The bug itself is relatively simple to pull off — once two of your teammates have been knocked down or elimination in a ranked mode, hitting Alt+F4 will eject you from the matchmade lobby.
Because you appear to have been ‘booted’ from the game, Respawn’s loss forgiveness is deployed, saving your RP spent for entering the competitive mode. This forgiveness also applies to all members of your team, meaning all three players lose zero ranked points.
As this bug became more and more prevalent, ranked lobbies were left lopsided as teams quit after losing teammates, and players who should have been losing ranked progress for placing 20th through to 10th weren’t dropping on the leaderboards.
Respawn moved quickly to put the quitting-exploit on the ‘no-go’ list, warning players that they will be temporary banned from Apex if they are caught avoiding RP losses, and added the bans would increase for repeat offenders.
"We’ve temporarily banned players detected to be heavy abusers of quitting the game to avoid penalties in ranked,” Respawn producer Drew McCoy said.
“PC players have been able to leave matches early without incurring a loss of ranked points. Going forward we will not hesitate to punish players who abuse new exploits and will increase penalties as we see fit, including permanent bans and revoking RP.”
We've temporarily banned players detected to be heavy abusers of quitting the game to avoid penalties in Ranked. Going forward we will not hesitate to punish players who abuse new exploits and will increase penalties as we see fit, including permanent bans and revoking RP
— Drew McCoy (@DKo5) October 23, 2019
Recently, a Twitch streamer was caught employing the bug while broadcasting to save himself a few RP. The streamer was among the first banned for the exploit.
A similar style bug also reared its ugly head in the game’s Xbox One version, where players were able to quit the game through the console’s dashboard features to avoid being docked points for being eliminated, though McCoy confirmed this banwave is PC-based for now.
Unfortunately, while Respawn seems to be swinging the temporary banhammer on Alt+F4 exploiters, it seems like they haven’t found a fix to the problem just yet.
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McCoy’s statement didn’t include anything about a solution to players avoiding RP losses beyond simply barring them from playing Apex for a limited amount of time, which means players may continue to face the issue across their Season 3 grind.
The Alt+F4 exploit is also far from the only error that Apex players have been facing as they battle across World’s Edge, with reviving becoming a dangerous weapon in another recent bug, and legendary knockdown shields confusing players with their changing colors.
Luckily, Respawn is pretty trigger-happy about squashing bugs, so while the Alt+F4 exploit may be around for a little while longer, the devs have already trimmed a host of other problems in their recent patch, including weapon pick-up problems, and holes in the map.