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Fortnite glider redeploys are coming back, but put away your pitchforks because it's an item now

Fortnite is bringing glider redeploys back with one big difference: it's an item now! The new consumable Gliders item coming in update 7.20 on Tuesday will allow you to bust out your glider during a non-skydiving fall, without needing to select the item itself (it just sits in your inventory and charges get used up automatically). You'll be able to find Gliders in floor loot, chests, vending machines, and Supply Llamas in standard modes.

Large team modes like Soaring 50s will also tweak their built-in glider redeploy mechanic to use Gliders; you'll automatically be granted a Gliders item with 50 charges as soon as you jump out of the Battle Bus. You'll hit the ground with all 50 intact, since you only use one when you redeploy from outside of skydiving mode (meaning you don't have to worry about Launch Pads, Rifts-to-Go, and the like using up Gliders charges either).

The glider redeploy mechanic was initially patched in and out of Fortnite within a two week period late last year. It profoundly altered the feel and balance of the game across all modes, encouraging a more mobile playstyle that countered defensive building (your metal tower isn't worth as much when somebody can just build a ramp a few hundred feet away and glide down right on top of your head). Some folks loved it, some hated it. Loudly.

Epic says this itemized approach to glider redeploys will make it easier to balance and iterate, and it will hopefully be more palatable to players who disliked the way it disrupted their usual approach. It makes sense to me, especially because it requires more strategic thinking. Busting your glider back out whenever you need it is a huge boon, but it's also highly situational; it may not be worth one of your precious inventory slots if you're headed for close-quarters combat, but a clutch redeploy could be a lifesaver out in more open areas.

With Gliders in hand, it should be even easier to find all the Fortnite chilly gnome locations in a minimum number of matches. 

Connor has been doing news and feature things for GamesRadar+ since 2012, which is suddenly a long time ago. How on earth did that happen?