Apex Legends, Respawn’s popular free-to-play shooter, has cross-play across all platforms. Users on Xbox One, Xbox Series X|S, PS4, PS5, Nintendo Switch, Origin, and Steam can all link up and play together. The game did not launch with cross-play, but it was added in October 2020. Cross-play is enabled by default, matching using controllers together and players on mouse and keyboard together.

How to play with friends

The friend cross-play search screen

To add a friend from any platform you will need to go to the friends screen in Apex Legends, which can be found in the bottom right corner on the main menu, indicated by an icon of three people. There you can use the find a friend to search your friends on any platform and add them. You will use their username on their platform of choice and as long as they have logged into Apex Legends before, their name should appear, unless they have disabled the ability to cross-play search for them.

Once the friend request is sent, your friend will receive a notification in the lobby to either accept, reject, or block. Blocking the request will prevent that player from receiving any other invites or friend requests from that person, unless they are unblocked in the friend menu. After accepting the request, the friend on another platform will be listed in the friends menu and will have either a generic controller logo or keyboard to indicate if they are on a console or PC.

How cross-play matchmaking works

By default, there are two cross-play pools, one for console players on controller and one for PC players on keyboard and mouse. Cross-play is turned on by default for all players. If a console player and PC player group up together, they will be matched with other PC players to ensure console-only lobbies don’t have PC players.

On console, players on the same system as you (PlayStation, Xbox, or Nintendo Switch) will be indicated with that platform’s logo. Players on other systems will have a generic controller log next to their names. You can disable cross-play matchmaking in the system settings, which will make sure you are only matched with players on the same console as you. However, Respawn warns that disabling cross-play can cause extremely long queue times, due to the limited number of lobbies that are exclusive to a single platform.

How to turn-off cross-play

You may want to avoid players on other platforms altogether. If so, follow these steps:

  • Go to the lobby
  • Click the cogwheel (Game Menu) in the bottom left corner of the screen
  • Click Settings
  • Scroll down to Cross-Platform Play
  • Click Enabled to turn it on, and Disabled to turn it off

Does Apex Legends have cross-progression?

Apex Legends currently does not have cross-progression, except on PC, meaning items you buy, battle pass progress, and so on are locked to the platform you’re currently playing on. Accounts across Steam and Origin have cross-progression, since both platforms are on PC. However, Respawn is working on adding it to all platforms, with cross-progression currently set to be added sometime in 2022. Respawn director of communication Ryan Rigney has described the process of implementing it as “gnarly as hell.”

“It’s not only that you have to solve the technical challenge of merging existing accounts, but there are also legal and contractual issues to navigate with purchasing on other platforms,” Ryan Rigney said. “Different regions have different laws. It’s a mess. But we’re working on it, and we’re committed to delivering it.”

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