Apex Legends tap-strafing nerf has been delayed

Horizon, Wattson, Gibraltar, Lifeline and Mirage
(Image credit: Respawn Entertainment, GoldenLane Studios)

Tap-strafing is an Apex Legends movement technique that basically lets you rapidly change your direction mid-air without losing momentum. Morgan has explained it more thoroughly here (with gifs!), noting that it's a technique that has become popular over the last few months, especially among high-level Apex Legends players. Respawn announced a fortnight ago that the trick will be removed, causing widespread consternation. 

Since then players have been dreading the rollout of patch 10.1—the tap-strafe nerf patch—but they can rest easy for now: tap-strafing has had a stay of execution.

"The @playapex team has recently discovered some unexpected side effects of our planned changes to tap-strafing," Respawn tweeted today. "It is still our intention to address some of the most egregious use-cases of tap-strafing, but for now we are delaying our planned change to a later patch."

The studio continues: "Movement is sacred in Apex. We weigh every change to these systems carefully and value feedback. After further testing, we've concluded we need to take more time to get this right to make sure related movement mechanics aren't caught in the cross-fire."

It makes a lot of sense: tap-strafing wasn't a high-level technique dreamed up by Respawn, but rather something players discovered themselves. You can imagine the domino effect when tweaking the movement system's momentum and mid-air turning speed, not to mention, heck, pretty much any aspect you can name. There's some solace in that complexity for tap-strafing fans: It means it'll probably be a while before a reasonable compromise is found. So, go wild in the meantime.

Respawn's concern is reasonable. Tap-strafing is nearly impossible on gamepads, so it does put PC players at a slight advantage if you can pull it off. It'll be interesting to see how Respawn eventually changes the exploit. However it's resolved, it'll probably make some players unhappy.

Shaun Prescott

Shaun Prescott is the Australian editor of PC Gamer. With over ten years experience covering the games industry, his work has appeared on GamesRadar+, TechRadar, The Guardian, PLAY Magazine, the Sydney Morning Herald, and more. Specific interests include indie games, obscure Metroidvanias, speedrunning, experimental games and FPSs. He thinks Lulu by Metallica and Lou Reed is an all-time classic that will receive its due critical reappraisal one day.