I don’t play a lot of battle royale games, but I like Apex Legends. The game lets me fantasize that I’m cool by doing things like falling off mountains without taking any damage, or surfing down hills like waves at Waikiki Beach. This fantasy never lasts long, however, because I am extremely bad at the game.
Online shooters freak me out because I don’t like getting yelled at by youthful edgelords over voice chat. So Apex Legends’s ping system is great for me, because I don’t have to use voice chat to communicate with my team. But while the ping system is a giant step forward, it doesn’t cover all the things I wish I could have my flashily-dressed hero say. How do I communicate to my rando squadmates that I will shit the bed from the moment we touch down until I die a few minutes in?
My solution: Apex Legends should have another set of voiced lines that players like me can choose from when we need to tell our squadmates that we have the reflexes of a drunk sloth. These are for those situations that the current ping lines just don’t cover.
“I Don’t Know How To Play This Character, I Only Know Bangalore And You Took Her First”
Bangalore is so straightforward that even I can figure her out. I do not fuck with Pathfinder’s grappling hook, I cannot get Wraith’s void powers down, and I am not responsible enough to take anyone’s life into my hands as Lifeline. Bangalore is my ride-or-die, literally, because if I am not playing her I will die.
To my more advanced teammates: please, just let me be the easy character.
“Oops, I Panicked And I Hit My Ult By Mistake”
I am like a squirrel in that when I am startled, my first instinct is to make a bunch of sudden, jerky moves. In Apex Legends, this manifests as pressing as many keys as I can reach, which is rarely helpful. Several times, I have triggered Bangalore’s Rolling Thunder ultimate ability because a squadmate leapt into my field of vision.
Sorry I firebombed you and gave away our position, my dude. I just, uh, didn’t see you there.
“I Can’t Remember Which Ammo Goes In This Gun Or Even How To Check”
Hey wait, that’s a gun I think is supposed to be pretty good! But I already have too many guns! And I don’t know if I have the right ammo for it! And my adrenaline is pumping now so I can’t remember how to pull up my inventory! In fact, I can’t remember how to do anything except run, jump, and slide down hills! So I’m going to slide on out of here because it looks like you have this covered, squadmates! And I know this is a dick move but my fight-or-flight reflexes landed on flight this time! Bye!
“I Don’t Know Where Anything Is On This Map”
The characters in Apex Legends have presumably studied maps of the arena in which they will fight. They know every inch of the territory. But I, Elizabeth, have not. I can barely navigate the New York City subway system, much less a sprawling, a fictional island. This is what I know: there is a place called Skull Town, there is a bunker somewhere, there are some swamps, etc. Fuck me if I can remember, off the top of my head, how they’re geographically connected.
And if I’m made Jumpmaster, you better believe I’m passing that baton right quick.
“Don’t Count On Me To Revive You, I Will Die Before I Get There”
Look, I would love to pull a Saving Private Ryan and sprint across the battlefield to save you, my dying squadmate. But I forgot to pick up any shield cells to recharge my shield, which is now useless. At this point, my health is low and I have no protection from this raging firefight. And we both know I’m not going to dodge all these bullets, so… goodnight, sweet prince, and flights of angels sing thee to thy rest.
“Please Stop Yelling At Me, I Know I Am Bad At This”
If I had the accuracy to do significant damage to our enemies, I would! But screaming at me is not going to make me git gud. It will only unsettle me, and then my aim will be worse.
I am not the best teammate and you are within your rights to leave a match with me. Just…go quietly. Don’t be like the sewer department guy from Parks and Rec who is constantly shouting about how everyone else sucks. No one likes that guy.
“I’m Not Leaving This Match To Be A Dick, I’m Leaving Because You Intimidate Me”
Sorry, you have how many kills? Cool cool cool. I have three.
I will see myself back out to the lobby now.
Just Let Me Suck At This Game
Some are born great at Apex Legends. Some achieve greatness at Apex Legends. And some have greatness at Apex Legends thrust upon them. I am none of those people, which is sad but is also a fact. Make it easier for me to properly express my shame, Respawn, because god knows I need all the help I can get.