Fortnite: What moving to Unreal Engine’s Chaos system means for Chapter 2 – Season 2

Epic Games
Epic Games /

With update 11.50, Fortnite is moving to Unreal Engine’s Chaos system, which excels in destructible environments. What’s that mean for Chapter 2 – Season 2?

On Friday, Epic Games announced that the start of Fortnite Chapter 2 – Season 2 would be delayed (join the crowd). Originally set to launch on February 6, the next major refresh for the battle royale game has been pushed back to Thursday, February 20.

Epic Games didn’t give a specific reason for the delaying the start of Chapter 2 – Season 2, although it could have something to do with the move to Unreal Engine’s Chaos physics system. In the same post, Epic announced that the move to the new physics system will begin with the release of the 11.50 update in early February.

It seems likely that Epic wants to ensure a smooth transition before kicking off a brand new competitive season. Chapter 2 – Season 2 will have additional Overtime Challenges and a new two-week event, likely serving as a way to keep players engaged while Epic works out all of the kinks that come with a new switch in physics systems.

But what exactly does this switch mean? Well, for starters, Epic ensured players that they still want Fortnite to “feel like Fortnite.” In other words, I wouldn’t expect too much change in the graphics or gameplay mechanics.

If anything, the switch to the Chaos physics system will improve upon Fortnite‘s core mechanics. As seen in the video below, the Chaos Engine specializes in the destruction of buildings and structures. And what is one of the key points of gameplay for Fortnite? Building and destroying.

I doubt we’ll see this level of detail ever come to Fortnite, but the game can still benefit from its capabilities. I think we’ll see subtle graphical improvements, such as more noticeable effects when you destroy a building or structure.

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I’m more intrigued by what this could mean for gameplay. Right now, when you destroy a structure in Fortnite, it disappears for good. Players only take damage if they were to fall from a great height.

As you can see in the demo above, shooting a building results in debris flying all over the place and even staying on the ground. What if in Fortnite Chapter 2 – Season 2, players can take damage from falling debris?

Imagine standing inside one of a building in Fortnite and having the structure come crumbling down while you’re inside. Maybe you take damage, or maybe it even kills your character. It would certainly address the problem of turtling late game and even change the way people play.

Or what if the rubble from fallen structures provide a new type of cover to hide behind? This could provide a way to balance the game for those who may not be as good as building their own structures. I know Epic has been working on ways to make the game more fair for those who may not excel in building — this could help with that.

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Unfortunately, we’ll have to wait to find out. Epic has redacted the portions of their blog post mentioning new features in Fortnite Chapter 2 – Season 2.