Apex Legends lobbies, let alone any multiplayer lobby in most modern games, can become very sweaty or difficult for a variety of reasons.
At the top of the list is skill-based matchmaking. One of the most controversial multiplayer features in games like Apex Legends, Call of Duty: Warzone and others, SBMM matches you against players who the game thinks are of equal competition. Long gone in most games are the days of pub stomping, coming across brand new players and easily farm wins or kills.
The idea is to pair players with others who are equivalent rank to create competitive and fair matchmaking. What ends up happening is games in a “non-competitive” environment (no Ranked setting or risk/gain attached) become too sweaty for most and they end up playing other games or falling out of interest in a game as a whole.
Apex Legends lobbies are so sweaty because, likely, the game’s SBMM system is pairing you against other good players creating an competitive environment.
Now, that’s not to say games are sweaty because the player pool is inherently good at the game or competitive. There could be other reasons why.
Even if you think your SBMM rating correctly reflects your play, there could be smurfs in your game. Players who are trying to dodge their regular rank or SBMM rating through a new account. Or, players are just playing extra sweaty to preserve a rank or performance. There are multiple reasons why an Apex Legends lobby could feel sweaty. You could also just run into the one or few sweaty players early on in a game while the rest of the lobby isn’t the same. Or, you could be coming back to a game you haven’t played in a while and it takes some time to get back into the swing of things. Things you can’t necessarily prepare or predict as a player.
EA and Respawn released a matchmaking update earlier in 2023 detailing changes to the system. The blog post detailed how matchmaking improvements should take into consideration a Gold player from earlier in the game’s history has a different skill level to a Gold player in more recent seasons.