Opinion – Apex Legends combats toxicity through non-verbal communication


How many times have you found yourself muting a random person online because they wouldn’t stop being toxic? Success in multiplayer titles usually hinged on communication. The issue is that some people are only there to troll and talk trash, preventing you from concentrating on the objective at hand. The shitty part is, these people can be on your team, so it makes sense logically that you would mute them. This however, causes further issues because when teamwork ultimately breaks down, it’s because all communications has stopped.

Apex Legends, the new Battle Royale game from Respawn Entertainment, in which squad communication is a must, has practically perfected the art of non-verbal communication. Pinging, which is mostly used in other titles to identify enemies or points of interest, is a primary feature in Apex and is incredibly useful whether or not you use a mic. You can literally ping everything, loot, enemies, locations, you name it. Its practically the perfect system, it allows for the team to work together without ever uttering a word to one another.

When first introduced to this system during the tutorial, I thought it was strange that there was an actual emphasis on pinging due to it being so common place.. But once the tutorial began to show just how in-depth their system was, it made me eager to try it out. To my surprise, it was more useful than I expected and is now something that I utilize constantly whether I am in a party or not. It works wonders especially during the times where you actually need to listen to your surroundings, which could be the difference between victory and defeat.

Now this isn’t to say that people arent going to eventually exploit this system to troll, but this is a positive step forward for all of us who just want a positive experience online. While it can be fun to talk shit every now and again, but this should be reserved for titles in which you have the ability to respawn multiple times, it shouldn’t occur when it’s a title in which teamwork is integral to success. Running a few games in Apex with randoms is a far more enjoyable experience with how in-depth their pinging system is, it wouldn’t surprise anyone if this was adopted in future multiplayer titles.

Beyond the fact that Apex Legends has made significant waves in the gaming community due to its fluid gameplay and accessibility. It’s real impact is due to the implementation and execution of its pinging system which emphasizes non-verbal communication. Respawn Entertainment and all of their experience in the multiplayer genre, seems to understand that not all verbal communication in game is positive, so why not have a system that will help remove toxicity from the chat?

The gaming industry has a number of issues ranging from microtransactions, transparency, and toxicity. Publishers and studios have both the capabilities and resources to tackle these issues, but they are never resolved in a manner that the players want. Normally, these issues are given stop-gap solutions that cause more headaches down the line. Half-measures tend to never fix everything so it’s always nice to see a studio take charge and push for positive change.

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