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Why am I taking constant damage or randomly dying in Fortnite Chapter 5 Season 3?

It's not a bug!

If you’ve found yourself taking damage when nobody’s around in Fortnite and can’t figure out what on earth is happening, you’re not alone. This article covers why players are taking ticking damage and dying outside of the storm due to a new Season 3 feature.

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The reason you’re taking ticking damage or dying in Fortnite

If you find yourself being damaged in Fortnite as if you’re standing in the Storm, it’s because you currently have an active Wastelander Challenge.

Wastelander Challenge Fortnite
Screenshot: PC Invasion

Wastelander Challenges are optional match-specific challenges accepted at Wastelander Beacons across the Island. In exchange for bonus XP, Wastelander Challenges apply negative effects for the rest of the match, such as taking damage when standing still or touching the ground.

A complete list of negative effects (debuffs) from Wastelander Challenges in Fortnite include:

  • The Floor Is Lava — Take 5 damage when touching the floor
  • Jammed Clips — Can no longer reload.
  • Full Throttle — Take 5 damage when not moving.
  • Perma-Damage — Health and Shield items cannot be used.
  • Unshielded — Cannot gain shields.
  • Burnin’ Hot Items — Take 5 damage when picking up any item.

So, if you find yourself taking ticking damage in your next round of Fortnite, it’s because you picked up one of three Wastelander Challenges that damage you when touching the ground, standing still, or picking up an item. At the very least, you can still heal and use a modded vehicle to counteract your debuffs.

Why can’t I reload, restore shield, or heal?

If you find yourself clipped by a sweat because you couldn’t quickly reload or restore your health/shield, that’s also due to accepting a Wastelander Challenge.

If your aim is to get that sweet Victory Royale, it’s typically best to ignore Wastelander Challenges. If you’re looking for a challenge to spice things up, have a Quest, or are desperate for some XP, then go ahead. Just make sure you’re prepared to handle them.

Getting used to new features in Fortnite can take some time, but we’ve got your back. Check out our guide on all new Mythics and where to find them, or get acquainted with the brand new Nitro Infusion mechanic to cause all sorts of chaos in the wasteland.

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Thomas Cunliffe
Thomas has been a writer in the games industry since 2021 and considers himself a connoisseur of all things Nintendo, Blizzard, and Marvel. Since amassing 152,000+ followers on a Facebook page about Diddy Kong with a backward hat, Thomas has become a trusted voice in the gaming community across publications such as PC Invasion, AOTF, and Gfinity. His greatest achievements include catching every Pokémon, completing (almost) every quest in World of Warcraft, and naming his dog 'Mass Effect 3.' Thomas is extraordinarily passionate about the video game industry and its community. He enjoys writing about a wide variety topics, including popular games like Destiny 2, Fortnite, and WoW, as well as the latest Indie titles.