Respawn has revealed plans to ban Apex Legends players who intentionally don't participate in matches, but instead "piggyback" onto the efforts of their teammates just to farm rewards and XP.

Updating players on Reddit, Respawn community manager "Jayfresh_Respawn" detailed what progress the team has made so far on the Update to Apex Legends blog post EA shared last month. Amongst the bugs and gitch information, Jayfresh noted Respawn had received feedback from players about the piggyback practices, and was exploring how best to mitigate it.

"We had been seeing some feedback from players around this and have been doing some internal investigations looking at game data to understand how many of the matches being played are affected by this behaviour," Jayfresh said.

"After looking at the data and internal discussions, we've decided that in the future we'll start instituting temp bans for players that exhibit piggy-backing behaviour and extreme cases could lead to a permanent ban. This change will not be immediate but wanted to give a heads up to players so you can adjust that behaviour."

While Jayfresh didn't specify when the patch might roll out, they did clarify that work was ongoing to resolve the hitbox issue, as well as the "slow-mo" glitch that occasionally makes playing Apex feel like you're wading through treacle.

"We know that it affects some datacenters more than others, it happens on many different server configurations, and it doesn't seem to hit multiple server instances running on the same machine," the community manager explained. "In other words, it's not that a machine is overloaded and everything on it is running too slow - it's that one instance on the same machine seems to be doing more work than the others, and we're trying to nail down what work it's doing and work backwards to understand the root cause."

Elsewhere, Respawn has been able to isolate and "locally fix" instances of incorrect hit registration, and concludes the problem chiefly relates to "mismatches between the way the game client and server pose characters in their animations, but also caused by various other factors". While the developer hasn't been able to completely eradicate the issue, it believes the incoming fix "will help weed out many of the less severe issues people are noticing, which will help [Respawn] understand more about whatever bugs may be remaining".

The Fortified bug - "an issue that came up in the balance changes we made to Gibraltar and Caustic" - will be resolved in the next patch, though, and an survey of the game's servers has resulted in some machines being removed following the identification of faulty hardware. The team also believes it's mostly suppressed issues with dropping/stuttering audio, but for now, Respawn is still keen for you to bring audio bugs to their attention.

"We are continuing to profile our servers to catch hitches, persistent slow-mo, and other game quality issues," Jayfresh concluded. "We have a few server optimizations rolling out but there are many more areas of work left and as we identify these, we will be rolling out optimizations and fixes and keeping players updated."

EA recently reported its fourth quarter results, and amongst the business jargon was confirmation that the publisher has plans to bring Apex Legends to mobile devices and China.

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Vikki Blake

Vikki Blake

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When​ ​her friends​ ​were falling in love with soap stars, Vikki was falling in love with​ ​video games. She's a survival horror survivalist​ ​with a penchant for​ ​Yorkshire Tea, men dressed up as doctors and sweary words. She struggles to juggle a fair-to-middling Destiny/Halo addiction​ ​and her kill/death ratio is terrible.