Apex Legends Loses Half of Its Steam Players in 2023

Apex Legends, the popular battle royale game developed by Respawn Entertainment and published by Electronic Arts, has seen a significant decline in its player base on Steam in 2023. According to Steam Charts, a website that tracks the number of concurrent players for various games on Steam, Apex Legends has lost almost 50 percent of its peak players on the platform since January 2023.

Apex Legends had a strong start in 2023, with a new season, a new legend, and a new map. The game reached its all-time high of 624,473 peak players on Steam on February 18, 2023, surpassing its previous record of 198,235 peak players in November 2022. The game also had an average of 213,681 players per hour in February 2023, making it one of the most played games on Steam.

The game’s popularity was boosted by the launch of Season 19: Ignite, which introduced Conduit, a new legend with electric abilities, and Storm Point, a new map with a dynamic weather system and wildlife. The season also featured a cross-progression system, allowing players to sync their progress and cosmetics across different platforms, and a collaboration with Post Malone, a famous rapper and singer, who hosted a special event and gave away free skins to viewers.

Apex Legends Loses Half of Its Steam Players in 2023
Apex Legends Loses Half of Its Steam Players in 2023

Apex Legends Faced Challenges and Criticism in 2023

However, Apex Legends also faced several challenges and criticism in 2023, which may have contributed to its player count drop. Some of the issues that the game encountered include:

  • Cheating and hacking: Apex Legends has been plagued by cheaters and hackers since its launch in 2019, but the problem became more severe in 2023, especially on PC. Many players reported encountering aimbots, wallhacks, speedhacks, and DDoS attacks in their matches, ruining their experience and ranking. Respawn Entertainment has been trying to combat cheating and hacking by banning accounts, improving their anti-cheat system, and working with law enforcement, but the issue still persists.
  • Server and performance issues: Apex Legends also suffered from server and performance issues in 2023, causing lag, crashes, disconnects, and glitches for many players. The game’s servers were often overloaded by the high number of players, especially during peak hours and events. The game’s performance was also affected by the new map, Storm Point, which had more complex features and assets than the previous maps. Respawn Entertainment has been working on optimizing the game and improving the server stability, but the issue still affects many players.
  • Balance and meta issues: Apex Legends also faced balance and meta issues in 2023, which caused frustration and boredom for many players. Some of the issues that the game faced include:
    • Revenant’s rework: Revenant, one of the legends in the game, received a major rework in Season 20: Resurrection, which changed his appearance, abilities, and playstyle. However, many players felt that the rework made Revenant too powerful and oppressive, dominating the meta and reducing the diversity of legend choices. Revenant’s new ultimate, Forged Shadows, which gave him a damage-blocking shield and refreshed his abilities on knockdowns, was particularly controversial, as it allowed him to survive and kill multiple enemies with ease.
    • Charge Rifle’s redesign: The Charge Rifle, one of the weapons in the game, also received a redesign in Season 20: Resurrection, which changed its firing mechanism and behavior. The Charge Rifle no longer fired a sustained beam, but instead fired a powerful energy projectile that dealt more damage the further it traveled. The Charge Rifle also gained an Extended Sniper Mag attachment slot, increasing its ammo capacity. However, many players felt that the redesign made the Charge Rifle too strong and annoying, as it could deal high damage from long distances and pierce through multiple enemies. The Charge Rifle also became the most popular weapon in the game, overshadowing other weapons and creating a stale meta.
    • Lack of content and innovation: Apex Legends also faced criticism for its lack of content and innovation in 2023, as many players felt that the game became repetitive and boring. The game did not introduce any new game modes, events, or features in 2023, apart from the Post Malone event, which was a limited-time collaboration. The game also did not make any significant changes to its existing game modes, events, or features, apart from some minor tweaks and adjustments. Many players felt that the game needed more variety and creativity to keep them engaged and interested.

Apex Legends Ended 2023 With a Low Player Count

As a result of these challenges and criticism, Apex Legends ended 2023 with a low player count on Steam, compared to its earlier months. According to Steam Charts, the game had a peak of 295,731 players on Steam on December 20, 2023, which was a 52.6 percent decrease from its peak of 624,473 players on February 18, 2023. The game also had an average of 117,046 players per hour in December 2023, which was a 45.2 percent decrease from its average of 213,681 players per hour in February 2023.

The game’s player count on Steam also declined in comparison to other popular games on the platform, such as Counter-Strike: Global Offensive, Dota 2, PUBG, and Fortnite. According to Steam Charts, Apex Legends ranked as the 8th most played game on Steam in December 2023, down from the 4th position in February 2023. The game also had a lower peak and average player count than its competitors, which had higher or stable numbers throughout the year.

Apex Legends Hopes to Recover in 2024

Despite its player count drop in 2023, Apex Legends still has a loyal and passionate fan base, who hope that the game will recover and improve in 2024. Respawn Entertainment has also expressed its commitment and dedication to the game, promising to deliver more content and updates in the future. Some of the things that the game’s developers and players are looking forward to in 2024 include:

  • Season 21: Uprising: Apex Legends will launch its 21st season, Uprising, on January 4, 2024, which will introduce a new legend, a new weapon, and a new event. The new legend is Valkyrie, a former pilot who uses a jetpack and rockets to fly and fight. The new weapon is the CAR SMG, a fast-firing submachine gun that was previously seen in Titanfall. The new event is the Uprising Collection Event, which will feature new skins, challenges, and rewards .
  • Cross-play and cross-progression: Apex Legends will also continue to support and expand its cross-play and cross-progression features, which allow players to play and progress across different platforms. The game already supports cross-play between PC, PlayStation, Xbox, and Nintendo Switch, and will soon support cross-play between Steam and EA app. The game also supports cross-progression between PC and console, and will soon support cross-progression between Steam and EA app. These features will help the game to grow and retain its player base, as well as to attract new players .
  • New maps and modes: Apex Legends will also explore new maps and modes in 2024, which will add more variety and fun to the game. The game already has four maps, Kings Canyon, World’s Edge, Olympus, and Storm Point, and will likely introduce more maps in the future. The game also has several modes, such as Battle Royale, Arenas, Ranked, and Limited-Time Modes, and will likely introduce more modes in the future. These maps and modes will help the game to keep its players engaged and interested, as well as to challenge and reward them .

Apex Legends is a game that has seen many highs and lows in its history, and 2023 was no exception. The game started the year with a bang, but ended it with a whimper, losing half of its Steam players in the process. However, the game still has a lot of potential and promise, and hopes to bounce back in 2024, with more content and updates. Apex Legends is not dead, but it needs to rise again.

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