Fortnite's Shopping Cart Woes: A Timeline

Illustration for article titled Fortnite's Shopping Cart Woes: A Timeline

Shopping carts are, at this point, Fortnite’s only vehicle. You can ride on them solo or with a friend, and they give you a slight speed boost. Simple enough, right? Wrong. Epic has now pulled them temporarily from the game three different times. Today, just when you thought they were in, Epic pulled them back out.


Here’s a timeline of the carts’ brief existence in Fortnite:

May 30—Shopping carts added to Fortnite. People weren’t sure about the idea of vehicles in Fortnite at first, but many players warmed to them quickly.

June 11—Shopping carts removed from Fortnite. “Due to an issue caused by Shopping Carts we’ve disabled the ability to use them while we investigate,” wrote Epic on Twitter.

June 14—Shopping carts added back into Fortnite. That, it seemed to players, was the end of that.

June 16—Shopping carts once again removed from Fortnite, this time due to a different bug that players speculate involved using them to get under the map. “Due to a bug with the Shopping Cart, we’re temporarily disabling it until we have a fix. We’ll update you once the issue is resolved,” Epic said.

June 20—Shopping carts added back into Fortnite again. Epic even hyped up their return with a fun user-created video in which a shopping cart—suddenly possessed by a ghost, freewill, physics, or some combination of the three—ran somebody over of its own volition.


June 20, two hours later—Shopping carts once again removed from Fortnite, seemingly due to the same under-the-map issue as before. “Due to ongoing issues, we’ll be disabling Shopping Carts again. We’ll update you when this issue is resolved,” said Epic.

June 21, 2076—The remnants of humanity pick over the remains of a civilization many of them never knew, that fewer of them barely remember. A teen finds a phone in the rubble and, through some unknowable force, is compelled to click a blue icon with a white bird on it. Before her wonderment-widened eyes, Twitter springs to life. There is just one entry, dated only a couple minutes earlier. It is from the Fortnite account. After issues earlier that week, shopping carts have been enabled again, it says. The teen does not know why, but for some reason, this gives her hope.

Kotaku senior reporter. Beats: Twitch, streaming, PC gaming. Writing a book about streamers tentatively titled "STREAMERS" to be published by Atria/Simon & Schuster in the future.



i’ve been thinking about why i love the shopping carts so much, and a lot of it is that it was such a pleasant surprise, and a genuinely funny and functional addition that fits in perfectly and in fact advances the tone epic are going for in fortnite. i really can’t recall a multiplayer game ever doing so much world-building without trying to shove a terrible, context-less story into a set of traditional game types.

fortnite feels futuristic with it’s approach, and unlike games like halo 3 which relied on a thriving community to generate the surprising and fun content that often subverted bungie’s gameplay (rip halo multiplayer btw, i miss ya), fortnite feels crafted by professionals in the service of building something cohesive. not saying either approach is better, but epic’s is certainly less common.

i think all the conversations about how crazy it is that fortnite blew up the way it did are doing epic a little bit of a disservice. i was a die hard pubg guy until early this year, but fortnite is the biggest game in the world for a damn good reason, which is that it is also maybe the best multiplayer game i’ve ever played.