Apex Legends wants you to stop hiding from each other

Respawn Entertainment wants you to stop hiding from one another in the closing rings of matches, so it’s aiming to force more direct encounters to stop ratting.

Apex Legends season 18 idling - Mad Maggie raises a fist, her teeth clenched in a disdainful sneer.

Apex Legends players, it’s time to get your act together. Developer Respawn Entertainment says that it has noticed players in both ranked Apex Legends and high-level pro play are spending too much time avoiding one another and not actually fighting, so it’s introducing changes to the battle royale game to try and bring players closer in Apex Legends Season 18.

You know how it goes. The ring closes in, you’re trying to pinpoint the remaining squads, and you start to worry that they might have the edge on you. Having the CAR and Peacekeeper seemed like a great idea when you were in more built-up areas of the map, but this final zone is rather open, and you’re now realizing that your loadout and team comp aren’t particularly well-suited to the upcoming showdown.

So you wait. After all, what’s more powerful than the classic ‘third man’ strategy – just wait for the other teams to spot each other and engage, then pick your moment carefully and clean up the survivors. Easy. Problem is, the other teams have likely had the same idea as well; something that’s only exacerbated as players attempt to gain as many points as possible for surviving right to the final moments.

“While exciting endgames are happening,” Respawn says in a blog post, “there is room for improvement with the recent increase of ratting.” ‘Ratting,’ as the post explains, refers to the more extreme examples of players focusing on careful ring positioning, avoiding enemy players and in many cases standing outside the ring to delay interactions for as long as possible (just like a sneaky rat that stays outside your view, you see).

Apex Legends season 18 - graph showing 'time spent idle during match' through seasons 16 and 17.

“Hiding and avoiding firefights isn’t a rewarding way to play Apex Legends,” Respawn notes. Honestly, I have to say I agree. I’m notoriously bad at getting very defensive in any single-life game, fearful of losing my one chance at victory, but all those underwhelming finishes are nothing compared to going out in a blaze of glory, even if you end up on the wrong side of it.

As such, Apex Legends Season 18 is going to try and combat ratting a bit. Respawn is adjusting ring timings to encourage players into more encounters in the mid-game, along with tuning the damage dealt outside the ring to better enforce that players stay inside of it rather than lurking beyond the outskirts. It’s also been hard at work fixing several notorious ratting spots that are too well-suited for holing up in and nestling away as the clock ticks down.

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Hopefully that should encourage you to get into the action and claim that victory proactively. Respawn says “more [changes] are coming in future seasons to address the core gameplay issues around inactivity and avoidant playstyles.” Time to hit the practice range, then.

As we head into Season 18, Respawn is teasing that Apex Legends Revenant rework we’ve all been waiting for. Make sure you’re up to date on all the best Apex Legends skins so that you look good on that winner’s podium.