Fortnite: Battle Royale’s competitive mode arrived a lot sooner than we thought. Developer Epic Games just announced Solo Showdown, a limited time mode live in the game right now. On the outset, it’s the same thing as the normal solo game: drop onto an island with 100 players, get weapons, kill everyone else, stand alone triumphant on the top of the mountain, repeat. What’s different, however, is huge. This is a scored mode designed as a proving ground for the best players in the game, and as such, it comes with massive V-Buck rewards for those that come out on top.
That makes this Fortnite’s first competitive mode, even if it works a little differently than ranked play in other games. There’s no matchmaking save self-selection, but I’d still expect that self-selection to make for a very different experience from standard play. It also might have the side-effect of taking strong players out of standard play, which I’m all for. Solo Showdown is live now and runs through May 21 at 10:00 AM EST.
- 1st Place: 50,000 V-Bucks
- 2nd – 4th Place: 25,000 V-Bucks
- 5th – 50th Place: 13,500 V-Bucks
- 51st – 100th Place: 7,500 V-Bucks
That top place is worth somewhere in the vicinity of $500, so it’s not exactly chump change: I think it would be better to award a one-off skin, though. Those rankings are determined by a relatively straightforward scoring system. You’re rewarded points based on your placement in a given match, and the player with the most points at the end of a 50 matches wins — everyone who completes 50 matches goes home with a unique spray, as well. Here’s how much you get for each place:
What I’m most interested in is how the scoring system will affect play. At the moment, high-skill players tend to play very aggressively and engage enemies whenever possible. This has a gameplay justification — ammo and materials are crucial in the endgame — but it’s also just a more fun way to play the game. For many players, the kill count matters almost as much as the final placement when assessing how well the game went.
That won’t be the case with Solo Showdown, where everything comes down to placement. That means we might see more conservative play from talented competitors hoping to up their placement — not camping, per se, but maybe not landing in Tilted and gunning for everyone in sight. It will also be fun to see strong competitors emerge to take on more visible faces like Ninja and Myth: we know they’re out there, even if they’re not on Twitch.
Epic will be making regular updates on how everyone is fairing, so we’ll see what happens. Will the winner take it home with 50 straight wins and a perfect score of 50000? Probably not, but it would sure be a thing if that happened.