Apex Legends isn’t going to overhaul its source engine like CS2, dev says

Never say never.
Apex Legends player using a zip-line
Image via Respawn Entertainment

Apex Legends won’t be getting the Counter-Strike 2 treatment anytime soon according to a Respawn developer response in a Reddit AMA this week. 

Changing Apex’s current engine entirely would require too much from the team of developers at Respawn. An engine overhaul would “pull critical resources from supporting the live game,” according to the developers, making the possibility of a gameplay change of that scale impossible for the time being. If they were to focus on an engine upgrade it seems seasonal changes and patches would likely suffer as a result.

Apex Legends player using a sniper rifle in game
Imagine this on the new engine. Image via Respawn Entertainment

While this may be disappointing to a collection of fans, the quote doesn’t rule it out completely. The Respawn dev claimed the team has no plans to shift Apex to a new engine for the foreseeable future, meaning there is always a chance down the line. At the beginning of 2023, the Respawn developers shared their intention to keep Apex running for 20 years; so an eventual engine change isn’t completely out of the question.

Players have been questioning whether Respawn would follow the same trajectory as fellow shooter CS2 for quite some time. CS2’s shift to the Source 2 engine immediately sparked theories from the Apex player base, and this developer revelation hasn’t quelled suspicions. Players immediately probed the Respawn developer’s response in the late November AMA. Despite ruling out an entire engine overhaul, players believe there’s always a chance the developers could still upgrade certain facets.

As for whether an engine upgrade would be successful for Apex in its current state, it’s difficult to determine. The announcement of the Source 2 update for CS:GO originally brought in a surge in player count, leaping its concurrent count by almost 300,000 gamers in the span of a few months. However, since its August 2023 peak, CS2’s player count has dropped consistently to the state it was in before the Source 2 reveal. A series of poorly received updates and changes likely contributed to this drop, and this likely provides Apex with the perfect blueprint of how to and how not to release a massive engine update. 

The Source 2 update provided Valve with an entirely new canvas for which to tinker and improve as they saw fit without the limitations of the prior engine. Whether Respawn believes it’s time for Apex to make the leap, is likely dependent on when they think they need to.

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Author
Harrison Thomas
CS:GO, Overwatch, and Valorant Staff Writer - Played CS:GO since 2012 and keep a close eye on other titles. Give me a game and I'll write about it. Ranks are private information. Contact harry@dotesports.com