Fortnite has dropped Trios mode with zero explanation, and fans aren't happy

Spider-Gwen in Fortnite Chapter 3 Season 4
(Image credit: Epic Games)

The launch of Fortnite's newest season brought with it the addition of Ranked play, and if you're genuinely surprised that Fortnite—the biggest battle royale in the world—is only just now getting a Ranked mode, trust me, you're not alone. Alas, it comes at a price, as the arrival of Ranked play means the Trios mode is gone.

Trios was initially a limited time mode in Fortnite, before being added as a permanent option (perhaps inspired by the success of Apex Legends) in Chapter 2 Season 5, which went live in December 2020. But now Epic has decided to move away from the mode, a decision announced with a tweet and the most bare-bones patch notes sentence possible: "Please note that the Trios mode will be vaulted in Battle Royale and Zero Build in v24.40."

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Epic didn't say why Trios mode was dropped, but the reaction from players has not been universally positive. 

"Who would this benefit at all? The players?" redditor SafalinEnthusiast wrote in a thread that's now ballooned to more than 1,000 comments. "No, they won’t be benefiting from this change. Epic? The game has been gaining more players for a while now, so they wouldn’t need the extra server space. I don’t see any viable reason behind this change.

"I have two other friends I regularly play with throughout the season. We level up the Battle Pass together. What are we supposed to do?"

"Tomorrow night will be me and my 2 friends first time having to do squads," Arckadius wrote in a separate thread. "Not looking forward to playing with randoms or 1 less person."

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(Image credit: TxrnadoSZN (Twitter))

(Image credit: Zemie (Twitter))

(Image credit: Fitzy (Twitter))

Some theorized that Epic may be looking to reduce queue times, or at least maintain them as they are with the addition of the new Ranked mode, but not everyone was convinced by that argument. "CoD has to remove modes because their playerbase is shrinking and queue times would go crazy otherwise," DJ33 wrote. "Fortnite does not have that problem, trios always matches within a minute."

It's true that Fortnite is still among the most popular games around, but that doesn't necessarily mean it's immune to the risks of splitting your playerbase. By introducing Ranked, Epic has effectively doubled its playlist count, and in a game where a single match requires 100 active players each, I'd wager even Fortnite could experience slower matchmaking at less-active hours. How many players Fortnite really has is a number Epic doesn't share on a regular basis.

Still, there are some who just don't care if queue times end up inflated: "I’ll take it even with longer queue times," NStanley4Heisman wrote. "I come from Overwatch - me and the guys I played with survived long ass queue times over there, I’d do the same here."

It is odd that Epic would give the chop to a mode that's clearly so popular, but the one upside is that what goes into the vault can eventually come out. Trios isn't necessarily gone forever, and could return to action at some point in the future, perhaps as an LTM or once Epic is confident that bringing it back alongside Ranked won't blow up queue times. Naturally, some people don't want to wait:

(Image credit: PineX8 (Reddit))

I've reached out to Epic to ask why Trios mode from Fortnite and if it will make a return at some point, and will update if I receive a reply.

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.