Fortnite’s reboot vans are here, and now I have even more time to yell “please get over here!” at my teammates.
Last week, Epic announced reboot vans for Fortnite. The vans let teammates in the popular battle royale game respawn each other. They were added to the game today, appearing at points of interest around the map in today’s 8.30 update. As the patch notes detail, they take 10 seconds to respawn a teammate once activated. Revived players return to the game with a grey pistol, 100 wood, 36 ammo, and 100 health, which is a change from the system in battle royale rival Apex Legends, where players respawn with nothing. Unlike Apex, the vans don’t vanish once used, but operate on a two-minute cooldown.
The vans didn’t figure into the matches I played this morning, unfortunately. To get revived, another player needs to pick up your reboot card from among the loot you drop when you die and take it to a van. No one picked up one of my cards. Since I’m a good person, I did attempt to collect theirs, but I was often killed by nearby enemy players before I could get to my team’s cards. The feature is new, so it’s possible not everyone understands how to use it.
Echoing my experience, one player wrote on Reddit, “It’s cool to revive someone with the van but let's be honest, when you kill 4 guys in a row and you have 20 hp and 50 of wood it’s gonna be pretty hard to get that card and revive your mate.” Following that logic, players drained from a tough fight may prioritise their own health and resources rather than trying to reboot other players.
Deciding if and how to get a teammate’s banner to revive them is part of the fun of Apex Legends, where the game’s agility makes it possible to swoop in, rescue a teammate, and escape. The clunkier, slower movement of Fortnite makes these dramatic rescues harder to pull off, which may have turned my teammates off from rescuing me. Or, given that I was playing with random people and it’s not that hard to continue in a Fortnite match without your teammates, reboot cards just didn’t feel like a priority to the people I was playing with.
On Reddit and Twitter, a few players have posted clips of using the vans, but they aren’t that widespread yet, making it hard to tell how popular the vans are turning out to be. Players can be downed in the game and revived before a meter expires. Normally, helpful teammates will revive you. In a stream I watched today, one player begged his teammates to let him die so he could test out the van. Given that you have 30 health when you’re revived as opposed to 100 health if you reboot, dying and rebooting might be a better option health-wise if the situation is safe enough.
One player posted a clip of them respawning from a van just after their teammate was killed and then taking out an enemy with the low-powered grey pistol. In the comments, readers discuss that the player appears to have five seconds of invulnerability after respawning. There’s no indication of this in the patch notes, but players are wondering if it is a way to counter others from camping the vans. If true, it’s an interesting choice, especially given that you can shoot and damage other players without taking damage in return. Some dislike this feature, with one writing on Reddit that this makes you “basically a god for 5 seconds.”
Fortnite’s 8.30 patch also added a new event, Buccaneer’s Bounty, which is a daily series of limited-time modes and in-game challenges. Storm damage has also been changed, with “the initial instance of damage [starting] 1 second after entering the Storm.” See the patch notes for the rest of the game’s changes and bug fixes.