13 Apex Legends Features Respawn Needs To Steal From Apex Mobile
11 Gameplay Features Apex Legends Should Steal From Apex Mobile
With Apex Legends Mobile set to shut down today, May 1, players are saying their goodbyes and posting their final achievements for others to see. The unexpected announcement that Apex Legends' popular, award-winning mobile counterpart would be shutting down for good left players in shock, especially given the game's positive reception from both gamers and critics. Despite EA's vague references to the possibility of another Apex Legends-based mobile game, and pleas from fans to "save Apex Mobile," the fate of Respawn's legendary mobile game appears to be set in stone.
Although the game itself is being sunset--just 16 days shy of its one-year anniversary, and for reasons that are rather vague--that doesn't mean the game's mobile-exclusive features have to go down with the dropship. In fact, we think some of Apex Mobile's unique features would be right at home on console and PC, and one of them has already made the transition: The long-awaited Team Deathmatch mode--which initially debuted alongside last year's launch of the mobile game--finally hit console and PC in Season 16. But Apex Legends Mobile still has plenty of lessons to teach its PC/console predecessor, so we've put together a list of mobile-only features that we hope to see reappear in the original version of the game.
1. Functional favorites
On console and PC, players can set up to eight favorites in a variety of categories--music packs, quips, emotes, holosprays, transition screens, and legend/weapon skins, to name a few. The same is true in Apex Legends Mobile (excluding music packs, which do not currently exist in Apex Mobile), with one very minor difference that is utterly game-changing: Instead of letting the RNG gods randomly choose one of the legend skins you've favorited to adorn your legend of choice, the mobile game actually gives players a chance to choose which favorited skin they want to wear for the match.
The prompt appears just after legend selection takes place. If the player makes no choice, the currently-equipped skin is used for the match. Oddly enough, the mobile game currently has no "Random Favorite" option for cosmetic legend skins, so there's no way to have the game pick a favorite skin at random the way it does on console and PC. Even more odd, the mobile game's weapon system does have this option, and selecting "Random Favorite" will result in your favorite weapon skins appearing at random, just like on console and PC. This makes the absence of a similar option for legend skins even more perplexing, though the feature may be added to the mobile game in a future update. But far more importantly, Apex Mobile's legend cosmetic system needs to come to console and PC.
2. Seasonal Stores and Seasonal Currency
One of the mobile game's best features by far, the Seasonal Store allows players to use Seasonal Currency (obtained by completing event challenges or just playing matches) to redeem season-exclusive cosmetics without dropping a dime of real money, and is generally stocked with some seriously cool loot. I often find myself preferring Seasonal Store cosmetics over battle pass cosmetics, and it feels really nice to actually get the opportunity to choose what rewards I receive instead of relying solely on Syndicate/Apex Packs, praying to the RNG gods that I get lucky and unlock That One Skin I've had my eye on forever.
The Seasonal Store's contents change twice per season, with a refreshed inventory appearing alongside the launch of each new battle pass. The previous battle pass' Seasonal Currency expires when this happens and is replaced with a new kind of currency with a new name that can be used to unlock cosmetics from the new Seasonal Shop. Seasonal Currency is earned in a number of ways--from taking part in user surveys and completing event challenges to simply opening Supply Bins, the stuff is anything but hard to come by. There's a limit to how much Seasonal Currency you can collect per match, but it adds up quickly nonetheless, and events like long-term login bonus events can reward you with five-digit sums of Seasonal Currency.
The entire experience is a rewarding one that gives players a bit more control over which cosmetics they unlock, and the amount of effort the developers put into designing Seasonal Shop cosmetics is obvious even at a passing glance. The console and PC versions of the game could definitely benefit from a similar setup. Something about saving up currency and getting to choose which cosmetics you receive feels so much more rewarding than simply logging in once a day and cracking open Supply Bins until a Treasure Pack finally pops out at you, then repeating that just about every day for the duration of the season.
The "Monthly" section recently added to the Apex Legends store on console and PC allows players to purchase a variety of lower-value cosmetic items (banner frames, poses, weapon skins, etc.) in exchange for Apex Coins, the game's premium currency. While it's nice to occasionally snag a cosmetic item from a previous event that I've been hoping to come across again, I think replacing the "Monthly" section of the store with a "Seasonal Shop" section could do a world of good for the game--especially considering the fact that it would give players a reason to keep playing even if they've finished their battle pass or an event reward track early.
