Epic Games has announced the upcoming addition of skilled-matched bots to battle royale shooter Fortnite.
The sweeping changes stem from a desire to alleviate the disparity in skill that characterizes the game’s massive player base. It’s not uncommon to find highly skilled players alongside green newcomers in the very same match – an issue Epic has long struggled to iron out.
Patch v10.40 ushers in a new matchmaking logic designed to match players with evenly skilled opponents. Epic stopped short of providing concrete details of how this will work. The developer did promise ‘fairer matches’, and that as skill improves so will that of opponents.
Looking to the future, the developer will introduce bots to Fortnite in Season 11. These AI opponents are purported to act in very much the same way as real players. The idea is that lower-tier matchmaking will have more bots to give newcomers a chance to get to grips with Fortnite’s notoriously high learning curve.
Despite natural hesitation as to the inclusion of AI, bots are a good thing for Fortnite. Epic’s recent push to adapt the game to newcomers and lower-skilled players by reducing the skill gap has brought in changes like the much-maligned BRUTE mechanic.
By introducing bots, Fortnite will no longer need to cater to the most common denominator. Newcomers will have a haven of sorts to hone their skills without toying with the overall state and balance of the game. Additionally, newcomers won’t be overwhelmed and abandon the game. A point that should please Epic’s concern for growing the player base and ensuring player retention.
As for better players, they will no longer have to contend with overpowered additions like the mechs designed to help unskilled players. Epic also confirmed that the higher up the matchmaking echelons you go, the fewer bots you’ll encounter, and they outright won’t feature in competitive play.
Players seem to agree, with many taking to Reddit to applaud the move.
It’s a win-win situation that could do well to reverse recent negative sentiment towards Fortnite.