We are just over two weeks since EA Blessed us with Apex Legends, the game that has become the natural successor to force of nature that was Fortnite. Gamers have flocked to this game, with 25 million users and counting making it one of the most successful games to hit the market this year. Yet, while crisp gameplay and class-based battle royale will get most of us in the door, it is something else that keeps players readying up on a regular basis.
Part of the issue with battle royale games is getting matched up with players you don’t know. Most gamers consider themselves to be social in their own environment. Chatting with others is typically a helpful and useful experience, yet there is still something about talking to a complete stranger that most casual gamers need some getting used to. This is what makes the “ping” system that EA and Respawn have developed for Apex Legends such a wonderful and useful tool.
Communicating with other players is as easy as it is intuitive. Instead of attempting to communicate with a mic-less teammate, I can simply look at something and tell them what I’m doing or what I want them to do with a click of a button. I can tell them I need something, show them points of interest, direct them towards a potential threat, or show them where they can find helpful loot through my chosen character. What’s more is the ping system often knows what I’m trying to say to my team, so while I can be as specific as I want to be through a scroll wheel, I find myself not having to use it because the game often knows better than I do what I’m trying to say.
“I definitely like it, said one Rob Paradis, “I prefer voice communication, but I do like that you can quickly tell your squad mates, basically, anything, very quickly, without it hurting your play. Being able to point out anything is helpful too.”
My experience with Apex Legends’ ping system has shown less toxicity among other players. Certainly, the issue still shows itself at times. Lesser players are still told to quit, that they suck, or are reminded of their mother’s potentially questionable morals, but those instances seem to be fewer than playing, oh I don’t know, Black Ops IV (seriously, do better Activision).
To that end, I have spoken to female gamers and others who do not fit the mold of the alpha male gamer who are all incredibly appreciative of how the Apex Legends’ ping system does wonders for inclusion. They’ve all commented on how the ping system is not only helpful and safe, but should also be the gold standard for all battle royale games moving forward.
In speaking with BijouDemi, a prominent streamer and Twitch Partner she said, “Honestly, I’ve talked to a lot of other women gamers about it and it is life-changing and it’s so important. I never solo queue in any BR or team-based game anymore unless I’m playing Apex Legends. I absolutely love it.”
Instead of being judged by what your voice sounds like, you are simply your character. While this may have been an unintended benefit to making an intuitive ping system, it clearly is a welcomed byproduct. Players are allowed to let their play speak for itself without being afraid of being judged for things out of their control.
While it appears that Apex Legends is going to be part of our day-to-day for the foreseeable future, it appears that it will also have an impact on whatever comes next. Ping systems are nothing new to gaming. We have always been able to see, point, and click at something of interest in games. Yet EA and Respawn have provided gamers with a new language, a way of being clear and direct while also eliminating any of the guesswork.