Apex Legends patch mistakenly introduced punishment for rage quitters

Apex Legends
Image credit: EA

Apex Legends rolled out a new update yesterday (April 3), carrying some minor improvements, but unfortunately it also came laden with several errors. That included temporarily making it seem like some players’ accounts had been reset, and accidentally introducing a punishment for people who quit the game early.

Let’s start with the penalty for rage quitters and other early-game leavers, which folks on Reddit first observed was in the game, but not in the notes for patch 1.1.

According to those in Reddit who experienced the feature in the live game, the countermeasure was triggered by a player leaving three matches in a row before their squad was wiped out, or before they were timed out (i.e., they died, weren’t revived, and their banner wasn’t recovered by teammates before the timer expired).

In the case of leaving three games like so, the offending player was given a five-minute ‘leaver penalty’, meaning they couldn’t get back into the game until this period had expired. In other words, five minutes on the main menu naughty step for early quitting.

Well, it turns out that this feature is something Respawn is “working on and testing”, but it wasn’t supposed to go live with the update.

Respawn’s Community Manager, Jay Frechette, noted that: “There was a piece of script that was missing and caused the leaving match early penalty to be turned on when it shouldn't be. That's why it wasn't in the patch notes.

“We updated the script, tested with QA and it's now disabled for all platforms. We don't have an ETA for if or when this would come out for real. Apologies for the confusion.”

So there you have it – could this be a feature which is introduced to Apex Legends soon?

Reaction to the idea has been kind of mixed, although there are plenty of folks in favor of the leaving penalty, because they’re sick of fickle players who quit when they don’t get to pick their Legend during character selection, or see that they’re teamed up with ‘newbs’, or they don’t like that you’re jumpmaster and refuse to land in Skull Town, among many other reasons.

Equally, there can be valid reasons for exiting a game early, like a real-life emergency, having toxic teammates, or being disconnected – or indeed starting a game as a duo squad because one of the other players got disconnected or crashed (or beginning a match solo because both teammates dropped).

Interestingly, Frechette further commented in the Reddit thread that the leaving penalty wasn’t applied if your squad wasn’t full, so it wouldn’t be exacted in the scenario where teammates are disconnected like so.

Ranked play?

Another potential thought here is that there is a ranked play mode incoming, and the leaving penalty is designed for this more serious competitive arena. Previous rumors from data miners have shown there are some references to ranked play in the game’s code, although, as Respawn has clarified in the past, we can’t put too much stock in that sort of info.

Patch 1.1 also caused major worries when some players logged in to find they were back to level 1 and had lost all their progress. This was, Respawn explained, because “players were unintentionally moved to the wrong servers that didn't have their persistence”, which meant accounts appeared to have been reset.

When Respawn realized this, the developer shut down the live servers and moved players back to their correct servers, restoring progress. No harm was done, fortunately, save for a small spell where folks couldn’t play.

Darren is a freelancer writing news and features for TechRadar (and occasionally T3) across a broad range of computing topics including CPUs, GPUs, various other hardware, VPNs, antivirus and more. He has written about tech for the best part of three decades, and writes books in his spare time (his debut novel - 'I Know What You Did Last Supper' - was published by Hachette UK in 2013).