Fortnite

Epic changes "pay-to-win" Fortnite pickaxe after game-breaking sound bug

by Andrew Amos

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After a myriad of complaints, Epic Games has taken the Riot Control Baton off the shelves and disabled it in Fortnite. The pickaxe reportedly made players’ footsteps silent while equipped.

The Riot Control Baton was added into Fortnite in December 2019, but has made an appearance in recent Daily Shops due to the re-run of the Star Wars event.

With its increased use, players have discovered a game-breaking exploit that has forced Epic to remove the item from Fortnite temporarily.

Riot Control Baton Fortnite
Epic Games
The Riot Control Baton has been disabled in Fortnite after an audio glitch was discovered.

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The bug was discovered by Fortnite player ‘SlowEU’, who spotted numerous pros using the harvesting tool in the Solos Cash Cup. Following Liquid’s Dmitri ‘Mitr0’ Van de Vrie, Slow noticed while he had the pickaxe out, he made no noise.

This allowed Mitr0 to creep up on unsuspecting enemies and kill them. The clip went viral on Twitter, and shortly afterwards everyone else started equipping the Riot Control Baton.

Mitr0 himself claimed the pickaxe was “pay-to-win,” putting it down to a little bit of luck that he bought it instead of other items. It certainly helped his Cash Cup campaign, though whether he intended to use the exploit remains unclear.

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Epic took the drastic action of disabling the Riot Control Baton to fix its sound issues. On May 11, the pickaxe was taken off the shelves, and replaced with a default harvesting tool in all lobbies.

“While we work on resolving an issue, the Riot Control Baton will appear as a default Pickaxe in all playlists,” they said on Twitter.

Previously, when Epic has had to overhaul items, they offer refunds to players. However, given this is just a purely audio issue, and not a cosmetic issue, that might not be the case with this pickaxe.

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The Riot Control Baton is the second Fortnite item Epic have had to temporarily vault in a week. The Dragacorn glider was taken down on May 7 after players were abusing its animation to dodge incoming fire while flying. Players were offered a refund after it was fixed.

It’s also unclear as to whether the glitch may warrant Epic wiping the results of the recent Solos Cash Cup. The competitive account is yet to comment on the issue, but we will update you if anything changes on that front.