Following the game’s holiday-themed Operation Snowdown update, YouTuber SypherPK shows that some Fortnite skins have become pay-to-win.
Popular battle royale games such as Fortnite have soared in popularity in recent years largely thanks to their accessibility, being available on a wide variety of platforms and being free-to-play. And while games like Fortnite are completely free, there are ways for players to spend money on things such as cosmetic customizations and XP boosts, but the free-to-play model typically abides by the rule that advantages over other players cannot be purchased.
Although battle royale games tend to try their best to abide by this rule, it goes without saying that some in-game purchases in these kinds of games have been thought to give players unfair benefits from time to time. Fortnite typically doesn’t face such backlash, but one popular YouTuber has found 3 skins in the game that may give players who have purchased them an unfair advantage right now.
Fortnite YouTuber SypherPK uploaded a video to YouTube recently calling the game pay-to-win, showing that in Fortnite‘s new holiday-themed Operation Snowdown update, players can combine some purchasable skins with certain emotes to gain the upper hand against their opponents. This mostly involves players using an emote with a specific skin in order to blend in with their surroundings, priming them for surprise attacks on other players.
Although calling Fortnite pay-to-win seems like a heavy accusation at first, SypherPK takes a very lighthearted approach to his video, showing players how to get some “free, cheesy, and fun” eliminations. First, the YouTuber shows that players can use the Lt. Evergreen skin combined with its built-in emote, “Light Up” in order to blend in with the holiday trees placed around the map in locations such as Salty Towers and Pleasant Park, and then launch a surprise attack on unsuspecting players. Sypher PK shows that this strategy can also be used to blend in with many of the holiday-themed bushes found all over the map right now. The second skin SypherPK uses for a surprise attack is the Crackshot skin, which can be combined with the stationary “Prickly Pose” emote to blend in with the nutcracker props found around the map in locations like Lazy Lake.
Finally, the last pay-to-win skin SypherPK shows off is probably the most involved, and is one that was included in the previous season’s Marvel-themed Battle Pass, the Mystique skin. When a player is able to eliminate an opponent while using this skin, they can use the its built-in “Shapeshifter” emote in order to transform into the skin of the player they just eliminated. Since this emote works on NPCs as well, the YouTuber shows that players with the Mystique skin can land at one of several Snowmando outposts and eliminate the Snowmando NPC, for which the skin has not yet been released, in order to pose as the NPC and then eliminate players who try to talk to them.
While these pay-to-win features are temporary, as they are only possible during the game’s holiday update, it’s clear that players are enjoying many aspects of the new update as much as they can for now. It will be interesting to see how the game shapes up after Operation Snowdown ends.
Fortnite is free-to-play for PC, PS4, PS5, Switch, Xbox One, and Xbox Series X/S.
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