The latest patch for Epic Games’ unstoppable sensation, Fortnite, is now live. The patch v4.3 update introduces a bevy of changes for both the competitive Battle Royale mode as well as the cooperative Save the World mode. In the spirit of esports, we’ll be focusing on the more significant additions made to Battle Royale. The most notable addition is the inclusion of shopping carts, the first real vehicle to grace Fortnite’s stormy islands. Until now, if players wished to outpace the storm or their enemies, their options for movement were limited. The beginning of season 4 introduced hop rocks, a consumable item that allows players to temporarily move faster and jump higher. Meanwhile, jetpacks are a supposedly limited-time addition that utilize an inventory slot and grant users an aerial edge over their opponents. Of course, rocket riding remains the crowd favorite.
Shopping Carts: Finally, a reason to land at the racetrack
As of today, however, the new shopping carts provide players with a more effective and cooperative form of locomotion. Unlike moon rocks and jetpacks, these carts allow teammates to ride together, with one player steering the cart and the other firing from the basket. Meanwhile, if you’re riding solo, you’re able to switch between the two positions at will. These speedy wheels will surely result in bizarre, impressive plays by the more daring members of the community. But will they find a place on the frontlines? It’s interesting to note that the carts do not negate fall damage. Keep this in mind before you and your buddy careen off a sky-high ramp.
Changes to gameplay aside, the inclusion of vehicles in Fortnite is important within the larger context of the battle royale genre. Until today, one of the key differences separating Fortnite from its primary competitor, PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds, was that the latter featured larger maps and the appropriate vehicles to traverse them. With update v4.3, Epic has further closed the gap between the two titles, even if by their own oddball fashion. Sure, a shopping cart is no dune buggy, but it’ll be interesting to see how the two titles continue to evolve, especially in light of PUBG’s recent lawsuit against Epic.
Challenge Progression, Mushrooms, and General Updates
There are a number of quality of life updates that will affect the minutiae of Fortnite’s gameplay. Players will now receive progress updates mid-match regarding the status of their challenges. No more waiting to check the menu between matches, as a small pop-up window will inform you whenever you’ve successfully found a rubber duck, achieved an elimination, and so forth. This poses a new question. Which is more elusive: One of the rare, loot-stuffed llamas? Or a notification stating you’ve finished your sniper rifle eliminations? Meanwhile, much like the recently-added apples that provide players with small bursts of health, there is now a new delicacy on the island’s menu. Mushrooms will provide players with 5 shield, up to 100, and can be found in the game’s shady and swampy areas.
A number of general bug fixes and improvements were also implemented. Build times have been adjusted for Turbo Build, and a toggle has been added for Aim Assist for controller users. While beneficial for all players, these refinements are especially refreshing for console users. This will hopefully help lessen the divide between mouse-and-keyboard and controller. It’s good to see Epic supporting all of their players equally, rather than staggering content between PC and console. Even the mobile version receives regular updates, with this latest patch adding voice chat via Push-to-Talk.
Where will Fortnite go from here?
With v4.3, Epic continues to imbue new energy into their darling title. Small adjustments further refine the game, and the new content keeps players from getting too comfortable with their old strategies. For a detailed list of all of the changes, read Epic’s official patch notes. Will the community embrace these polarizing carts, shaping a new meta for how squad-based combat is approached? Or are these vehicles destined for novelty, a brief distraction like the soccer fields scattered around the map? Let us know your thoughts below!