The walls are coming down around Kings Canyon and World's Edge. Well, not really—Apex Legends will still keep its deadly, contracting circle and all the buildings dotted across its battle royale maps, but the barrier between Xbox, PlayStation, and PC players will melt away soon. Next week, along with the start of a new cosmetic collection event and debut of a limited-time mode, Apex will get cross-play for consoles and PC.
On Tuesday, Oct. 6, Respawn will kick off Apex's new Aftermarket event and issue an update adding beta support for cross-play to all platforms. At the moment, of course, that just means PS4, Xbox One, and PC via EA's Origin.
As promised previously, Apex will continue to separate PC and console players in regular matchmaking because of the difference in standard control methods. Still, people on PS4 or Xbox One will be able to party up with PC players to be matched into PC games, but not the other way around. Players on console can also choose to be exempted from cross-play entirely, but because it'll be the new default Respawn warns that people could see greatly increased matchmaking wait times if they decide to go with lobbies limited to just the PS4 or Xbox One after the update. Cross-platform parties will be able to use the in-game voice chat.
While it's likely the case that cross-play will stick around once it's in, there may be kinks in the beta to work out. There are also plans to add other platforms to the party as well; Apex is still set to launch on Steam soon, and a version for the Nintendo Switch is also in the works.
As for transferring player progress between platforms, that's not coming with the cross-play beta launch. Game Director Chad Grenier says that Respawn "will talk more about this" when Apex hits Steam later in 2020.
The Aftermarket event accompanying the cross-play update will be familiar to anyone who's been playing Apex for a while and seen past cosmetics-focused events. There will be 24 cosmetics tied to the event available through Event Apex Packs or direct purchase, available only from Oct. 6 through Oct. 20. Another batch of event-exclusive cosmetics will be tied to a free prize track that players can level up while also working on the Season 6 battle pass.
During that same two-week stretch, a new mode called Flashpoint will be available on Kings Canyon. There'll be no healing items strewn around the map (Lifeline mains, take note) and the circle will continually be closing in once the match starts. Crafting and medic abilities aside, the easiest way to heal up will be at special zones, or "flashpoints," where health regenerates automatically. The circle is guaranteed to end on one of these zones, and with health recovery guaranteed there, expect fights that are less about healing items and more like, say, playing Halo.
Hopefully, the cross-play beta means there'll be good news for Steam and Switch players who want in on Apex soon. As for Apex Legends expanding to mobile à la Fortnite and PUBG, we may also see that come to fruition before the end of the year.