Apex Legends Mobile learned a great lesson from Call of Duty Mobile.


I’m enjoying my time with the newly released Apex Legends Mobile. This is partly due to an appreciation for big online mobile games like this one, and partly because we’ve had a good year obsessed with the console version.

But I especially like it because I learned one key point from the mobile gaming giants Call of Duty Mobile. This feature has been so useful that it has now become the standard we use to judge other similar mobile games.

I’m talking about one small aspect of the control scheme. Apex Legends Mobile doesn’t have the most intuitive controls of its competitors, but there’s one little thing it does really well.

single button method

Phones are a bit trickier to use to control games than regular console controllers because the buttons are all on the screen. So basically you have to rely on your thumb to do most of the work (unless you don’t have very agile fingers).

Shooting games like Apex and CoD have the same core features, so all mobile shooters have pretty much the same controls. You can swipe the right half of the screen to look around and swipe the left half to move around. Press the button on the left to aim the gun, press the button on the right to shoot.

This scheme worked and is a prime example of how PUBG Mobile works, but it makes the myriad other features a little trickier. You had to move your hands to bend or stand up, lie down, use healing items, change weapons, equip grenades, or anything else. This meant that you had to move your hands while aiming and firing. Besides, I had a hard time getting ahead if I wanted to move or look around while aiming.

(Image courtesy of TechRadar / Activision Blizzard)

Call of Duty has simplified this in a small but essential way. Press the fire button to aim automatically. This cuts down on the little time it takes to press two separate buttons that can mean the difference between winning and losing in a frenzy shooter game.

This little feature makes CoD my go-to mobile game when I want this kind of gameplay. The overall gameplay feels a little smoother and more intuitive and PUBG has been difficult to play after that.

Thankfully, Apex Legends Mobile copies this feature and makes the gameplay go insanely fast, just like in the non-mobile version.

However, Apex stumbles into another problem that plagues mobile shooters that are very fun, in part because of this feature, but Call of Duty did much better. And that’s the rest of the controls.

too many buttons

While Call of Duty Mobile is inspired by the mainline Call of Duty games, Apex Legends Mobile is a direct port of console and PC gaming, so it should stick to its existing controls and features. The base game has a lot of subtle tricks that don’t fit well on small mobile screens, including sliding and using Ultimate abilities.

The touch control section of the screen is cluttered with different icons for different items, making it hard to remember what you’re doing. Which button do I need to press to go down the hill? Can you remember to hit the ‘duck’ button instead of the ‘reload’ button? Many times you have to mashing the wrong icon or remember what you did.

apex legends mobile

(Image credit: Apex Legends)

The ping system is a prime example. On console and PC, this is a great way to easily point out features to your teammates. You can ping distant enemies, useful loot in chests, and areas to attack or defend. But with mobile’s annoying touch controls, it’s always hard to know what the ping button is doing. Sometimes pings happen unintentionally.

The same goes for picking things up. Sometimes it picks up automatically, sometimes it doesn’t, and sometimes it doesn’t pick up anything at all when you need it and have storage space. Find out the rhyme or reason.

A good example is a chest that falls when a player dies. This crate allows you to select the equipment you were carrying. This is often the best way to upgrade your weapon and recharge your ammo. In Apex Mobile, sometimes you just need to move nearby and it automatically collects everything that’s in the box, but sometimes you have to press a small button on the display to start the process, and sometimes you have to individually select the one you want. , and this latter option is really time consuming.

I’m not a beginner playing their first mobile game. I’ve played a lot of games because it’s literally part of my job. Apex Mobile can be a bit complicated.

Apex Legends is far from the first mobile game to face the issue of ‘too many controls’, and recently faced this issue with PUBG: New State, putting the game on hold. Thankfully the easy shooting controls make up for the mess, but I think the really easy tweaks will make the game a lot more fun.

That’s not to say it’s a bad game though. In fact, I’m having a lot of fun, and it’s one of the better mobile shooter games I’ve played (and played a lot). But I hope it makes a little more sense, since we know we’re going to spend hours playing the game.

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