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| 10. March 2021

Apex Legends Officially Released for the Nintendo Switch!

After numerous delays, the day has finally come: Apex Legends is now officially available on the Nintendo Switch! This, in short, is quite spectacular news, regardless if you own a Switch or not. Perhaps most importantly, it is a testament to this phenomenal little hybrid console that has taken the world by storm.

Let’s Talk Performance

Apex Legends is not an easy game to run. Of that you’re probably aware. To game comfortably, you really need a gaming PC with a sufficiently powerful graphics card. It’s not Cyberpunk 2077 levels of hardware-intensive, but it’s not your run-of-the-mill esports title either. Plus, it’s a fast-paced first-person shooter in which reaction time and precision are of the utmost importance. Therefore, playing at a high enough resolution (1080p minimum) and frame rate (60 FPS) has to be at the top of your list of priorities.

Those who’ll game on the Nintendo Switch, however, won’t be getting the absolute best and most jaw-dropping Apex Legends experience available. But we knew as much. Compared to most gaming PCs and even last-gen consoles, the Switch pales in comparison when it comes to sheer hardware. Heck, the fact that Apex Legends can even run at all is a small miracle in itself.

The numbers, however, aren’t all that impressive.

While docked, Apex Legends runs at 720p in 30 FPS. That’s not exactly a stellar experience, but at least it exists. In handheld mode, Apex runs at 576p (1024x576px) at 30 FPS. This means the game won’t look nearly as good as you might think. If you’re a regular player, then definitely lower your expectations. Textures, draw distance, anti-aliasing, and pretty much everything in between has taken a hit — often too big a hit, frankly. But at least the game runs well and looks okay(ish). It won’t take your breath away, but it’s not entirely dreadful either.

A Strange Conundrum

The biggest problem, one could argue, pertains to the competitive side of it all. Firstly, cross-play is baked right in, meaning you’ll compete against those who own a PlayStation or an Xbox. The difference in graphical fidelity is astounding, to say the least. It’s still the same game, of course, but the level of detail is nowhere near as similar. And that’s important, especially in a game like Apex where someone’s shooting at you from a mile away. On a PS4 Pro, for instance, you can easily discern where they’re coming from.

On the Nintendo Switch, however, it’s all a blur, and the further things go the less perceptible they become. Things that are far off are mostly pixelated to the nth degree, but at least close quarters combat looks and feels as it should. You win some you lose some, right? For casual play, this doesn’t matter all that much. If you’re into competitive and ranked, however, you’d be wise to look for another platform if climbing the ranks is your ultimate goal.

Either way, we’re glad that Apex has been released on yet another console and that millions of people will experience it for the first time!