If you’ve tried playING Fortnite this evening and you’re located in the North America-East, you’ve likely been met with a bizarre lobby that includes only Arena game modes — or, perhaps, no game modes at all, only gibberish. This is due to a major outage the game is experiencing in one part of North America, leaving many players unable to initiate matchmaking. Fortunately, there’s a simple way to get around the problem.
Around 7:30 PM EST, Epic said in a tweet that it is investigating an issue with matchmaking. According to the game’s official status page, this matchmaking issue specifically impacts the North America Eastern (NA-East) servers, leaving players unable to join matches. If the game was set to a non-Arena mode when the player got on, it will instead show a ‘Disabled’ warning.
Players aren’t able to select any game mode except Arena, two options of which show up in the mode selection screen. Some players don’t even see this screen and instead are presented with a black page and a bunch of garbled text, as well as the claim that a tournament is currently underway. The image below shows what we currently see, but we’ve also randomly had access to the Arena Solo and Duos modes, as well.
We don’t yet know what is going on, but there is one workaround — and while it’s not ideal, it does enable players to get back into the action while Epic works on the issue. Because the outage is only impacting the NA-East server region, you can simply change the region that you’re playing in. In our case, we switched to the NA-West server region and were able to play like usual.
The downside to this is that if you’re located in the Eastern part of North America, your ping will suffer by switching to the West region, but not by much. You should avoid Arena matches, but the slight slowdown in speeds isn’t a big deal for casual gameplay.