Update, May 11: The dual battle busses are back in action this week, as Fortnite’s 50v50 mode has returned.
Thanos might be star in the more notable Fortnite mode of the moment, but Epic are still keeping the old LTM options in regular rotation. Today they’ve reactivated the game’s 50v50 mode, letting you join up with 49 other players to turn the map into a proper warzone.
This is specifically the revamped V2 edition of the mode, with a bus for each team, a clearly marked storm, and more regular supply drops.
If you haven’t gotten your fill of the Avengers crossover just yet, you’ll be happy to know the Infinity Gauntlet mode is also still in rotation. Given Fortnite’s player counts, I think they can probably handle splitting people between a few modes right now.
Update, April 12, 2018: Fortnite’s 50v50 mode is coming back, but it’s coming a little slower than expected.
It’s a notable event when one of the most popular games in the world has some extended downtime, and 24 hours without Fortnite was nearly too much to bear. Luckily, servers are now back up, but unluckily that means the next event mode has seen a bit of a delay. On the plus side, Epic have some free stuff to make up for the agony of waiting for servers to return.
This week was scheduled to mark the return of the 50v50 game mode - the original Fortnite limited time event - but Epic say they’ve had to delay it because of the server issues. You can jump into that mode next week.
Epic are also apologising for the downtime. “It’s been no secret that over the past 24 hours we’ve been experiencing issues with our services that have prevented many of you from playing Battle Royale and Save the World. We’re sorry. We know how frustrating this has been. We messed up here.”
To make good, they’re offering some bonus items for you to claim in the store this weekend. Battle Royale players will be able to get a Back Bling gift, while Save the World players will get a Troll Stash Llama. Additionally, after next week’s scheduled downtime, players will get a pack of Battle Stars and Seasonal Gold for the respective modes.
Epic plan to offer a more detailed postmortem of the issues soon, and if it’s anything like the last one it’ll be a doozy of detailed tech info with some interesting insights.
Original story, December 8, 2017: Epic announced at tonight's Video Game Awards that a new mode is coming to Fortnite Battle Royale, a 50 v 50 grudge match. When you join the servers you are split into one of two teams and the game only ends when all of one team are dead. Another twist on this new mode is that it’s only temporary: on December 17th Fortnite’s 50 v 50 mode will evaporate into the digital ether.
While most of the game is Battle Royale as you know it, according to Epic’s senior systems designer Eric Williamson, the large team aspect leads to a very intense endgame. “You have a lot more players involved in combat,” Williamson tells me over Skype. “We've seen some huge forts being built up. It's really impressive. It's a different kind of intensity compared to what you get out of solo and squad play.”
To avoid griefing, there’s no friendly fire in these games and every player on your team will be marked with a green chevron floating above their heads but besides that the game plays much the same as the other Battle Royale modes Fortnite offers.
The mode came together very quickly as the team began working on it. Taking them “about a month or so” to develop, Williamson says. It’s part of a new kind of experimentation that Epic plan to continue in the new year. “We're thinking about it as an opportunity to try different things and explore the space and be a little more willing to try different and more creative things that might not fit in the core Battle Royale experience.”
Though, Williamson admits “If the 50 v 50, or any mode, becomes popular we can certainly consider it as a permanent edition. Our goal for now is to try out different ideas. Our core gameplay - solo, duo, and squad - we think of that as the meat and potatoes.”
Fortnite’s 50 v 50 mode will go live as soon as the VGAs have ended and will fun until December 17th. If you want to give it a play then be sure to hop in before it disappears.