Several Fortnite players are complaining about how hard it is to find shields in matches right now. Regardless if we’re talking about small or big shield potions, Slurp Juices, or Chug Jugs, they’re all consumable items and it might seem like they’re gone from some matches.
Professional Fortnite streamer Nick "NICKMERCS" Kolcheff said he’s “playing a game that thrives on shields, and there isn’t any in the game.” His fellow streamer Jimmy “HighDistortion” Moreno also said “it's literally almost impossible to find shields in the game right now."
The Fortnite community endorsed their comments while also highly approving a meme posted on Reddit that asks for more information about what happened to shields. “Has the spawn rate been adjusted? Is the oversaturated loot pool causing shields to drop less?"
Most bets are on the second theory, one that says developer Epic Games has added too many consumable items to Fortnite: Battle Royale lately, so the rate drops of the ones that grant shield have reduced significantly.
That theory makes sense when we consider that one of the four items that chests drop are a random consumable. The consumable class includes any item that’s not a weapon or trap, such as explosives. Regardless of the weapon, bullet, and material that drops from a chest, one of the 17 consumable items available in standard game modes has a chance of appearing.
Statistics website Fortnite Tracker shows that the big Shield Potion is the most likely item to appear with a 14.7 percent chance. But the new Glider item takes second place with a 12.2 percent chance.
So before the redeploy item was added, Epic had to reduce the drop chances of other items to make the rate of Gliders fit into 12.2 percent. This likely means that the other shield items, like the Small Shield Potion and the Slurp Juice, now have lower rates than they did before Epic introduced Gliders.
There are two fixes Epic can roll out to make sure players see more shield items from chests. The first is to vault consumable items that players aren’t using a lot and then increase the chances of shield items dropping. The second one is to simply adjust drop rates, making other items appear less often while making shields appear more frequently.
Considering Gliders are likely guilty in this situation, reducing their drop rate to increase the rates of shields sounds like the way to go.
Epic has yet to comment on the situation publicly. We’ve seen the company push hotfixes to solve similar issues in the past, so if Epic decides it should take action, an update could be coming soon.