Tap strafing is a hot topic in the Apex Legends community, one that has divided PC and controller players. Here’s what tap strafe in Apex Legends means and how to do it. 

Movement is the bread and butter of any FPS game. Whether it’s dodging a bullet or jump-scaring an enemy, a few hours practicing parkour can be the difference maker in shooter games.

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In Apex Legends, high-ranked players often spend days and weeks mastering mechanics like wall bouncing, bunny hopping, tap strafing, and more. 

Executing the perfect tap strafe in Apex Legends takes practice. It’s a tactic that comes in handy at higher levels of play, where dodging an enemy’s bullet is just as crucial as landing a headshot. 

What is tap strafe in Apex Legends?

Octane sliding in front of Gibraltar in Apex Legends
Credit: Respawn Entertainment

Tap strafing in Apex Legends is a movement technique that enables players to maneuver in mid-air without losing balance and gain momentum by turning and twisting. The unpredictable movement makes them a difficult target to shoot. 

Unlike your usual A and D movement, the tap strafe is powered by sending an increased input to the computer to move forward. This is achieved by using the scroll wheel instead of W to walk forward.

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When combined with a jump, the increased forward input leads to smooth movement while airborne. It is more commonly used to execute clean wall bouncing but is just as useful in escaping dicey duels. 

How to tap strafe in Apex Legends

In order to tap strafe, you must make a tiny change in your mouse settings.

Open control settings in Apex Legends and assign forward movement to the mouse wheel scroll. It could either be wheel up or down, based on your choice. Now: 

  • Once you’ve gained enough speed to slide,
  • Hold down the Control key to start a slide.
  • Press the Spacebar at the right time to jump.
  • While in the air, hold one of the strafe keys (A for left, D for right) depending on your desired direction.
  • Then, scroll the mouse wheel up or down without moving the mouse. If you do it right, you will feel a diagonal pull in the direction you’re facing.
  • Keep holding the strafe key and move the mouse in the direction of the pull. 
  • Continue spamming the mouse wheel scroll to achieve the perfect tap strafe.
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Tap strafing is a mix of bunny hopping and air strafing, making it one of the most complex movements in Apex Legends. So, don’t be surprised if you can’t nail it on the first try. Keep practicing until you get the perfect tap strafe. 

Is tap strafing in Apex Legends banned?

Controller tap strafing is banned in Apex Legends, but players on the keyboard can still use the movement mechanic. 

Controller tap strafing has been a controversial topic for over two years. Respawn originally announced plans to remove the movement mechanic in 2021 but delayed the implementation.

However, on February 1st, the developer finally banned the use of tap strafing on controllers due to numerous complaints and concerns regarding its exploitative nature.

Respawn Entertainment on Tap strafe in Apex Legends
Screenshot by Fariha Bhatti/ONE Esports

Tap strafing is a tactic that requires hours of practice and can be executed without the use of configs if you’re using a mouse and keyboard combination.

However, controller players were performing the mechanic by using complex Steam configurations. Instead of using multiple keys to perfectly execute a tap strafe, controller players could do it by setting a specific series of commands to a single button. 

This was extremely frustrating for players on PC. 

Players can now breathe a sigh of relief as Respawn has removed configurations that alter movement from the game. Tap strafing in Apex Legends is safe, for now.

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