Surviving Fortnite’s shield shortage
Fortnite is going through a terrible crisis, at least judging by the fan reaction to the latest change to the game. There is a great shortage of shields. This essentially leaves players at half their normal amount of health, making it much harder to survive the game. It’s currently unknown if this change is permanent, but there’s plenty of possible solutions to the problem.
The shield shortage might not be intentional. It might just be a side effect of the ever-growing pool of items available in the game. The fairly constant updates are usually balanced with vaulting certain items, but occasionally inventories can become completely swamped with non-weapon items. The Glider Redeploy has been reintroduced to the game with a much higher spawn rate than it previously held. The shield potion’s spawn rate hasn’t been adjusted to accommodate this change, so they’ve become incredibly rare. Well, they’ve become considerably more difficult to find. As with any early RNG issue, it seems to depend on who you ask.
What can you do to keep your shield at a healthy level while playing? Not much really but you can use it to your advantage. Items like the Heavy Sniper are now much more valuable in play. Without a shield, these hard-hitting and long-range weapons will give you a considerable advantage. You should also take advantage of the recently added Suppressed Sniper Rifle (Fortnite patch 7.10.3) to make eliminations without putting yourself at risk of discovery.
Shields points are naturally given when you eat mushrooms. These items consistently grow in set places, making them immune to RNG and spawn rate problems. However, mushroom breeding grounds are likely to be crowded in the early portion of a game by people with the same idea. If you manage to hit the RNG jackpot and get an early shield, it might be worth swinging by these spots to take on some half-health sitting ducks.
The shield shortage problem could be solved in a few ways. The first would simply be to increase the drop-rate for shields. This would throw Glider Redeploys off a little. However, they have only recently been reintroduced so are not as vital to the existing game as shields. Some have suggested it might be time to add another item slot to chests and supply drops. This would increase the amount of loot you’ll be picking up from each source and accommodate the growing arsenal of items.
A common suggestion from the fan community is to introduce a system where eliminations give players a certain amount of health or shield points. While this is a popular idea, it doesn’t seem likely to happen. This would throw off the delicate balance Fortnite has between standard shooter gameplay and its wacky building mechanics. Awarding health and shields to those focusing on eliminations, rather than foraging or building, would dramatically alter the viability of less-aggressive play styles.
It’s also possible that the shield shortage might just be left as it is. This doesn’t feel like a solution, but players would begrudgingly adapt to playing at half health for the opening of a game. This would be a big change to the way Fortnite is played and it’s hard to say if it will make the game any more fun or balanced. There would definitely be a backlash to a gameplay change on this scale. Epic are yet to comment on the shield shortage, so at the moment it’s unknown whether this is a permanent change or not.