APEX LEGENDS has only been out for a few days, but a secret “black market” has already sprung up around the game.
Skilled players are offering to “boost” the accounts of fellow gamers, levelling them up, or giving them free kills and wins – all in exchange for cash.
Levelling up in games means premium rewards for your account – and prestige, too – but it takes time.
And getting a good ratio of kills versus deaths or wins versus losses on your account is also tricky.
So often talented players will earn quick money from lazy gamers willing to pay for a boost.
Players are using eBay and several “black market” sites to offer services, and even sell “boosted” accounts for as much as £230.
One such website is Boosting.Pro, which has a range of services on offer for Apex Legends.
You can purchase a levelling-up service for your account, which takes about 2 hours per level at a cost of €13 (~£11.40).
Because boosting is technically against Apex Legends rules, boosters will use VPN software to trick the game into thinking they’re based in your home country – so it won’t look suspicious.
The website also lets you buy “wins” in the game for €7, which is effectively cheating – but that won’t put lazy, cash-flush gamers off.
It’s a similar story over at eBay, where players are trading free “wins” for between £0.99 and £8.
The going rate in eBay’s “completed listings” section seems to be around £4.50 per “win”.
Specialist “boosting” website ProBoosting is pricier, with a special team of “boosters” charging just over £15 per win.
Of course “boosting” as a practice is risky, and is generally advised against.
It typically involves handing over access to your account to others, and there’s no guarantee the boosters won’t simply steal your login details and disappear.
Apex Legends – what is it?
Here's what you need to know…
- Announced and released on February 4, the latest battle royale game comes from Respawn Entertainment, the studio behind the Titanfall series
- It features 60 players fighting it out in three-man squads, with players choosing from eight distinct classes – the titular Legends – before jumping in
- It’s free to play right now on Xbox One, PS4 and PC
- Players can buy new cosmetic items for their Legends, either from a Fortnite-style item shop or via loot boxes
- It’s also going to feature a battle pass system that will let players unlock other cosmetic items
- New legends will be added over time, and Respawn has promised experimentation and more changes over time
- Currently there are six to choose from and two you have to unlock over time
- Each legend has their own abilities, which come in both tactical and ultimate flavours
- Tactical abilities, such as small shields and smoke grenades, are available from the get-go and can be re-used after a certain amount of time
- Ultimate abilities, like being able to teleport or call in airstrikes, take longer to charger up but are significantly more powerful
- In the game’s first 72 hours, over 10 million gamers logged in to play the new squad-based shooter, with upwards of a million gamers playing at any one time
But it’s not just boosters that are turning a quick profit from Apex Legends.
Another popular website called Player Auctions sees gamers selling premium accounts with rare items on.
The most expensive listing right now is an account with the “wraith pack with knife”, on sale for $300 (~£230).
However, purchasing used accounts is also risky, because it’s impossible to make sure sellers will actually give you the log-in details.
And even if they do, there’s nothing to stop the seller from using their own details to recover the account and claim it back from you.
You also run the risk of having the bought account banned too, if game makers cotton on to the fact that you didn’t create it yourself.
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