PC players aren’t going to be happy about this one.
Apex Legends’ tap-strafing mechanic will be removed in Patch 10.1, Respawn announced today. The mechanic allows mouse and keyboard players to quickly change directions after a slide jump, which Respawn believes is “inaccessible, lacks readability/counterplay, and is exacerbated by movement abilities.”
It’s unclear when Patch 10.1 will go live, but Respawn usually deploys a midseason update that balances anything particularly egregious. Tap-strafing appears to have caught Respawn’s eye because it gives certain players a huge advantage on the battlefield.
To pull off the mechanic, many PC players bind their “move forward” command to the scroll wheel. This allows players to spam forward while slide-jumping and air-strafing, providing incredible mobility and rapid turns. This can be used in tandem with wall jumping to bamboozle your opponents or lead to a quick getaway.
With tap-strafing only accessible to PC players, Respawn likely wants to even the playing field for less-experienced players and console users. But PC players immediately drew connections to console players reaping the benefits of aim assist, which helps them lock on to their target when using a controller.
Apex pro Nokokopuffs replied that it was the “shittiest decision ever made,” for example. NiceWigg wondered if removing the scroll wheel tap-strafing was an option, rather than cutting the mechanic entirely. And former League of Legends pro Dyrus said “rest in peace apex actually killed by its devs once again.”
Since Respawn claims the decision was made “after much consideration and debate,” it was likely a heavily discussed topic. The devs will offer a “more detailed note” about the mechanic’s removal in the next patch notes.