'Fortnite' Patch Notes: No-Build Tilted Town Is a Better 'Fortnite'

I wish the entire game was like Tilted Town.

Fortnite’s version 10.00 content update hit the game on Tuesday morning, and with it came a new Rift Zone that transformed the futuristic Neo Tilted into a Wild West battleground called Tilted Town where players can’t harvest building materials or create any structures. “No Buildin’, No Breakin’” the official disclaimer reads.

While this fundamentally changes how Fortnite works, erasing one of the core gameplay mechanics to make the game a more realistic shooter, it also makes for a better overall experience. It also makes you wonder: What if Fortnite was always like this?

Disclaimer: I play Fortnite mostly for completing the challenges, and I do enjoy the gunplay. The level of precision and overall weapon ballistics in Fortnite feels much worse than most other shooters, first- or third-person. Still, I like getting into firefights. My aim and reflexes are above average, so it’s a thrill I can often win at — until building comes into play. When I play with friends, they’re always criticizing me for not being deft at building in Fortnite.

Every 'Fortnite' match ever looks like this. Why?

Epic Games

Every Fortnite battle engagement looks like this, regardless of distance: Players start shooting at one another. Then, one or both start building ramps and walls out of building materials, trying to gain the advantage that comes with high ground and some amount of cover. They peak out over the top of their elevated position trying to pick off their opponent, or maybe they use it to rush from above.

This often gets out of hand as players build twisting towers into the sky that come crumbling down if anywhere on the base is destroyed. Building these defensible towers and bases is a central part of the Fortnite experience, but it’s always felt like Epic Games struck accidental gold with Fortnite despite this weird mechanic. The only thing you need building for is traversing vertically. Otherwise, Fortnite would be the same or a similar game without it.

When you get into top-tier professional play, there’s a staggering amount of skill, but the most important skill to have is fast-paced building rather than any other strategy.

Professional Fortnite player “Bugha” recently won $3 million in prize money at the 2019 Fortnite World Cup. He won not because he was better than his opponents at using weapons and other items in the game. He won because of an almost supernatural ability to build and edit structures within the game faster than anyone else. Good for him, but is this “cool”?

Watching all of this happen in real-time is a strain on the eyes, barely comprehensible, and not all that fun. Fortnite is, generally speaking, engaging to watch because of its unpredictability, but having to master the art of spastically building generic ramps made of wood, brick, or metal is absurd. This goes along with the ridiculous Fortnite design ethos of a free-to-play game stuck in perpetual “Early Access.”

Fortnite was always something of a half-baked idea that happened at the right time, and that’s reflected in the barely comprehensible narrative that spans across the game’s seasons. Random sci-fi tropes get thrown at the wall just to see what sticks, but none of it is ever contextualized with any coherent plot. Yet people love it.

Why is this the biggest game in the world? The social community around Fortnite is what has transformed it into a global phenomenon, but the foundational mechanic of building— a defining characteristic to be sure — never felt like something the game needed. I genuinely wish that all of Fortnite were more like the No Buildin’, No Breakin’ Tilted Town.

Fortnite: Battle Royale Season X is now available.