What Is 'Fortnite' Prop Hunt?

The new 'Fortnite' update is inspired by a fan-favorite mode popularized in 'Garry’s Mod.'

by Nicole Carpenter
Jun 18 2019, 6:39pm

Image: Epic Games

Fortnite players no longer only have to worry if their enemy’s found an overpowered item on the game’s map. Instead, they have to worry that their enemy is that item in Fortnite’s world. Earlier this week, developer Epic Games teased a new mode, Prop Hunt, for Fortnite. Today, the developer announced that it’s available for players.

Here’s how it works: Two teams, hiders and hunters, spawn into a Fortnite map. The hiders are tasked with collecting coins around the map, but they need to transform themselves into objects around the map⁠—a toilet, perhaps, or a rubber duck⁠—to keep themselves hidden from the hunters. If the hiders can stay hidden from the hunters to find all the coins, the hiders win. If the hunters can seek out the hiders, they win. Rounds are five minutes each, and then teams swap sides.

Fortnite’s Prop Hunt is a featured island in the game’s Creative mode, produced by a developer team at StrayKite Studios.

Creative mode in Fortnite was added to the game in mid-December, and gives players the ability to create their own custom islands. The mode has a bunch of tools that allow users to customize their own personal islands, then share them with the community. Fortnite creators can submit their islands to Epic for review—if they’re chosen, they’ll be considered a “featured island” and promoted in-game.

The new, Prop Hunt island can hold up to 15 players using the code 6069-9263-9110 in Fortnite. Epic Games also added a new weapon, the “Prop-O-Matic,” which is in the creative mode, to allow players to make their own Prop Hunt games. The code is, essentially, a key to let players into the game mode, so they don’t have to go searching around the thousands of islands in the Creative section of the game. Creators don’t typically earn money directly from being a featured island, but Epic does have its “Support-A-Creator” program that lets players show support for creators. Creators earn $5 for every 10,000 V-Bucks— Fortnite’s in-game currency—spent by players who enter the creator name when spending money. Epic listed StrayKite’s Support-A-Creator code at the end of its blog post: “StrayKite,” naturally.

The idea behind Prop Hunt was originally popularized as a mode of Garry’s Mod, itself a mod of Half-Life 2 that got its own standalone release in 2006. Prop Hunt really took off with Garry’s Mod in 2013, created by a modder named ⁠Andrew Theis, known as AMT online—but now it’s probably got its biggest stage in Fortnite. The general idea of the mode has been around for longer than that, though, but it worked especially well in Garry’s Mod, since the game is so friendly to modders.

It's also important to note that Fortnite has a history of just using ideas created by other people. The game itself started as cooperative shooter, and became one of the most popular games in the world only after it copied the battle royale formula popularized by PlayerUnkown's Battlegrounds and other games in the genre. It's profitable dancing emotes are based on the real world dances of black artists, but doesn't credit them. And now it's promoting a mode created by other developers which is based on a popular mod where players pretend to be objects.

It's a concept that's gained traction outside of Fortnite recently. During E3 last week, developer Vaulted Sky Games showed off its own version of the prop hunt genre, called Midnight Ghost Hunt. The idea here is similar to the Garry’s Mod and Fortnite modes, except there’s some lore around why the props move. Because they’re haunted by ghosts. The other twist? The props can attack the hunters.

Fortnite’s objects can’t attack the hunters, but maybe that’ll come in the future. “We’ll be adding more options for Prop Hunt in the future,” Epic Games said.