Improved matchmaking and bots can help fix Fortnite’s biggest problem

Epic Games
Epic Games /

After a rocky 10th season, Epic is making some drastic changes to Fortnite to help create a more fair gameplay experience without sacrificing what makes it unit.

Launched back in 2017, Fortnite Battle Royale has grown to become a behemoth in the gaming space. It’s not only the largest battle royale game, but it’s one of the biggest games ever.

But as Fortnite‘s audience has grown over the years, so too has a problem. And in Season 10, it reared its ugly head and threatens the core existence of the game as we know it. I’m not talking about bugs or legality surrounding dances and emotes. I’m talking about the one thing that makes Fortnite fundamentally different from all the rest: building.

Yes, building, the very thing that sets Fortnite apart from all of the other battle royale games, has also become its biggest Achilles heel. The polarizing nature of Fortnite’s building mechanic has led to a split in the community, and it’s not hard to figure out the lines.

If you’re good at building, you probably like the mechanic. If you’re not good at it, you probably hate it and are glad that Season 10 introduced the B.R.U.T.E. (easily the most divisive addition this season).

The B.R.U.T.E, a giant two-person mech, has the capability of easily destroying any building and laying waste to anyone or anything in its way. Epic has taken chances with vehicles in the past, but the B.R.U.T.E. was a different beast entirely. And it’s not hard to figure out why it was added into the game.

Over the past few months, Epic has attempted to figure out a way to curb building. They lowered the number of maximum resources, introduced new weapons and items, and things of that nature — all in an effort to help balance the game and give players like me, who may not excel at building, a chance to succeed and possibly even win.

While Epic does care about its professional streamers and pro players, they also care about creating a fun game that’s appealing to massive audiences. After all, it’s all those millions of dollars in microtransactions that Epic is most interested and you can’t sell dance emotes if no one is playing your game. So to appeal to as wide of an audience as possible, Epic needs to find a way to make Fortnite more accessible and enjoyable. If you suck at building and die because of it, Fortnite becomes a miserable experience. So enter the B.R.U.T.E. and things of this nature.

But this week, Epic took its biggest step yet in helping balance Fortnite. With today’s update (v10.40), they introduced “improved matchmaking logic to core modes.” The goal with this is to match players with those of similar skill. So if you suck at building, you’ll likely be paired with others who also suck.

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By matching players with similar skill together, Epic has created a more balanced playing field in Fortnite. Less-skilled players have a chance to win now. In doing this, Epic has found a way to address the skill-gap issue that has resulted in some very questionable decisions and additions (like the B.R.U.T.E.). Now that we have skill-based matchmaking, Epic doesn’t need to find a way to introduce new items that help level the playing field between good and not-so-good players.

But that’s not all. Next season, Epic is adding Bots to Fortnite. It’s another move to help newcomers help grow in skill. Bots will behave similarly to normal players and should help less-skill players adjust to the game. As you improve (and it’s unclear how Epic will determine this), you’ll face fewer bots. And no, Bots will not be present in Competitive playlists.

After a tumultuous 10th season in which it felt like Epic had lost its way with Fortnite, improved matchmaking and the eventual addition of Bots could help save the battle royale game from itself. It’s not that building is a bad mechanic, it’s just not very fun when you’re not good at it. Skill-based matchmaking will ensure you play against equally skilled (or unskilled players) and Bots should help you improve and even feel better about yourself.

What do you think of Epic’s attempt to create fairer matches and more fun overall experience in Fortnite?