The latest Fortnite patch, issued earlier this week, has changed the game’s cross-play significantly. Not only does the game now make players participate in cross-play pools by default, but the Nintendo Switch version only matches people with players on iOS and Android — keeping them out of the larger console environment.
In the patch notes for version 8.10, Epic Games confirms that it has combined the matchmaking pools for PlayStation 4 and Xbox One, as well as for mobile devices and Switch. The studio’s explanation has to do with better managing the game’s difficulty for everyone.
“We expect an on-average better per-game experience for both Mobile and Switch players,” the notes read. There have been complaints about an uneven playing field between those on traditional consoles and those on Nintendo’s hybrid handheld console; considering that PS4 and Xbox One players have had way more time to get into Fortnite, there’s no real surprise there. The Switch version’s frame rate issues and unique controls also prove to be obstacles, especially since the Switch controllers aren’t really best-suited for shooters.
Combining the PS4 and Xbox One player bases also comes with a requirement to “opt-in to cross-play,” says Epic. “Players opt-ing out are restricted to Creative Mode and Playgrounds.” Cross-play is now the standard for console and mobile players, although that’s not necessarily a huge change.
There’s good news for friends playing on different consoles: They can still invite each other to play Fortnite, regardless of platform. It’s just random matchmaking that comes with the new restrictions on player pools.