The Apex Legends cheating issues that have been plaguing the game since launch are finally beginning to dissipate, according to a report from developer Respawn Entertainment. Previously, Apex Legends had been struggling to preserve the integrity of its competitive matches, with blatant cheating occurring on a frequent basis and causing legitimate players to become increasingly frustrated by its presence.
Apex Legends has been quietly slinking back from the spotlight ever since its torrid release saw it on pace to outgrow Fortnite by virtually every metric, with many players departing after the cheating issues or an otherwise stagnant meta. Whereas games like Fortnite are frequent in their updates and the size of those changes, Apex Legends has been growing much more slowly, with only one new character and a disappointing Season 1 Battle Pass to show for its first three months out in the wilds of the battle royale genre.
While solving the Apex Legends cheating problem won't fix the game's lack of content, it will at least improve the title's actual gameplay significantly, especially for competitive players who felt their efforts were being wasted when tight mechanical prowess couldn't keep up with someone who had installed a hack that allowed them to fly across the map. In a developer update that took place over the weekend, Respawn community manager Jay Freshette (Jayfresh_Respawn on Reddit) shared that over 770,000 players had been banned for cheating so far, alongside 300,000 account creation blocks and 4,000 spammers getting the ban hammer as well. Thanks to all of this action from the anti-cheat measures, the number of matches (at least on the PC platform) that were affected by cheaters and spammers has dropped by over 50% since last month. Freshette also doubled down on Respawn's commitment to dealing with cheaters:
"We take cheating in Apex incredibly serious and have a large amount of resources tackling it from a variety of angles. It is a constant war with the cheat makers that we will continue to fight."
Freshette also stated that, while fans would probably like to know exactly what sort of measures are being taken to ensure the Apex Legends cheating issues continue to scale back, Respawn can't currently share them. Doing so would "give a head's up to the cheat makers," but Freshette once again implored fans to trust in the process that the developer has been enacting. Truthfully, a reduction of more than half the previous population of cheaters is more than enough to believe that Respawn may finally have this issue under control.
If it does, then it's likely time for the developer to turn its attention away from Apex Legends cheating and toward content updates. Although Fortnite's rapid growth and constant content updates seem to be the result of the gaming industry's crunch issues, they still unfortunately mean that contenders in the battle royale genre will have to at least attempt to replicate that kind of content output. While no one is expecting Apex Legends to match it perfectly, perhaps a balance can be found for Respawn to churn out a bit more meaningful content each season without overworking its development staff.