Apex legend is a first-person shooter game developed by Respawn Entertainment in
2019. The game was published by Electronic Arts and released for Microsoft Windows,
PlayStation, and Xbox One. Apex legend consists of multi-players of up to twenty squads who
land in an island where different squads engage in combat (Biswas, 2020) . This case study aims
to discuss and analyze how the Apex Legends Ping system changed the meta in Battle Royale.
The study involves various sections, including the background study, challenges, solutions,
recommendations, and solutions. The challenges section analyzes the various issues related to the
game including servers & issues with skill-based matchmaking. The paper discusses the possible
solutions to some of the challenges of playing Apex legend and how Apex ping solved
significant challenges. The study also hopes to come up with recommendations to be
implemented to improve the gaming experience.
Drawbacks in the Gameplay
Like other multiple player games, Apex Legend faced a critical problem of finding ways
to communicate with teammates. This brought significant confusion, especially with
inexperienced players. Also, some players felt that they did not want active conversations with
random teammates in the squad. To solve these problems, the Apex Legends' Ping System was
formulated (Kain, 2019) . The system allows players to use non-verbal communication that
allows game controllers to communicate various directions with their squads. The directions
include weapon locations, geographical directions, enemies, and strategies. Squad-mates can
revive players who get knocked down while mates resurrect those who die if they collect their
respawn banner. The case study used purposive sampling to pick Apex legend over other games
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played. The game was selected based on its precise integration, system, and usefulness in
Another major challenge experienced in the game includes a lack of enough weapon
balance. There is a bizarre ammo spawn rate where there fights where players go without a
single gun despite looting several rooms and crates. This scenario should not happen in a game,
or if it happens, it should occur at low rates (Biswas, 2020). Also, there lacks enough Ammo in
the game. There are scenarios where a player builds enough ammo stocks, but in other cases, a
player dies due to insufficient clip's worth of Ammo. Another major setback to the gaming
experience is the lack of a reporting system. A game that relies on teammates should include a
reporting system in the application (Kain, 2019) . This would help users report any toxic partners,
griefers, among others. Trios are limited to a situation with either more than three partners or less
than three partners. It would be recommendable if the developers introduced features that would
encourage unspecified team members.
The game poses legend balancing issues where some feel very empowered while others
feel useless. Some have one power that is too strong, which does not work out well in the game,
such as the Pathfinder. The Pathfinder is scorned but has the least useful special powers. Like
other soft wares, many bugs continue to plaque Apex Legend after its launch in 2019. The first
bug witnessed in the game includes the "shooting while downed." The bug gave players an unfair
chance since they were unable to use their weapons when it occurred. The shooting bug made
players shoot at adversaries after they were dawned in combat (Biswas, 2020) . Another bug
witnessed in the game caused the revival of downed opponents who murdered a mirage decoy.
Legends such as Caustic could deal with damages even when knocked down with their lingering
traps. Dispatching a mirage clone revived the legends though with reduced shield. Another bug
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witnessed inhibited players from utilizing their frag grenades conveniently, Arc stars, and
thermites. The equipment failed to appeal in HUD due to the bug where pressing "G" failed to
equip the utility with a grenade. The Battle Pass Challenges failed to show up at weekly reset as
they ought to (Kain, 2019) . This bug caused the challenges to go missing when they reset were to
Skill-based matchmaking has been identified by many as among the controversial issues
currently facing Apex Legends which has been in place since Season 1. The framework of skill-
based matchmaking (SBMM) is evident, as players are being matched with other players who
have similar skills. However, most of audiences have a feeling that this type of approach should
only be applied in Ranked playlists, rather on standard public lobbies (Cabowse, 2020). In
essence, while the two playlists employ similar matchmaking, there exist no significant
differences in the two. For instance, fans have requested Respawn designers to reconsider their
perspective on SBMM, but such efforts tend to fall in deaf ears. Although the concept of skill-
based matchmaking has some beneficial impacts to players in that it provides opportunities for
new players to challenge other new players, thus helping them to learn more about the game; the
fact that highly experienced and skilled players have more challenge in their games; and middle
tier players tend to have few matches which are overrun by higher tier players, this creates a
balanced playing field to win and get budges, there are still significant drawbacks related to skill-
based matchmaking in Apex Legends (Cabowse, 2020). Highlighted below are some major
drawbacks related to skill-based matchmaking in Apex legends:
i. The process of skills evaluation is not always appropriate, implying that lower tier
players may be playing against higher tier players, making it hard to combat.
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ii. The skill-based matchmaking makes it hard for higher tier players to gain more casual
iii. The aspect of teaming with players that in lower skill tier indicate that they tend to be
playing in a lobby that is extremely complex for them.
iv. In skill-matchmaking scenario, more players tend to create more accounts so that they
can be included in easy games (Cabowse, 2020).
v. Based on the fact that higher tier lobbies tend to give similar rewards as lower lobbies,
there is no need for players being grouped in higher tier lobbies.
vi. Experienced lower skilled players get it hard to win and be rewarded in higher tier
lobbies. Much harder for experienced but lower skilled players to get wins and rare
badges in high tier lobbies.
