You can now disable some of Fortnite’s most toxic emotes

For online players tired of being harassed by randos over voice chat, animated emotes have long served as a “safe” way to communicate in-game via simple, pre-approved non-verbal messages. In Fortnite, though, a few of those emotes have become so “confrontational” (as developer Epic puts it) that individual players can now choose to block them with an in-game settings toggle.

The new “See Confrontational Emotes” setting, announced Tuesday, can be set to automatically block the appearance (and associated sound effects) of four emotes “that are sometimes used in confrontational ways,” Epic wrote. Those four emotes are (links go to video examples):

By default, the toggle will be set to only display these emotes from friends in an online party, Epic wrote. That setting can be changed to always allow or always block those emotes at any time.

“We want emotes to be a source of good vibes, but a few (*cough* Take the L *cough*) can sometimes feel a bit overly confrontational,” Epic wrote in a social media post Tuesday evening.

Should trolls get refunds?

In the past, “Laugh it Up” and “Take the L” have been identified by some players as particularly maddening to see from the opposition after a tough death—”Take the L” has even spread to the world of professional sports celebrations for the same purpose. “Whipcrack” and “Make it Plantain,” meanwhile, have become associated with some truly vile racist memes in some corners of social media and video sites.

In the past, Epic has offered refunds to players who purchased emotes that later had to be removed from the game for one reason or another. But the new “Confrontational Emotes” toggle stops short of this kind of complete removal. Those who purchased the emotes in question (or got them from a Battle Pass, in the case of “Take the L”) can still use them and see the results on their own screens, even if some other players have decided they don’t want to see it.

Still, some players think Epic should offer refunds for emotes that were originally sold as a way to flex on other players who can now ignore them entirely. “The main issue is that a lot of the emotes banned, such as ‘Take the L’ or ‘Laugh it Up,’ were exclusively marketed to annoy other players that you kill and is the main reason that players paid for these emotes,” one Redditor pointed out in a thread discussing the new setting. “At the very least Epic should allow for refunds to any ‘confrontational emote’ as the main reason many people bought these emotes was for the sole purpose of annoying others.”

The new emote settings come just a few months after Disney made a $1.5 billion investment in Epic Games as part of a plan to create a “games and entertainment universe” within Fortnite. While there’s no direct evidence that Disney’s involvement led directly to the new option, some players are already expressing suspicion over that timing.

In the past, Fortnite has run into legal trouble over copyright claims surrounding the dance moves that “inspired” specific Fortnite emotes. Epic also temporarily halted sales of a Travis Scott emote after a tragic crowd crush at one of his concerts in 2021.

Listing image by Epic Games

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