New Apex Legends champion Octane grabbed the majority of the attention when the newest battle royale’s patch dropped earlier this week.
But the update brought something even more important than a new character and battle pass goals. Developer Respawn Entertainment finally introduced its much needed in-game report system. In the first few days since the system’s launch, the game developer reported that 500,000 accounts have already been removed from Apex Legends servers for cheating.
Over 50 million players have downloaded Apex Legends since its February release, breaking Fortnite’s previous record. The free-to-play title is not only popular with gamers and pro players, but also with hackers.
It all started with a hack that almost broke the title in competitive scenes. By simply manipulating some files, players were eliminating Bangalore’s smoke mechanics from the game. Apex Legends streamer Lucas “Mendokusaii” Hakansson made a video directed to Respawn Entertainment, begging the developer to address the issue.
Not long after that issue was raised, players started noticing an influx of speedhacks and aimbots. This is a problem that has plagued other free-to-play games in their early months, notably including Fortnite. But unlike Fortnite, Apex Legends did not seem to be effectively addressing the cheating issue.
In mid-February, Respawn Entertainment announced on Reddit that it had banned 16,000 accounts. Just a month later, the number was increased to 355,000. A few weeks after that, the number of bans has reached half a million.
Apex Legends’ original anti-cheat system lacked a much requested reporting system, which left players with only one option: Quit the match and then fill out a report form online. With the new patch, players can report hackers during the match and the report will be immediately sent to the Easy Anti-Cheat system. This addition to the game should help its community to better root out cheaters wherever they’re found.