Apple’s latest iOS refresh arrived not quite fully baked, leading to all sorts of bugs that range from minor to serious. The situation is so pressing, in fact, that Apple is pushing up the release of iOS 13.1 by a week to help iron out the kinks. But for avid players of battle royale mobile titles like Fortnite and PUBG Mobile, that means going a few days without being able to properly play the touch-based shooters.
Both games, as well as many others, rely on multiple, simultaneous touch inputs to control in-game characters. The issue with iOS 13 is that a three-finger press-and-hold gesture was introduced to allow for more granular text editing options.
Since the official release yesterday, countless players have complained that the added gesture is game-breaking for Fortnite and PUBG Mobile, in particular. Both titles rely on third-person perspectives and often involve keeping two fingers on the screen for moving a character and controlling the camera while a third finger is arched across the screen to aim down sights and perform other in-game functions. (The tactic is referred to as the “claw” or “claw grip,” for the contorted hand position you find yourself making to pull it off.)
Yet doing the gesture in-game will open the new text editing bar instead, and battle royale games are one-life-per-found affairs where you can’t afford to swipe away a menu in the heat of a battle with another human player.
Fortnite creator Epic Games has yet to release any sort of statement regarding the issue, but PUBG Mobile developer Tencent put a notice inside its mobile version acknowledging the issue and advising players not to update:
We are aware of an issue for players who upgraded to iOS 13.0, where touching the screen with 3 fingers will trigger an iOS function and interrupt the game.
We have already raised the issue with Apple, and we will continue working with them to resolve the issue. We suggest players who play the game with 3 or more fingers do not upgrade to iOS 13.0 until this issue is resolved.
Thank you for your understanding.
PUBG MOBILE Team
I’m running iOS 13.1 beta, and the issue does not seem to persist in this version of the software. The PUBG Mobile team also says the beta should resolve the issue, writing on Twitter that “13.1 should be much better for claw players.”
One theory is that Apple made it so the enhanced text editing tool only opens when you’re tapped inside a text box, but Apple has yet to officially acknowledge the bug. Some testing of that on my personal device does support this, as the tool only shows up when tapped inside text boxes on Messages, Signal, and similar apps.
Regardless, it’s not a great look for Apple. Thankfully, iOS 13.1 is coming soon. For those who haven’t yet updated, don’t do it. Not only is the standard release full of bugs, but it also has a security issue that lets a hacker bypass the lock screen to expose your contact list. Here’s a helpful guide on how to skip iOS 13 ahead of 13.1’s official release on September 24th.