THE FORTNITE COMMUNITY WAS UP IN ARMS OVER THE B.R.U.T.E.

The best Epic Games has heard the feedback loud and clear, and this afternoon the Fortnite developer announced a series of sweeping changes to its newly introduced B.R.U.T.E. mech suit that has had game’s community in open revolt for the last few weeks. The changes have mostly gone into effect immediately, with Epic saying players will not need to update the game at all.
In a post titled “B.R.U.T.E. balance adjustments,” Epic details the substantial nerfs coming to the item, including a reduction in the number of rockets it can fire, the rate it fires those rockets, and number of other powerful advantages the suit offered players.

The mech suit first arrived in early August with the launch of Fortnite’s tenth season. Unfortunately, it’s caused nothing but turmoil both in the broader community and the game’s high-profile competitive scene, which received worldwide attention following the successfulFortnite World Cup in New York City in late July. With a new tournament series, the Fortnite Champion Series, currently taking place between now and late September, Epic seems to be eager to iron out the issues with the B.R.U.T.E. just as the collective outrage from players seemed to reach its apex.

Here are the big changes Epic says are live now:

  • Decreased the maximum amount of rockets fired by the B.R.U.T.E. in a single charge from 10 to 6.
  • Decreased the rate at which the rockets are fired from the B.R.U.T.E. by 56%.
  • Decreased the radius of the B.R.U.T.E.’s rocket explosion by 42%.
  • Increased the dash cooldown from 3 seconds to 5 seconds.
  • Decreased the velocity gained from boosting while in air by 33%.
  • The B.R.U.T.E. no longer grants materials to the driver and passenger when stomping or dashing through the environment. (This won’t be arriving right away, Epic says, but after these other changes are in effect.)
  • Decreased the material cost of using the gunner’s overshield from 200 to 75.
  • Increased the Health of the B.R.U.T.E from 1000 to 1250.

Epic gives a little line or two of reasoning for almost all of these changes, and each makes a fair amount of sense. The developer is effectively acknowledging that it did in fact release a game-breaking, overpowered element into play right at the launch of a new competitive e-sports tournament circuit. With these changes, including the reasonable health buff to the mech suit, the item should be slower to operate, less fruitful as a farming vehicle, and less lethal against enemy players.

In addition to all of this, Epic is reducing the spawn rate of the B.R.U.T.E. in all storm circles in normal game modes, while keeping the rate the same in competitive modes, a change it made earlier this month to prevent the mech suit and the controversy surrounding it from entirely consuming the Fortnite Champion Series’ first event last weekend. Epic is also disabling its newly introduced Junk Rift item from the Arena playlist and this upcoming weekend’s Champion Series event until it can fix an audio issue due to be addressed in an upcoming update.

The changes to the B.R.U.T.E. are largely in line with what the community was hoping for (although some are still clamoring for its removal), and Epic seems to have listened in this regard while maintaining its position that the mech suit should stay in the game. (The company’s thinking is that the suit offers a fun and fresh way to play Fortnite while helping lower the skill gap is less competitive situations.)

This particular controversy, while nothing new for Fortnite’s ongoing tension between its casual mainstream design and its competitive ambitions, was perhaps the most contentious in the game’s two-year history. Numerous streamers, pro players, and even e-sports organizations were openly pleading with the company to reconsider the mech suit’s capabilities, with many calling openly for its outright removal. While that doesn’t seem to be happening, it’s quite likely these changes will make the device a non-factor in both tournament and casual play for the foreseeable future.