Apex Legends’ tap-strafing will be patched out soon
Apex Legends‘ developers will patch out “tap strafing,” a form of player movement used mainly by PC gamers that allows them to make sharp turns to evade or counterattack less mobile opponents. Respawn Entertainment on Tuesday tweeted that the method would be eliminated with the next patch.
Tap-strafing refers to a difficult, mid-air turn that PC gamers have learned to make it easier for them on the field. It is a legal maneuver and not an exploit. Although gamepad users can tap-strafe technically, it is much easier to do with a keyboard and mouse setup. To help them tap-strafe or change direction with greater precision, PC users can also bind Apex Legends‘jump command to the scroll wheel of their mouse.
This YouTube Dazs how-to explains tap-strafing Apex Legends, and its utility:
Respawn stated that tap-strafing was “inaccessible” in Tuesday’s tweet. This is referring to certain players who play in a game that supports cross-platform play. Tap-strafing also “lacks readability/counterplay, and is exacerbated by movement abilities.” Octane’s Launch Pad ultimate (a jumping pad that anyone may use) takes on greater influence over a match when tap-strafing players use it and the double-jump it confers.
Respawn’s decision was met with jeering by Apex Legends players on the game’s subreddit. Some felt that tap-strafing’s inaccessibility for gamepad players was a trivial issue since PC players are matched by default with other PC users and not console players. (Some PC gamers may still use a gaming pad. Others called this effectively a nerf to PC players on the whole, who now face gamepad players with an aim assist they consider an unfair advantage, rather than a balanced accommodation.
The discussion was quickly joined by calls for input-based matchmaking, which would leave tap-strafing in while confining that ability to games where every player could use it equally. This seems unlikely as Respawn has in the past removed legal meta-techniques such as “zip-line spamming”, or “bunny hop healing” that they didn’t create.
Tap-strafing will end with patch 10.1, Respawn stated. However, the deployment date is not clear. Respawn typically issues midseason patches and the 10th season, Emergence, premiered on Aug. 3 and runs to Nov. 2, so a mid-September fix could be on the menu. Respawn already nerfed Season 10’s new character, Seer in an Omnibus Balancing Patch that ran out last week.