Call of Duty Mobile inspired Apex Legends Mobile a great lesson


Since of my enthusiasm for massive online mobile games like this and because I spent a full year obsessing over the console version of Apex Legends, I’m having a great time with the just announced Apex Legends Mobile.

(Image credit: TechRadar / Activision Blizzard)

A feature of Call of Duty Mobile, the mobile gaming juggernaut, has become so valuable to me that I use it to rate other similar mobile games. That’s why I like this one so much.

Apex Legends Mobile’s controls aren’t the most user-friendly of any of its competitors, but there’s one minor thing it does exceptionally well.


The single-button approach

If you’ve got quick fingers, you can use your thumbs to operate games on a mobile phone, but if you don’t, you’ll have to rely on your fingers to perform the majority of the work.

When it comes to mobile shooters like Apex and COD, all of them feature an almost same control layout. To look around and move around, you can use the right half of the screen; to aim your gun, use the left half of the screen; and to shoot, use the right half of the screen.

PUBG Mobile is a great example of this strategy in action, but it complicates a slew of other features. To perform any of the above actions, you had to move your hands, which meant that you couldn’t do them while you were aiming and firing. Additionally, moving or looking around while aiming was a difficult task.


This was made easier in Call of Duty by the fact that when you push the shot button, you also automatically aim. By eliminating the need to push two buttons at once, you save precious time in a fast-paced shooter game where every second counts.

CoD became my go-to mobile game for this type of gameplay after this minor feature was added. The entire gameplay felt smoother and more natural, and it was difficult for me to play PUBG after that.

Although Apex Legends Mobile does not have this feature, the gameplay is still intense and fast-paced.


In spite of the fact that Apex is a blast to play in part due of this feature, it falls short in another area that Call of Duty excelled in: the game’s other controls.

Too many buttons

Apex Legends Mobile is a straight port of the console and PC game, thus it must be more accurate to the existing controls and features than Call of Duty Mobile was. There are a lot of subtle mechanics in the original game, such as sliding and employing Ultimate abilities, that don’t translate well to a mobile device.

(Image credit: Apex Legends)

Using the touch controls on the screen can be confusing due to the large number of icons used to control various aspects of the device. When I want to go down a slope, which button do I press? Shouldn’t I be pressing “duck” instead of “reload”? Often, I accidentally press the wrong icon or have to remember which one did what.


A good example of this is the Ping system. You can ping distant foes, useful loot in boxes, and areas to assault or defend to a teammate effortlessly on consoles and PCs. The ping button can be difficult to understand on mobile devices because of the clumsy touch controls, and I’ve accidentally sent pings to items that I didn’t intend.

When it comes to picking up items, it’s the same story. Sometimes you’ll be able to do so without thinking, and other times you won’t; there’s no rhyme or reason as to why this happens.

If you’re ever killed by another player, you’ll obtain boxes that contain their equipment, which you may use to enhance your own weapons and replenish your supply of ammo. Some goods are automatically collected by going near them in Apex Mobile, while others require pressing a little button on the display to initiate collection. Other times, you must manually select which items you want, which takes a significant amount of time.


Remember, I’m not some rookie playing their first mobile game – I’ve played a lot as part of my job practically. It’s understandable that Apex Mobile isn’t the easiest app to use.

PUBG: New State’s ‘too-many-controls’ issue recently turned me off the game, and Apex Legends is far from the only mobile game to experience it. This is a good thing because it allows you to easily shoot your way to victory, but I think a few simple modifications may make the game a lot more enjoyable.

Because this is a great mobile shooter, I’m not saying this is a poor game; in fact, I’m really enjoying it. I’d prefer it if it made a little more sense, though, because I’m sure I’ll be playing this game for a long time.


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