The weekly challenges have long been a topic of debate for Fortnite fans. The subreddit is filled with people bringing their own suggestions to the table, desperate for Epic to take note and replace the tired ‘Search Chests’ or ‘Eliminate Opponents in X named location’ variants we’ve seen time and time again.
It puts Epic Games in a difficult spot. It has to try and balance fans’ thirst for new and exciting challenges, while also ensuring they’re not too ‘out of reach’ of the general population of Fortnite players. The beginning of Season 6 has certainly brought about a shift in the weekly challenges. While it wasn’t quite so noticeable in week one, the week two challenges just released today feel, well… way too easy to really be deemed ‘challenges.’
In the past, the weekly challenges have tasked players with doing all manner of bizarre stuff. We’ve had to dance in front of forbidden dance signs, we’ve had to hit golf balls from the tee to the green, and find hidden treasure maps and use them to find the treasure. We even had to seek out hungry, laughing gnomes, which is as terrifying as it sounds.
It’s this kind of zany, off-the-wall vibe that’s made Fortnite what it is. It stands out from other battle royale titles because it doesn’t take itself too seriously. That should still be something Epic strives to achieve with its weekly challenges, even if they have to get a little easier to cater to the larger audience.
The first two sets of weekly challenges in Season 6 have almost entirely done away with these non-combat focused tasks. Instead, the week 1 challenges required us to use shields until we’d applied 500 in total. Another had us searching three chests (just in general, not at any particular locale), while one of the free challenges for the week required us to pick up different legendary items. To anyone who’s got a relatively good idea of what they’re doing in Fortnite, these aren’t tricky. In fact, if you’re not aiming to do these kinds of things in a game, you’re doing it all wrong. It wasn’t all bad. Granted, we did get another ‘dancing’ challenge, tasking us with finding streetlight spotlights to dance under, but that’s one out of seven.
In a sense, then, the week 1 challenges could be seen as a means of helping new players ease into the action. It was the start of the season, after all. But then, it gets worse with the week 2 challenges. Out of the seven we get each week, five of these are literally focused on dealing damage with different weapon types, more or less. Deal damage with pistols to opponents reads one. SMG Eliminations (3), reads another. ‘Deal Damage with Standard Assault Rifles to Opponents (200).’ You get the idea.
The only remotely interesting challenges from this second week are to visit all Corrupted Areas, and to use a Shadow Stone in three different matches. Which are, essentially, a challenge you’ll likely tick off while doing the other, what with Shadow Stones only spawning at Corrupted Areas. I’d grown a little tired of finding hidden treasures or searching chests in a specific named location, but I’d take them any day over challenges I don’t even need to try in order to complete.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m all for being able to blast through Battle Pass tiers and get me that sweet Dire skin, but where’s the fun? How are players supposed to have hilarious pickaxe showdowns when there’s no hidden treasure for us all to land at? Challenges aren’t challenges if you can just complete them as you play naturally. Sure, in the case of the pistols challenge, it might push players out of their comfort zone, but it’s less the case for assault rifles and SMGs.
Epic Games has seldom, if ever, put a foot wrong when it comes to Fortnite thus far. Its commitment to providing constant, weekly updates and new content drops should be applauded. It’s constantly changing the map, introducing new weapons, and making balance tweaks in order to maintain a fair playing field, and most importantly, it listens to its fans.
It’s this that gives me hope for Fortnite Season 6’s weekly challenges going forward. Epic Games has tried to re-balance fun with difficulty in its weekly challenges, and instead lent too far in one direction. Here’s hoping the weekly challenges will up the ante as the season progresses. Or just that the week 3 challenges tip the balance back towards the center a little. Because, as of right now, Season 6’s challenges have lost that special Fortnite magic.