3. Open lobby chat
I've found that locating decent teammates to play with in Apex Legends Mobile is far easier than it is when I play on console. In my experience, this is mainly due to the fact that the game's lobby chat allows me to quickly connect with players who have the same goals as I do, whether that's reaching a specific rank, playing a specific mode, or completing a specific set of event challenges. It's nice to be able to connect with other players quickly without having to use an external service like Reddit or Discord to locate like-minded players with similar goals.
While some not-always-appropriate shenanigans occasionally take place in the lobby's chatroom, things are generally pretty tame--it seems the word filters and/or moderators are doing their job. Bringing this feature to the platforms Apex originally launched on would benefit all involved, especially for players who rarely have a premade squad of friends to team up with and must rely on random teammates the majority of the time.
Although the mobile game's automatic looting mechanic is still in need of a bit of polish, having the option to turn on a feature that would see all applicable hop-ups and gear automatically attach themselves to my weapons would be a nice addition to Apex on console and PC. Manual looting is an onerous task, especially for console players looting deathboxes (god help you if this is occurring in a PC lobby). So it would certainly be nice to be able to crawl up to deathboxes and have all relevant loot automatically stick itself to my person instead of spending precious seconds frantically rooting through one box only to find it empty before getting shot at when I attempt to loot the next one. Automating the process would make deathbox looting far less risky, especially for console players, who already have limited mobility to contend with. It would also make a nice accessibility feature for players with physical disabilities that affect motor controls.
5. A better legend request function
While both games could benefit from a "Favorite Legend" system that works the same way as the favorited cosmetic skins mechanic, one thing the mobile game does have on standard Apex is a better, more visible legend-selection page. Similar to the console and PC versions of Apex Legends, Apex Legends Mobile allows players loading into a battle royale match to request a specific legend, ideally preventing teammates who get to select a character before you from "stealing" your legend of choice by signaling that you'd like to play a specific one if possible.
The game does this well enough on console and PC, showing players which legend their other teammates have preselected via a portrait on the bottom of the screen, but frankly, it's easy to miss. The mobile game, on the other hand, blacks out that entire portrait with a speech bubble that says, "I want to select [Legend Name]." It's nearly impossible to miss, and it has the intended effect of making me feel like a jerk for picking a legend my teammate wants to use.
Now, I'm not saying you should comply with a teammate's request every single time--especially if you're playing pubs, it shouldn't matter too much. But if you're unfortunate enough to be stuck playing Ranked without a premade squad, you're better off letting a teammate have your legend of choice if at all possible. You can't control your teammate's skill level, but you can improve your chances of winning by not gambling on a random squadmate's ability (or lack thereof) to play well as a different character--especially given the fact that the game's AI will assign you a legend at random if your selected legend is unavailable and you're not quick enough to select another before time runs out.
That's something both games could benefit from: the ability to create a favorite legend list for the game to choose from when your chosen legend is taken and you don't select another one quickly enough. There is absolutely nothing worse than loading up a match and getting up to grab a snack, only to return and discover your chosen legend was taken, resulting in the game making the choice for you and assigning you your least-favorite option. Bonus (negative) points if that legend's abilities are game-breakingly bugged at the time.
6. Player Feedback
Apex Legends Mobile offers a user feedback questionnaire at least once a month. Players who participate are rewarded with in-game currency and get a chance to share their thoughts on the game with its developers. The user feedback surveys are often surprisingly complex, and frequently ask open-ended questions that allow players to respond freely and in detail.
The developers of the console and PC versions of the game recently held a series of Reddit AMAs that also allowed a direct conversation to take place between devs and players, but that's not quite that same as making development decisions based on statistical analyses from regular polling that comes directly from one's players. (It also seems the AMAs and other direct developer-player engagement may have led to the harassment of Respawn employees in recent days.)
Regular user surveys would give Respawn a better opportunity to listen to its players, and give players the ability to air their grievances in a manner that will actually be taken into account--an action that, in itself, may reduce the collective anger of some parts of the Apex playerbase (though there is, nevertheless, no excuse for any type of developer harassment).
