
Quite frankly, out of the gate, Apex Legends lacks too much content. Compared to its competitors, it is very lackluster in terms of what it offers players. Fortnite, Blackout, and PUBG all had at least two modes at launch or near it.
Apex Legends, though? Just one mode, and that’s a trio of players. It’s unique, sure, but that one unique mode isn’t enough to keep players in Apex Legends. The game needs to have more content if it wants to retain players.
Here’s the roadmap for what’s coming to Apex Legends in 2019. pic.twitter.com/iOle3XTQoG— Apex Legends News (@TitanfallBlog) February 4, 2019
Providing a roadmap does not equal content.
Solution: How to Bring More Content
There are a lot of things that Respawn can do about this problem. For starters, I think the game needs more modes and fast. There should be solo and squads options available at the very least. Duos should be introduced, too, since that is important for competitive play.
More options make it more likely that a player will stay in the game. For me, I prefer to play by myself solo in Fortnite and the like, but I can’t really do that in Apex Legends. If it means changing the player count for that mode or whatever, it’s worth it to have more options.
This makes someone possibly stay in the game because it allows for what they like. Also, if a player gets bored with squads, they have other modes they can play that could feel different. This will help keep players in Apex Legends.
Problem: Shallow Progression
Another major issue that Apex Legends has is with its progression system. Progression is key to keeping people interested in a live service game like this one. Apex Legends fails to really have any valuable progression.
Sure, it has seasons, but even the seasons themselves are lacking in terms of content. The seasons progress in shallow ways, giving you some rewards, but it isn’t tied together as well as in other battle royale games.
There needs to be a constant loop of progression, and it lacks that. That is what encourages players to keep playing. Here’s what Respawn can do to fix this issue.
Solution: How to Make Deeper Progression
There needs to be a better cycle of rewarding players in the game. A player should feel like they’re always building toward something great even if it does take time. Quite simply, the season’s rewards are lacking and need to be more meaningful.
More importantly than that, though, there need to be better ways of unlocking stuff. There should be daily or weekly challenges that reward players with interesting stuff. There could also be more timed events and challenges tied to holidays or the start of a new season.
Even better, there can be exclusive rewards that you only get from specific events that aren’t directly tied into the seasonal content. This can reward even the players who haven’t purchased the season pass and might encourage them to do so.
There also need to be more heroes than just one per season. Spreading at least one or two more throughout the season will get players to come back to check them out and see if they’re for them.
Problem: Doesn’t Cater to Competition
Apex Legends doesn’t really cater to competition. What I mean by this is regarding ranked play and esports, specifically. Now, I won’t spend too much time on this point here because it’s well deserving of its own post dedicated to it.
The gist of it is that Apex Legends doesn’t allow much for competitive play. The game is designed in such a narrow way that it’s really just for fun, if anything. But the core of battle royale is competition, so it would be great if Respawn would take some steps toward allowing for more of it.
Solution: More Competition
Respawn can do this in a few different ways. To begin with, it needs more modes as mentioned in a previous section. If it has squads, solo, and so on, then it only makes sense to later add ranked squads, solo, and so on.
Ranked play is the first major step towards allowing for competitive play in the game. Having brackets and a ladder for players to climb as they get better will encourage streamers and professional players to jump onboard.
The game also needs to be opened up to allow for more tournaments and the like. Private servers/matches need to be a thing so organizations like Twitch can better hold competitions that will bring in viewers and, consequently, more players.
It’s hard to find anyone who feels Apex doesn’t need ranked play.
Cheating and/or hacking is a problem with any online multiplayer game. The problem isn’t with having it in a game, but fixing it. Apex Legends still has a fairly rampant cheating problem, especially on PC.
This is an issue that is only going to grow as the game becomes readily available in more regions like China. As more players join, there is the increased likelihood of cheating.
Online multiplayer games are sensitive, especially when it comes to esports and competition, so Respawn needs a solution for this.
Solution: Crack Down on Cheaters
The solution for fixing cheating is simple: you hire more people and companies to help with this. If Respawn takes the issue of cheating seriously, it will do whatever it can to act against it. Both Respawn and EA need to pour the time and money into this.
This means making partnerships with established security companies that have proven their ability to stop and prevent cheaters. This can’t just be for North America and Europe, though, because it needs to be an active effort for all servers around the world.
The legends in Apex Legends are what makes the game stand out from other battle royales. Fortnite has its building, but Apex has its heroes. Each one has different abilities to make them unique.
The problem with this, though, is that the legends can become stale really fast. In addition, there are inherent problems with certain Legends like hitboxes, weakness, and more that need to be fixed.
Solution: More, Better Legends
The solution for the Legends is to double down on everything. First and foremost, Respawn needs to make all of the Legends as fair as possible. Buff when necessary and nerf when also necessary.
Octane was a good start, but on his own is far from enough.
Like I mentioned earlier, there need to be more Legends as well. More heroes does mean that there will need to be more balancing, but it is worth it to make the game increasingly unique.
It would also be awesome to see some variation and options with existing Legends. Perhaps it would help to have different abilities to choose before jumping into a match. Instead of having a portal as an ultimate, maybe Wraith could make her team invisible for a few seconds.
Stuff like this would shake up the game and make it more interesting for players. This, in turn, would help keep players in Apex Legends.