Apex Legends released its year 2 rules for the Apex Legends Global Series (ALGS) on Wednesday morning. While many of the esport rules and registration processes were standard, one new rule did stand out: the popular physical expansion to controllers known as Strike Packs are now banned for ALGS players.
Zac Conely, the Competitive Gaming Manager for Respawn, explained that input devices like Strike Packs give some players a competitive advantage over others, and therefore have been banned for players who have aspirations to compete in the ALGS. For now, players not competing in the esports league can continue to use strike packs, though it is unclear if they will be allowed in Apex Legends forever.
Strike Packs are physical devices that attach to the back of a standard controller, adding programmable paddles to the bottom of the controller. The devices have become controversial in Apex Legends, Warzone, and other shooters because you can, in theory, load scripts onto a strike pack that allow you to rapid-fire single-fire guns or add recoil compensation to your controls.
Strike Packs themselves were not banned in the ALGS during past competitions, though the macros and scripts were. Under the new rules, there will be no strike packs allowed regardless of how they are being manipulated. That said, Conely specified that devices with native paddles like Xbox Elite Controller will be allowed, so they are only banning "non-native devices" with the new rule.
While many players praised the decision to remove the potentially exploitable device from the competitive ALGS series for Apex Legends, there are also some questions about the enforcement of such a rule. However, Respawn is staying tight-lipped on how they intend to enforce their ban, with Conely only saying: " I won't be commenting publicly on HOW we are detecting as that is how malicious users get around it. I will say that we rarely make rules that we cannot enforce."
So for those with aspirations of becoming a professional Apex Legends player, its time to give up the paddles, or at least buy a controller with native paddles.
Aaron is an esports reporter with a background in media, technology, and communication education.