'Apex Legends' banned more than 350,000 players for cheating during its first month online

EA/Respawn Entertainment‘Apex Legends’ is wildly popular, gaining more than 50 million players in its first month.
  • “Apex Legends” has banned more than 355,000 players for cheating since the game was released on February 4, 2019.
  • Because “Apex Legends” is a free game, many of those players could be repeat offenders, but the game’s creator, Respawn, says it’s working with experts to develop new methods to deal with cheaters.
  • Other popular battle royale games have had issues with third-party hacks and cheaters too; “Fortnite” sued a pair of YouTubers for selling cheat software last year.

“Apex Legends,” the popular new battle royale shooter from Electronic Arts and Respawn Entertainment, has banned more than 355,000 players for cheating since the game was released on February 4, 2019, according to a community update posted on Reddit.

Respawn said it is working with internal specialists from Electronic Arts and third-party experts to develop new methods for dealing with cheaters moving forward; “Apex Legends” will be introducing a report feature for players to flag suspicious activity, and Respawn will invest in more staff members for its anti-cheat team.

“We are working on improvements to combat cheaters and we’re going to have to be pretty secretive about our plans. Cheaters are crafty and we don’t want them to see us coming,” Respawn Community Manager Jay Frechette wrote on Reddit.

Read more: “Apex Legends” reaches 50 million players in one month

Because “Apex Legends” is a free game, many of those banned could be repeat offenders. Respawn said it’s also looking for ways to punish players who repeatedly join three-player squads in “Apex,” spam messages in the in-game chat, then leave at the start of the match. Because “Apex” doesn’t allow players to join in mid-match, these spammers leave regular players without a teammate for the entire round.

“Apex Legends” certainly isn’t the only game having problems with cheaters. Last year, the creators of “Fortnite,” the most popular game in the world, sued a pair of YouTubers for promoting and selling cheat software. Another popular Battle Royale game, “PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds,” has banned more than 13 million accounts for cheating, and players submit more than 10 million reports of suspicious activity every day.

With millions of players worldwide and dozens playing in the same match at any given time, battle royale games are particularly vulnerable to cheaters. A lone player using hacks can mow down dozens of unsuspecting rivals, ruining a match in the process. Less obvious cheaters will wait until the end of game to steal victory with their unfair competitive advantage.

Though nobody wants to play with cheaters, the 355,000 accounts banned from “Apex Legends” represent less than 1% of the 50 million registered players who have tried the game. Respawn is working to eliminate cheating entirely, and “Apex Legends” will continue to rollout improvements in the coming months.

“Apex Legends” is available for free on PC, PlayStation 4, and Xbox One.

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