7. Third-person mode
Third-person mode is actually already a feature in the console and PC versions of Apex Legends, but only as an Easter egg that can be triggered in the Firing Range. It makes for incredibly good fun when you have a few friends with you and friendly fire is activated, but that's all it's good for at the moment.
The mobile game, meanwhile, has proven that there's an appetite for third-person play among Apex's playerbase, and that it can be implemented successfully. Still, just because a feature works on mobile doesn't mean it will translate well to console and PC. The addition of a permanent third-person mode could lead to a whole host of problems from legend/weapon imbalances to matchmaking issues and an increase in bugs. Third-person mode would not make for a beneficial addition to Apex Legends, at least in its current state.
But it would make for an absolutely fire new LTM.
8. Holiday cosmetics
The console and PC versions of Apex have several collections of various holiday-themed skins, and occasionally adds more of them--usually for new legends who weren't around during the game's first holiday events. But when compared to the detailed, high-quality skins the mobile game churns out at a breakneck pace, it's hard not to feel disappointed. Some console/PC legends have gotten recolored versions of their previously released holiday skins (like Crypto's matching Deadly Byte and Midnight Cipher skins), but it's been a good long while since Apex Legends has hosted a Halloween- or Winter holiday-themed event that included a brand new set of holiday cosmetics.
Some legend skins from the console and PC versions of Apex made their way over to Apex Mobile, but unfortunately, no mobile game skins have ever appeared in the original version of the game. This is a real shame given the amount of thought and effort put into mobile game cosmetic collections, but it's also hard to believe from a lore perspective. Does anyone really think that fashion-focused Loba would be caught dead wearing the same Halloween skin two years in a row?
We've yet to see a collection of mobile game legend skins that wouldn't make console and PC players go wild. Although the absence of creative new legend skins is most obvious during holiday events, even Apex Mobile's non-holiday Legendary-tier skins are gorgeous enough to help justify the $18 price tag. The mobile game's skins would undoubtedly be well-received by console and PC players, so it would be a shame to see them disappear for good along with the mobile game itself. Hopefully, we'll get to see Lifeline's adorable jack-o'-lantern space buns in hi-def next Halloween.
9. Legend skin trailers
Speaking of the mobile game's breathtaking cosmetics, another skin-related feature we'd love to see in the real game are cosmetic trailers. Nearly every single Legendary- or Mythic-tier skin in Apex Legends Mobile comes with a unique, gorgeously animated trailer. In fact, "trailer" might be stretching things a bit--the animations are very short, just a few seconds long with sound effects, but no dialogue. Still, all of them are well-made, and watching a legend pull slick combat moves in their stunning, high-tier skins is nothing short of hypnotic. Almost hypnotic enough to make you forget you're about to spend nearly $20 on one.
Adding this feature to the console and PC versions of Apex Legends seems like a no-brainer. Given the fact that (on console and PC) third-person mode can currently only be activated via the Firing Range Easter egg, players can only really get a look at their fancy new skins in action by watching their legend's idling animation in the lobby, emoting in-game, or using Crypto's drone as a makeshift mirror--all of which require the player to have already purchased the skin. Getting to see how these pricey skins look in action via Apex Mobile's high-quality mini-trailers gives players a much better idea of what kind of bang they'll get for their buck--before they whip out their wallets. Not to mention the fact that these slick, well-edited animations up the coolness factor by about 1000%, making this this author far more likely to shell out the AC required for a flashy, high-tier skin,
10. The audio visualizer
Another incredibly useful tool that's exclusive to the mobile game is a feature that shows the which direction enemy footsteps and gunfire are coming from. Though the console/PC version of Apex does show a red arrow pointing in the direction of the enemy, it doesn't appear until players are directly fired upon. Seer's passive Heart Seeker ability does allow him to see enemy "heartbeats," revealing the general area where said enemies are hiding. But this only applies to Seer, and can only be utilized when players are aiming down the sights of their weapon.
