New Fortnite mode should please both sides in community rift

Doctor Strange performs magic within Fortnite
(Image credit: Epic Games)

Correction: an earlier version of this article suggested that building in the core battle royal had returned. While it's expected to in the near future, it hasn't yet been reinstated into the game.

Epic Games has announced that a new Zero Build mode is being added to Fortnite on a permanent basis. So those looking to jump into the world without having to master its unique build mechanic can now do so. 

The launch of Fortnite Chapter 3 Season 2 last week left players without the ability to build in the core Battle Royale mode for the first time. The game’s building mechanic is one of its most unique, but controversial aspects. Before this season, it was a skill that had to be mastered in order for you to excel, but it was also a major barrier for some otherwise excellent players. 

It looks like Epic Games is now prepping to have it both ways. The company announced that it is introducing a Zero Build playlist as a new permanent feature. On the other side, this being made a broken out selection likely suggests that building is on its way back soon. As of right now, despite earlier speculation, that hasn't quite come to pass yet though.

There are now Zero Build solo, duos, trios, and squads (4 players) playlists, meaning that no matter how many friends you have, you can get in on the fun. 

To make up for the lack of building, players have access to a couple of tools to make their lives a bit easier. Everyone is kitted out with a recharging Overshield, has access to map-based zip lines, and has mantling allowing access to higher spaces. 

Here’s a fun trailer showcasing the mode and its focus on gunplay above all else. 

A happy medium?

If the building mechanic does come back, as it is fully expected to, this feels like an elegant solution to a debate within the Fortnite community. Even before it was taken out, conversations about if and how building fit into the broader experience had taken place.

A quick trip to the Twitter mentions of the Zero Build announcement shows that this debate is still raging on. One side argues that building is a core skill, the other that its impact on matches is too great and it’s overpowered. 

In response to the changes last week, a Reddit thread titled 'Feedback Megathread: Building vs No Building' received over 2300 comments where both sides had their say about the feature. While there are concerns about splitting the player base, the most upvoted comments state that Epic should just keep a non-building option. 

Hopefully, the final outcome here ends up with building and non-building communities satiated. 

Patrick Dane
Gaming Guides Editor

Patrick Dane is TechRadar Gaming's Guides Editor. With nearly a decade in the games press, he's been a consistent voice in the industry. He's written for a plethora of major publications and travelled the world doing it. He also has a deep passion for games as a service and their potential to tell evolving stories. To wit, he has over 2000 hours in Destiny 2, over 1000 in Overwatch and is now deeply into Valorant.