A brand-new type of build could be coming to Fortnite during Season 7.
The unique ability to build and edit structures as you fight was a huge part of Fortnite’s cataclysmic rise to global popularity. Along with the consistent content updates and monumental collaborations, these innovative mechanics helped set the title apart from other shooters.
It is then perhaps somewhat strange that these core elements of Fortnite gameplay have remained untouched for such a long time. The introduction of, and later adjustments to Turbo Building have had the biggest impact, but since then very little else has changed.
Following the v17.10 patch however, dataminers reported that a new variety of placeable build had been added to the files. Though this was initially overlooked by many, popular leaker @iFireMonkey recently posted a YouTube video going into further detail.
These “Smart Builds” will essentially automate the building process, allowing a player to place multiple pieces in one go. This means you could quickly throw up a full structure, a box for example, without having to spin round and cover every angle.
There are currently four Smart Build types in the works:
Smart Box: A standard box with four walls, a floor and a roof
Smart Tower: Walls and stairs with no roof, used to gain elevation
Smart Bridge: Combination of stairs and floors, providing a path over/across obstacles
Smart Auto: This one is unclear, though it may be a stair, wall and floor (Think protected ramp rush)
As for how exactly these Smart Builds will be implemented, we can only guess. There is no more information in the files and the idea could still be scrapped altogether. With that said, there are a few interesting possibilities…
Firstly, they could be utilized solely by AI characters. AI bots were added at the beginning of Fortnite Chapter 2 as a way to “provide a better path for players to grow in skill”. They are supposedly designed to behave similarly to normal players, though in truth the most they will do when attacked is place a single wall.
If bots had the capacity to box up, or aggressively ramp towards opponents etc., they would be considerably more effective at preparing new players to deal with realistic in-game scenarios. Not to mention, eliminating an AI would feel at least slightly more rewarding.
A second use-case for Smart Builds is to directly improve the experience for novice and returning players. Plenty of people shy away from Fortnite as they believe everyone is just too good now and think there’s no chance of keeping up.
Having the ability to place simple structures such as boxes and towers with one click could make things seem way less overwhelming. It would help teach them when and what to build, without putting veteran players at any sort of disadvantage.
It’s doubtful that anything like this would make it into competitive playlists, and until we find out how Smart Builds work, it’s hard to know what effect they would have. They may be slow and clunky, or on the other hand, they could become the new meta for late game tunneling.
It would certainly be intriguing to see how adding extra build pieces or edits affects the skill gap at the top tier, though many fans would prefer this ceiling to be lowered rather than increased. There’s no planned release date for Smart Builds at the moment, but with the v17.20 update coming next week, hopefully we can learn more soon.