How Fortnite Matchmaking Works – Is It Skill-Based Or Not?
Some Fortnite lobbies are filled with a high percentage of bots and other lobbies make players feel like they are a bot – so how exactly does the matchmaking work?
Fortnite has been around for over four years now and the game is just coming towards the end of its 18th season. While its appeal might not be anything quite like it was in the first couple of years, it certainly still boats one of the biggest fanbases in the gaming industry.
At the height of the game’s popularity, there were around 75 million concurrent players boarding the Battle Bus at any given moment. Today, that figure is closer to 15 million, which is still a lot more than many other games, especially given how long it has been out.
When A.I. players were added at the beginning of the game’s second chapter in October 2019, many people took this as the official signal that the game was withering out and failing to fill lobbies, although concurrent player figures continue to show this hypothesis incorrect.
In truth, bots were added to Fortnite as part of Epic games’ efforts to integrate skill-based matching into the game, with the goal of making the game less of a hassle for new players who were up against people with over two years of experience.
How Does Fortnite Matchmaking Work?
Although Epic Games have never publicly stated how their matchmaking system works, we have been able to gather a few clues as time has gone by. Likely (but unconfirmed) factors that affect matchmaking include time played, how often you play, when you last played, total wins, total kills, your win rate and your kill:death ratio.
For all we know, the matchmaking algorithm could be much more intricate than this, however, these aspects will almost certainly be taken into account.
When it comes to teaming up and diving onto the Fortnite island in Duos, Trios or Squads, it’s difficult to tell whether the game uses the best player’s stats, the worst player’s stats, or the team’s average stats for matchmaking purposes, as the games can vary in difficulty as they go on.
Maybe under some specific circumstances there’s no skill-based matchmaking at all and the game returns to its much more organic, mixed-bag matchmaking.
In many scenarios, the idea of skill-based matchmaking does make sense. You play against other players that have the same skill level as you which enables you to get good practice and therefore improve at the game. It also means new players do not have to face the top players, which is the primary purpose of its implementation.
However, in a Battle Royale where there are 100 players and it is a case of “last man standing”, this does technically mean you should only win 1/100 games if the matchmaking is working as intended.
Does Fortnite Have Cross-Platform Matchmaking?
Another element that plays its part in the game’s difficulty is that cross-platform matchmaking is always playing its part – and some platforms certainly have their advantages.
While it’s undoubtedly more difficult to learn a new game on a mouse and keyboard, especially if it’s the first game that you’ve tried this input, there’s definitely a much higher skill potential than there is using a controller.
Using a controller may grant you a fairly strong aim-assist, but a keyboard has a multitude of advantages in terms of keybind possibilities, including the scroll wheel edit reset.
Of course, these days you can have mouse and keyboard input on a console and controller input on a PC, so it’s more the settings and alterations that each platform allows that can play its part. For example, PC players can turn off shadows thus improving visibility. Console players do not have this option.
Can You Turn Off Cross-Platform Matchmaking On Fortnite?
Fortunately, you can in fact turn off cross-platform matchmaking on Fortnite – but only if you’re playing Solos. Here’s how to locate and turn off the setting:
- Load into the lobby and either press Start or click the three lines menu in the top right of the screen, depending on your platform
- Click Settings and scroll along to the Account And Privacy section
- Scroll down to the Gameplay Privacy section
- Turn “Allow Cross-Platform Play” to “No”, then click Apply
It may now take a little longer to find a match, but you will only be matchmaking with players that are on the same platform as you.
Is It Possible To Play Against Just Bots On Fortnite?
Whether it’s because you’re new to the game and want to practice against A.I., or you just want to wind down after a day of work without facing sweaty players, players have found a way to load up against bots only on Fortnite. Here’s how:
- Create a new account
- Add the account to the friend list of your primary account
- Invite your main account to a party on your alt account
- Queue both accounts for a Squads match with fills disabled, then quit the game on your alt account as soon as it loads to prevent accumulating experience and levelling up
- Your primary account should now be in an A.I. only match
Can You Turn Off Bots On Fortnite?
If you’re the complete opposite player type to the one above and you want to be constantly and consistently challenged in order to get to the top skill level, you probably want to be able to remove these unskilled A.I. bots from your lobbies.
Unfortunately, it is impossible to avoid bots in public matches, unless you are a really experienced player playing at peak concurrent player hours. However, you can choose between various other game modes that do not include them.
Arena Mode, tournaments, and Creative Mode do not use bots, and you will always face genuine people that are matched to you depending on your skill level. This is by far the greatest method to improve your skill while also potentially winning money through regular Cash Cups as well as Fortnite’s Championship Series.