Apex Legends Hitboxes are Such a Nightmare; Respawn Explains Why

by in Apex Legends | Nov, 10th 2020

Hitboxes in general are contentious in all forms of competitive games. The hitbox determines if you can hit an opponent or not, after all. The loudest complaints might come from FPS titles. After all, when you line up the perfect shot, but wind up a frame or two away from landing an otherwise clean shot, it’s infuriating. Of course, that other player always gets you. Apex Legends has it rough when it comes to hitboxes; the various characters have different shaped hitboxes, which makes sense, but is also very aggravating. 

If Only They Could Do It Over

This is a topic that came up on Reddit recently. Senior Game Designer Daniel Klein feels the varying size hitboxes are a “curse” in Apex Legends. If he could, he said he’d go back and change it. Klein’s response was fantastic:

“If I had a time machine, I’d go back to when we started working on Apex and yell at everyone: DO NOT EVEN THINK ABOUT DIFFERENT HITBOX SIZES! DON’T DO IT! YOU’LL CURSE US FOREVER!”

When you account for the size of the Apex Legends hitboxes, it becomes difficult to judge how much damage should account for that. Then you factor in the equipment the Legend currently has, and it becomes an even more complex situation.

Klein went on to elaborate:

“Let’s put it this way: Caustic with Wraith’s hitboxes would have a higher win rate than Wraith with Caustic’s hitboxes. Like no question. This means we had to find something that directly acted on the level of success/failure that hitboxes work on; and a damage multiplier was the best solution.”

Granted, Season 7 updated Pathfinder’s hitbox, so he has a more shootable frame. It doesn’t seem like they’re going to change everyone’s hitbox though, so these problems are going to persist well into the future of Apex Legends.

There are no real good options to fix this, other than perhaps re-modeling every single Legend, and keep their hitboxes the same somehow. Apex Legends’ response though was to add perks called Low Profile and Fortified. Low Profile has incoming damage go up by 5%, and is attached to Lifeline, Pathfinder, Wattson, and Wraith. Fortified has incoming damage be reduced by 15%, and is not slowed by bullets. This goes to Caustic and Gibraltar. 

Admittedly, this is not the best solution, but it may be the best of the worst. It’s basically slapping some duct tape on the game. The damage multipliers do help, but it’s going to take some time to improve this really unfortunate situation. We hope that Apex Legends can figure out how to make this more palatable, but at least they’re trying.


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