Solutions to the Challenges
Due to the complexity of codes generated in game development, bugs inevitably occur
after the development phase is concluded. To reduce bugs' occurrence, the company ought to
increase product testing time to detect the errors. After the launch of Apex Legend, users
complained of various bugs that occurred in the system (Kain, 2019) . The first step in conducting
tests includes the collection of data required to perform testing. The development team should
ascertain the critical user commends and processes to ease the testing process. The second step
involves making test plans, which include the scope of testing. This step identifies the number of
people who will take part in the test, hardware, and software to be used. The third step involves
the execution of the test, where test plans, together with functionality, ought to match to
implement the test effectively (Biswas, 2020) . The fifth step manages defects with the data
storage system. This process aims to avoid duplication of defects discovered by the functionality
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teams. The nest step involves reporting test results where a summary of all test cases, execution
time, and progress are ascertained. The report should be presented clearly and simply for the
development team to understand. The last stage involves analysis where bugs and malfunctions
are detected and submitted to the development team.
The developers should also use automated game testing with ICARUS. The integrated
completion of adventure riddles via unsupervised solving (ICARUS) is a generic game solver
that solves adventure games' functionality. ICARUS is recommended since it allows the
integration of meaningful game actions since the bug solver interacts with the game environment
(Pfau, Smeddinck, & Malaka, 2017) . The system uses artificial intelligence and machine learning
to detect some malfunctions in a game. Time spent in an organization to identify bugs is reduced
since ICARUS naturally identifies integration problems. Additionally, the cost of running tests is
reduced because it replaces the large number of human resources used in testing. A study
conducted by Pfau et al. (2017) found the system helpful to the quality and assurance department
because it aids in the comparison of various game Iterations and hardware constellations.
ICARUS enables developers to concentrate on bugs instead of executing game sequences, which
saves on development time. The system identifies three types of errors, which include crashes,
blockers, and freezes. The probability of error blindness is high in discovering the bugs when
traditional testing methods are used compared to ICARUS (Pfau, Smeddinck, & Malaka, 2017) .
In relation to skill-based matchmaking issues, the developers of Apex Legends
should ensure that every player under the 50 level should be categorized in the default beginner’s
pool and no badges should be awarded in the beginner’s pool. Once players reach the 50 level,
they should be transferred to the casual pool and provided with privileges to unlock badges for
their skills (Cabowse, 2020). Whenever players reach the 100 level, they should be able to unlock
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the pro-poll lobbies and budges attained in the pro level should provide players with more
Due to the complexity of game development and use, various strategies should be used to
enhance the game application's development and usability. To begin with, Recommender
Systems should be used to reduce information overload for users. The systems assist
development teams in information filtering. The information filtering helps in the testing phase
since the Recommender system picks out the most useful information and eliminates the others.
The system helps in collections of data, analyzation of information, and in the user interface.
Recommender systems are not only useful in the testing phase but also in the implementation
and designing face of the gaming experience (Pfau, Smeddinck, & Malaka, 2017) . Test-driven
development enhances the user experience when interacting with various game legends. In Apex
Legend, the developer came out in many instances to assure users that they were solving the
experienced bugs. The case ought to be different if such strategies are implemented.
Further action should be taken concerning sourcing qualified developers. Experienced
developers have more expertise in dealing with the significant challenges identified in the study.
For example, experienced developers ought to come up with a solution to the game's limited
participants to make it an all-inclusive game (Biswas, 2020) . Additionally, competent staff will
increase the time taken to solve the significant burgs identified in the game. Respawn
Entertainment should ensure that the other game developments are free of bugs, and exhaustive
testing is conducted before testing to reduce user frustrations. The company should also ensure
the quality and assessment teams are thorough in authorizing software developers' system
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integration. Therefore, the company should take drastic measures within its departments to
ensure major malfunctions cease to occur, and in case they occur, they are solved in time.
In a nutshell, Apex Legend is a first-person shooter game developed by Respawn
Entertainment. To solve the multiple player problem, Apex Legends’ Ping System was
formulated. The system allows players to use non-verbal communication that allows game
controllers to communicate various directions with their squads. Apex Legend faces significant
challenges as highlighted above. The game has attracted significant critiques based on its
functionality, such as the existence of bugs. Many users have expressed frustrations in significant
malfunctions found in the game. Various strategies have been put in place to ensure the bugs are
solved, such as ICARUS systems. The system is useful in detecting bugs where developers are
saved on time. The company also derives benefits through cost cuts and efficiency. The
developers should also consider conventional bug identification methods that start with the
collection of data and end with the analysis of information collected where bugs are identified.
Recommender systems should be used in software development to reduce information overload.
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Cabowse, M. (2020). Skill based matchmaking – A review. Forum | EA Answers HQ |
Biswas, S. (2020). Apex legends reveal fix for a major in-game exploit . Retrieved from
Essentially Sports: https://www.essentiallysports.com/apex-legends-reveal-fix-for-a-
Kain, E. (2019). The 5 Biggest Problems With 'Apex Legends'. Retrieved from Forbes:
Pfau, J., Smeddinck, J. D., & Malaka, R. (2017). Automated Game Testing with ICARUS:
Intelligent Completion of Adventure Riddles via Unsupervised Solving. In CHI PLAY '17
Extended Abstracts: Extended Abstracts Publication of the Annual Symposium on
Computer-Human Interaction in Play (pp. 153–164).