Fortnite's new Bouncer Trap could signal an old-school turn for Battle Royale

Fortnite's Bouncer Trap item.

 If you don't know your Fortnite history, the game's latest content update probably struck you as uncharacteristically tiny: all Battle Royale got was a new Bouncer Trap item. But if you've been playing since the beginning, it's more like the welcome return of an old friend who you never thought you'd see again - and, perhaps, a sign of a shifting tides in Fortnite's future. 

Before I get too analytical, let's talk about what this Bouncer thing actually is: not a big guy who tells enemies "they're not on the list" before hauling them out of your club, but almost as good. Think of it like a less powerful, more versatile Launch Pad. Instead of being sent sailing into the air and gliding back down, you'll just get a powerful bounce in whichever direction you were traveling when you stepped on the pad (or back up into the air if you jump onto it). Fun bonus: it looks like falling damage is temporarily disabled after you use one, so it can be a super quick way to clear vertical distance too. And they drop in stacks of three, which is handy.

Here's a video demonstration of a YouTuber using the Bouncer in a couple ways.

Now compare that to the directional jump pad item from the old (read: late 2017/early 2018) days of Fortnite.

Smaller and faster, but otherwise pretty much the same. Fortnite Battle Royale doesn't really do those quarter-tile-sized emplacements any more, probably for the sake of being able to build and identify stuff more quickly, but I think this might be a sign of a more trap-enriched future to come.

If you've ever played Fortnite Save the World, you may have wondered why its bounteous array of traps isn't available in Battle Royale. They used to be! Or some of them, anyway, but at one point Epic consolidated Fortnite's various damaging traps down to a single, appropriately named Damage Trap. Other deployable "traps", like the Campfire, have come around, but Epic has steered clear of static items that could be used to actively mess up another player's day since then.

The return of the directional jump pad as the Bouncer Trap could mean a wider selection of traps is on the way to Fortnite Battle Royale, or is at least being considered. I almost always lose close-up shotgun duels but I got the game-winning kill with a damage trap once and I still feel good about it, so I'd be excited for more traps. Granted, the win was for somebody else since I suck at Fortnite and had already died, but still.

Wonder what else is on the horizon? Check out our predictions for Fortnite Season 5.