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Epic is changing Arena matchmaking in Fortnite Battle Royale

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Adding a ranked mode to a battle royale game is difficult and Epic is still altering Arena Mode to be the best it can be.

One of the key concerns is matchmaking. Even in games with much smaller teams like League of Legends, Overwatch and Rocket League, matchmaking is difficult.

Finding games with people of the exact same rank queuing up at the same time doesn’t always happen. In Fortnite, which needs 100 different players in a mode that isn’t even where the majority of people play, that is next to impossible.

Epic needs to strike a balance between not making players wait forever to get into a game, while still keeping lobbies relatively fair by skill level.

The previous system was to have players start at their hype level and slowly expand the parameters in both directions as they waited for a game.

Now Epic is changing to a bucket system.

“The new matchmaking system uses a set of Hype ranges which define a series of buckets,” Epic wrote in a blog post. “If a bucket doesn’t have enough players participating in it, it will merge with a neighbor bucket after a certain amount of time.  We are expecting this to create better matches for players in all divisions, and greatly reduce occurrences where Champion League players are matched with Open League opponents after an extended wait.  Additionally, it should scale into smaller regions during time windows when there are fewer players in the highest and lowest divisions.”

If people have questions about this new system, Epic will be hosting their bi-weekly AMA on /r/FortniteCompetitive next Friday, May 31 from 3-4 PM ET.

Those AMAs don’t usually contain a ton of news, but sometimes they do announce something new during them. We will monitor it in case they do, in the meantime see if this change to a bucket system improves your queue times and matchmaking.

Events

How to complete Fortnite Birthday Bash challenges & rewards

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Fortnite Birthday Bash logo

To celebrate three years since Fortnite Battle Royale was released, back on September 26 2017, Epic Games have started the Birthday Bash event, with new challenges to complete.

In addition to the challenges, there are rewards, some festive changes to the map, the battle bus, and birthday presents dotted around the map.

Epic’s announcement says: “During the celebration, you’ll notice some festive changes around the Island. The Battle Bus is sporting a fresh new paint job to mark the occasion, and after dropping in, find yourself a Birthday Present and see what’s inside.”

Birthday Bash Challenges

These challenges will be available from September 26 to October 1, but thankfully most are straightforward.

You can see them all below (via FortniteFevers).

The one challenge that might cause you some trouble though, is dancing in front of different birthday cakes.

To help, here is a map of locations for the birthday cakes on the Fortnite island, via FortniteInsider.

Fortnite Birthday Cake locations

Here’s a look at the rewards available.

For creative players, there’s also some new content there, with the Princess Castle prefab now available.

You can submit a creation using the Princess Castle by October 6 for a chance to be featured in the first official Box Fight tournament as part of an upcoming Wild Wednesday tournament.

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Item Shop

Fortnite v14.20 leaked skins and cosmetic items

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A new Fortnite update is winging its way to players on all platforms, and as always, that means dataminers have leaked some of the skins and cosmetic items found in the files of September 23’s 14.20 update.

Fortnite’s latest patch dropped on PC, Xbox One, PS4, and Nintendo Switch, bringing with it a brand-new Takeover LTM, and the official arrival of Wolverine, who is now patrolling around Weeping Weeds. Should you defeat him in combat, you can harness the strength of his adamantium claws, as the latest mythical power in the game.

Of course, a new patch means new cosmetics, and dataminers have already been scouring through the patch files to give us a look at what’s coming to the Item Shop over the new couple of weeks. Thanks to @Lucas7yoshi on Twitter for these leaks.

Leaked 14.20 Skins

Fortnite fans will have four new skins to enjoy following this update, with two new superheroes in the form of Hyacinth and Morro, who have come from “forgotten lands” and “long lost worlds” to join the fight on the island.

There’s also a vampire hunter known as Victoria Saint, who comes with two skin styles, and Sagan, who who is wearing a snazzy black and orange outfit.

Fortnite fans have four new skins to enjoy. Credit: Lucas7yoshi

Leaked 14.20 Back Bling

With Rocket League going free to play on the Epic Games Store from September 23, it’s no surprise that there are some cosmetics from the popular game in Fortnite to celebrate the good news, with players able to equip the iconic Octane car as a back bling.

