Have you noticed a downtick in high-tier loot in Fortnite? SypherPK has a conspiracy theory as to why.

It’s no secret that the availability of shields has gone down in Fortnite Chapter 2. We don’t have the figures to back it up due to the lack of patch notes, but pretty much everyone who regularly plays Fortnite feels the difference.

The lower rate of shields makes sense. There are fewer shield items in general, so there’s less of a chance of finding shields in chests and floor loot. Additionally, Epic added fishing and more natural shields to the game.

In a recent stream and video, Ali ‘SypherPK’ Hassan felt the wrath of low Fortnite shields. He opened 17 chests and only received one shield pot. This led him to the conspiracy theory that Epic might be holding back on their shields for high-skill players.

“I shouldn’t say this,” he began, laughing. “Maybe entertain the idea that maybe if your stats are really good you have a less chance of getting better weapons and shields. I don’t think that’s the case, but like, you know, we saw Activision patent something similar to that.”

Sypher was referring to an Activision patent that was made public in 2017, tweaking matchmaking to encourage players to purchase microtransactions. Epic’s motivation would be to help low-skilled players compete.

When you look at this topic objectively, though, it’s nearly impossible for Epic to pull this off in a Battle Royale. Skill-based matchmaking already places high-skilled players together, so there isn’t any incentive to make things more difficult for anyone.

Additionally, Epic would have to tweak the chest loot on-the-fly rather than using RNG – making everything a lot more difficult. Of course, there’s also the floor loot to consider. Needless to say, changing the loot table in a battle royale match is far more difficult than simple tweaking matchmaking.

We reported on a shield issue back in November. One player opened 24 chests before getting any shields, which is a much lower rate of pulling one big pot in 17 chests.

It’s clear that Epic lowered the rate of shields in Fortnite Chapter 2. The truth is that they probably didn’t do anything more than that. Sometimes, you just get unlucky.

What do you think about this? Do you think Sypher is onto something or did he just get a bad roll of the dice? Let us know in the comments and on Twitter.

Jimmy is a passionate gamer and lover/hater of all things Fortnite. Good comms on Twitter @JimmyDangus.