In contrast, Apex Mobile's audio visualizer feature allows players to see where footsteps and gunfire are coming from at all times. Rhapsody's Gifted Ear passive amplifies the effect, but the mobile game's visual audio cues are useful no matter which legend you're playing. Adding this feature to the console and PC versions of Apex Legends would be extremely helpful, especially given the game's frequent issues with audio bugs, and the amount of players regularly complaining they can't hear enemy footsteps.
But beyond serving as a simple quality-of-life improvement, the addition of an audio visualizer would also improve accessibility for players who are deaf or hard of hearing. Players who can't afford noise-canceling headphones or have no choice but to play in noisy environments would also benefit from the implementation of this feature.
11. Free Heirloom Weapons
One of Apex Mobile's best features is the Signature Weapon--the mobile game's version of the coveted, pricey melee weapons known as Heirloom Weapons on console and PC. There are currently two Signature Weapons in the mobile game, and though their concept may seem similar to Heirloom Weapons, there are two major differences: Signature Weapons are free, and players can customize their appearance.
In Apex Mobile, players can unlock a character's Signature Weapon by collecting 400 Signature Merits. Signature Merits are obtained via battle pass levels, daily challenges, and limited-time events, so dedicated players can easily unlock the weapon of their choosing just by playing the game.
Additionally, Signature Weapons can be customized. Each weapon has six levels, each containing a series of visual flourishes players can add to their Signature Weapon. Though unlocking a Level 1 Signature Weapon can be done without spending any real-life cash, upgrading it to the next five levels requires 50 Signature Tributes, which can only be bought using Syndicate Coins, the mobile game's version of Apex Coins. Each of the six levels gives players the option to add new skins, textures, and special effects to make their Signature Weapon stand out from the crowd.
Implementing a second set of Heirloom-esque melee weapons on console and PC isn't as complicated as one might think--after all, Wraith already has two Heirloom Weapons, while Octane has an Heirloom Weapon on console/PC and a Signature Weapon in Apex Legends Mobile. Giving players the opportunity to earn a secondary Heirloom Weapon with a highly customizable appearance would certainly give players something to grind for once they've finished up their seasonal battle pass, in addition to rewarding long-term, dedicated players who love the game but simply don't have the budget to shell out $170 for a melee weapon that has zero effect on gameplay.
12. A class of their own
The "remastered" legend classes introduced in Season 16: Revelry didn't make their way to the mobile game, though it's possible the mobile game would have also reworked legend classes if EA and Respawn had chosen not to shut the game down. But if mobile legends were to come to console and PC, they would, of course, need to be sorted into one of the five new legend classes.
Fade would be right at home alongside Wraith and the other legends in the Skirmisher class, given his void-based abilities' emphasis on movement. Rhapsody, however, would be a bit more challenging to categorize. Her abilities include a passive ability to see enemy footsteps at a distance, a tactical that recharges her squad's shields and gives them a speed boost, and an ultimate ability that sees her throw up an enormous shield.
But this shield (an ability referred to as "Rowdy's Rave") works in a similar fashion to Catalyst's Dark Veil ability--it blocks Rhapsody (and anyone close to her) from sight via a forward-facing "wall" of light. But just like Dark Veil, Rowdy's Rave only obscures Rhapsody from sight, providing zero protection from any bullets or ordnance that may come flying her way.
Unfortunately, the similarities end there. Unlike Catalyst's ultimate ability, enemies who walk through Rhapsody's shield are not temporarily slowed and blinded. In fact, crossing the barrier doesn't harm enemies at all, which makes Rhapsody a poor choice for fitting in with Catalyst and the other Controller-class legends. We think Rhapsody's in a class of her own--literally. If she were added to the console/PC legend lineup, the best choice regarding class might be a brand new one. A separate class for legends whose abilities trick enemies instead of outright damaging or debuffing them may be a good addition to the current list of legend classes.
Rhapsody wouldn't be on her own, either--fan-favorite Mirage would make a perfect addition to this hypothetical new "Illusion-class." None of Mirage's abilities damage enemies, and all of them rely on holographic trickery, camouflage, and illusions that often fool enemies into shooting at his decoys while the real Mirage makes his escape or claims the high ground. Among the rest of his fellow Skirmisher legends--Horizon, Octane, Pathfinder, Valkyrie, and Wraith--Mirage sticks out like a sore thumb, being the only Skirmisher-class legend with no abilities that would make moving around the battlefield quicker, safer, or more convenient.
