A new week means a new Fortnite patch, and this one has a little bit of everything: eagerly anticipated weapons, an interesting new healing item, and even some much-appreciated back end improvements to smooth out lag, among other additions. It's very solid, even if it doesn't do anything quite as flashy as introducing a new season. Here are five of the biggest changes you should know about.
Epic and Legendary burst ARs will be hot items
I'm gonna put on my virtual gun hipster glasses/eye protection and say I always like burst rifles no matter what game they're in, but I'm glad everybody's caught up with their greatness in Fortnite. Epic's further quenching our three-round thirst with two new weapon types: an Epic and a Legendary Burst Assault Rifle. You can find them just about anywhere and they deal 32 or 33 damage depending on the rarity. Most importantly, they retain the same damage dropoff ranges and firing pattern of their common and rare cousins, making them ideal mid/long range player melters - keep an SMG or machine gun on hand for knocking down buildings, of course. If you like referring to Fortnite guns by the names of their real-life inspiration (which is why we call Epic and Legendary assault rifles SCARs), then meet your new pal FAMAS.
Suppressed SMGs got a big boost
Leaving my virtual gun hipster glasses on for a moment to say I always thought the Suppressed SMG was a lot of fun even if it wasn't that strong, so I'm happy to see Epic gave it a nice buff in Fortnite version 4.2 rather than tossing it in the vault. All three of the Suppressed SMG variants (Common, Uncommon, and Rare) had their base damage increased by 3 and their damage fall-off ranges were both pushed out and made less debilitating. Their accuracy reset (how quickly the "bloom" area where your bullets may land shrinks back down) has been increased by 25 percent as well. And they're still nice and quiet. Time to get sneaky!
An apple a day keeps The Reaper away
What's the point of a healing item that only restores five hit points at a time, you may ask? Don't write them off so quickly! Apples feel like one of those items that will seem completely useless until that one time they totally turn a bad situation around; they have a small chance to spawn at the base of any tree and they can heal you all the way up to 100. They're the ideal way to top yourself off without wasting a whole med kit or a bottle of slurp juice, and they may just save your life if you're low on health and far from the usual loot spawn locations.
Better servers and load times
Long story short, Fortnite should feel more responsive and be less prone to hitches. Less short: Epic has increased the server "tick rate" from 20 to 30 updates per second; meaning the server (and thus other players) will have a more timely representation of where everybody is and what they're doing. In practical terms, this should reduce those moments where you were pretty dang sure you were shooting right at an enemy, but it turns out they were actually half a meter in front of your crosshairs. Loading improvements have also been made to cut down on stuff taking too long to stream in and causing brief pauses (AKA hitches) when they finally do.
Could Epic have finally developed a cure for Tilted Towers syndrome? You know, that strange feeling of hearing footsteps in a building and struggling to discern whether they're coming from above or below you? Then you pick wrong and they come up behind you and shotgun you, or at least I do because I suck at Fortnite? With this new patch, Epic has added an extra "layer" to all of its footstep sounds that only occur when the source is above you: wood will creak, stone will make gravelly crunches, and metal will rattle. If you hear those sounds along with the usual thump-thump-thump, you'll know your unseen intruder has the higher ground.
Want to get the most out of season 4? Check out our Fortnite Blockbuster Challenges guide.