Epic addresses Fortnite matchmaking concerns, warns that smurfing will get you banned

(Image credit: Epic Games)

Epic announced a couple of weeks ago that changes were being made to Fortnite's matchmaking system. Beginning in the 10.40 patch, the change was aimed at matching up players of similar skills, regardless of platform, and meant that players "will be more likely to match with players of similar skill." Some people, such as in this Reddit thread, expressed fears that the changes could actually result in more unfair matchups, though, especially since Epic didn't say anything about how the system would actually work.

Epic acknowledged those concerns in a recent update, saying that the new system "accounts for various skill levels across different platforms and control inputs, and groups players of similar skill levels together," and that no platforms or controller setups will have an unfair advantage.

"Our goal with the new matchmaking system is to create fairer matches for all of our players, which includes special considerations for each platform. This means that where similar skill exists, players may be paired against opponents from ALL platforms—whether they’re using mouse + keyboard, a controller, or touch input," Epic said. "We are closely monitoring match analytics and your feedback, and we'll make adjustments to ensure everyone is playing a fair match."

"On the topic of smurfing, we’ve seen discussion around players smurfing as a way to have easier matches. Smurfing is a bannable offense. We see a bunch of negative behavior that occurs with smurfing and issues with gameplay integrity. If we see consistent reports and perceive that you are negatively impacting other players’ experiences, we will take appropriate action."

The update also touched on the new Combine game mode, changes to controller sensitivity settings, and more information on bots, which were announced alongside the matchmaking update.

  • What happens with spectating if I am defeated by a Bot? Instead of viewing the Bot that defeated you, you will view another remaining player. If you are the last remaining human player, the match will end.
  • Will I be able to party up with Bots?  No, we’re not currently planning to support this functionality. You and your friends can still use The Robot Emote to dance together, however. :)
  • Can Bots use vehicles? Can Bots do 90s?  Not yet, but long term we’re looking to see how far we can push our Bots.
  • Can I play a match entirely against Bots? We’re looking into a “vs. Bot” mode as a means to sharpen your skills, explore the map, and help elevate your game to the next level.
  • What about Bots in Creative mode? Bots will not be in Creative. This is something we will consider for our roadmap.

In case you hadn't heard, Fortnite Season 10 was recently extended by a week—it's now scheduled to end on October 13.

Andy Chalk

Andy has been gaming on PCs from the very beginning, starting as a youngster with text adventures and primitive action games on a cassette-based TRS80. From there he graduated to the glory days of Sierra Online adventures and Microprose sims, ran a local BBS, learned how to build PCs, and developed a longstanding love of RPGs, immersive sims, and shooters. He began writing videogame news in 2007 for The Escapist and somehow managed to avoid getting fired until 2014, when he joined the storied ranks of PC Gamer. He covers all aspects of the industry, from new game announcements and patch notes to legal disputes, Twitch beefs, esports, and Henry Cavill. Lots of Henry Cavill.