Apex Legends is one of the most popular multi-platform battle royale games available. Since its release in February, the game has grown to a player base of millions and remained one of the most watched games on Twitch. With players spread across Playstation, Xbox, and PC, many have been asking if Apex Legends will have cross-platform play since the game launched.
Cross-platform, or the ability to play with players on a different platform than you, is a commonly requested feature that, until recently, hasn't been possible. For years Sony has been notorious for rejecting the idea of cross-platform play, even when the other platforms agreed to make the change because it is what's best for the player.
The first cross-platform game between Sony and a competitor was actually Final Fantasy XI on the PlayStation 2 and PC. Despite this, Sony has refused to engage with Microsoft despite recent games like Rocket League and Fornite on cross-platform servers between Xbox, PC, and Nintendo Switch. Luckily, by the end of 2018, Sony reversed its stance on cross-platform, joining the competition and opening the door for other games, like Apex Legends to one day be cross-platform games.
Is Apex Legends Cross-Platform?
As of right now, Apex Legend is not a cross-platform game. If you are playing the game on PC, you will not be able to squad up or play against other players on PlayStation and Xbox. However, we know that this feature is in the works and has been since before the game even launched.
In an interview with Eurogamer shortly before the release of Apex Legends, developer Respawn said that adding cross-play to the game is inevitable, saying it had "plans to allow players to play with their friends on other platforms." The commitment to cross-play probably has a lot to do with Fortnite, Apex Legends' main competition in the battle royale genre.
Though it isn't in the game yet, we also know from Fortnite that adding cross-platform play isn't as simple as flipping a switch on: Respawn will need to work with its parent company EA to connect the disparate game servers through Origin, the EA client that supports the game on PC.
How Will Cross-Platform Work In Apex Legends?
Origin, the platform used to play Apex Legends on PC, will need to be implemented on consoles in order to manage account info, friends list, party invites, and all the tools necessary to make the game work between consoles.
Luckily, some of the features associated with Origin are on their way to consoles, indicating that we might be getting close to cross-platform play for Apex Legends. On July 24th, EA's subscription service EA Access will be coming to PlayStation, though, it's called Origin Access on PC. The service has been available for some time already on Xbox, so seeing it come to Playstation means we are getting closer and closer to a standard ecosystem for EA games between all platforms.
It is expected that you will need to log into an Origin account and that you may even need to manage your friends list and invites within Origin, rather than through the PlayStation and Xbox friends lists. With the next generation of consoles on the way in about a year, it wouldn't be surprising to see the PlayStation 5 and Xbox Scarlett launch with cross-play already enabled.
Will Apex Legends Have Cross-Save and Cross-Buy
Unfortunately, it seems that transferring your save data and purchases between consoles will never be a feature added to Apex Legends. In that same interview with Eurogamer, Respawn said this is "due to the way systems were set up early on" which "can't [be] reconciled after the fact."
This limitation is due to the fact that cross-play is a brand new standard for games, and with a future version of Apex Legends only really being updated ports, like the inevitable next-gen console version, we'll have to wait for a future title/sequel in order to potentially get cross-play and cross-buy.
This is particularly disappointing since Apex Legends is a free-to-play game, meaning many players enjoy playing the game on multiple platforms in their own home. You can play Apex in the living room on your Xbox, then, when it's someone else's turn to use the TV, move to your desktop and continue playing without the pain of having to purchase multiple copies of the game.
As great as it would be to carry your season progress and skins between platforms, we'll have to settle for simply being able to squad up with your friends no matter what platform you use to play on instead.
Which Platform Is The Best To Play Apex Legends On?
Once cross-play is in the game, you won't have to stick with PlayStation, PC, or Xbox just because that's where your friends like to play: you'll be able to choose the platform that best fits your needs and play with them all the same. However, which platform is the best choice for you?
Obviously, PC has a step above the competition, as upgraded hardware can improve frame rate and resolution, giving you an edge. PC players also have the benefit of using a mouse and keyboard, which for many offers a much more precise and reliable method for controlling shooters compared to controllers.
Even so, there are keyboard and mouse options for consoles, which you might expect would even the playing field. However, unfortunately, console players have some other limitations that PC players don't experience. For example, while looting a death box on PC, players have the ability to strafe left and right to avoid incoming gunfire. This is not the case on console; while looting, console players are locked in place. This presents a significant advantage for PC players that will most likely need to be addressed before cross-play can be fully implemented.
Hopefully, players will be able to cross-play in Apex Legends sooner, rather than later.