Usually, when people talk about the implementation of a ranked system in Fortnite, they frame it from the benefit it provides to the top level of players.
With Epic introducing more open tournaments and Fortnite creative adding in places for great players to practice, competitive players have more options, in lieu of a ranked ladder.
Casual players do not. LTMs and creative game modes offer interesting unique alternatives, but the main game has been getting harder to enjoy for casual players.
100 Thieves YouTuber/Streamer NoahJ456 posted a tweet that summed up a lot of the current issues Fortnite is facing. The tweet was posted on Reddit and has a score of over 46,000, making it the top post on /r/FortniteBR over the last month.
Clearly, Noah’s opinion is one shared by a lot of the community.
The solution may be simpler than it seems, and mutually beneficial. And, Epic may already have something in the works.
Why a ranked system makes sense for Fortnite
We have covered the pros and cons of a ranked system in Fortnite before, but that was when Pop-up Cups were just beginning and it was mostly focused on how it would impact the best players in the game.
Now we are looking at the flip side. For any competitive game, the skill gap between the top and bottom and will widen the longer the game has been out. Imagine if new players in League of Legends were matched in their lanes against mechanical gods or CS
The games would lose players as fast as they gained them. Fortnite is a bit different due to the nature of Battle Royale. With the game’s quick rise to popularity, the stocks of new players were plentiful.
It was easy to find players of all skill levels, and even relatively weak players could pull out wins, especially in duos or squads.
As time has gone on, players are improving and there haven’t been enough new players to balance the competitive scales.
The time where a ranked ladder becomes necessary is rapidly approaching. There are numerous benefits to it now.
First, players would be able to improve by playing against the competition of a similar skill level. Second, any victory would be hard fought and well-deserved. Third, each engagement would become more fun, bots wouldn’t make for easy kills and soccer skins with absurd editing speed wouldn’t make you want to throw a controller.
There are a couple of problems of course. Smurfs (players playing on alternate accounts below their actual skill level) would absolutely destroy the bottom ranks, but that is a problem in literally every competitive game. Right now getting destroyed by a player who would be a smurf rank is common, so it wouldn’t be much different.
Another issue is how to make a ranked system work in a game like Fortnite. It isn’t straight forward and a good working ranked system for Battle Royale hasn’t been established. But here’s my proposition:
How a ranked system in Fortnite could work
Buckets. Big ole buckets. Don’t have players rank up or down after each game. Have them play a mini-season in one big bucket with no change. Maybe it is one or two weeks, and players have to drop in a certain amount of times to qualify for a rank change that season.
There could be four big buckets. The lowest for the new players and defaults. The next for the casual but consistent players who are more concerned with the fun aspects of the game than grinding 90s.
The third would be those players who are taking it seriously and truly want to win but might not have all the tools they need to compete with the best. Finally, would be the top-level sweats. Made up of streamers, pro players and the best Fortnite has to offer
The bucket system would do a couple of key things. It would keep match pools large so that players can count on having a full match, even if they drop in at odd hours.
The length of the season would help remove RNG from your results. Anything can happen in any one game. But, if you get to compare a player’s results from a week’s worth of games to another player’s week, suddenly a skill gap becomes more obvious.
The rating of a player would have to be some combination of kills per game and placement per game. That metric would then be converted to a percentage and the top, say 10% of the bucket would be brought up while the bottom 10% of the bucket would be brought down.
The 10% is just a random number, and could easily be higher or lower. Buckets could also be sectioned further to have more players move up or down within the buckets, while matchmaking would still take from the bucket as a whole. Think of it like Rocket League’s divisions between ranks.
This could be the breath of fresh air that Fortnite needs to keep players having fun at all levels. If Epic wants to continue to attract new players they will need to have a slow build up into the game or players will drop it as soon as they began.
So you want a ranked mode in Fortnite? How do you feel about the bucket system? Is there a better way? Tell me below: