Fortnite Battle Royale removes Guided Missiles semi-permanently in response to player complaints

A Guided Missile whizzes past a would-be Chug Jug imbiber in this still from a Fortnite trailer.

The Guided Missile disappeared from Fortnite Battle Royale last week due to a glitch and now its leave of absence has been extended indefinitely. Developer Epic Games revealed in a post on the Fortnite Battle Royale subreddit that the still-quite-new weapon is being shelved in response to player concerns:

"We’ve gotten a lot of feedback around the Guided Missile, in particular concerns over fairness and strength of the weapon," Epic wrote. "We share your concerns, so we’ve put the Guided Missile into the vault while we figure out the next steps for its future."

Epic uses that "vault" metaphor for items it removes from Fortnite; other vaulted items include Smoke Grenades and standard Submachine Guns (not to be confused with Tactical or Suppressed Submachine Guns, which are still in the game). All of them could potentially return one day, but Epic has decided Fortnite is better off without them for now.

Guided Missiles were added as part of Fortnite update 3.4 way back on, er, March 29. So if you don't count the days since Guided Missiles were not-so-temporarily disabled on April 11, they were only in the game for two weeks! If you weren't playing a ton of Fortnite in that relatively brief period, you may wonder what spurred Epic to kill its latest explosive darling in such short order.

For starters, Guided Missiles made some pretty wacky stuff like this possible.

But if you can manage to pull something like that off in the middle of an actual fight, you deserve the W. No, the "it's gotta go" moment with Guided Missiles probably came when folks realized just how easily they neutralized the building advantage. Guided Missiles were fast and maneuverable enough to sneak around all kinds of defenses. Suddenly, your mighty metal tower made you a death-from-above target from some rocket-launching jerk hiding behind a hill. You could defend against them, but Guided Missile still shook the game up in a way many players found intrusive.

It's a shame to see all the work developers did on the Guided Missile weapon go to waste, but sometimes the best new feature is getting rid of an unpopular one you already had. Between this and handing out free gifts for the big Fortnite downtime last week, Epic's doing a pretty good job of treating its community right.

Too intimidated to try the latest video game phenomenon out for yourself? Don't worry, I'm having a great time sucking at Fortnite Battle Royale - and you will too