Here’s the simplified breakdown of how the Apex Legends developers solved a recent audio issue. A single gun was to blame.

The developers of Apex Legends recently shared some insights into the audio issues that have plagued the game for some time and got worse with the release of Season 16: Revelry. In brief, a single line of code in a weapon caused this long-lasting Apex Legends audio issue.

What was the issue?

The fanbase and pros in the competitive scene have been candid and vocal about their experiences with these bugs. Recently, NRG's Christopher "sweetdreams" Sexton tweeted about his frustration. He made a call to action for everyone to like his tweet. This audio glitch is posing a real issue for these pro players as it has affected their tournaments and potential earnings.

On the off chance that you haven’t experienced the no-audio glitch yet in Apex Legends, here are some clips from recent Apex Legends Global Series (ALGS) matches in which the audio error occurred.

The Respawn developers shared a post in the Apex Legends subreddit earlier today to address these concerns.

The full post is interesting, especially for any fans looking for insights into the development of their favorite game. However, we’ll give you a simplified breakdown here.

The simplified developer post

According to the developers, we can blame the new Nemesis gun for our increased audio issues in Season 16.

“A single line of code was identified to be the root cause of the issue.”

The Apex Legends developers on the Season 16 audio issues

Basically, Apex Legends servers use a “start/stop” command system for certain visual and audio cues in the game. Things like abilities, loot, weapons, and other players all have visual and audio effects that the server processes at the same time. However, the system is only able to process a certain number of these effects at one time. In fact, this limit is apparently 128 entries for every server frame. The developers found that something has been overloading that system.

Further investigation revealed the Nemesis to be the culprit. The unique way the Nemesis works, with a ramp up system that increases damage the more you shoot, also has its own audio cue for this charge up. Obviously, an uncharged Nemesis doesn't make that sound, but the way the code worked previously means that an uncharged Nemesis constantly uses a “stop” effect. The more players running around with an uncharged Nemesis in their back pocket caused the server to overload with effect requests, which caused other effects to simply not play.

The Nemesis AKA the saboteur (Screenshot via Respawn Entertainment)
The Nemesis AKA the saboteur (Screenshot via Respawn Entertainment)

This issue happened more frequently in higher-ranked games, as more high-level players use the Nemesis. According to the developers, “14 clients with a Nemesis running at 180fps would be enough to cause FX to begin being dropped.” The post also explained that it took them some time to find this audio issue since their test plays did not have enough Nemesis weapons in play all at once. Additionally, according to the Apex Legends developers, just one minute of players playing Apex Legends is equal to 10 testers playing for an entire year.

"An aside on testing and opportunities to identify "rare" bugs: a minute of players playing Apex is the equivalent of 10 testers playing the game for a year!"

The Apex Legends developers on the Season 16 audio issues

What happens now?

The fix for this Nemesis issue was implemented last Tuesday, April 25. According to the developers, it's now so far so good. They also acknowledged that this may not address every audio issue the game is currently having. However, it does alleviate this particular issue and will help in the long run.

It’s fantastic that the developers at Respawn are sharing such detailed information with the community. We can definitely all appreciate Respawn for their openness and hard work in improving our favorite game!

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