Are Fortnite’s Bots a Problem? Ninja Made His Opinion Clear
Ninja’s regular Fortnite streams are usually one of the few places you can look for positivity about the game. Throughout Mechs, Ballers, and whatever else Epic throws out there, Ninja has been welcoming to new content that other big names in Fortnite despised.
However, Ninja has recently aired his anger about one particular addition to the game; bots. After an incident in-game, Ninja on Fortnite bots has become the latest voice to criticize their addition as part of skill-based matchmaking. It has added further fuel to debate over Fortnite’s Bots, and if their place in the game is healthy for the competitive community.
Epic brought bots into Fortnite with Chapter 2. These are AI players that fill out matches. The intent behind them was to help implement a system of skill-based matchmaking in all games. Rather than just in Arena mode, all games now sort players by their skill level. While it was initially thought that bots would only be present in the games of beginners, this doesn’t seem to be the case. The bots are ending up in all sorts of high-level games. Once in there, they’re going out of their way to derail things.
Ninja on Fortnite’s Bots
Ninja made his opinion on bots clear in a stream over the weekend. A bot wandered into a fight he was in the middle of, distracting everyone. The bot took a load of damage from Ninja, allowing the other player to regain composure to take back the firefight. This is a small example of how bots interact with high-level players but it demonstrates pretty well how irritating they can be.
Fortnite’s Broken AI
The crux of the problem is that these are bad bots. They have very poor Ai. You can recognize a bot fairly easily because of their behavior. They throw up random cover whenever they walk, operate in specific patterns, and rarely defend themselves competently or even notice a player right next to them. Put simply, they’re designated to give young children and new players some positive reinforcement for playing rather than actually compete in a game. Bots even retreat into the storm to commit suicide once the storm reaches a particular level.
The drawbacks of these types of players littering the island can be clearly seen in Ninja’s game. While this wasn’t a game for any prize, these bots littering the games of competitive players complicates things. They are a problem for players trying to practice, and they betray an even deeper problem in Fortnite’s Matchmaking.
Bots Aren’t the Problem, Matchmaking Is
Fortnite’s bots shouldn’t have a place in a high-tier game. Their AI is far too simplistic to work in these situations. While inflating the kill count of players and making matchmaking quicker isn’t a bad thing, skill based matchmaking should be regulating this. Competitive players shouldn’t be worrying about bots wondering into the middle of their play since the lack the common sense of a human player.
If Fortnite’s bots were kept to low-level games, they wouldn’t be a problem. They provide a great way of getting new players used to the game without scaring them off by accidentally dropping them into a match with Bugha. In theory, this is a great system. Although in practice, it seems to have been poorly implemented and bots have been spotted in every level of play. In a game that holds a lot of in-game tournaments with big prize pools, this is worrying.
Epic is keeping the secrets of its skill-based matchmaking close to their chest. There is nothing wrong with this, but it is causing problems for players. If their matchmaking is putting competitive players in matches with bots, their entire competitive scene is going to suffer. This is making it harder for high-level players to play at that level than they could when matchmaking was purely random. Until Epic addresses, the problems with their matchmaking, Fortnite bots are going to remain a problem for high-level players and matchmaking an issue for everyone.