Apex Legends community manager and Respawn Entertainment employee Jayfresh_Respawn recently revealed that the next target for bans would be players exploiting "piggy-backing," but some community members are worried that the new practice could incidentally target people who are innocent. Apex Legends cheating issues have plagued the game since its launch back in February, but Respawn has been taking proactive steps in eliminating the most egregious practices and has reported strong progress in that regard.
Just recently, Respawn proudly announced that its anti-cheating measures had seen Apex Legends cheating reports drop by over 50% in games. That same announcement also indicated that over 700,000 players had been flagged for cheating and seen their accounts banned. While that many cheaters might seem like an over-bearing issue, it's important to remember that the Apex Legends playerbase is currently over 50 million people, which means that even 1 million cheaters would only represent 2% of the game's total population. Still, Respawn has been active in trying to reduce that number drastically, leading to more efforts like the one that Jayfresh_Respawn announced over the weekend.
In a post on Reddit, Jayfresh_Respawn revealed several different updates that would be coming to Apex Legends, none of which was more controversial than the one that will be targeting a practice the developer has labeled as piggy-backing. Piggy-backing, according to Respawn, is:
"When a player drafts off other players in the squad to carry them to a good position and level up faster but doesn't actually participate in the match [meaning they never collect a weapon, fire a shot, don't deal any damage, etc]
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 behavior...this change will not be immediate but wanted to give a heads up to players so you can adjust that behavior."
According to the game's community manager, the practice will result in temporary bans for players believed to have been engaging in piggy-backing, although it was also reported that extreme cases could lead to permanent bans as well. On the surface, that change looks good — it's yet another way for Respawn to limit the amount of cheating or exploiting that happens within its game, and it will cause matchmaking to be smoother as a result.
The community was quick to point out how the new measures might just make the issues worse, or in the most likely scenario, create almost no change whatsoever. Players suggested that piggy-backers would simply discover the minimum amount of participation to avoid a ban, and if that becomes something that Apex Legends flags for potential exploitation, then it could also lead to false temporary bans for worse players as a result. Instead, players have suggested Respawn should change the way XP is given, reducing the amount given for surviving — the practice that allows piggy-backing in the first place — and instead rewarding players for kills and other active, focused elements of the game.
While many of the changes to Apex Legends have been positively received, the latest anti-cheating measure seems to be a miss for most fans. Given how active Respawn Entertainment has been in attempting to refine and preserve its game's integrity and play experience, however, the community's suggestions might soon bring about a more radical and welcome change to the way Apex Legends rewards XP and avoids piggy-backing.