The Apex Legends community and developers have become embroiled in a heated debate about movement in the game. Fans of the battle royale wold prefer a certain advanced technique stays in, but Respawn seems dead set on removing it.
Movement is a massive part of the gameplay in Apex Legends, with many Legends' special abilities specifically being for movement enhancement. Since release, players have discovered unintended and advanced techniques to gain an edge on their opponents including the most recent point of controversy: tap-strafing.
As John Larson of Respawn lays out in a TwitLonger post, the decision to remove tap-strafing from Apex Legends is not as extreme as it seems. The intention is to reduce the sudden movement change but still leave lots of room for high-level players to continue using high-level techniques. The argument is that Apex Legends should strive to achieve as close a parity as possible between keyboard and controller setups, and tap-strafing is much more difficult on controllers. This is not just meant to cater to controller players, however; the decision also comes from a readability perspective, as it can be difficult to know when a player will tap-strafe and make decisions to compensate for such a movement.
Larson goes on to make the argument that mobility creep is an important issue in the game, and that too many movement options will make the game much more difficult to learn. Legends such as Octane are consistently popular in competitive Apex Legends because of their high movement potential, and Legends with movement abilities eclipsing other characters is a legitimate balancing concern. Each Legend has advantages and disadvantages to their use, but Larson argues that a character's viability should not come down to just the movement.
The argument is well-intentioned, but the debate rages on with players. The issue of tap-strafing is not so much a removal of a high-level technique as it is the intersection with legitimate accessibility concerns, making Apex Legends much more difficult for all players. Even without tap-strafing, there are many intricate movement options that can be used for very impressive and Apex Legends flashy kills.
Overall, the decision to remove tap-strafing from Apex Legends remains controversial among the community. John Larson provides compelling reasons for its removal, however, and in the process gives a clear picture of how Respawn approaches balancing these unintended mechanics. Even if the future of tap-strafing is grim, it ultimately appears that the game in general will be more fair for all players in the end, and Respawn is dedicated to adding new content to keep it interesting.
Apex Legends is available now for PC, PS4, Switch, and Xbox One. Android and iOS versions are currently in development.