Apex Legends dev responds to broken reflections on Olympus

Liam Mackay

Apex Legends players have discovered reflections don’t match the environment of Season 7’s Olympus map, so a developer explained why that is.

The Apex Legends developers are known for their transparency with the community. They often reply to players’ feedback and concerns across social media, giving detailed explanations for decisions they have made. Recently, developer Daniel Klein responded to a fan’s request for legend Rampart to be buffed.

Dot Esports writer, Pedro Peres, brought attention to reflections not matching the environments in Olympus’ Bonsai Plaza in Apex Season 7. He Tweeted the issue, asking senior developers Dave Osei and Jason McCord why the reflections don’t match up.

Respawn’s response

Respawn’s Design Director Jason McCord responded to the Tweet, explaining how they create reflections in Apex Legends.

“We call those cubemaps – and they are essentially textures,” explained McCord. “We take cubemaps of really different looking areas throughout the map and reuse them in places with similar lighting. It helps us save memory, and no one really notices (or minds), usually!”

Instead of real-time reflections used by ray tracing technology, reflections are images that resemble the same lighting and environment of a given area. They move a little so to give the appearance of a real-time reflection but use far less memory.

This makes reflections far less intensive on both Respawn’s end and players’ hardware. And as McCord said, nobody usually notices or minds.

Apex Legends map Olympus' Bonsai Plaza

Another Twitter user replied, asking McCord why players don’t have options “to disable stuff like this as well as shadows and unnecessary shaders.”

The developer confirmed you could turn off shadows. He then explained, “Cubemaps don’t impact performance much. They are just textures that do a little movement, not real reflections.”

It’s worth following Respawn’s senior developers on Twitter for details such as this, and keep an eye on CharlieINTEL, where we’ll report the most important and interesting.

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