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Apex Legends' Tap Strafing Removal Explained

Respawn recently shared that a popular keyboard and mouse movement technique in "Apex Legends" is being removed from the game. Respawn announced on Twitter that it will disable tap strafing from "Apex Legends" due to the technique becoming too popular in high-skill play. Tap strafing in "Apex Legends" allows players using a keyboard and mouse to rotate either 90 degrees or 180 degrees without losing momentum. This can be achieved by either tapping the W key mid-air or by binding that command to the mouse scroll wheel. The technique is popular with expert players. You can watch a clip of "Apex Legends" streamer IiTzTimmy explaining how the technique works here.

As he demonstrates, the technique allows for players to strafe quicker and change direction swiftly. The technique can even be performed in the air off of an Octane jump pad, allowing for a complete direction change while still moving at full speed. In the clip, Shroud even said that the jump pad tap strafing will "100% be removed." Tap strafing allows high-skill players to move and change direction faster than players that don't know how to do it, giving some an advantage. That being said, the move did not exploit any bugs or glitches within the game, and wasn't technically considered cheating. If tap strafing simply required a certain amount of skill, why did developers choose to remove it? 

Why was tap strafing removed?

Respawn promised more details in the upcoming patch notes to explain why it removed tap strafing from "Apex Legends." However, in the Tweet announcing its removal, Respawn did provide a brief statement. "Our reasoning: It's inaccessible, lacks readability/counterplay, and is exacerbated by movement abilities," Respawn said.

Tap strafing is a relatively new technique in "Apex Legends," and it gained popularity a few months ago as an unintended technique in the game. As for Respawn's reasons for removing,fans can guess what the developers' brief statement means. Tap strafing is inaccessible primarily because it cannot be done on a controller reliably. It also can be done with increased ease using a mouse scroll wheel, which not every player has. As for readability, a player sharply changing directions without losing speed is hard to predict and fight against, making it a very powerful technique. It also makes Legends with movement abilities like Octane necessary for high-level play, so players have a jump pad to use for tap strafing.

For now, players will need to wait for the next set of "Apex Legends" patch notes for a more in-depth explanation from Respawn. "Apex Legends" has continued to be popular and worth playing in 2021, but the community might not still feel that way after this change.