What item could the Fortnite Vault Event return in Season 9, and why were they all vaulted in the first place?

If you’ve been jumping out of the Fortnite bus over the last few weeks then you’ve probably seen the giant vault that has taken over Loot Lake, along with random beams of light and runes. There’s plenty of rumours floating around regarding what this vault is for, but there’s also been a lot of leaks, all stating the same theory: That the vault is literally THE vault… a place where old weapons, vehicles and other items lie in go when Epic removes them from play. And soon we’ll be voting on opening it to resurrect one item and bring it back from the from the dead. 

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The question is what should come back? Considering this power rests in the hands of the player it would be wise to take a look at what the vault is offering, and the issues that led to their original retirement. The Drum Gun, X-4 Stormwing, Bounce Pad, Grappler, Infinity Blade, and Sub Machine Gun are being offered up . All were previously removed for one reason or another with varying degrees of agreement/dismay from players. Before we vote, let's revisit each option, consider why it went away, and what bringing it back might do to the game now...

So with that in mind, let’s take a look at the items being offered up for a chance of redemption: 

The Drum Gun

Introduced: Season 4, 3 July 2018
Vaulted: Season 5, 11 September 2018

Pitched as a “hybrid weapon that combines the stopping power of a rifle with the suppressive ability and fire rate of an SMG”, the Drum Gun has always been divisive. It’s easy to see why: A high rate of fire that can be sustained with little reloading and good damage. It was a menace to players and buildings alike with little weaknesses bar a lengthy reload. It was also introduced at a time when Fortnite’s meta was moving away from shotguns and more towards SMG and machine guns, so a high damage full-auto weapon with endless ammo reserves had far more impact on the game. Would it still stand out if it reappeared today though? 

X-4 Stormwing

Introduced: Season 7, 6 December 2018
Vaulted: Season 8, 28 February 2019

It’s not hard to see why the Fortnite aeroplane was so polarising. It was essentially a high damage, flying gun platform – great fun for anyone in it but leaving the people on the ground with little comeback to barrage of bullets from potentially 5 other players. They could also demolish buildings with little repercussion, despite updates to increase the damage they took, meaning they could terrorise the map and there wasn’t much anyone could do about it. If they comeback Epic will have to make sure there’s a good way to counter that dominance. 

Bounce Pad

Fortnite's Bouncer Trap item.

Introduced: Season 4, 5 June 2018
Vaulted: Season 6, 27 September 2018

The bounce pad was one of the more surprising Fortnite items to get vaulted as no one had any real issue with it. The item let players cover distance fast, avoid fall damage and also could be used to fire people into traps. As inoffensive as it was, according to Epic’s Sean Hamilton, it was vaulted “due to the influx of recent mobility items as well as more that we have planned for the future”. At this point it does feel like the Bounce Pad would add little to the game, trap potential aside, if it returned. 

The Grappler

Introduced: Season 5, 6 September 2018
Vaulted: Season 7, 22 January 2019

The grappler was another one of the more surprising Fortnite vaultings. The distance travelling sucker gun was generally seen as a fun addition that had some interesting tactical potential without unbalancing the game. It’s canning prompting a lot of ‘but why?’ faces. However, it’s interesting that it was vaulted not long after FaZe Clan’s Tfue highlighted an exploit where using it with a well timed jump could dramatically boost the height you gained, giving players a massive advantage. Was it vaulted rather than fixed? And can they fix the issue if it comes back?  

Infinity Blade

Introduced: Season 7, 11 December 2018
Vaulted: Season 8, 27 March 2019

It’s no great surprise the Infinity Blade was vaulted. The hugely overpowered sword made players all but invincible, did huge amounts of damage and could destroy buildings in an instant. Even Epic admitted it “messed up” when it killed the weapon barely three months after introducing it, describing it as “overpowered [and] without good counters, especially in the end game”. It’s not impossible that it might come back but the changes it would need to avoid repeating the past would basically make it a new item. 

The Submachine Gun

Introduced: Season 5, 17 July 2018
Vaulted: Season 7,  29 January 2019

The basic, unsilenced submachine gun is an odd option to float for a return given that the silenced version is still in the game. When it was originally vaulted, Epic claimed that it wanted to ensure that “balance of itemization isn't ruined”, promising that more stuff would be added, and taken away in the future to maintain that balance. While people were sad to see it go at the time there seems little point in bringing it back now with the silenced SMG in place – adding an un-silenced SMG into the game would effectively strip away the one feature that makes this weapon useful. 

At time of writing it’s not clear how long the voting process will last, how it’ll even work or what will happen afterwards. Our guess is that the volcano will explode at the end of the season – it’s getting pretty smoky up there already –  and break the vault, releasing the winning item. All we can do now is wait and see what people vote for...

Leon Hurley
Senior Guides Co-ordinator

I'm GamesRadar's Senior Guides Co-ordinator, which means I run GamesRadar's guides and tips content. I also write reviews, previews and features, largely about horror, action adventure, FPS and open world games. I previously worked on Kotaku, and the Official PlayStation Magazine and website.