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Epic wants to prevent keyboard and mouse players from dominating Fortnite

By David Matthews · 14 replies
Aug 10, 2018
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  1. As many TechSpot readers know quite well, using a keyboard and mouse gives gamers much more precise aiming in shooters. That advantage can often be seen in Fortnite, which allows PC, console (sans PS4), and mobile gamers to play against each other. It’s hard to see someone using a touchscreen to best someone using a keyboard and mouse. Fortnite developer Epic is trying to remedy that by changing how players are matched together.

    Community Manager JustMooney1 wrote in a Reddit post in which he outlined how Epic planned on bringing better balance to the game. Apparently, Epic is “working on some matchmaking tech, on the way, that’ll pair you against folks based on your choice of peripherals”. So basically if you’re using keyboard and mouse, you’ll be matched against players who are also using keyboard and mouse. Presumably the same thing would happen with gamers who prefer gamepads or touch controls.

    What makes this potentially interesting is that PS4 supports mouse and keyboard natively for Fortnite. Xbox One tangentially supports it using third party means and Microsoft is actively working on native keyboard and mouse support for Xbox One. That means the game would have to recognize what input the player is using. What if the player switches from a gamepad to a keyboard and mouse mid-game? Would the gamer get kicked out of that match?

    In the past, there have been various experiments with allowing keyboard and mouse players to match up players using controllers. Infamously, Microsoft allows cross-platform play between PC and Xbox One for Gears of War 4. According to Microsoft, "Windows 10 and Xbox players had closely matched results when comparing Average KD, Score, and Kills per match based on skill ratings."

    Fortnite has had meteoric success so far and tweaking the matchmaking could have interesting repercussions. For example, if mobile gamers using touch controls are only matched with other gamers using touch controls, it breaks the allure of crossplay with PC and console players.

    On the other hand, it's in Epic's interest to keep Fortnite as fair and balanced as possible in order for players to be competitive. According to JustMooney1, more details are coming next week.

    Permalink to story.

  2. TheBigT42

    TheBigT42 TS Maniac Posts: 311   +190

    Keyboard and Mouse for all or none

    Assuming this is just for Battle Royal...Not Save the World
  3. Dimitrios

    Dimitrios TS Guru Posts: 432   +311

    Console with keyboard and mouse support................. So it's basically a computer lol.
    Reehahs and Sikirash like this.
  4. Vulcanproject

    Vulcanproject TS Evangelist Posts: 712   +1,004

    Many consoles in the past have had support. Dreamcast had extensive keyboard support. However it hasn't caught on much besides that particularly special console. It's a lifestyle thing. Where do you put a keyboard if you have you console connected to a TV? Where do you use a mouse on your sofa?

    There has and likely always will be that strict line between gaming at a desk and monitor and gaming on a sofa in front of a TV. I have a setup where I can do both in the same room, but I know this is probably rare. The number of people utilising the old K&M on console even when they support it will be miniscule for Fortnite.

    Cross play is really just so you can play your friends on other platforms, or use your account on another you own like mobile. So if the criteria is as simple as only playing those with the same control schemes, there won't be a lot of cross play mixing actually happening overall.
  5. This is a short-sighted move. If it catches on, it will result in segmented player bases for popular games and eventually force people to the lowest common denominator with hardware when it is eventually expanded to include other sorting metrics in the name of "fairness."

    Global sessions: 14,874


    Please wait... Currently matching you with players of similar specifications...

    1440p 144hz...


    Sensor type, optical...

    Nvidia 1080 8gb...

    16gb ram...

    6700K 4.2ghz...

    Game display settings custom...

    Sessions found: 5

    Full sessions: 5

    Buckets of fun.
    Clamyboy74, Nima304, Reehahs and 2 others like this.
  6. Hexic

    Hexic TS Evangelist Posts: 494   +319

    Microsoft literally did this test like a decade ago with Xbox and PC, with these same results. In fact, Techspot posted the findings because I remember reading the article when it was new. I'm just too lazy to find the article.

    Ofc PC players floor console players.. I can literally spin circles around any console player with a flick o my wrist.
    Clamyboy74, Burty117, Reehahs and 2 others like this.
  7. avioza

    avioza TS Maniac Posts: 202   +152

    I am pretty sure controller users get an auto-aim boost already. You need to be really good with a mouse+kb to be competitive already.

    The better players I have seen were all console players. I ask them when I can.
    trgz likes this.
  8. H3llion

    H3llion TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,690   +436

    Two modes,

    competitive = your platform only
    skirmish = all vs all for quicker queue pops

    Wow I fixed world hunger...
    Burty117, Reehahs and Hexic like this.
  9. Nobina

    Nobina TS Evangelist Posts: 1,897   +1,408

    When I read the article title I thought they were gonna mess around with aiming to hinder kb/m or boost auto aim on other inputs, which still might happen.

    What were they thinking when they let all platforms play together? It makes no sense.

    If you wanna be competitive in a shooter you MUST use kb/m.
  10. Johndoedoedoe

    Johndoedoedoe TS Enthusiast Posts: 28   +22

    That's how it should be, it's a huge advantage. Albeit, it should be easy for modders to create software which makes mouse+kb input appear like xinput.
  11. DasLooney

    DasLooney TS Rookie

    I play on a PC with a keyboard and mouse and get slaughtered at times by console players using a controller.
  12. koblongata

    koblongata TS Addict Posts: 181   +56

    Auto Aiming saves the day for console users! Hooray!
  13. Timmeer

    Timmeer TS Rookie

    You think it is competitive when using kb/m. But why it can't be competitive if everyone is playing with a controller or touchscreen?

    If kb/m is your personal preference, because it is more fun for YOU, it doesn't mean the rest is not competitive.

    It will be not competitive if controller and kb/m is mixed.
  14. Nobina

    Nobina TS Evangelist Posts: 1,897   +1,408

    I agree that it won't be competitive if inputs are mixed. They should've never made the game cross platform IMO.

    I didn't say that using a controller/touchscreen can't be competitive, it can, but it makes no sense to use it when kb/m exists. Using controller/touchscreen makes it less competitive because they have aim assist which takes out human aiming which is the whole point of a shooter. If you disable aim assist it's gonna be a shitshow because controller/touchscreen is inferior to kb/m in aiming. It only makes sense to use the best input method.
  15. Forebode

    Forebode TS Booster Posts: 191   +44

    I don't see the problem.. technology helps you play better then without.. but you can have all the advancements offered and still play horribly. We don't all have the same eyesight, hand-eye coordination, comprehension speed, etc.. so why be so bummed about the input device? Figure if you're going to be so very against cross input devices.. you might as well make the game a SaaS with keyboard/mouse input detection only, so that the only other thing that could be variable is the connection to the service, and at that point, possibly inflate the latency to make them all equal within the actual game.

    Name a competition where both equally numbered teams are exactly the same both in technology and physically.

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