Fortnite’s Season 11 is around the corner, and many players are looking for the dust to settle after a contentious Season 10. Today, developer Epic announced some changes coming to the main battle royale mode, including alterations to matchmaking in the upcoming 10.40 patch and the addition of bots in Season 11.
In a blog post today, Epic wrote that it will be adding “improved matchmaking logic to Battle Royale core modes to create fairer matches” with the 10.40 patch. The post doesn’t get much more specific about the changes, but Epic notes, “You will be more likely to match with players of similar skill, and as you get better, so should your opponents.” The changes will happen progressively across regions. Currently, players are matched in lobbies regardless of skill level, which can create unbalanced games.
In Season 11, Epic will also add bots to non-competitive modes:
In the next Season, we are adding Bots to Fortnite. They will behave similarly to normal players and will help provide a better path for players to grow in skill. Bots will work in conjunction with the new matchmaking system, and as your skill improves, you’ll face fewer Bots. Bots will not be present in Competitive playlists. This is another system that we will continue to update and iterate.
The idea of bots in a battle royale might seem odd, as a key part of the sweetness of a battle royale victory is besting other individuals. Bots were contentious when PUBG mobile added them last year, and the word “bot” has long been a bit of Fortnite slang for unskilled players. However, on the Fortnite competitive reddit, some players are applauding the idea of bots, as well as the other matchmaking changes, for giving newer players a way to practice and improve at the game without affecting the overall balance.
Season 10 has been colored by Epic’s focus on new and casual players, bringing in items many players feel are overpowered. Some players seem hopeful that the upcoming matchmaking changes in the 10.40 patch will provide a solution. “This means that they’re actually trying to let the kiddos get the hang of the game in a safe environment instead of giving them overpowered stuff like the mech,” wrote one player. “They will play against people on their level, which should (HOPEFULLY, PLEASE EPIC) lead to fewer items that are designed to help bad players do well,” wrote another. “Hopefully with this change they stop adding stupid items to enable the bad players as they will have bots to do that instead,” wrote a third of the next season changes.
How Epic will determine players’ skill level and how the bots will function remain to be seen, but many players believe this is a step in the right direction. One player wrote on reddit, “Casual players, above average, and comp players benefit from this.”