Epic Games’ Fortnite Battle Royale has taken over the world with millions of players, and some fans enjoy digging deep into the game’s files to learn about upcoming items, cosmetics, and events.
Fortnite has been on the market since 2017 with it’s core demographic consisting of fans ranging between the age of 10-25.
Most Fortnite fans scour the internet for new information about upcoming items and updates, while others enjoy providing that information by digitally digging into Fortnite’s files.
One of Fortnite’s most popular data miners, Lucas7Yoshi, has been sifting through in-game files for less than a year and has earned close to 20,000 followers on Twitter.
We often cover his leaks on FortniteINTEL, with almost all of them proving to be true, including new cosmetics, items, and weapons.
Lucas7Yoshi has agreed to an interview with us about his career as a Fortnite data miner!
Be sure to follow him on Twitter if you enjoyed the interview and don’t mind reading potential spoilers!
AZ: Hi! First off, thanks for agreeing to this interview. What is your name, age, and country of residence?
L7Y: My name is Lucas, I am 14, and I live in Canada.
AZ: How long have you been playing Fortnite?
L7Y: I have had my account since Season 2, but I only played a game or two. I really started in Season 3 with friends.
AZ: What was/is your favorite season in Fortnite?
L7Y: Season 5/6. I really loved the extension of the story with the cube and the island. I am interested to see what will happen with the conclusion of Season 7.
AZ: How did you learn to data mine? That seems like a difficult task to learn!
L7Y: Back in the summer of 2018 I was really intrigued by what other data miners were doing at the time. I’ve always been interested in the inner working of games, and Fortnite was no different. I saw someone post on Reddit a screenshot of some upcoming playlists and I messaged the poster. He was very helpful with questions and he linked me to a video that he learned from. The video provided a link to a tool and a key which I still use to this day.
AZ: How did you start data mining in Fortnite? Have you data mined any other games?
L7Y: Occasionally I have messed around with game files on other games but definitely not in the way I do with Fortnite.
AZ: What influenced you to start data mining and leaking?
L7Y: Regularly I would see tweets from @TwoEpicBuddies with obscene watermarking, pretty much covering the entirety of the leak. I really got annoyed by that and how they would always be praised for it and have it reposted so much. I decided to learn how to data mine around that time and started out just reposting what they did.
AZ: What is the name of the tool and key you use?
L7Y: The tool I use is a program called “Umodel”. It’s an asset extractor for Unreal Engine games. The key is an “AES key”, which is the encryption key to the files that tell the tool what files there are in the larger files. It is not possible to use Umodel on Fortnite without an “AES key”.
AZ: Does the tool require a person to understand code?
L7Y: If you are just using the program [Umodel], and you already have the key, it’s basically just looking through folders and clicking on files.
AZ: What is the first indication that there might be a leak within Fortnite’s files?
L7Y: When you start out looking around the game files in something like Umodel, you’d often end up mistaking some things for new. Having data mined for a long time is a great advantage and actually playing the game is better because you have to know what is new and what is not. Now by 2019 we have modified tools that only show new files, entire histories of the game files changes and overall its gotten much easier.
AZ: Do you and/or other create new tools to differentiate new information?
L7Y: Modified versions of the tool exist that only show new/changed files between patches, however, those have become outdated and I personally don’t use them.
AZ: Do you work with anybody? Are you a part of a team?
L7Y: I work mostly alone although have used tools from others, and get help from someone with the encryption key that changes every patch to access the files.
AZ: How do you or other leakers find the encryption key for each new patch?
L7Y: Cannot disclose.
AZ: So you do work with other leakers?
L7Y: I’ve worked with other leakers before, like FortTory, S1l0x, ShiinaBR, and Sud4nym, generally to help each other out during patch times or to find something in the files. I would not be what I am now without the help of other leakers.
AZ: Has Epic Games ever tried to stop you?
L7Y: Not that I am aware of. I’ve had my twitter locked for a joke and a Discord server I co-owned with ShiinaBR deleted, but those could’ve been anyone. If I ever did get told to stop, I would probably stop.
AZ: Are you concerned that Epic Games might try to interfere with your leaks?
L7Y: Yes. I have no doubt that they are aware of who I am. Maybe not IRL, but they definitely know my name and my leaks.
AZ: Any future plans after Fortnite?
L7Y: No plans now. The community behind leaking Fortnite is massive and super helpful. Without them, I wouldn’t be where I am not, and in other gamed there may not be such a [helpful] community.
Lucas is one of the most popular Fortnite leakers on social media and is often posting about new arrivals!
Do you like to follow and read about new Fortnite leaks?