I hate and fear change. This is why bipedal walking tanks frighten me. They change the calculus of war in real life and, more importantly, in the battle royale shooter Fortnite. Developer Epic Games has heard our concerns, however, and it has cut the legs out from underneath the mech known as B.R.U.T.E.
Epic introduced the B.R.U.T.E. into Fortnite to give more players a chance to win a match even if they are not quite as skilled. But the mech was so powerful that many players believe it was disrupting the feel of the game. This led fans to call for the studio to remove the weaponized exoskeleton. Epic isn’t going that far — at least not yet. Instead, it is trying to better balance the mech.
How Epic nerfed the B.R.U.T.E. mech in Fortnite
Here is what is different with B.R.U.T.E. in the latest update:
- It now fires six rockets instead of 10.
- Those rockets now fire 56% slower.
“Our goal with these changes is to increase the back and forth between the users of the B.R.U.T.E. and the players they face,” reads an Epic blog post. “These changes allow the players on the receiving end of the missile volley to have more time to react and protect themselves.”
- Damage radius of the rockets is now 42% smaller.
“Our goal with this change is to improve consistency and understanding around focused barrages of missiles,” reads the blog. “B.R.U.T.E.s will continue to be a strong option against structures, but less lethal against players.”
- The mech’s dash now takes 5 seconds to cool down instead of 3 seconds.
- Boosting in the air will produce 33% less velocity.
“We want to reduce a B.R.U.T.E.’s ability to engage and disengage at long distances to encourage a more strategic approach to an encounter,” reads the blog. “In general we hope to shift B.R.U.T.E.s away from being highly mobile and put more emphasis on their already defensive nature.”
- You can no longer collect materials while in the mech.
- B.R.U.T.E. is less likely to spawn throughout the match.
- B.R.U.T.E. now has 1,250 health instead of 1,000.
So the mech is now less mobile and less deadly — especially from range. But Epic is emphasizing that it is a tank that can stand around and take significant damage.
On top of that, the mech may not spawn in early parts of the match. That should introduce some variability to how each session plays out.