Respawn has today acknowledged the Apex Legends community’s concerns around the growing number of Steam config users and the massively unfair advantages the tool provides, and already begun making changes.
The Apex developers announced the removal of automatic controller configs, which actively give players a direct advantage in gameplay, such as movement abilities like tap strafing. Respawn also took the opportunity to make their stance clear on cheating, unequivocally stating any third party tools—including Steam configs—are considered cheating and are punishable offenses.
Steam configs have been available since Apex’s release, and allow players to configure controller settings or download config profiles shared by other Steam users. In Apex, configs have been used for controller players to keep up with keyboard and mouse users’ advanced movement techniques, allowing them to mimic difficult to execute tap strafes or wall bounces without any human error, just one button press.
Coupled with the growing player population switching their main input to controller, configs have been a growing issue that has constantly been called to attention from the community for several years, with even ImperialHal directly comparing controller configs to cheating, highlighting how the setting made the game boring to watch and devalued the skill needed to execute such techniques.
However, the drama around configs only got worse on Jan. 28 when one gamer revealed the newest config developments, which included settings that could be mistaken as official cheats. Options included perfect recoil control, enhanced aim assist, and even config-exclusive movement techniques like neo-strafing.
All of these options were mapped in the Steam configs, with the video even bragging the profiles would not be detected by any anti-cheat software, causing outrage among the community on configs as a whole in Apex, and once again getting the attention of multiple pros and streamers, who echoed the calls for an answer to the ongoing problems.
Prior to today’s patch, Respawn has never publicly acknowledged the config problem, with players free to use these custom settings in the normal battle royale mode, mixtape playlist, and even on the ranked ladder without any repercussions. The only exception to the rule has been in the Pro League, with the official ALGS Rulebook stating: “Players are not allowed to use any macro functions or 3rd party applications or programs that may give them an advantage over other Competitors.”
The official Respawn announcement was followed by a comment from Evan Nikolich, senior design director at Respawn, who also confirmed on social media that the Apex dev team is still working on patching out any configs that were missed in the initial patch. Multiple social media posts have already surfaced with video evidence of controller configs completely failing to work, eliciting universal praise from the pros and content creators alike about the clear communication and response to the issues.
Players can now rest easier with the knowledge their ranked Apex games won’t be plagued with config users in the future and can look forward to a much more competitive split with season 20 releasing in less than two weeks.