"Absolutely outrageous": Epic steps in it by removing Fortnite's cosmetic rarity system and immediately selling skins deemed overpriced by angry players

Fortnite Chpater 5 Season 1 Jonesy character with shades
(Image credit: Epic Games)

A huge new change just landed in Fortnite today, and very few players seem happy about it. Color-coded cosmetic rarities are now a thing of the past, meaning there's no more obvious separation between a Rare skin and a Legendary one, and fans are worried what this means for the future of skin prices.

In case you were unfamiliar, up until today, most cosmetics were labeled in the item shop and Locker using the same rarity system as the weapons found in the Battle Royale mode, with green-tagged Uncommon skins, blue Rare ones, and so on. While they're no stronger to use in the game, generally speaking, the higher a cosmetic's 'rarity', the fancier it looks, and they usually have a price to reflect that, too. Today, however, Epic Games announced that this system is being retired. Now, the only cosmetics labeled with different colors are those found in special Series categories such as the Gaming Legends, like Leon Kennedy and Kratos. 

"The Shop has evolved significantly to support multiple types of cosmetics and items across games, so we’re retiring the old Battle Royale-inspired system of colors and tags for cosmetic quality," Epic Games explains in a blog post. "Different Series of cosmetics –  such as the Icon Series or Gaming Legends Series – will still be there to help you find your favorite stuff!"

But what does this actually mean? In one sense, it can be considered a good thing – the rarity of a skin really doesn't mean much if you like a design, and the change essentially encourages people to use their favorites and decide for themselves what they consider to be their personal Legendary skins. 

However, aside from the fact that players' cosmetic Lockers are now harder to navigate at a glance, the main concern that's being aired is whether this could signify an increase to cosmetic prices going forward. With no rarity system to indicate a pricing guideline, players are wondering if we could see skins previously presented as Uncommon or Rare outfits priced much higher than you'd expect.

"This is sickening. Genuinely disheartening to see them do this, because you KNOW that means they can do whatever they want with the prices because we'll never see the rarity," one player speculates.

"For some reason I can't help but feel overhauling the rarity system means also overhauling the pricing system just so any skin can be expensive for no reason," another suggests.

To make matters worse, this controversy has coincided perfectly with the release of the new Avatar: The Last Airbender skins, which many players have immediately deemed "overpriced." While the prices aren't totally unheard of, individual skins (complete with a LEGO style, Back Bling and Pickaxe) are 2,000 V-Bucks each, which is definitely on the more expensive side, especially for the level of detail in this series of skins.

These prices are absolutely outrageous from r/FortNiteBR

"These prices are absolutely outrageous," one player writes. "TMNT skins which brought more or less the same things were [1,600], only Zuko should be this price since realistically he’s the only one that needs to be bundled with his pickaxe but Toph and Katara do not need to be this price."

Thankfully though, not all of the shop changes have gone down poorly. One upcoming alteration will see dates added to each item in the shop to show when they're planned to rotate out. In theory, it sounds like this could help players decide if or when they want to spend their V-Bucks, potentially stopping people from panic buying out of fear that a skin they want is going to disappear before they can earn more currency through the Battle Pass. This feature is planned to be implemented from late May. 

For more games like Fortnite, be sure to check out our recommendations for the best battle royale games

Catherine Lewis
News Writer

I'm one of GamesRadar+'s news writers, who works alongside the rest of the news team to deliver cool gaming stories that we love. After spending more hours than I can count filling The University of Sheffield's student newspaper with Pokemon and indie game content, and picking up a degree in Journalism Studies, I started my career at GAMINGbible where I worked as a journalist for over a year and a half. I then became TechRadar Gaming's news writer, where I sourced stories and wrote about all sorts of intriguing topics. In my spare time, you're sure to find me on my Nintendo Switch or PS5 playing through story-driven RPGs like Xenoblade Chronicles and Persona 5 Royal, nuzlocking old Pokemon games, or going for a Victory Royale in Fortnite.