Xbox input lag for Apex Legends, ultimately fixed two weeks later

Respawn Entertainment set this problem on July 5th with a new patch. Respawn and EA released a new patch stating it should address the issue, and after playing a bit, it has fixed input lag with all the controllers used on Xbox Series X.

EA’s battle royale shooter Apex Legends established a “collection event,” which is shorthand for a limited-time setup mainly about players buying a bunch of cosmetic items from the in-game store.

The only problem is that the massive update has made the game nearly unplayable for many people on consoles this time.

Without caution, the battle royale shooter’s usually tight and responsive controls — a learned quantity for Respawn Entertainment games since Titanfall and a review of its Call of Duty heritage — have become sluggish, laggy, and often unresponsive. Even worse, playing the game can alter your control inputs even in the dashboard, and restarting the console seems to fix this issue while using other games.

Players found one way to reliably handle the issue by rolling back firmware on specific Xbox wireless controllers, and you can read on to find the steps to do it.

Finally, on July 5th, around 1 PM ET, a new update appeared to fix the problems after the collection event and little time mode ended. Other than the time it took to fix the problem, there was an in-game notification to tell players what was happening. As it is, nobody on the message boards occurs when you log in, and multiple people on Xbox have witnessed something wrong but didn’t understand it was damaged due to a patch and may not know that it’s resolved now.

Acknowledgment of the problem by developers was limited to a pair of reply tweets the previous week and one Monday afternoon stating the team is continuing to investigate. Unfortunately, not everyone who plays the game follows its official Twitter account or digs into replies to find the initial statements, vacating many players in the dark about what might be happening. At the same time, they try to play a competitive shooter using controls that don’t work.

A Reddit post with instructions on what to do and pursue them cracked the input lag problem while attempting to play Apex Legends on Xbox Series X and Xbox Series S consoles. You’ll require a PC running Windows 10 or 11 (if you’re on a Mac, nestling Windows in Boot Camp should function), where you can establish the Xbox Accessories app from the Microsoft Store.

Once you have it, use a USB cable to plug the Elite 2 controller in. Then you won’t use the app itself, as it doesn’t contain a built-in button for the required function. Instead, unlock the Windows run menu (you can do this by pushing the Windows key on the keyboard with the letter r at the same time) and write in this entire string without anything else around it:

Press the OK button. Then the app will unlock and ask you to verify if it’s what you want to do. Say yes by pressing the button above labeled “Revert Firmware,” and it will install the older firmware on the controller. Using your gamepad with your Xbox will tell you there’s a newer update available. You can skip that by pushing the Xbox button on the controller and recreate it as usual.

It also pinched one of the game’s original characters, Lifeline, with more excellent healing abilities to go along with a specific section on the World’s Edge map dedicated to her and, for those who collect all of its items, access to a particular heirloom item for the Valkyrie character. The developers also laid out some much-anticipated changes to the game’s ranked system that will take effect soon.

Finally, of course, it would all be great if only playing the game on Xbox wasn’t such a painful experience, which feels like insult added to injury after the update last week also cut off Xbox players for hours in the morning. For some reason, the new version of the game started downloading to consoles early, and since the servers weren’t ready, you couldn’t play this online-only game at all, and even trying to launch it on Xbox was enough to initiate the update.

Meanwhile, over on Apex Legends Mobile (developed by a separate team), players have more than just working servers and controls. They’ve got access to a mobile-exclusive legend, and features players on the main game have been asking for. That includes abilities added to characters like the thief Loba, who can grab respawn banners for vanquished teammates using her Ultimate power, or the “holographic trickster” Mirage sending out decoys that look like his teammates instead of just himself.

The downside of the rollback fix was that it only worked with Elite 2 gamepads. A workaround requiring skipping through update menus and a $179.99 controller isn’t much of a fix, even if it works for now. Respawn’s first patch since the troublesome didn’t fix the input issue, and the only noticeable change was a new $5 tier to buy in-game currency.

As some people responding to this post on social media have pointed out, this isn’t even the only problem facing Apex Legends. In-game audio appears to be more broken than usual, Loba’s teleportation bracelet fails more often than it works, voice communications from players on Xbox are almost entirely useless with compressed and jittery audio, plus assorted complaints about the matchmaking. You can hit registration, the score for ranked play, and more. Some people have called for a boycott of the game throughout August to push for changes.

The input lag problem has been patched, and players can keep up with the team’s progress in addressing various issues via a Trello board. As noted above, however, the list of the problems players are complaining about still has quite a few entries, and we’ll see if calls for #NoApexAugust outlive this particular problem.