Zero Build feels like the ultimate future of ‘Fortnite’

building is back in Fourteen daysbut just because the season’s storyline allowed for its reactivation doesn’t mean the game’s new Zero Build concept is going anywhere.

Fortnite is now essentially split in half between traditional build and zero build playlists. Epic advertises the concept as “Play Your Way”. There are now separate playlists for Zero Build and Normal Build modes as the game’s main features, and Zero Build is even listed first.

To me, this seems to be Epic’s slow realization that if Fortnite wants to evolve beyond a battle royale and into the metaverse that Tim Sweeney envisions (a real metaverse, no VR/blockchain buzzword craze), doing this may need to change some of its fundamentals.

Fortnite only has buildings at all because it originally started out as a defense-based PvE game where players were supposed to build structures to protect themselves from attacking enemies. They kept the building but switched to the battle royale format when they saw it take off in games like PUBG.

Now Fortnite has obviously found fixed Success by using building as the fundamental cornerstone all along, and yet some things are true:

  • Despite the popularity of building in Fortnite itself, it’s not a concept that has spread to really other battle royale games, as nobody seems particularly keen on trying to replicate that aspect. The fun of BRs as a genre is mostly about shooting and exploring, not Fortnite building.
  • While dedicated fans will appreciate high-speed building and editing at the highest level, the game can feel almost incomprehensible when viewed as an esport, a blur of walls and blue holographic outlines and games spamming a million builds per minute. It requires a lot of skill, but often doesn’t make for an amazing viewing experience.
  • As Fortnite continues to expand into other types of games through its creative mode, or continues to host events like concerts, I think Epic wanted to expand Fortnite’s movement capabilities. Without buildings, they were extremely limited. Sliding was only introduced recently, but now, for the first time, Fortnite also has sprinting, jumping higher, and cloaking, in addition to a regenerating shield, meaning you can spend more time moving and less time chugging potions , to recover. I see zero build movement options as a permanent addition for most modes in the future.

The question remains, is Zero Build meant to phase out Fortnite’s classic build mode for good? Not now, but someday? I can see it. Zero Build was so popular that even the pros knew it do who played at the highest levels of the game said they enjoyed it, as did most regular players. I think it’s wise not to just scrap building entirely just yet since it was such an important part of the game, but I believe this is an experiment aimed at proving a larger point that Fortnite can survive without and maybe even thrive in the future build.

We’ll see how it goes, but I think Zero Build is here to stay. Traditional building… maybe not?

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