Fornite’s No-Build Mode Is Revitalising The Game And Its Community

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© Epic Games

It’s no secret that Fortnite has left an indelible impact on the gaming scene since its release in 2017. As a result, the developers have understandably been looking for a way to extend its popularity and player base. However, rather than continuing to add new features to an already over-saturated game, removing one of the most notable features may be the secret to maintaining its success. The new “No-Build” mode might just be the answer for Fortnite’s future relevancy.

A Fortnite refresher

In late March of 2022, the owners of Fortnite, Epic Games, announced that it would be trying a new spin of the acclaimed battle royal game mode called “No-Builds”. At first glance, the mode sounds uncharacteristic. Fortnite, after all, is perhaps most well-known for its combination of building walls and ramps alongside the standard run-and-gun combat. Switching off what set it against other battle royale games would, essentially, put itself in direct competition with the likes of Call of Duty’s Warzone and Apex Legends. But this would only be for a limited time.

Limited-time modes, or LTM’s, aren’t new and have usually been the way of tweaking the main mode just enough to make it new and exciting for its player base. Examples of this include “Respawns” and “Team Rumble” which put players in 50 vs. 50 squads, as well as “Arena” the competitive playlist for players.

As mentioned, the mode itself removes building with the new sliding and sprinting mechanic to reshuffle the gameplay. The overall experience feels smoother, and the encouraged use of cover around the map instead of a typical building has also meant a greater focus on combat. With duels no longer focused around editing windows through someone’s 6 by 6 tower instead valuing accuracy and positional awareness from players.

Faster isn’t always better

This is because of the introduction of the “Turbo Building” feature. This feature was created in good faith to help casual players get to grips with building while in gunfights. But this backfired massively. Players no longer had to place every piece individually. Instead “turbo building” allowed multiple wall ramps to be built at once. This would turn your average battle, into a competition as to who can build the bigger ramp first while getting on top and shooting at the opposite player.

Features like “Turbo Building”, while brilliant in encouraging players to get better at the building aspect, increasingly alienated a large number of casual players unable to sink hours into learning how to build a 2 by 2 in 0.3 seconds.

However, in removing the build mode and having the option to keep it off, it has also singlehandedly improved the popularity of the game and has brought old players back (like myself), who were largely disenfranchised by the “new era” Fortnite playstyle.

Words by Joshua Lopez

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