Apex Legends: High-ranking players now protected from DDoS
Respawn Entertainment announced Wednesday that Diamond, Master and Predator-ranked Apex Legends players would receive protection from DDoS or distributed denial of service attacks in the ranked lobby.
Players will notice that their match is protected when a small shield icon symbol appears next to their server. Respawn designed this feature to protect high-ranking players from unfairly losing ranked points (RP) to server attacks.
“Predator, Master, and Diamond @Playapex players, this one’s for you: We’ve just rolled out DDoS protection for Diamond through Predator lobbies. This will be noted by a small shield symbol next to your server,” Respawn said on social media.
The DDoS protection feature has been received positively by fans and players, having been requesting it for a long time. Some professional players like Phillip “ImperialHal” Dosen and Anthony “Apryze” Andrade called this news a “huge W.”
Respawn security analyst Conor “Hideouts” Ford also expressed excitement about the DDS protection. He said that this system would be “ever-evolving” and the first of the many significant improvements to the game.
DDoS attacks occur despite protection
Although DDoS protection is a welcomed feature, a few players have found that it is not perfect yet. Some have reported that disruptions in the game can still occur.
Shortly after the announcement, ImperialHal of TSM played the game. He experienced a familiar disturbance when his team lobby froze after taking down an enemy team. All his teammates reported lag spikes and freezes, which were presumed to be yet another DDoS attack. All of this occurred despite the shield icon being active at the time, which ImperialHal noticed on his performance bar.
However, this time, the freeze and lag spikes only happened momentarily, and the game returned to normal shortly after. ImperialHal and his teammates assumed that the team they had just defeated attempted a DDoS attack on their lobby. They initially succeeded in disrupting the game server but were eventually deterred by the DDoS protection.
Previous DDoS attacks
In Apex, some players launch DDoS attacks when they are on the verge of defeat in Ranked to avoid losing RPs. This involves overflowing the game servers with requests to give the attackers a competitive advantage.
On other occasions, they perform DDoS attacks to cause other players in a lobby to crash and disconnect. It will allow the attackers to take down immobile players for free kills and easy wins.
Around March 2021, two Xbox players were banned from the game after Respawn identified them as the perpetrator of a DDoS attack. Later, Respawn reassured other players that they were looking for new ways to protect the game from future attacks.
In August 2021, a group of Titanfall players launched an attack on Apex to make Respawn pay more attention to Titanfall 1 and 2. These games were unplayable on PC for months, ironically, due to DDoS attacks. The attackers considered Respawn had not been focusing much on Titanfall 1 and 2, especially since only one or two people were working on Titanfall games at the time.
Although Apex was able to be back online quickly, both Titanfall games remained struggling, which caused some players to be concerned about the stability of Apex in the future. Apex runs on a Source game engine that is heavily modified, which makes it a large target for hackers.
Regardless, Ford has said that Respawn will continue improving its preventive measures to mitigate further attacks. In March 2021, he said on Twitter that cheaters could not hide any DDoS attacks in which they participated.