Apex player finds minor effects can cause significant FPS drops

More reasons not to get shot.

Image via Electronic Arts

Freezes and crashes were frequent in Apex Legends after its launch and the game’s performance can still be inconsistent in areas with too many visual effects. But a player recently discovered that minor effects, such as not having full health, can also have an adverse impact on the game’s frame rate.

Other than taking damage, a series of actions and abilities will impact the game’s performance. The player posted a breakdown of their findings on Reddit yesterday.

The video was shot in the training range and shows a perfectly-still Pathfinder close to max health accompanied by an FPS counter on the left side of the screen. After healing to full health, the frame rate suffered a dramatic seven-percent increase, according to data compiled by the player.

The community speculated that the graphics bottleneck when not at full health can be caused by the red overlay that appears on a player’s HUD when they’re at low health.

“I think it’s triggered as soon as you’re below 100% HP and only changes opacity based on how much health you have,” the user said. “That said, it’s a way bigger performance hog than it has any right to be.”

Having less than 100 HP isn’t the only interaction that can impact the game’s performance, according to the player’s tests. Wielding a gun can slash up to 10 percent of your FPS and using a healing item can cause a 20-percent decrease in frame rate. Even skills with a theoretically low-performance drain, like Gibraltar’s Gun Shield and Mirage’s decoys, can drop precious frames.

Skills with evident visual effects cause the largest drop in performance. Bangalore and Gibraltar’s airstrikes can halve the frame rate, while getting caught in at least two Caustic traps can decrease it by 40 percent.

Although the data compiled by the player is specific to their hardware, the testing serves as a good measure to map what activities could be having a needlessly large impact on the game’s graphics. Respawn pushes hotfixes and quality of life improvements in its patches, so it’s possible that some of the frame rate drops can be fixed or at least mitigated.