If you're playing online games semi-regularly, be it MMOs or online FPS games, then there's almost a dictionary worth of terminology that you'll encounter. Some words are self-explanatory, like bullet sponge or camping, but others aren't as easy to work out. In Apex Legends, a game which relies on call-outs and communication, you'll be hearing all kinds of terms being thrown around — including "ratting" or "rats."
"Ratting" is something that Apex players have been calling on the devs to fix, and is something that Respawn has promised to address in future seasons. But what is "ratting", and why do so many players take issue with "rats"? Here's what you need to know.
What Does Ratting Mean In Apex Legends?
"Ratting" in Apex Legends refers to a technique where players avoid fights and attempt to run the timer down, all to stay in the game as long as possible. It's caused a lot of contention among the player base, with some claiming that it's a waste of everyone's time while others maintain it as a legitimate strategy.
For some, "rats" are those that aren't getting the most out of Apex Legends and often leads to boring, or more middling experiences for not only those players but the rest of the lobby. While it's a relatively harmless strategy in regular games, it becomes more of a problem in more competitive Apex circles, like Ranked.
In a recent blog, Respawn addressed "ratting" and offered their own perspective on it: "We’ve noticed a particular pattern in both Ranked and ALGS levels: teams stay outside of the ring and delay interacting with other teams to gain points."
The developers informed players that changes were on the way as part of the Season 18 update, saying, "Hiding and avoiding firefights isn’t a rewarding way to play Apex Legends. Season 18 has some updates to target this, and more are coming in future seasons to address the core gameplay issues around inactivity and avoidant playstyles."
Is Ratting A Good Strategy In Apex Legends?
Right now, while "ratting" might seem like an effective way to survive until later circles in Apex Legends, it won't win you any friends. Avoiding mid-game encounters will likely leave you unprepared for the late game. That said, for some less skilled teams, it might be the only way to stick it out long enough to see those late circles. But, according to Respawn, it won't be a viable strategy in the upcoming seasons, with fixes on the way to implement the following:
- Adjusting ring timings to increase mid-game encounters
- Ring damage tuning to enforce playing inside the ring
- Fixed a number of "ratting" spots with more fixes to come
It remains to be seen whether Season 18 will fix Apex Legends' "ratting" problem, or if players wil continue to find a way to avoid the fight.