Apex’s new ranked system makes life easy for boosters

The issue goes deeper than players looking for an easy exploit.

Image via Respawn Entertainment

Boosting is an issue that will always plague competitive games. There will always be players who want to advance in rank or prestige in the easiest way possible, and will find ways to cut as many corners as possible. This is also true of Apex Legends, where a boosting technique involving the game’s mobile respawn beacon is running rampant on the ranked ladder in season 11.

The mobile respawn beacon boost is relatively easy and a safer way to cheat the system than more straight-forward hacking or teaming up with another squad against a lobby. Those methods are usually easier to spot and report. The mobile respawn trick entails two teams getting into the same game with each other, arranging a meeting spot, and then finding a crafting station, usually away from enemy players. Once there, the teams craft as many mobile respawn beacons as they can, before taking turns killing players on the other team. Both teams make sure to leave at least one player on either side alive, who respawn the fallen players, and the teams repeat the process to farm kills.

YouTuber kauzey uploaded a video of two teams abusing the mobile respawn beacon exploit (clip starts at 1:21):

This isn’t a new exploit. The crafting system in Apex has been around since season six, and mobile respawn beacons have been in the regular crafting rotation since that time. Previously, however, the mobile respawn exploit was only useful for farming kill and damage badges. That changed, however, when Respawn changed the way its ranked system functions.

Basically, for almost the entire lifespan of Apex’s ranked system, players could earn more points in games where they accrued more kills, but there would be a cap to how many kills would actually count towards ranked points gained at the end of the game. This incentivized players to not only go for kills, but also survive until the end of the game, since winning the game with the maximum amount of kill points was the only way to gain the most ranked points. 

At the beginning of season 11, however, the ranked system changed from a kill cap to a point cap system. There is still a cap on how many points kills can generate, but that cap is tied instead to the amount of maximum ranked points a player can get from kills alone (that maximum being 175 points). Essentially, the ranked ladder became much easier to climb simply by virtue of getting as many kills as possible, and placement became not as important. Hence, players from enemy squads started teaming up to farm kills, making sure everyone gets as many kill points as possible, and guaranteeing both teams always leave games with positive RP.

Some players have suggested removing the mobile respawn beacon from the crafting rotation, which would stop this particular method of boosting. But the ranked system itself seems to encourage this style of boosting, and given how many pros and streamers didn’t like the ranked changes to begin with, it’s safe to say there are multiple issues that Respawn will need to look at in the near future if the development team wants to maintain any competitive integrity in the ranked system.