Team-killing is a problem in nearly every multiplayer game that supports friendly fire. It can frequently be accidental, but apparently Fortnite’s Battle Royale mode has seen a fair share of deliberate trolling; so much so that Epic Games has disabled friendly fire.
When jumping into a game of Fortnite Battle Royale, players can queue with up to three of their friends, or go solo. However, they can also be matched with teammates online if they don’t have the full premade roster they desire. While team-killing obviously isn’t much of a concern in the standard free-for-all mode or when queued with friends, griefing and trolling can become egregious in games with random players.
Given that Fortnite Battle Royale is already a challenging game when playing with teams (it’s almost inevitable that if you attack one player, several others will be waiting to back them up), it’s understandable that losing players to team-killing can place a squad at a significant disadvantage. A representative from Epic Games acknowledged this in a statement made on Reddit, however they also stated that “friendly fire encourages thoughtful play and careful tactics.” As a result, “the impact of [disabling friendly fire] will be closely monitored, and in the case that those [careful] tactics are too negatively affected we may evaluate other methods of reducing team killing.”
The announcement has seen a mixed response so far from fans, with several of the most upvoted comments on the post providing alternative solutions to the issue. A key complaint addressed in a reply by AnotherScoutTrooper is that removing friendly fire makes explosive weapons incredibly powerful. Since teammates can no longer die due to splash damage, there’s nothing to stop players from lobbing grenades and firing rocket launchers to their heart’s content without fear of catching one of their cohorts in their assault.
Whether Epic Games will take any of these suggestions to heart remains to be seen, but this isn't the first time they've taken a firm stance against any sort of "unfair play" in the game; only months ago they sued several players who were accused of cheating in Fortnite. For now, at least players can rest easy, secure in the knowledge that they won’t be shotgunned in the back for the smallest mistake.
Fortnite is available now in early access on PC, PlayStation 4, and Xbox One, with its full launch occurring at some point in 2018.