Fortnite is getting a brand-new competitive ecosystem. It’s not the FNCS that’s getting replaced, but the entire in-game portal for playing Fortnite esports in a serious way. From now on, Fortnite Arena mode is gone! We’ve now got Fortnite Ranked Mode.
Epic has decided to change up what they call the serious side of Fortnite, but how does it actually impact players? While this is still a more serious side of the game that’s going to tie into tournaments it has some major changes from Arena. The new version of competitive Fortnite is going to launch in May 2023 with the Fortnite V24.40 Patch. These are the major changes, how the new Fortnite ranked mode works, and how to climb up those ranks.
Fortnite Ranked Mode
Fortnite Ranked Mode is going to be a new game mode launching in May. It’s replacing the old Fortnite Arena Mode. While we can do a direct comparison with all of the changes, that’s not how Epic is viewing it. Instead, they’re promoting it like a brand-new mode. Their first hints about what was coming were particularly confusing as they seemed to be implying that Fortnite didn’t have a competitive mode yet.
While competitive Fortnite game modes aren’t new, there are loads changing from the old Arena with the new Fortnite Ranked Mode.
What’s Changed from Arena in Fortnite Ranked mode?
One of the biggest changes from Arena to Fortnite Ranked mode is the game modes on offer. It’s not just Fortnite “Arena” anymore. It’s now a separate playlist which applies to multiple game modes.
You can’t jump into arena to play the Unreal creation Fortnite Chapter 1 map. However, you can now play Fortnite Zero Builds in competitive! There will be two entirely separate playlists for Ranked. There’s Battle Royale with the standard Fortnite gameplay, and Zero Builds without the building mechanic.
Another change is the actual playlist rules and loot pool. Epic keeps novelty content and crossovers out of Arena mode to maintain competitive integrity. The loot pool is more boring, more skill-based, and it doesn’t become a luck-based mess because of a promotional item for half of each season. Or it didn’t. Now it will!
Epic has stressed that they’re keeping a separate loot pool for tournaments, but not for Fortnite Ranked mode. All in-game playlists will use the normal loot pool, then tournaments will switch to the more competitive style of the game. This is a less welcome change than some of the others here, but it’s understandable that Epic wants the game to be a bit more uniform. Recently the competitive loot pool has become completely detached from pubs.
Ranked Mode also has some new rules. You’ll get more points for elims at the end of matches, more for elims of players above you in the ranks. Generally, the point system is going to be a lot more dynamic than the old points for each kill and placement.
There’s plenty that hasn’t changed with Arena mode. It’s still a game mode where you gradually rise up ranks and can access tournaments.
Fortnite Ranked Mode Divisions and Tiers
There is plenty of change but the Fortnite Ranked mode is keeping its overall scouter. This is a game mode which assigns you a rank. You start at the bottom. As you perform well, you’ll rise up the ranks gradually. The best players in the highest tiers will get to compete in events.
This new system now applies to Zero Builds too, but that has a separate rank. This should change things up for the Fortnite Solo Cash Cups that are sometimes played. You’ll have to grind in comp before you actually get into these events now! These are the divisions that you can find for Battle Royale and Zero Builds.
Bronze through diamond features three ranks for each tier. Once you get to elite, it’s a single tier for each rank. Elite upwards is where you can start to compete in in-game tournaments too.
Seasonal Changes to Fortnite Ranked Mode
The new Fortnite Ranked mode is coming with Fortnite Chapter 4 Season 2. We’re close to the end of the season though! Previously, there were rank changes as seasons changed.
Epic isn’t treating Fortnite Ranked mode seasons the same as game seasons though. Instead, the new Ranked Mode will launch in Season Zero.
This will be an initial tester season for the new style of competitive play in Fortnite. It’s scheduled to run until the end of Chapter 4 Season 3. This means we won’t get a season reset at the end of the current period.
In terms of future timing, Epic hasn’t been specified yet. They’re keeping their options open to experiment in Chapter 4 Season 3, with a Season 1 for ranked being a fuller launch. Once we get through to Season 1, we can start getting more of an idea of how long each competitive Fortnite season will last. Although, with different Chapters, Seasons, and now Ranked Seasons, there’s a lot of timing to keep an eye on for Fortnite right now.
Do Ranks Reset This Season?
Since the new Fortnite Ranked mode is replacing Arena mode, a lot of players already have a rank and tier in Fortnite Chapter 4 Season 2. What happens to your current rank? It’s gone. Epic is putting the clock back to Zero for this season! However, you won’t have to grind the whole way again.
You only need to play one match to get a new rank. Your performance in your first game will decide your new placement. If you have a bad game though, the grind-up in Fortnite is often more fun than playing with the sweatiest Fortnite skins In the highest ranks!
Fortnite Ranked Mode Rewards
The new Fortnite Ranked mode is getting more rewards. You don’t just get to the top rank to get bragging rights. There’s much more to think about for the new ranks.
Players will get minor cosmetics for getting to each rank at the end of the competitive season. Don’t expect free Fortnite skins, but more minor items are going to be a reward here. Epic is also running their own leaderboards for those in Unreal Rank. You can now check the official Fortnite leaderboard to see who the best player in Ranked mode is at any time.
Players can opt out of the new leaderboard though. This is going to be a new option in your Fortnite settings to change up depending on your preference.
Fortnite Ranked Mode Points and Rules
Ranking up in the new Fortnite Ranked mode is going to work quite a bit differently. You’ll still need to gain points through games, but the scoring system is now different. On top of that, there are new features to give more of an incentive to rank climbing. If you have the Ranked playlist on, you’ll now see your current rank on the screen. This will be combined with a progress bar for the current season. You’ll always have an indicator of how close you are to ranking up, although ranking down is now a possibility too.
After each game, that progress bar will go one way or the other! It’ll be moving depending on your performance. The factors are less clear than in the old Arena mode, but this is how it breaks down.
- Match Placement – This will always be a major contributor. Victory Royales obviously get a big effect.
- Elims – As usual kills matter.
- Time of Elims – Elims later in a match will now contribute more than earlier. Getting people off spawn won’t be rewarded as heavily as popping off in the top 10.
- Rank – The players that you eliminate will have a different weighting towards rank.
This new system makes the scoring a lot less transparent, but you can probably guess if a game’s gone well or not without too much help. Another quirk is that teams get a flat score. Everyone gets the same progress in team games. If you’re carrying, maybe consider helping your Duo learn how to win Fortnite games. Liabilities will slow you down quite a bit.
All Ranked Fortnite Game Modes
Ranked matchmaking will be entirely different to the old system of just three game modes. These are all of the different playlists that you can now turn Ranked on for.
Trios are gone for now. However, dataminers have found that it is still in the files! We can expect it to reappear at some point, but Duos is the focus for competitive Fortnite right now. Zero Builds isn’t going to get a Solos queue at first either, but it would be coming in the future.
How Does it Tie into Tournaments?
That’s how the new Fortnite Ranked Mode is going to work. The only other big question at launch is how this integrates with Fortnite esports tournaments. Getting to a high rank is usually a prerequisite for players to get into real-money tournaments. We’ll likely have to see how Chapter 4 Season 3 tournaments look before we know specifics like more Zero Builds tournaments.