Apex Legends developer Respawn Entertainment has revealed that a single faulty line of code associated with an assault rifle was responsible for a slew of audio and graphical errors that players experienced during the battle royale game’s Season 16.
Players began reporting bugs shortly after the launch of Season 16 after noticing missing gun sounds, particle effects, and disappearing grenades that might fail to explode. The bugs didn’t show up in playtests, but after an initial investigation, the possible cause of the missing effects was narrowed down from how Analysis of game servers for effects.
According to a Reddit postApex Legends servers are capable of sending up to 128 effect “inputs” for each frame of play. These entries can include stop/start commands for anything from weapon-specific sound effects to physics effects, bullet tracking, and more. Any effect requests the server receives after it reaches the entry frame limit of 128 will be dropped, which may explain missing votes and other effects reported by players.
Each new season of Apex Legends sees thousands of asset tweaks and mods introduced, so finding the cause of the problem is like looking for a ‘needle in a haystack’. “This left us with a complex issue that we knew was affecting our community, but was difficult to reproduce despite detailed reporting,” the studio’s statement said.
Eventually, the team got to the bottom of the problem, a single line of code attached to the Nemesis gun introduced in season sixteen, where Nemesis was created with an elaborate particle effect, which increased in intensity as the weapon was fired repeatedly.
Fortunately, the team was able to fix the issue last Tuesday, though the developers warned that the update may not have fixed every FX issue that players encountered over the course of Season 16.