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Fortnite: Are All Weapons Balanced?

Are all weapons balanced in Fortnite

Fortnite is a game that pushes out new updates every week. Always adding new weapons and items into the game to “keep it fresh”. Some players love this idea while others think it forces too many bad items into the game. With all of the backlash, Fortnite receives for its updates, especially ones that include vehicles, rarely do people talk about the weapons. Fortnite weapons are usually a little over or underpowered after release. That’s why it is important to evaluate them, so changes are made based on community input.

Flint-Knock Pistol

Are all weapons balanced in Fortnite
Flint-knock Pistol // Image courtesy of Epic Games

The flint-knock pistol is the newest addition to the pistol arsenal in Fortnite. With a base damage of 86 for gray and 90 for green, it hits pretty hard. Although the falloff damage is significant and the bloom is big, this weapon is deadly at close range. The flint-knock has a variety of uses for different situations, one of them being knockback.

When an enemy is close to the player, a shot will knock the enemy backward. This is great for situations where the player is high up and can get a quick kill on the enemy by knocking them off a build. It is also a great follow up to a shotgun since it will finish the player off in one shot. If the shot misses, it helps to distance the player from the enemy so they are not hit by a shotgun shot.

Is it Balanced?

It does have its wow factor for flashier plays, the flint-knock is slightly unbalanced. The knockback feature is great and unique to the gun, it should not negate fall damage. When a player can fall from build height and shoot the pistol last second to not take damage, it is a problem. Snowmen and port-a-forts had similar tricks to negate fall damage, and they were nerfed a week later. The pistol should still be able to knock enemies back and have a large recoil, but fall damage should still happen. This way players would use it a bit smarter and tactically, making more precise highlights with its ability.

Heavy Sniper

Are all weapons balanced in Fortnite
Luxe blasting a wall with a heavy sniper // In-game capture by Nicholas Rivera

The heavy sniper is a weapon that sparks some controversy from time to time. Now the only current Fortnite item that can destroy a player built wall in one shot, it is highly valuable for gameplay. Players love to use the heavy sniper technique to get free shots on enemies with items like the bow or RPG. Shooting a wall down as the rocket is about to make impact lets it travel inside the structure and damage anyone inside.

The spawn rate for this item is not very high, so only a few make it into the game. The heavy sniper is not only useful as a prequel to an RPG but as a battering ram as well. The heavy sniper is great for destroying traps and walls of enemies in tight quarters. If a player is trapped in a box and a trap is placed, a heavy sniper shot allows a quick escape. Rotating in scrims is also very effective because the sniper can blow the wall down. This is great for super late game potations or if the player is following an enemy. Most people expect to hear a pickaxe, not a sniper shot, so it will be sudden for the enemy and they will panic.

Is it Balanced?

The heavy sniper is a pretty balanced item. Even though it one shots through walls, the reload time is lengthy and it isn’t very strong. Considering it hits 150 versus a suppressed sniper for 105, it isn’t too much stronger since a headshot from either would kill an enemy. Most enemies killed by a sniper are standing still so a headshot is inevitable. The heavy sniper is also very loud so it gives a position away. The noise also alerts enemies who have a heavy sniper, so they will be more prepared to defend it.

Boom Bow

New Boom Bow Weapon // Image courtesy of Epic Games

The boom bow is very new to Fortnite and is a very good weapon. Causing 115 damage on impact and 100 explosive damage, the bow is a great weapon for people who can hit their shots. In public games, the bow is not too overpowering and is not seen very often. In competitive games, the bow is too much in the right person’s hands. With high level and pro players, the bow is dangerous in any scenario. Heavy sniper and bow combo are effective on unsuspecting players since it can travel so far.

The bows slightly unbalanced and could use a few tweaks. For a weapon that does explosive damage, it should not take shotgun ammo. Since shotgun ammo is very common, it allows players to just fire off the bow with no penalty. Explosive damage needs to be done by rocket ammo since it is that way for all other weapons. The damage should also be lower because right now it does more than a sniper. Being so easy to aim, the bow should do around 80 damage, this way it does not get a player down in two shots. If the damage stays the same, a slightly longer reset time would be perfect. This way it will not be possible to hit someone twice during a rotation, or at least will be harder.

Poison Dart Trap

Are all weapons balanced in Fortnite
Luxe running from a poison dart trap // In-game capture by Nicholas Rivera

The poison dart trap is not overpowering, but not because it is balanced. The trap is not popular, so it is hard to judge. Boasting 80 player damage over seven seconds with a three tile activation rate, this trap is dangerous. Players can place the trap walls away so enemies cannot see it and still tag them with it. Most players are not setting traps and want a quick kill, so the trap is not an item of value to players.

Once the pros start to use it more, this trap is going to blow up. Ignoring shields and taking right from player health, this trap is deadly in scrims. Rotating in from zone players are not going to see the trap from three tiles away. This trap equals easy kills and it is crazy it isn’t more popular. For now, the trap is not overpowering and remains balanced.  Soon enough it will become a deadly item to have in late game situations and setting traps.

Explosives

Example of dynamite spamming in scrim games // In-game capture by Nicholas Rivera

Explosives are a weapon/item everyone feels differently about. In general, explosives are not overpowered and just offer different advantages. Certain things are overpowering but not too bad. Explosives in every game are going to do significant damage when a player uses them on anyone. Items like the RPG and grenade launcher are strong on builds and people, while dynamite is only good for builds.

The amount of RPG ammo a player can hold is currently 13. This was a fix to make sure players did not have 60 rockets at the end of a game. Items like clingers and dynamite need to be re-evaluated in terms of drop size and stack size. A player holding 10 dynamite can do serious damage, so that size needs to be brought down to five or six. Clingers are only able to hold six, however, they drop in stacks of three. Since clingers fall through builds, they should only drop in stacks of two, making it harder for players to grab and spam them at one structure.

Spamming explosives is very hard to counter, especially in scrims when 10 dynamite surround a player. With no real counters, the stack size should be smaller. While explosives are balanced, a few minor adjustments will help them to not be such a pain. It will also make explosives harder to find so there will not be as many end game.

 

 

 

Feature Image Courtesy of @_NicholasRivera

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