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Fortnite servers will be unstable for the next week as Epic protects against Meltdown CPU exploit

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Epic Games' attempt to protect its services against the Meltdown CPU exploit (opens in new tab) could make it difficult for some players to login to Fortnite for the next week, the developer said yesterday.

Epic is patching its cloud servers—which is "heavily relies on"—to address their vulnerability to Meltdown, and the result is that the game will be unstable over the next week. The patch of one cloud server had more than doubled CPU usage of one of Fortnite's back-end services, the company revealed.

"Unexpected issues may occur with our services over the next week as the cloud services we use are updated. We are working with our cloud service providers to prevent further issues and will do everything we can to mitigate and resolve any issues that arise as quickly as possible," it said, in a blog post (opens in new tab) responding to player complaints that they couldn't login to the game.

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For what it's worth, I was able to play a round this morning without any issue, so this isn't a problem that's going to affect every player at all times. It's just something to be wary of if you'd planned to join a friend for a long session over the weekend.

It's especially bad timing given that the game just launched a limited-time Battle Royale game mode, Sneaky Silencers (opens in new tab), which a lot of people (including myself) will be keen to try out. 

I doubt it's going to be the only game affected by the Meltdown fix. Companies using or hosting cloud services should all be patching against Meltdown attacks immediately, and that could mean that other games are affected. I'll keep an eye out for reports of outages.

And again, it's worth reading Jarred and Tuan's article (opens in new tab) on the Meltdown and Spectre exploits to find out how to protect yourself.

Samuel Horti is a long-time freelance writer for PC Gamer based in the UK, who loves RPGs and making long lists of games he'll never have time to play. He's now a full-time reporter covering health at the Bureau of Investigative Journalism. When he does have time for games you may find him on the floor, struggling under the weight of his Steam backlog.