Fortnite is getting skill-based matchmaking and bots

(Image credit: Epic Games)

Fortnite changes a lot from week to week (and, sometimes, day to day), but one thing about it that's remained fairly constant is its matchmaking. But soon that will no longer be the case: Epic announced today that the 10.40 update will bring changes to the game's "core modes" that Epic said will create fairer games for everyone by matching up players of similar skill levels.

Details on exactly how the new system will work haven't been revealed, but "you will be more likely to match with players of similar skill, and as you get better, so should your opponents," Epic said. "We will slowly roll this out to all regions across Battle Royale core modes as we test and monitor how it performs." 

A rollout schedule hasn't been revealed either, but Epic said it will issue an update once the system is fully live across all regions.

A more visible change will arrive next season, in the form of bots. "They will behave similarly to normal players and will help provide a better path for players to grow in skill," Epic said. "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."

Some Fortnite fans don't seem entirely happy about the coming addition of bots—the responses on Twitter have been mixed, let's say—but there are some positive comments about the plan in the Fortnite Competitive subreddit.

"I think this change will be more healthy for the games longevity. Bots/noobs being content in bot lobbies = Less catering to noobs," LowQualityJpeg wrote. "Both casual players, above average, and comp players benefit from this."

Another, jcow77, said they're "hyped" because the change "completely eliminates the previous competitive philosophy where balance changes are catered towards lower skilled players. Instead, they are being put into lobbies where they can improve against people of similar skill level."

Epic said it will "continue to update and iterate" bots, and the new matchmaking system, after they go live. Fortnite season 11 doesn't have an official start date yet, but we expect it to kick off sometime in the first half of October. 

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.