Skirmisher currently has the highest headcount of all legend classes, and with a new playable character joining the Apex Games every three months (with the exception of Season 16), the new "Illusion" class would likely have a well-populated legend roster in no time, with the added bonus of encouraging new gameplay strategies and giving devs a new way to categorize legends without forcing them to shove characters like Mirage into boxes they don't quite fit in.
13. The legends
If we could pick just one single Apex Mobile feature to bring to the main game, it would be the mobile-exclusive legends themselves. Aside from the obvious fact that players don't want to lose the two legends they've come to know and love, there's another good reason Fade and Rhapsody don't belong in a deathbox: Their legacy.
Respawn has repeatedly claimed that the mobile game is canon, despite the fact that neither Fade nor Rhapsody have ever been mentioned in the console/PC version of the game. In Apex's story, the Games are framed as a televised event that's on par with major-league sports. Each legend has a fanbase, a distinct motive for joining the games, and--usually--an enemy or rival they're hoping to outsmart or overcome by competing.
Fade is hunting the mercs who killed his family, and Rhapsody is trying to disentangle herself from an evil corporation that, for reasons unknown, are out to get her. If these characters are thrown in the bin alongside Apex Mobile itself, those storylines will remain unresolved. Worse, disposing of the mobile-exclusive duo will dilute the significance of what it means to be a legend. Are these characters truly "legendary" if they can be thrown away on a whim, doomed to be forgotten?
It was already hard to imagine that a group of previously-unknown legends are hanging out on the dropship with everyone else, but never once being mentioned in the console/PC version of the game. (Seriously, do we really think Mirage could meet someone like Fade--who looks like he's cosplaying Revenant--and not immediately gossip about him to the rest of the legends?) But now, it seems these two legends are simply disappearing into the ether, taking their unresolved plot threads with them.
The Apex Games are fiercely competitive, with characters like Newcastle highlighting exactly how hard it is to secure a spot in the Apex Games. Are players really supposed to believe that the angry, determined Fade and defiant, resilient Rhapsody both just walked away from it all? If Apex Mobile truly is canon, these characters' stories need to be finished. At the very least, players deserve an in-universe explanation for the absence of these two legends--especially since the mobile game revealed that there are three additional factions of shady enemy organizations currently tied to Fade, Rhapsody, and Syndicate, which is important to the game's lore. Dooming Fade and Rhapsody to spend the rest of their days in ex-legend purgatory won't just result in a few untied plot threads flailing in the wind; for anyone who's been paying attention to both games, it will create a crater-sized plot hole in the middle of an already-complicated storyline.
But lore and continuity aren't the only reasons these legends ought to stick around--Fade and Rhapsody should be added to console and PC because they are well-designed, well-voiced, interesting characters, and players have grown attached to them. Losing Apex Legends Mobile is unfortunate enough on its own--snuffing out any hope of seeing Fade and Rhapsody on the big(ger) screen just adds insult to injury. Worse, it implies that some legends just aren't all that legendary after all.
Still, it's worth noting that Apex Legends Mobile kicked off right as the current senior design director for the console/PC version of the game Evan Nikolich took up his new position at Respawn. The plot of the original game seemingly got pushed to the backburner as a result, presumably to give Nikolich and his team some time to address the ways Apex's massive storylines were becoming too large for the team to handle. 2022 focused a lot less on lore, even neglecting to add a new legend in Season 16--and frankly, we think that's a good thing. Based on comments made by Respawn during previews---stating that a "lore bomb" will be dropped on players sometime in the latter half of Season 17--it's very possible that we could see these legends join the fray, and it might happen sooner than you think. Apex plans out things like legend releases at least a year in advance. With Nikolich taking the reigns at Respawn around this time last year, it's possible we could see Fade or Rhapsody joining the games sometime in the near future. It's hard to ignore how similar Season 16's battle pass cosmetics are to the battle pass cosmetics from Rhapsody's debut season in the mobile game, Hyperbeat.
It could just be a coincidence, but it could also be a hint. Here's hoping the characters that made the mobile game truly legendary aren't lost for good when the sun finally sets on Apex Legends Mobile tonight at 5 PM PT / 8 PM ET.