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| 3. February 2021

Apex Legends Coming to Nintendo Switch on March 9

At long last — Apex Legends is coming to Nintendo Switch! And you won’t have to wait for long to start playing, either! The official release date is March 9th, so mark your calendars! This is a big moment for Respawn Entertainment, and they’ve certainly been working around the clock to make Apex Legends on Nintendo Switch a reality. And it must’ve been mighty hard for a bevy of different reasons. First of all, the hardware itself is nowhere near as powerful as, say, a PlayStation 4 or Xbox One (let alone a next-gen console or gaming PC). That’s the first hurdle, and it’s definitely a huge one. By the same token, the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic certainly made the whole development process all the more stressful.

Bringing such a graphically intensive title onto a device that isn’t known for its graphical prowess is a gargantuan challenge, and most devs wouldn’t dare tackle it. Fortunately, Respawn managed to deliver — so kudos to everyone involved!

Battle Royale on the Go

Still, getting Apex Legends to run on Nintendo Switch is only one half of the equation. Getting it to run well enough is a whole different ball

game. That’s undoubtedly the biggest challenge.

We still haven’t seen any actual gameplay, so we can only theorize at this point. Throughout the last couple of years, there have been both amazing Switch ports (like DOOM) and downright dreadful ones (like The Outer Worlds). It all depends on who’s doing the porting, really. And it’s not just a matter of downscaling everything — intelligent optimizations need to be made across the board. Some effects have be cut down, with others being removed entirely. Dynamic resolution might also be a necessity, for when those hectic team fights start breaking out.

Fortunately, Respawn Entertainment knew this as well, which is why they’ve handled the porting duties (or a portion of them, at least) to Panic Button. This studio has become the de facto porting squad for all things Nintendo Switch. And their resume proves it, too: DOOM, Rocket League, Wolfenstein II: The New Colossus, Warframe, Wolfenstein: Youngblood, Torchlight II, and DOOM Eternal.

So when Apex Legends Game Director Chad Grenier says they’ve delivered on the “full-featured Apex experience on the go,” we’re inclined to believe him. This means that we’re probably getting 720p in handheld, and dynamic 900p when docked (30 FPS). Pretty much standard fare when it comes to the Nintendo Switch.

The Whole Shebang

Apex Legends will launch on Switch with cross-platform play baked right in! Furthermore, it’ll include all of the latest seasonal content and full feature parity with other versions of the game. Now that’s impressive! Plus, Switch players will be granted 30 free levels for their Season 8 Battle Pass (given that they purchase one, that is). Finally, playing on Switch for the first two weeks after launch will also earn you double XP. Overall, quite a nice list of perks!

The stage is set for Apex Legends on Nintendo Switch, and we certainly hope that Panic Button and Respawn have managed to deliver when it comes to performance!