There’s also a special birthday cake to celebrate Fortnite’s third birthday, plus custom back blings for each of the four new skins.

Rocket League arrives as part of the 14.20 cosmetics. Crredit: Lucas7yoshi

Leaked 14.20 Emotes

There are 5 new physical emotes for players to enjoy, including a special birthday one that allows players to celebrate with some cake, while there are also some new dances in anticipation for the BTS event that’s happening in-game.

Rocket League gets an emote and a spray, as does the Fortnite Champion Series for Chapter 2, Season 4.

BTS fans will have some special emotes for their upcoming event. Credit: Lucas7yoshi

Leaked 14.20 Harvesting Tools & Gliders

Only four Harvesting Tools arrive this week, with three of them designed Hyacinth and Morro, including a normal pickaxe, and dual swords in their respective colors. Victoria Saint gets an axe and a stake to use when hunting vampires, and Sagan gets her own pickaxe called Tangerine Terror.

There’s also a solitary glider, which is also for Hyacinth and Morro if you would like to complete the look.

Victoria Saint’s stake will be perfect for hunting vampires. Credit: Lucas7yoshi
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Patch Notes

Fortnite 14.20 patch notes: Wolverine arrives, Takeover LTM

Fortnite’s v14.20 update has arrived, bringing us a new LTM and new hero in Wolverine

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Wolverine standing in front of Stark Industries

Season 4’s Marvel theme continues, as the “Earth’s Mightiest Heroes” prepare for the arrival of the evil Galactus, who is determined to alter reality on the island forever. The villain has already dropped drones and Gorgers on the map in preparation for his immenent attack.

Now, another superhero has landed on the map as preparations continue, with Wolverine and his adamantium claws debuting in Fortnite in the Wednesday, September 23 update, along with preparations for the special BTS event.

Wolverine Arrives

Fighting on the island is about to get even more difficult, with the X-Men’s Wolverine landing on the island, and taking control of Weeping Woods in the south of the map.

Like other superhero bosses in the game, Wolverine will drop his mythical Wolverine’s Claw power when he is defeated by players, who can then pick it up and wield the power of ‘Experiment X,’ although fair warning, Epic Games have already said that “he won’t go down without a fight.”

Takeover LTM

Alongside a new hero, there’s also a fresh Limited-Time Mode to jump into, with the Marvel-based Takeover which has you fighting for control of outposts that are scattered across the map.

As always, normal weapons and items will be available to be picked up and looted, but in this mode, everyone will start with a random superpower and will be able to acquire more abilities by keeping an eye out for comets in the sky, that will land on the island and drop new powers.

New Storm Hero Ability

Wolverine wasn’t the only hero added in the v14.20 patch – at least not in the ability department. Storm’s hero ability came into the game in this update.

You may have already experienced Storm’s ability in one of the Marvel LTMs, but it’s quite a bit different in the base game. This one, largely, revolves around dealing fall damage to opponents. In the LTMs, there are numerous ways to avoid fall damage.

It’s still early, but Storm’s mythic ability looks to be one of the most powerful offensive tools in Fortnite Season 4.

Bug Fixes

As always, Epic Games have been hard at work fixing any bugs or glitches that appear in the game, in an attempt to make sure the game runs slowly, and improve quality of life for all players.

The good news is that there are no major glitches afflicting the game at this moment, so the bug fixes in this update are relatively small, but are still a nice inclusion for anyone who has encountered them. You can take a full look at the 14.20 bug fixes taken from Epic’s official Trello board below.

Battle Royale

  • Replays not saving on PlayStation 4.
  • Fishing Spots can disappear on PC with effects set to ‘Low.’
  • Heroes Park and Ghost House don’t count as Discovered Locations after discovering them.
  • Groot Awakening Island missing.
  • Boundless set sticker customization: menu sticker limit.

Creative Mode

  • Grass is not removed when placing objects on the ground.
  • Some players not granted items after first round in some team games.

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