Update July 3, 4:38 PM ET: While EA, Respawn, and Microsoft have not commented or provided further updates on the issue, I’ve found a workaround that resolves the issue, at least for Xbox players using the Xbox Elite Wireless Controller Series 2 with the instructions from this Reddit postand detailed below.
Last week, EA’s battle royale shooter Apex Legends launched a “collection event”, which is short for a temporary lineup that usually involves players purchasing some cosmetic items from the in-game store. The only problem is that this time the massive update has made the game almost unplayable for many people on consoles.
Without warning, the Battle Royale shooter’s usually tight and responsive controls – a well-known amount for Respawn Entertainment games ever since Fall of the Titans and a reflection of his Duty heritage – slow, laggy and often unresponsive. Worse, simply playing the game can make your control inputs feel altered, even in the dashboard and while using other games; restarting the console seems to fix this problem. Players have found a way to reliably address the issue by rolling back firmware on certain Xbox wireless controllers that I’ve confirmed works and you can read on to find the steps to do so.
We continue to investigate reports of input delays experienced by some Xbox players. Thank you for your patience as we work to resolve this.
— Respawn (@Respawn) June 27, 2022
Players on Xbox Series X consoles seem to complain the most, especially when paired with one of Microsoft’s Elite gamepads. Without any specific information as to what the problem is I can only describe what I experienced which is a combination of delay as well as input failure detection which can make it difficult to do things like use burst firearms, change direction, or even pick up objects from the ground. After trying it out for a bit over the weekend, I noticed that input lag was the most of the problem when playing on Xbox Series X and Series S, with both an Elite 2 gamepad and newer Xbox series gamepads that include the share button .
Acknowledgment of the issue by developers is limited to: a few from reply tweets last week and on a Monday afternoon saying the team is continuing the investigation† However, not everyone who plays the game follows their official Twitter account or digs into answers to find the initial explanations, leaving many players in the dark about what could be going on while trying to play a competitive shooter. with controls that just don’t work.
I’ve said it many times, but I really like Apex, it has elements that keep bringing me back, but I’m pretty much done. Respawn shows no interest in listening to the majority of its player base, only high profile streamers or “pros” get their vote and the changes they cry about aren’t what’s best for the Apex community. I know I can’t be alone with this feeling. #Apex #apexisdying #devsdontcare #xbox
♬ original sound – Linkavich
As it is, people who play the game are left to discover the problem for themselves and pass on possible solutions. I’ve tried some like updating the controller firmware or not updating or connecting the pad with USB instead of playing wirelessly. † Of those, plugging in the gamepad seemed to help a bit, but it still wasn’t as responsive as it used to be. What I saw matched some reports posted on Reddit where plugging in the device seemed to resolve the input fail detection issue without fixing the lag and stuttering. This post shows how, after playing Topthey experienced input lag throughout the system on the dashboard and in other games, which I also noticed.
While there have been no updates from EA, Respawn, or Microsoft as to what caused the problem, players seem to have found at least one thing that mitigates the problem. For folks who have a second-generation Elite gamepad, rolling back the controller to an Xbox One version of the controller’s firmware for some reason restores the inputs to a playable state. I’ve tried this myself, and while the issue is so hard to spot that I can’t tell if it’s been completely resolved, the game felt noticeably better and is fully playable.
This Reddit post has the instructions on what to do, and following it solved the problem of input lag while playing Apex Legends on my Xbox Series X and Xbox Series S consoles. You’ll need a PC with Windows 10 or 11 (if you’re using a Mac, installing Windows in Boot Camp should work), on which you can install the Xbox Accessories app from the Microsoft Store.
Once you have it, simply use a USB cable to connect the Elite 2 controller. Then you don’t use the app itself, because it doesn’t have a built-in button for the function you need. Instead, open the Windows Run menu (you can do this by pressing the Windows key on your keyboard and the letter r at the same time) and type in this entire string, without anything else around it:
Press the OK button. Then the app will open and ask you to confirm if this is what you want to do. Say yes by pressing the button shown above labeled “Revert Firmware”, and it will install the older firmware on the controller. When you use your gamepad with your Xbox, it will tell you that a newer update is available. You can skip that by pressing the Xbox button on the controller and play normally, and if it works like it does on my system, you should have a much better experience, and I didn’t notice any issues with other games either.
My Halo Edition Elite Wireless Controller Series 2 showed version 5.13.3143.0 when updated to the most recent firmware available. After using the downgrade command to restore the firmware, the version was listed as 4.8.1908.0.
I’ve tried the same process on two standard Xbox Wireless controllers, both newer models with the Share button. The software would not allow a rollback with the command, and trying to play Apex Legends with either still showed input lag. One is updated to the latest firmware available (5.13.3146.0) while the other has an older version (5.11.3118.0).
Oddly enough, this may not be the only game with this issue on Xbox because MLB The Show 22 players have complained about similar issues, but it was one that didn’t exist in Apex Legends prior to last week’s update.
The just-launched Awakening event offers the opportunity to replay the much-loved Control mode, which is also an opportunity for new or new players to give the game’s characters a spin in a more forgiving deathmatch-esque setting than the default. Battle Royale or 3v3 arena options of the game.
It has also modified one of the game’s original characters, Lifeline, with more healing abilities to go along with a specific section on the World’s Edge map dedicated to her and, for those who collect all of its items, access to a special heirloom for the Valkyrie character. The developers have also announced some long-awaited changes to the game’s ranked system that will come into effect soon. It would all be great if just playing the game on Xbox wasn’t such a painful experience, which feels like an insult added to the injury after last week’s update also cutting Xbox players for hours in the morning† For some reason, the new version of the game started downloading to consoles early, and since the servers weren’t ready yet, that meant you couldn’t play this online-only game at all, even trying to run it on Xbox. launching was enough to start the update.
Meanwhile onward Apex Legends Mobile (which was developed by a separate team), players have more than just working servers and controls. They will have access to a legend that is exclusive to mobile, as well as features that players have been asking for in the main game. That includes abilities added to characters like the thief Loba, who can grab respawn banners for vanquished teammates with her ultimate ability, or the “holographic trickster” Mirage who sends out decoys that resemble his teammates instead of just himself.
Of Top Hit on the platform I usually use (and where I’ve unlocked a lot of in-game items), I tried out the mobile version. It’s not quite enough to hit the spot – even if you’re using a real controller via Bluetooth – but I appreciate what the team behind it have been able to achieve. At the moment it just reflects where the base game fails, both in terms of usability and communication about whatever the problem is.
The downside of the available fix is that I can only confirm this works with Elite 2 gamepads, I’ll test it with other controllers and see if it works on them too, but so far the reports have been mixed. A workaround that requires scrolling through update menus, and a $179.99 controller isn’t a solution at all, even if it works for now. Respawn has released a patch since the last update, but as far as anyone can see, it doesn’t fix the input problem on its own, and the only noticeable change is a new $5 tier to buy in-game currency.
And, as some people who have commented on this post on social media have pointed out, this isn’t even the only problem facing us. Apex Legends currently – in-game audio seems to be broken more than usual, Loba’s teleportation bracelet fails more often than it works, player voice communication on Xbox is almost completely useless with compressed and choppy audio, plus various complaints about the matchmaking, hit registration, scoring for ranked play and more. Some people have called for a boycott of the game in August to make changes.