Epic has finally unveiled Fortnite’s new respawn system – possibly the game’s worst-kept secret ever – in a dev update video.
The vans were first spotted last month when players discovered a bug which displayed the model in-game. With such an obvious appearance, players quickly guessed they were supposed to be used for respawning, but nobody knew quite how it would work. Until now.
The vehicles themselves are called reboot vans, and players will need to grab reboot cards from their fallen comrades in order to resurrect their squad. Players then bring these to a van and wait for their teammates to be beamed down from the sky. Star Trek has certainly gone in a new direction.
For some battle royale fans, this may sound awfully familiar. The reason for this is the fundamental elements of the respawn system (ignoring surface differences such as vans instead of beacons) are essentially the same as the one in Apex Legends. In both games, players must pick up a tag, run to a set point, and must wait to respawn their teammates while a noisy visual cue appears to alert surrounding players of the respawn.
One of the only major differences between the two is Fortnite’s vans become temporarily unusable after a respawn, although it’s unclear as to whether this applies to all players or just the newly-respawned squad. Another potential difference not detailed in the video is whether players will have limited time to collect the reboot cards – a mechanic used to add urgency to rescuing squadmates in Apex Legends.
Fortnite also recently introduced a squad communication system, which some suggested was similar to Apex Legends’ much-praised ping system. The main difference here is Fortnite’s system is much more basic.
Perhaps Epic knew it could get some flak for suspiciously introducing these mechanics post-Apex Legends, as in February Epic explained in a Reddit AMA it was considering both squad communications and respawns. Epic suggested it had been considering the respawn mechanic “for a while”, although the end result still seems pretty similar to Apex Legends’.
The vans are due to (officially) make an appearance in update v8.30, which should arrive sometime next week.