Apex Legends allows for PC players to use a controller as well as cross-play. But Apex controller players have noticed a lot of ongoing issues.
After seeing Cloud9 pro Jamison “PVPX” Moore tweeting about some controller changes that need to happen in Apex Legends, Live Design Balancer John Larson decided to address some of these topics in a TwitLonger.
Apex Legends developers discuss controller changes
In response to ongoing critiques and concerns from competitive Apex Legends players, Larson decided to give a thorough response to the community.
Tap-strafing on controller
Larson said that tap-strafing is something he’s always found frustrating. He called it a “design problem.” He noted that it is a negative it’s only accessible on mouse and keyboard, but that he overall wasn’t a fan of the mechanic. Instead, Larson urged players to look into his past advice about movement tech and mobility in Apex Legends.
“Take something like Pathfinder’s grapple, arguably the highest skill-ceiling ability in the game. There are identifiable cues and constraints where players can learn ‘if grap attaches at x point and Path is moving in y direction, he’ll move roughly along this arc,'” Larson explained in his Twitlonger.
He continued: “In most trivial examples, sure, I can learn a player will tap-strafe around corners to cut off LoS faster. But add things that enhance mobility, and learnability and counterplay quickly become clouded. If a sweaty Path is grappling near me with a shotty, I know the tap-strafe into my face is coming, but even with the quickest of reflexes how can I improve my chances?”
Larson added that mobility creep is a real concern. If something “feels good,” Larson said, then doubling down on it can “warp gameplay” too heavily. That said, you can still punch boost in Apex Legends.
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Moving while looting
Controller players have often demanded that they receive the ability to move while looting, which would allow them to avoid being sitting targets. But Larson stated that moving while looting on mouse and keyboard is a bug. And it’s a bug they will never fix.
Larson stated that he saw an “efficient looting meta-game” emerge quickly after the game was released. Then later on, menu cursor speed options and gold armor reworks seemed to be a concrete acceptance of the looting gameplay. Developers are most likely not going to remove moving while looting, even though being stationary while looting was the original intention. Now, Larson would rather give Apex controller players the same option.
Said Apex Legends Game Designer Jordan Rapp: “Absolutely yes I’ve thought about your suggestion. I like it. But I also like a lot of the other incompatible suggestions for how to solve it. That’s the primary issue with this. We either need overly cumbersome and intractable customization menu that’s hard to maintain and is used by a very small minority. Or we should pick system that a minority of the small minority likes and others hate.”
Rapp added that there are currently 16 inputs for controller, a “huge obstacle” for these kinds of issues. Basically, it’s not that easy to simply make controller players suddenly able to move while looting.
UI, code, and more is needed to make it happen. Unfortunately, it isn’t a top priority right now so it probably won’t get design support in the near future.
More keybind separation options on controller
Keybind separation is tricky, Larson echoed. Luckily developers are looking into ways to improve the interact system’s design, which will help Apex controller players in a lot of situations where they often get stuck pressing a button that may do two different things in certain situations, making controller play less efficient and reliable.
Aim assist tuning for Apex controller players
Larson said that developers hear the community “loud and clear” on this ongoing topic. There are variations between mouse and keyboard and controllers in PC lobbies that impact the game. Unfortunately, Larson said he can’t make any promises or provide specifics quite yet.
“I can say we’re actively evaluating it,” Larson added.
While some of these answers may not totally solve ongoing Apex controller problems in Apex Legends, it’s safe to say that Apex Legends developers are listening to community concerns. Many of the controller concerns require multiple teams to work on it, meaning it may not always be a priority in a live service game where other issues are also game-changing. Still, it’s safe to say that Larson and others are aware of the comments.