Olivia R. April 26, 2019
Apex Legends players can now send voice messages to their teammates without using a microphone. This wasn't possible on the Xbox One and PlayStation 4 versions until now.
Before the communication update, players could only send messages by temporarily leaving the game to write a message to another player. This would also require that the player receiving the message to temporarily leave the game to check the message's contents. This was not ideal for a fast-paced game like Apex Legends, where communication is key.
Now, sending an in-game message will result in the text being read out loud to teammates wearing headsets. This is accomplished by holding down the view button on the Xbox One controller or the PS4 controller's touchpad. This will result in a keyboard popping up.
Unfortunately, this type of communication still takes valuable time. Players will most likely only utilize this option for simple statements like "help" or "need ammo." Even though it's not a perfect solution, this is actually more than most games offer to players with audio-related disabilities. In addition to the game's ping system, these underserved gamers will have more ways to communicate and coordiante with their teammates than ever before.
Are there any other changes coming to Apex Legends?
While this was a much-needed change, fans have been broadly concerned with the lack of updates within Apex Legends. They have expressed that this may be the reason the battle royale is beginning to slowly dwindle in Twitch views and search interest. Developer Respawn Entertainment's CEO Vince Zampella responded to these concerns by confirming that the team will continue to update the game seasonally.
Each Apex Legends season lasts around three months.
The main reason for this decision is to avoid overworking the team's staff. It's unclear if Zampella was referencing the recent controversy surrounding Epic Games' Fortnite team. The game developer has allegedly been allowing, and at time encouraging, employees to work up to 100 hours a week to keep up with Fortnite's need for constant updates.
Even though Respawn isn't planning to amp up their rate of game updates any time soon, they do want to improve the frequency of their communication with the game's community. At the GamesBeat Summit 2019, Zampella admitted that they have been quieter than they'd like to be because of the game's popularity beating "internal expectations" from the very beginning.