Fortnite Chapter 4 uses Unreal Engine 5's newest lighting features and the results are incredible.
As revealed in this Fortnite blog post, Chapter 4 of the battle royale game has made full use of Unreal Engine 5.1's features. In particular, Fortnite now features Nanite, Lumen, Virtual Shadow Maps, and Temporal Super Resolution on PC, Xbox Series X, and PS5. To put it simply, what this means is that Fortnite will now look better than it has before thanks to a range of visual tools that will improve the game's lighting amongst other things.
The blog post goes into more detail about exactly what kind of changes have been made, but the most noticeable changes come down to Fortnite Chapter 4's lighting. The Lumen feature, mentioned above, has greatly improved Fortnite's lighting by providing "high-quality ray traced reflections on glossy materials and water." As the post reveals, this new tool will enable things like providing real-time global illumination at 60FPS.
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It's not just interior spaces that will reap the benefits of Lumen, characters will also react to the lighting of their surroundings better. For example, the color of objects around characters will be reflected onto their outfits (eg: a red rug will bounce red light onto an outfit). It's the same the other way around too, outfits that have shiny qualities will shine a light on nearby objects and surfaces.
In this Twitter thread, by Daniel Wright of Epic Games, we can see exactly what Epic Games and Unreal Engine 5 have done to improve Fortnite's lighting with objects and reflective surfaces looking so much more realistic. Things have improved so much that one Twitter user shared screenshots of the battle royale with the caption: "Fortnite has officially PEAKED lighting-wise."
Today Lumen Global Illumination and Reflections ship in Fortnite Chapter 4 on next gen consoles and PC. This is a huge milestone for Lumen, as it's the first time we've shipped it in a real game, with foliage, and running at 60fps.https://t.co/E8pknlbDdD pic.twitter.com/LVVhZQ21GxDecember 4, 2022
This new technology in Fortnite has already gone down well with fans, with several praising the lighting in particular. In this Reddit post sharing the news, several people shared their thoughts on the improvements with one fan saying: "The way that lighting bounces around and the materials naturally interact is truly something to behold." Others have also described it as "crisp", "incredible", and "very natural."
If you want to know what else has been updated in the battle royale, check out the Fortnite new weapons including those returning from the vault.