One of the great things about Fortnite is that when you’re sick of the standard play found in a normal match, you can jump into whatever limited time mode (LTM) is currently available for some casual games where the usual rules don’t apply. Some of them change minor rules while others introduce new concepts completely. Since Fortnite Battle Royale launched in September of last year there’s been over 10 different LTMs, each offering the player a unique spin on Fortnite's battle royale formula. But which have been the best and which ones haven’t worked so well? Here’s a few of the most notable LTMs ranked from worst to best.
The team at Epic had a great theory in their collective brains about how Final Fight should play out. Unfortunately, it didn’t quite work. Final Fight is a large team mode (originally teams of 20, then teams of 12) where the match goes about normally until the third storm phase finishes, then a timer appears. The storm stops shrinking and whichever team is left with the most amount of players after the timer counts down is declared the winner.
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This should lead to some great fights, right? Players should be focused on reviving their teammates and coordinating build pushes rather than diving in headfirst and dying, right? Think again. As soon as the timer appeared, whichever team had the highest number of players would hide and camp their way to victory. Forget fighting, the mode promoted sitting in builds, corners and bushes until the game ended. It was everything Fortnite shouldn’t be. Epic agreed the mode wasn’t very fun and removed it in under two weeks.
Sniper Shootout is exactly what it says on the tin. The only weapons available are sniper variants and for some reason in early iterations, the scoped assault rifle. No SMG spray, no shotgun rushes and most of all, no RPG spam. It's great for players who want to improve at their overall sniper play, that is, if they're willing to deal with excessive downtime.
The mode is just unfathomably boring. All the aspects of the game that players love and cherish such as build battling and flanking go straight out of the window. Most games are players engaging in long range fights from distant towers, hoping to predict where their target is going to move to. Sniping is great fun in a normal game because picking someone off with a sweet headshot feels like a major event, but in a mode where everyone has sniper rifles? It's great practice, but not great fun.
Close Encounters had so much potential. It seemed like it was going to be an incredible mode where players would fly through their air, shotguns in hand and jetpacks on backs, taking players out in the skies. It somewhat worked for a while, until everyone realised that a sky base is literally unbeatable in this mode.
Gathering a plethora of materials, building a tower by the edge of the map then building your way in at the height limit meant nobody was able to reach you up there since jetpacks run out of fuel before the top of the world, and nobody could shoot you down because long range weapons weren’t available. Epic removed the mode almost immediately, saying it would be "evaluating the effect sky bases have in this LTM". It hasn't appeared again since.
The first iteration of High Explosives came during the new year, back when the weapon pool was limited. Rocket and grenade launchers were featured, as were grenades but that was pretty much it. It was only in the second iteration did the mode become fun, when the guided missile was added for the first time.
High Explosives was never a bad mode, it just wasn’t anything special either. Engaging in a build battle was nearly always useless because you’d be shot down in an instant. Material gain was buffed by 50% for the mode but it wasn’t particularly helpful. Nothing beats a self-rocket ride with the guided missile though. If you were looking for dumb fun, High Explosives would provide.
Teams of 20
50v50 was the first LTM ever introduced to the game and was the first chance we got to experience “big team” play. Teams of 20 has tried to be the middle-ground between squads and 50v50. It sounds good in concept, but in practice, it's a nightmare. Teams are too small to stay coordinated enough for much real cooperation or competition to occur.
The latest iteration of the mode has improved things somewhat though, as every team has their own battle bus. This means that all of your team are likely to be together looting before charging into battle, but there’s always a few rapscallions that reckon they can be a hero, diving in early and becoming a zero. Those players tend to ruin the mode for the others on their team as they’re left outnumbered heading into the later stages of the game. If you want big team action, stick to 50v50.
As you’d expect, Fly Explosives is very similar to High Explosives. Can you guess what the difference is? Jetpacks, because of course it is. Despite being vaulted in the main mode, jetpacks have returned for Fly Explosives, a perfect fit. While Close Encounters didn’t fare well with jetpacks, sky bases aren’t a problem in this mode because they can easily be shot down from afar.
If you get into a fair dogfight, it’s pretty entertaining. Shooting rockets and throwing remote explosive at your opponent, trying to predict where they’re going to land and timing your explosions right is good fun most of the time. The rest of the time though, someone will hit you from miles away with an explosion you’re sure shouldn’t reach you. With the current state of explosives being so powerful, this mode becomes tiresome after a while.
When everyone has the best weapons, technically nobody has the best weapons. That’s mainly why Solid Gold is a very enjoyable mode—you know that every fight you engage in is going to be somewhat fair. Sure, your opponent may have more healing items or more materials but it’s mostly going to be down to who outplays the other.
We haven’t seen Solid Gold for a while now, but when it was around, the meta in the main modes were very shotgun reliant. Since the only shotgun available in Solid Gold was the heavy, it meant hardly anyone was ramp rushing you with double shotguns, instead opting to play slower and go for longer range kills. It was refreshing, especially during that meta. It's also just cathartic when literally every chests explodes in a shower of gold weapons.
In celebration of Avengers: Infinity War, Marvel and Epic teamed up in May to create one of the most unique and downright coolest modes we’ve ever seen and likely will see for a long while. Thanos came to Fortnite as a playable character.
It was essentially 1vs99, where one player is Thanos himself. The infinity gauntlet plummeted down to the island early on in each game and the first person to reach it would transform into the Mad Titan along with all of his special abilities. The ultimate goal was the same: be the last man standing on the map, but when one opponent can shoot a laser beam out of his hands, jump four storeys high and knock you back 20 feet with one punch, that’s easier said than done.
The only problem was inherent. It was a lopsided mode that made any form of success much more dependent on luck despite the novelty of its mechanics and supervillain cameo, which could wear the novelty thin quickly. Nothing beats throwing a boogie bomb at Thanos and watching him break it down while dodging bullets though.
While 50v50 is a limited time mode, it’s been around for so long now you’d be forgiven for thinking it’s now a standard playlist. 50v50 is the first LTM Epic ever introduced way back in December last year and while the trailer showed two enormous teams fighting across some amazing structures and builds, it didn’t get off to the greatest start. In its first iteration, each game usually played out as a series of solo fights throughout the map. They somewhat fixed it in the second version by giving each team their own battle bus and now in the third version of the mode, it’s much closer to what Epic were hoping for.
50v50 is a mode to play when you’re tired of how intense the regular games can be. Each team is given half of the map to explore and loot, before making their way to the safe zone for the ultimate showdown. Sometimes the games will be very one sided and end up being 35v10 for example, but for the rest of the time the games go right down to the wire. Reviving teammates is vital in 50v50, as is supplying players with things they need if you have excess such as materials and healing items. Plus, you can moonlight as a high-speed taxi driver and escort players to the safe zone in an ATK.
A new Flying 50s mode was just added, too, which let's players open their glider from any height in a 50v50 format. We'll be sure to throw it into the mix once we've given it enough time.
If 50v50 is a less intense version of Fortnite, Blitz is the opposite. Nothing is changed about Fortnite's rules, everything is just sped up. The storm closes in from the very start of the game, you gather materials quicker, chests are much more likely to spawn, even the battle bus flies closer to the ground so you can get into the fray earlier.
Blitz is the best Fortnite gamemode because there’s so little time spent doing mundane things. Looting can be fun at the start of each game but when more than half of each normal game is spent searching for chests, chopping down trees and picking up floor loot, it makes each game quite boring for a long while. Sure there’s a couple of early game fights if you land at a popular location, but for the most part, the early game is dull. Blitz eliminates that and gets you fighting with solid equipment much sooner. Fingers crossed we’ll see Blitz stick around.