Apex Legends’ ping system is now ‘patent-free’ for accessibility

It's a step forward for all gamers.

Image via Respawn Entertainment

EA has announced that the patent behind the Apex Legends ping system is now openly available to its competitors in the name of accessibility.

EA recently announced its Patent Pledge, which gives other companies and developers “free access to all its accessibility-related patents and technology,” according to a press release. The open patents include those related to Apex‘s ping system, which allows players to communicate a variety of commands and statements without having to use voice or text chat. The ping system is especially helpful to players with cognitive impairments since the simple symbols and directions make it easier for them to communicate intent with teammates, according to NintendoLife.

Besides helping the impaired, the ping system helps to reduce toxicity. It’s harder for players to be toxic if they communicate solely through “go here” and “looting here” markers. All of this technology will be free and available to other developers to build on, which EA hopes will result in “features that make video games more inclusive.”

In addition to the ping system, other accessibility functions released in the patents include the ability to adjust color and contrast for visually-impaired players in FIFA and Madden NFL and audio-based technology for the hearing-impaired. Developers will be able to implement and improve on technology that assists colorblind players and tweaks brightness within games.

Though players won’t be able to engage with EA’s Patent Pledge directly, they’ll certainly feel its effects in increased accessibility options across the gaming world in the years to come. It’s truly a win for all gamers.