Leaks are hinting that Epic Games is working on a new mode for Fortnite Battle Royale featuring just you and your friends taking on bots. According to Fortnite leaker FireMonkey on Twitter, the mode codenamed Phoebe and allows for Solo, Duo, or Squad play in a server populated with bots.
*Player VS Bots LTM Info*
Name: Phoebe PvsB
Alternate Name: Solo/Duo/Squad VS Phoebe
Description: All against Player Solos/Duos/Squads
Max Players: You/Your Duo/Squad.
Max Bots: 100 Minus how many people are in your squad.
It appears you gain the same XP as a normal match.
— FireMonkey • Fortnite Intel ? (@iFireMonkey) October 18, 2019
Interestingly, it would seem that the mode will allow for full XP gain, the same as any standard game of the Battle Royale behemoth. The new “Phoebe” mode appears to be in the game files as a Limited Time Mode, meaning that it might tie into some future promotion within the game.
Bots have been a big talking point in Fortnite since the start of Chapter 2, as players report running into “players” that are showing extremely botlike behavior. At the moment, the AI for the bots does not appear to be particularly smart, as it can go from shooting a weapon to trying to knock down a wall mid gunfight. Players are quickly learning to spot which players are real and which appear to be bots in training.
I’m curious to see if any players try to fake being a bot mid-fight, to see if they can convince someone to stop shooting at them. I imagine it will happen at some point, and I can’t wait to view it. The community has been everything from ambivalent to the presence of bots to up in arms about it, with most people just being curious to see how it all plays out, and what it means.
All signs point to the bots you currently run into being in the game to test behaviors for this Limited Time Mode. According to FireMonkey, the mode will not be appearing any time soon, so all we can do now is wait and see.