Epic reduces Fortnite mech spawns in Arena and Tournament playlists (Updated)

(Image credit: Epic Games)

Updated: Epic has reduced the spawn rate of mechs in Fortnite's Arena and Tournament playlists ahead of next weekend's Champion series event. It comes after pro Fortnite teams asked for mechs to be banned from tournament play (see original story below). 

At the beginning of a match, there is now a 21.5% chance that between one and three mechs will spawn—previously, there was a 100% chance that between two and four mechs would spawn.

The spawn chances, and maximum number of possible spawns, have been reduced for every storm phase, and there's never more than a 50% chance that mechs will spawn. You can read the full breakdown of the changes in this Reddit post.

Original story:

Ever since the start of Fortnite's Season 10, players have been venting about the addition of a powerful two-player mechs. Yesterday, Epic Games announced plans to nerf the mechs, but revealed that they'd remain in the game for competitive play—and the pros aren't pleased. A group of esports teams responded to the news with one voice, begging the dev team to scrap the mechs for Fortnite tournaments.

Teams including Cloud9, T1, NRG, Team Liquid, FaZe Clan and Ghost Gaming all tweeted the same message: "Remove the mech from tournaments".

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The main complaint from the community is that each mech, called a B.R.U.T.E., deals far too much damage to both buildings and players. It can demolish a tower in seconds with a barrage of missiles, and each missile deals 50 damage, leaving you no chance to defend yourself. Epic's nerf doesn't address any of that: it plans to give each B.R.U.T.E. a targeting laser to show where it's aiming its rockets. You'll therefore know if you're in its sights, and the lasers will also have directional audio, another clue of where to look. 

"We’ll communicate any future iterations to the vehicle as we’re continuing to investigate a few more areas where we can improve combat interactions," the dev team said in a blog post.

Players were struggling to work out where mechs were firing from, and the nerf fixes that problem. But it's not enough to stem the tide—the Fortnite subreddit is still a sea of memes about the strength of the mechs, including one that says the new lasers will simply "let you know you're dead".

If the concerted calls of pro players aren't enough to spur Epic into further action, nothing will be. I'm interested to see how they respond to Cloud9, NRG and others, and no doubt we'll hear more about the mechs over the next seven days.

To make matters worse, players have also discovered a glitch that let players in mechs win without firing a single missile. It's hard to pull off, and involves killing yourself, having your teammate revive you, jumping back in the mech, falling off the edge of the map and self-destructing, at which point you somehow stay alive and become immune to damage (h/t Polygon). It'll need to be fixed before the core issues players have with the mechs are addressed.

Samuel Horti

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.