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Esports Fortnite

Fortnite: The Baller 101

Best way to use the baller

The Baller is the newest addition to the vehicles list in Fortnite. While it remains a very controversial vehicle in the competitive scene, a lot of people like it because it provides 100 percent player protection. The Baller also has two mechanics that, when paired correctly, can launch a player across the map in seconds. It is a very mobile vehicle that is here to stay (at least for now) so getting used to the mechanics will help players with rotating and staying alive.

Grapple Mechanic

Best way to use the baller
Laguna swinging from a treetop // In-game capture by Nicholas Rivera

The grappler on the Baller isn’t very strong but provides a great advantage. With a much further range than the player held grappler, the Baller can reach tree tops and hilltops with ease. With no cooldown other than the retraction, the grappler is great to effortlessly take high ground or rotate to circle. Boosting while grappling is often how players move, but it is loud and gives the player away fairly quickly. Swinging from tree to tree is a little less effective without boost, but helps the player lay low and avoid being shot at.

The best part about the grappler is the ability to set the ball into the air. If the ball were just able to boost, the baller would be very two-dimensional spending most of the time on the ground. The beauty of this feature is allowing the ball to swing into the air to enhance the boost feature. If sound is not an issue and the player just needs to rotate, effective grappling will save you. Grappling to the top of trees, bridges and mountains allows the player to catapult themselves to the next zone at impressive speeds. Use the grappler to attach to a high point and swing like a pendulum. This acts like a slingshot when paired with the boost.

Boosting

Best way to use the baller
Laguna looking up while boosting from a vent // In-game capture by Nicholas Rivera

Boosting is what really gives the baller its speed. The grappler is great for taking height while boosting is great for rotations and speed. Boosting around is effective, but a lot of players do not know the “proper” boosting mechanic. To boost way faster than normal, the player should look up to the sky. When boosting like this, the boost is much stronger and helps to get away from enemies or enemy fire. Boosting while looking forward is better when the circle is small so the player can observe their surroundings. Knowing the two different mechanics will help situational gameplay as well as escaping enemies with the ball intact.

The other mechanic players can’t get right is the swing. Players can swing but have a hard time keeping momentum. This is where the boost and the grappler must be used together well to create a slingshot effect. The key to keeping momentum is to boost just as the grappler lets go and keep the grapples short. When a player grapples to a tree, for example, swinging up and boosting on release allows them to fly into the air. If the player then looks up and boosts, they will go flying. To keep this momentum up, they must grapple to a tree nearby in order to keep the grapple rope short. When the rope is too long, the swing slows down, killing all the speed.

Competitive

While playing competitive, it is important to treat the Baller like gold. That ball provides free rotations without a rift or jump pad and fully protects the player. The reason competitive end games are so full of balls is because they work. While lots of pro players hate them, it is important to adapt and adjust to the new meta. Since the Baller is now a part of the meta, adapting will keep players ahead of the curve.

During competitive games, the Baller is everywhere. Since everyone uses them to preserve mats, it is important to destroy others so enemies are forced to build. Every baller destroyed provides the player with an advantage. All the enemies will have to take damage and use materials while the player watches from the safe ball. While this strategy will not make a better player, it will get placement points. Being too reliant on the ball could cost a player rotations. Slow rotations mean rotating sooner, and this is difficult to do with no mobility or protection. The Baller is a luxury, so players should not use it every game, otherwise, they will be lost if it disappears.

Alternate Uses

Best way to use the baller
Example of S-shaped rotation in Baller // In-game capture by Nicholas Rivera

Lots of people use the grappler to propel themselves through the trees. In an open field, how does the player move effectively without grappling anything high? Using an easy method, moving on flat ground is very easy to do. Boosting strait forward is very predictable, especially when an enemy is shooting at the player.

To combat predictable movement, players can move in an S formation. All the player needs to do is alternate the grappler while boosting. This is done by grappling to the left, boosting and releasing the grappler once the ball starts to move sideways. Then the player should grapple to the right, boost and release once the player is moving sideways in the other direction. While it sounds difficult, it is very easy to do and can be better seen from the photo above.

 

Feature Image Courtesy of @_NicholasRivera

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