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Not long ago, it seemed that everybody played Fortnite. The battle royale came out in late 2017 and quickly became a worldwide phenomenon. From kids and adults to actors to athletes, millions of players around the world did their best to achieve a Victory Royale. Fortnite was at its peak, and you had to be living under a rock to not know about it.
While the popularity of Fortnite in its early years is well documented, one has to wonder where the game stands in 2023. After all, Epic Games’ flagship IP has gone through so many changes that it’s nearly unrecognizable. However, this doesn’t mean that the game isn’t as good as it used to be.
Over the past few years, Fortnite has received hundreds of updates. From large ones that brought new seasons to small quality-of-life changes, the development team has worked hard on improving the game and keeping it at the top. Unsurprisingly, Epic sticking to its recipe for success has turned out to be a fantastic idea as Fortnite still has millions of daily players.
Nostalgia is still strong in the Fortnite community. Many players want Epic Games to bring back the Chapter 1 map, convinced the game would be much better. Fortunately, new Creative maps allow players to go back in time. With the release of Unreal Editor for Fortnite (UEFN) in early 2023, talented creators can now use custom assets in the game, from 3D models to animations. Thanks to this amazing tool, several Chapter 1 recreations have been published, including Reboot Royale and Atlas OG Battle Royale.
The new Creative mode comes with a couple of disadvantages though. The prevalence of low-quality maps make the game look messy and confusing. Considering that Epic Games rewards creators for publishing maps, this problem is unlikely to go away anytime soon. The Discover tab, which features third-party maps, has too many low-effort maps, and this is something that needs to change.
On the flip side, the videogame has many fantastic game modes, including a lot of great Creative maps. While it’s true that many UEFN maps are awful, some of them are just mind-blowing. Maps like OnlyUp have attracted millions of players within only a few days, which is a testament to the success of Creative mode.
When it comes to Battle Royale, Epic Games released the Zero Build mode in Chapter 3. While its building mechanics is what sets Fortnite apart from its competitors, this mode removes them entirely. Instead, players simply engage in good old-fashioned combat and use natural cover to avoid enemy fire. The mode has been in the game for over a year and is liked by casual and competitive players alike. Zero Build has a lower skill ceiling, which makes it perfect for new players who want to give Fortnite a shot.
Unfortunately, Fortnite also has forced crossplay, meaning that console and mobile players are matched up against PC players. While the crossplay accounts for the player’s platform to make matchmaking fair, it’s still not ideal. Some platforms can turn off crossplay, but this results in extremely long waiting times and is not a recommended option. Fortnite crossplay is fantastic and it makes teaming up with others very simple. However, it should not be mandatory.
In addition to crossplay, Fortnite also supports cross-progression. As long as you use the same account, you can use your cosmetic items and progress on any other platform. This is another great feature and one especially useful for anyone who plays the game on multiple gaming systems.
When it comes to cosmetics, we have another reason why Fortnite is still very popular in 2023. Having a squad that consists of LeBron James, Ariana Grande, Goku, and Ahsoka Tano is possible in Fortnite, and that’s a huge appeal for many players. Thanks to collaborations with many companies, brands, and celebrities, Epic Games has been able to add many iconic characters and people to its video game. On top of this, new cosmetic items come out a few times every month, which is impressive!
Make no mistake, these cosmetic items are fantastic. However, they are overpriced. Legendary skins cost 2,000 V-Bucks, which equates to approximately $16. While Legendary skins usually look impressive and come with multiple styles and a back bling, spending this much money on a single item is far from a great deal. V-Bucks will get more expensive starting in late October, which will make the situation even worse. The good news is that cosmetic items are completely optional and give no combat advantage to players. As long as this is the case, we can forgive Epic for having these extravagant prices.
Fortunately, the Battle Pass still costs only 950 V-Bucks. It includes many different skin and cosmetic items, as well as 1,500 V-Bucks. The best thing is that the pass includes exclusive items that will never return to the game. Because of this, purchasing a new Battle Pass every season makes a lot of sense. Not only do you get many fantastic cosmetics, but you also earn enough V-Bucks to purchase the next Battle Pass, essentially getting it for free.
Fortnite’s Item Shop now has more than 50 cosmetic items nearly every day. Thanks to this, each player can find something that appeals to them, whether it’s a fancy new skin or an emote.
Fortnite has become one of the most popular video games of all time thanks to its constant updates. In 2023, Epic Games still releases new content every month. More specifically, new content arrives mostly on a bi-weekly basis, which is spectacular. New seasons come out every three months on average, and each season has at least three major updates, along with many smaller patches and hotfixes.
This is certainly a positive thing as Epic keeps releasing relevant content. Unfortunately, it’s not everyone’s cup of tea since many Fortnite items receive buffs and nerfs rather frequently, forcing players to adjust. Additionally, the in-game island changes from time to time, including bigger changes at the start of every season.
Fortnite still has seasonal events, such as Fortnitemares and Winterfest. Unfortunately, the last live event took place in December 2022. The good news is that Epic recently announced the return of live events. However, the next one won’t take place until late 2023 or early 2024. The community is hoping that Epic Games goes back to releasing these events every season or two. Unfortunately, this is unlikely.
Fortnite has received lots of new mechanics and features over the past few years as well. From mantling to sprinting, it’s nearly impossible to imagine the game without these movement techniques. Reality Augments have also played a big role in Chapter 4, along with Gold Bars, NPCs and their services, forecast towers, and other great new features.
We also have to mention Fortnite’s impressive graphics. For a cartoonish game, it sure looks amazing with all the attention to detail and special effects. Thanks to Unreal Engine 5 and its improvements, Fortnite now supports Nanite Virtualized Geometry and Lumen, which improve in-game lighting and textures. Furthermore, the game supports DLSS and has many useful features, such as dynamic resolution, which drastically helps with framerate. Finally, Fortnite has a performance mode on PC, allowing it to run on low-end machines.
In addition to the aforementioned features, Epic has improved the user interface, making Item Shop refunds much easier and faster. Players can now ready up for another game without returning to the main lobby, which wasn’t possible in Fortnite’s early years. Finally, cosmetic items can now be arranged in different loadouts for easy switching.
While Fortnite certainly has its flaws and is far from a perfect game, it’s still exceptional in 2023. The combat is smooth and the variety of game modes makes the game attractive to different types of players. It’s still the king of the battle royale genre and is unlikely to be dethroned anytime soon.