Relying on randomly-chosen teammates for matchmaking can be a slog in any competitive game—and Apex Legends is no exception. To mitigate the negative impacts of solo-queueing, Apex is introducing a guild-like feature in season seven: Clubs.
The goal is to let players “build relationships” and to foster team play in Apex by offering a new social tool that stimulates cooperation. Each Club can house a maximum of 30 members, at least in the beginning. But Respawn is open to feedback from the community and may adjust that number after launching the feature.
The idea of adding Clubs first came to Apex in the middle of season four, according to game designer Chad Armstrong. One of the goals of Clubs is simple: “keeping players engaged with their friends and helping them make new friends,” he said in a virtual press briefing. But implementing that idea isn't as easy as it might seem.
Clubs draw inspiration from Titanfall 2's network system, but transposing that feature to Apex isn't as easy as copying and pasting its design. Quickly-growing networks could reach thousands of members. This made them so noisy and disruptive that users started tuning them out, “which kind of defeats their purpose,” Armstrong said.
Clubs will start off with a 30-member maximum, but that number is open to change. “We'll be listening to the community and if the size of Clubs is something that we need to review, we will,” Armstrong said.
Balancing the numbers can be tricky, though. One of the challenges in bringing the feature to Apex is making sure it's not just an “extended friends list,” but an actual tool to help create relationships and find squadmates. “We feel Apex is at its best when you're playing with two people you know and operating as a squad,” Armstrong said.
Joining, creating, and moderating Clubs
When season seven launches on Nov. 4, players will be able to either search for an existing Club or create their own. Each Club can choose up to five tags that indicate the type of community and gameplay that users are looking for, from “Team Players Only” and “Experienced Players Only” to “Swearing OK” and “LGBTQIA+ Friendly.” A player can only be in one Club at any given time, so choose wisely.
Creating a Club is also a simple process. Players can choose a unique name and a non-unique, four-letter tag for their Club and browse through several parts to create a sigil. EA's filter applies to Club names and owners can be punished in the case of transgressions, but players may also report a Club if they find something wrong.
After joining a Club, players will have a tab that shows which members are online, as well as a dedicated chat room to communicate with anyone who's in the lobby (literally: the background of the Clubs menu is the Paradise Lounge, Mirage's bar in Solace City). Another social feature is the Timeline, a Club news feed that shows noteworthy events, such as a player joining or leaving, or players who placed well in a match—like getting first place in ranked.
Clubs have cross-platform enabled by default, which means that players from PC can squad up with clubmates from other platforms. They can also bring their friends to their mini-guild regardless of what platform they're on.
Admins don't have to moderate the Club single-handedly, either. They can give certain people moderator-like roles capable of changing tags, posting announcements, and removing troublesome users to help run the organization.
Clubs will go live in Apex when season seven, Ascension, takes off on Nov. 4.