I’m enjoying my time with the newly launched Apex Legends Mobile, a fact partly thanks to my appreciation for big online mobile games like this and partly because I’ve spent a good year obsessing over the console version .
But I particularly like it because it learned an important thing from the mobile gaming juggernaut Call of Duty Mobile, which has a feature so useful that it’s now the basis I use to rate other similar mobile games.
I’m talking about a small aspect of the control scheme – and while Apex Legends Mobile doesn’t have the most intuitive controls of its competitors, there’s one small thing that makes it really good.
The one button approach
Cell phones are a bit fiddlier when controlling games than a typical console controller, since the buttons are all on the screen, so you basically have to rely on your thumbs to perform most actions (unless you have very nimble fingers). ).
Since shooter games like Apex and CoD share the same key features, all mobile shooters had a nearly identical control scheme. You can swipe the right half of the screen to look around and the left half to move. Tap a button on the left to aim your gun, tap on the right to shoot.
This scheme worked, with PUBG Mobile being a key example of it in action, but it makes the myriad of other features a bit fiddlier. If you wanted to crouch or stand up, prone, use a healing item, switch weapons, equip a grenade, or anything else, you had to move your hands – meaning you couldn’t do it while aiming and shooting. Additionally, if you wanted to move or look around while aiming, you were going to have a rough time.
Call of Duty has simplified this in a small but crucial way – when you press the shoot button, you automatically aim too. This reduces the time it took to press the two separate buttons, which can mean the difference between winning and losing in a hectic shooter game.
With that little feature, CoD became my go-to mobile game when I wanted this kind of gameplay – the overall gameplay felt a bit smoother and more intuitive, and after that it was difficult to play PUBG.
Luckily, Apex Legends Mobile copies this feature, and the gameplay feels just as frantic and fast-paced as the non-mobile version.
But while Apex is super fun, partly because of this feature, it stumbles on another thing that affects mobile shooters where Call of Duty was way better – and that’s the rest of the controls.
Too many buttons
While Call of Duty Mobile was inspired by the mainline Call of Duty games, Apex Legends Mobile is a direct port of the console and PC game, meaning it must stay more faithful to the existing controls and features. The base game has plenty of nuanced tricks, including for things like sliding and using ultimate abilities that don’t fit well on a small mobile screen.
The touch control area of the screen is cluttered, with lots of different icons for different things, and it’s harder to remember what does what. Which button do I press to slide down a hill? Can I remember to press the “duck” button instead of the “reload” button? Many times I press the wrong icon or have to remember what did what.
The ping system is an important example. On console and PC, this is a great way to easily show off features to a teammate – you can ping distant enemies, useful loot in crates, areas to attack or defend. However, with awkward touch controls on mobile, I always have trouble knowing what the ping button is going to do – and sometimes things get pinged when I don’t mean it.
The same goes for picking up items – sometimes you’ll pick them up automatically, sometimes you won’t, sometimes you can’t pick up items at all even if you need them and have storage space, and I can’t find any rhyme or reason for it.
A good example are the crates that drop when players are killed – these allow you to pick up the gear they’re carrying, which is often the best way to upgrade your own weapons and stock up on ammo. In Apex Mobile, sometimes you’ll automatically collect everything you want by approaching it, but sometimes you’ll have to press a tiny button on the display to start the process — and other times you’ll have to individually select which items you want , and this latter option is really time consuming.
Keep in mind that I’m not a newbie playing my first mobile game – I’ve played a lot as it’s literally part of my job. Apex Mobile can then be a bit complicated.
Apex Legends is far from the first mobile game to face the “too many controls” issue, and I recently faced it with PUBG: New State, which put me off playing the thing. Luckily, the simple shooting controls make up for the confusion, but I think some really simple tweaks would make the game a lot more enjoyable.
That’s not to say this is a bad game – in fact I’m having a lot of fun and it’s one of the better mobile shooters I’ve played (and I’ve played a lot). But knowing I’ll be spending hours playing the game, I’d love it if it made a little more sense.
- This new phone is more powerful than my gaming PC and I don’t know why
This article was previously published on Source link