Why Did Fortnite Remove Buildings & Is It Better Now?

Why did Fortnite remove buildings

5 minutes

Last Updated: May 29, 2024

Radu Muresan

When it was first released in 2017, Fortnite took the world by storm and was supported by high-level people who made it famous almost overnight.

By the end of the first year, the game had amassed 125 million players and continues to be played by hundreds of millions of people to this day.

What made Fortnite popular was the Battle Royale mode. But the company that created Fortnite wanted to make its game different from other Battle Royale titles such as PUBG.

So the game was not a pure shooter but rather a tower defense-shooter.

This means that in addition to using weapons to get kills and trying to be among the last survivors, you can also build structures that assist you in reaching your goals.

The utility of those structures is obvious: you are harder to shoot if you’re protected by tower walls and in addition to that, you get to construct your towers in a way that’s more familiar to you than to your opponents, which gives you an edge.

So why did the creators of Fortnite remove buildings from the game?

The Decision to Remove Buildings from Fortnite

Epic Games removed buildings from Fortnite in March 2018. This was a radical move but it wasn’t as radical as it seems.

You can still play Fortnite with buildings, which is called Traditional Fortnite, or you can play the new version, which doesn’t include these useful structures.

The decision was likely made in an attempt to reduce the skill level between new players and highly experienced ones.

In Fortnite, much of the advantage that a veteran player has is related to his ability to build towers properly.

This refers not only to how you build your tower but also to the other parameters, such as the location.

When you know exactly what you need to do to put yourself in a position where you can be one of the first few players who build their towers close to the safest part of the map, your ability to win increases exponentially.

Keep in mind that in Fortnite, the map shrinks gradually and forces players to come closer and closer to each other.

This results in duels that can easily get you killed. Experienced players know how to not get forced to take unfavorable fights by the shrinking map area.

Their strategy mostly revolves around building their tower quickly in a favorable position. But a new player, who lacks knowledge of such things, will not know how to do this properly.

And since it takes many hours to learn this skill, it can be very discouraging to compete against someone who builds a tower and forces you to fight each time at a big disadvantage.

By removing the building side of Fortnite, Epic Games leveled the playing field and turned their game into a more pure form of shooter.

The Benefits of Playing Fortnite Without Buildings

When you play Fortnite without Buildings, the game feels a lot simpler. It’s also more predictable and for some players, this simplicity is appealing.

The truth is that a game that combines shooting with complex construction mechanics is not well-suited to a player base of hundreds of millions.

If Fortnite was played by just a few million people, leaving it as it was wouldn’t have been a problem. Rust is the perfect example of a game with complex construction mechanics that is enjoyed by more than one million people.

But if Rust had 100 million players, more than half of them would probably feel overwhelmed by the part of the game that requires you to become a great builder.

That skill takes a lot of thinking and imagination. Meanwhile, most players just want to have fun and shoot stuff.

The construction side of Fortnite is fun for advanced players who can enjoy a technical challenge. But more than 80% of the player base is not built like that.

Epic Games realized this in 2022 and decided to change the rules. There’s no point in torturing new players and requiring them to spend dozens of hours just to learn how to build.

Community Reaction

After the change was made, large parts of the community complained and it’s obvious why.

Once you’ve invested hundreds and hundreds of hours developing your construction skills and developing strategies that revolve around them, having that part of your game taken away is frustrating.

All of a sudden, you need to rethink your entire game plan and invest more heavily into your shooting skills.

That’s not fun at all, especially if the reason why you chose Fortnite over a game like PUBG was related to the fact that in Fortnite you can use your tower defense skills in addition to your shooting skills.

For players like Kyle “Bugha” Giersdorf, whose entire strategy revolves around building big towers, this change was probably the most annoying thing that happened in the history of Fortnite.

Luckily, it didn’t take long for Epic Games to give players the option to play either the modern version of Fortnite or the traditional one.

Naturally, many players chose the traditional game because that’s the authentic Fortnite experience. A new player will not miss buildings.

In fact, the game will feel more fun without them because of the reasons mentioned above and that is why the company decided to make the change. But for old-timers, the new Fortnite isn’t Fortnite.

The Beauty of Traditional Fortnite

Anything that adds depth to a game is a good thing. If you truly enjoy playing that game, having more options, more room for creativity, and bigger challenges only adds to the experience.

It’s enough to look at a game like Dota 2 to realize that if done properly, complexity in games is precisely the ingredient that makes them amazing and replayable.

The more you dumb down a game just to make it appealing to everyone, the more you ruin it for dedicated players.

Some people play Fortnite just a few times a week. This game represents one of the dozen different games that they play. But other people play Fortnite almost exclusively.

For them, experimenting with new options every match is exciting.

The joy of competing comes from the feeling that you’re good enough to find a way to win and outsmart the opposition with your tactics.

If a highly complex game gets reduced to a shooting simulator, that’s no longer fun for a lot of people.

Each game appeals to a niche audience and should seek to differentiate itself from other games in its genre. Otherwise, we’d all be playing CS:GO.

What’s the point of having Fortnite when PUBG exists, if you’re not going to play the “director’s cut”?

Building is an essential part of the Fortnite experience. It should be there because that was the promise of the game to begin with.

Taking that away from people is like removing the items from a game like Dota 2 or League of Legends.

For a veteran player, that kind of change ruins the experience.





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