It all sounds fair in theory, but online, Fortnite players seem largely miffed about the implementation. One of the top pinned threads on the Fortnite subreddit for a month now complains about the “forced” nature of cross-play, with multiple linked threads claiming that the feature isn’t fair to players on consoles or mobile platforms. “Playing console squads is a death sentence now,” one Redditor says. “You get insta killed by 4 sweats who can jump all over you and just make you look like a clown.” On places like Twitter, it’s very common to see angry fans bemoaning cross-play.
“Forced crossplay on Fortnite makes me wanna kill myself,” one dramatic tweet says.
“PC players won’t complain, but this is making many console players discouraged and will lead to them quitting the game,” another tweet claims.
“Matchmaking has been irking me since skill based & cross-play with PC were introduced,” another tweet reads. “I want to be able to enjoy the core mode but these changes have killed it for me.”
Louis Valentino, a Fortnite player on PC, admits that he does feel as if he has an advantage over anyone playing with a controller.
“There’s even more of a gap between v buck generator console and PC — even if you’re using a keyboard and mouse on console, you’re limited to 60 frames-per-second and can’t adjust graphics settings that you can on PC, such as disabling shadows and lowering textures/effects,” Valentino said in an email.
These small details can make a huge difference. A top post on the competitive Fortnite subreddit today showcased that visibility on consoles is poor compared to what players on PC can see, merely by tweaking some options.
Aaron Worob, a fan who primarily plays on mobile and Nintendo Switch, says that, since skilled-based matchmaking went into effect, it has become hard to ignore how much of an advantage mouse and keyboard provide when it comes to building and editing structures. But in Worob’s experience, the matchmaking does actually do its job.
“My squad and I are doing nearly as well as we did before the change,” Worob said in an email.
Worob can, however, tell when he’s up against a mouse and keyboard player — they can always input commands faster, which has lead to more “build battles” that didn’t use to happen as much on mobile or console platforms.
“The frame rate dipping has gotten much better on Switch, and the impact of dropped packets seems to have lessened a bit, but we traded that out for the frustration of fighting against an opponent with what feels like a thousand more input options,” Worob says.SOME CROSS-PLAY DETRACTORS MIGHT JUST BE USING SOCIAL MEDIA TO VENT AFTER A LOSS
When matchmaking goes according to plan, however, even those on PC can feel the heat. Valentino tells Polygon that he does lose to controller or console players from time to time, though he doesn’t realize his opponents are on a different platform until after the fact.
“The only way I can really tell is by spectating after they’ve killed me because the way they change weapons is obvious … you can’t swap from weapon slot 1 to weapon slot 4 instantly, for example,” he says. “I’ve never killed a player and said to myself ‘they’re on a controller.’ It’s difficult to tell during a fight.”