Fortnite’s loot boxes now show you what’s inside – new X-Ray Llamas explained

Calum Patterson

Fortnite is drastically changing the way loot boxes work in its Save the World portion of the game, now allowing players to see what the ‘Llamas’ contain before buying.

While Fortnite’s more popular mode, battle royale, doesn’t use a loot box system at all, instead opting for the timed ‘item shop’, the Save the World mode uses the iconic Llamas to incentivize in-game purchases.

Previously called ‘V-Buck Llamas’, they are also being renamed to ‘X-Ray Llamas’, as they allow players to see through the once opaque shop window, and see exactly what the Llama contains.

X-Ray Llamas now show what they contain BEFORE you buy.

It’s a radical change and one that is significant for the entire games industry, not just Fortnite.

As the most profitable game in 2018, Fortnite’s daily item shop and ‘battle pass’ progression system has already been adopted by the biggest publishers in gaming, including Activision with Black Ops 4 – a series notorious for less-than generous microtransactions.

This change to the loot box system will hopefully encourage more game publishers to take a more transparent approach to their luck-based microtransactions – especially combined with the increased legal scrutiny around loot boxes generally.

In a blog post, Epic Games explained their decision to make a more user-friendly system: “We believe it’s important that the Llamas you buy have what you want, and that you can earn awesome items just for logging in and playing.”

How does Save the World ‘X-Ray Llamas’ loot unboxing work?

  1. Llamas prices remain the same, and llamas can still be earned through gameplay.
  2. The price doesn’t change when the llama upgrades – you can see the upgrade before you purchase, and any item can come from the cheapest Llama. You can wait and find your favorite weapon in a 50 V-Buck llama, with no guessing!
  3. The items offered are based on your account in order to apply dupe prevention.
    • Dupe Prevention: Introduced in the v5.10 Patch, after the Llama has determined the item rarity and type of drop (Epic or Legendary Hero, Weapon, or Schematic) it will select an item from that category that is not already in your inventory or Collection Book. This applies to Epic, Legendary and Mythic Heroes, Epic and Legendary Schematics and Mythic Lead Survivors.
    • Example: This means that if the Llama picks Legendary (rarity) Shotgun (type), for example, it will give you a Legendary Shotgun you do not already have. If you have all of the legendary Shotguns, it will give you a duplicate Shotgun. It will not pick from another category.
  4. Specific items can still be directly purchased with earnable in-game resources.
  5. All the fun of opening Llamas, and only the items you want!

Mini Llamas and event Llamas remain the same as before, and are not getting the X-Ray treatment, and can be purchased through gameplay-earned resources.

And to top everything off, every player will receive five free Llama upgrade tokens, so you can try the system out right away.