I’m not the most aggressive battle royale player, but I put a lot of effort into supporting my team. I stick close to my squad, share my loot, and heal my teammates whenever I can. In games where downed players can be brought back, like Apex Legends or Fortnite, I always go out of my way to revive them and keep the team intact. Sometimes, though, my teammates don’t give me that chance.
In Apex Legends, if you grab your teammate’s banner from the box they turn into when they die, you can bring them back, sans loot, at a respawn beacon. Fortnite cribbed off this idea with its reboot vans, where you can deliver a teammate’s reboot card to spawn them back in with a low-level pistol and some wood. In both games, the revive ability times out after a minute and a half, but they both mean being killed isn’t the end of your game if you can just wait a little.
These games are better with a full squad, but I also just want the folks I’m playing with to get to keep playing. Even if they’re randos, I want them to have a good time, and getting downed and respawned enriches the narrative of a match for both of us. The downed player gets a comeback story. For the rescuer, the excitement of scrambling to get someone’s respawn card in time and surviving long enough to reach a revive point is always worth the effort.
Lately, I’ve suffered a rash of teammates who quit the match the moment they die. Sometimes this makes sense: It’s obvious I’m too far away to reach them in time, or enemies are camping their corpse and making recovery a bad idea. But a lot of the time they just quit.
Maybe they’re just saving themselves the potential pain of watching human nature in action – it is frustrating to wait for a revive that just never comes. In a recent Apex Legends game, watching my teammate blithely loot around near my corpse, I caved to pinging my respawn banner repeatedly, causing a ding and a green flash to remind my teammate to get me. They did not get me, and I worried I was being too pushy. It’s OK, I told myself. They must be new. I tried to ignore the fact that they were a much higher level than me.
I’m not the only one bothered by this behavior. Yesterday, a player on the Apex Legends subreddit complained about their quitting teammates. In the comments, some players suggested a penalty for quitting without waiting to see if you’ll get respawned. Others tried to explain their quitting tendency: “When I’m playing casual pubs I don’t want to wait around for 4 minutes to be respawned and that’s IF my teammate can clutch, which happens like 10% of the time.” Many shared stories of going on to win after their teammates left, something that’s happened to me on both sides: I’ve won games without my teammates, and I’ve also spectated my teammates who didn’t reboot me winning without me. (I almost always stick around to watch my team after I die, because I worry they’ll think I’m rude if I don’t. This is what it’s like to live in my brain.)
I can’t speak for everyone, but if you’re on my team, I’m never not coming to save you. Maybe it’s a little selfish: I crave the drama of an epic rescue and the ego boost of feeling like a hero, but I also just want to be a good teammate. Plenty of teammates probably won’t try to revive you, but have some faith that people can be good. Let’s be honest, they probably won’t, but you can at least have the self-righteous satisfaction of knowing you gave them a chance.