Apex Legends has, since its February 2019 launch, only allowed players to compete against and team up with players using the same platform, an increasingly rare restriction nowadays as more and more online games have worked to break down the walls between platforms.
In a blog post, the Apex team notes that cross-play has been one of the most requested features since the game launched. Now, Apex Legends is finally readying to launch a cross-play beta across all supported platforms, which covers PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC alike.
The beta itself is set to kick off on October 6 and is automatically enabled for all players of the game more or less, though those that wish not to participate can opt out of the beta. With cross-play comes the ability to both add players from other platforms to friends lists and to create in-game parties featuring users across console and PC.
The beta won’t include cross-progression, however. The Apex team notes that “it’s unfortunately not available for Apex Legends at this time” but hopes to revisit the issue when Apex arrives on Steam later in 2020.
Cross-play presents its own complications and challenges for each game, and Apex Legends is no exception. First-person shooters like Apex Legends come with balancing issues due to differences between the control schemes favored by each platform. To counter some of that, PC players will, mostly, land in lobbies that only feature other PC players to avoid pitting mouse and keyboard users against console players using a controller.
While Xbox and PlayStation players will be dumped into the same matches (so long as they haven’t opted out of cross-play), the only way a console player can end up in a match with PC players is if they’ve already partied up with one.
So, in cases where PC and console players create a party to play together, they’ll only be placed in matches that feature mostly PC players (or other mixed-platform parties).