New Fortnite Shadow Bomb turns you into an invisible ninja

Per the latest Fortnite patch notes, update 8.51 added a new item to the game's Battle Royale mode: the previously datamined Fortnite Shadow Bomb. It's not a new main weapon, and it's a tiny little thing, but it looks like it could have a big impact on Battle Royale, especially in the final minutes of a round.

The Fortnite Shadow Bomb is basically an invisibility grenade: throw it at the ground and you'll become invisible for six seconds. As time goes on, you'll become more visible to enemies - through a wispy, shadowy visual clue - but you can also hold up to six Shadow Bombs, so in theory you could refresh your invisibility when needed. You can obtain Shadow Bombs as floor loot and from chests, supply drops, and supply llamas.

You can't build, attack, or loot while invisible, but you can move - and I mean move. The Shadow Bomb gives you the ability to double jump and wall jump, which will make it even easier to scale builds and sneak up on enemies. The reveal video above is extremely choreographed, but it's still a good representation of how the Fortnite Shadow Bomb could look in action. 

This item has the potential to create some seriously one-sided Battle Royale finales. It's easy to picture the last two players of a round vying for build advantage only for one to pop a Shadow Bomb and straight-up assassinate the other. It's a straightforward and predictable strategy, but at the same time, it's hard to argue with invisibility and extreme movement. It'll be interesting to see how viable Shadow Bombs are. If they're as nutty as some players believe they are, they may wind up on the Vault shortlist. 

The Fortnite Shadow Bomb is a potential balance bugbear, but it's also hugely exciting. More than the invisibility, I'm interested in the double jump and wall jump it provides. I can't wait to see what platforming challenges people come up with in Fortnite Creative Mode. You could build a regular parkour playhouse as long as you fill it with enough Shadow Bombs to keep the effect going, and you can put money down right now that players will do exactly that.

Here's where to find Fortnite Reboot Vans, just in case you or a buddy get assassinated. 

Austin Wood

Austin freelanced for the likes of PC Gamer, Eurogamer, IGN, Sports Illustrated, and more while finishing his journalism degree, and he's been with GamesRadar+ since 2019. They've yet to realize that his position as a staff writer is just a cover up for his career-spanning Destiny column, and he's kept the ruse going with a focus on news and the occasional feature.