Feature Article

Apex Legends Needs To Make This One Big Improvement Immediately

Losing a squadmate to disconnect is devastating, so Respawn should stop it from happening.

The launch of Apex Legends has been pretty smooth for an online-only game. Despite becoming available at the same time it was announced and without any sort of open beta testing or Early Access treatment that's become common for similar games, Apex Legends has had relatively few problems. And while other online-only games have struggled with server troubles and other issues during their launch windows, Apex Legends players have been lucky to find the game pretty stable--at least for the most part.

There is one issue with Apex Legends so far, though, especially on PC. That's the trouble of game crashes. Apex Legends will often crash mid-match, possibly because of issues with graphics or stability, possibly because of a brief loss of connectivity. Members of the Apex community have shared their troubles in forums and attempted to find fixes for the issues, but they still occur with worrying frequency.

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It's not really clear what's causing the crashes or how to prevent them, and they're usually pretty debilitating. There's nothing worse than preparing for the final showdown of a match, only to lose a member of your squad to a crash and get stuck fighting at a disadvantage.

Apex's crashes seem to be one of the biggest issues the young game is facing. Respawn Entertainment has noted that it's working on fixes for the issues, and things seem to be a little better at this point--we've noticed that players who stall out in the game tend to recover more often since the last Apex Legends update, rather than just crashing and disconnecting from a match altogether. But crashes still happen relatively frequently, and they can totally wreck a game.

While Respawn searches for a fix for the crash issue, it could make one big change to Apex Legends that would help mitigate the issue, and improve the game besides: let players rejoin matches when they disconnect. It's a feature that other shooters and battle royale games, like Overwatch and PlayerUnknown's Battlegrounds, already include, and it makes for a serious quality-of-life improvement when something goes awry with connectivity and other issues.

Allowing players who get knocked out of games to come back would make dealing with crashes a whole lot easier, for a start, but it would also greatly improve the quality of the game for players who find themselves suffering through no fault of their own. The idea of allowing players to rejoin also feels in line with one of Respawn's innovations in the battle royale genre. The game already allows squads to rescue players who have been eliminated, giving them a second chance at a win. Reconnecting to a game you dropped from through no fault of your own fits with that line of thinking as well.

In fact, the respawning system might be a useful workaround if Respawn finds that allowing players to rejoin the game directly creates an unfair advantage. If players can't just jump straight back into the game as their former dead characters, Apex could allow for squads to recover their teammates' banners--that way, disconnected players and their teams still have a chance, but they don't necessarily get an unfair advantage over squads with solid connections.

Of course, it'd be a lot better if Respawn could figure out what's causing the crashes and fix the issue, or let the rest of us know how we can tweak our systems to minimize the issue. But the ability to rejoin games would at least help. It's the one thing Respawn could do immediately to make Apex Legends a lot more fun for people who take grabbing those championships seriously.

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Phil Hornshaw

Phil Hornshaw has worked as a journalist for newspapers and websites for more than a decade and has covered video games, technology, and entertainment for nearly that long. A freelancer before he joined the GameSpot team as an editor out of Los Angeles, his work appeared at Playboy, IGN, Kotaku, Complex, Polygon, TheWrap, Digital Trends, The Escapist, GameFront, and The Huffington Post. Outside the realm of games, he's the co-author of So You Created a Wormhole: The Time Traveler's Guide to Time Travel and The Space Hero's Guide to Glory. If he's not writing about video games, he's probably doing a deep dive into game lore.

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