We already knew that Apex Legends, the battle royale shooter by Respawn Entertainment, was coming to Nintendo Switch. But when? Various leaks had suggested the port would come out on February 2nd, but that’s turned out to be inaccurate. Today, the renowned developer behind Titanfall and Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order announced that the port will launch on March 9th. It will support cross-platform play, meaning Switch owners can team up and compete with players using PlayStation, Xbox and PC hardware. Respawn has promised “full feature parity,” too. So, visuals and frame rate aside, you shouldn’t notice any major differences or omissions.
Respawn recruited Panic Button to help with the project. The little-known developer in Austin, Texas has delivered a slew of surprisingly-playable Switch ports, including Rocket League, Doom (2016), Warframe, Wolfenstein II: The New Colossus, Wolfenstein: Youngblood and Doom Eternal. It also created an Xbox Series-optimized version of Forza Horizon 4. “Porting Apex Legends to its smallest screen yet is a major achievement, and we couldn’t have done it without our friends at Panic Button,” Chad Grenier, game director on Apex Legends said. “We’re very proud of what the team has been able to achieve with some smart optimizations for the Switch port to deliver a full-featured Apex Legends experience on the go.”
— Apex Legends (@PlayApex) February 2, 2021
The port will launch in the middle of Season 8, which is available today on other platforms. The biggest addition is Fuse, a demolitions expert that Respawn has described as a “walking AC-DC song.” He comes with a skill called Grenadier, which lets him stack two grenades in a single inventory slot, and a mechanical arm that can launch them further and faster than his peers. Fuse can also launch a cluster bomb and a ‘Motherlode’ ultimate which engulfs enemies in fire. Respawn is promising an “obliterated” version of the Kings Canyon map, too, with a crashed spaceship and filtration dam. Finally, there’s a new weapon called the 30-30 Repeater, which delivers higher damage if you aim down sights for a second.
Apex Legends isn’t the largest battle royale — Fortnite and Call of Duty: Warzone usually have more viewers on Twitch, for instance — but it has a loyal playerbase that appreciates Respawn’s trademark gunplay and traversal systems. If you’re not happy with Warzone at the moment, which is struggling with glitches, cheaters and unbalanced weapons, it might be time to give Apex another shot.