Epic Games Addresses Fortnite Weapon Accuracy Complaints

October 4, 2017Written by Tyler Treese

Fortnite weapon accuracy

Some players have been unhappy with how Fortnite weapon accuracy impacts the gameplay in its Battle Royale mode. Epic Games listened to player feedback, and are in the process of changing how the game handles accuracy. They recently explained the current issues, and outlined what they’re doing to enhance the competitive experience.

Here’s what Epic Games had to say in their latest website entry:

Almost all of our weapons are hitscan (Sniper Rifles are the exception). That means when you fire, there is no travel time and the target is hit instantaneously. We initially started with very high accuracy on our weapons. This often led to being shot by someone who you couldn’t see, making crossing open fields too risky. It led to more conservative play, and camping became dominant.

It also didn’t differentiate the weapons well – if a Pistol can kill people at the same range as a Rifle, were there enough other differences? Engagement strategy is a key component of our combat (including building walls), and if you don’t have time to defensively respond to being shot, we lose out on what Fortnite’s building brings to the table.

Quickly after, we did some iterations with aggressive fall-off damage (as a lot of you have already suggested). There were three main concerns we had with this model:

  1. It felt unnatural to hit a far-away target with a rifle but do far lower damage
  2. It was unclear at what distances your damage would be reduced
  3. It was still difficult to respond since you couldn’t see who was shooting at you

As a result, we set a couple key goals with our combat:

  • Goal #1 – Pistol sniping at long range should not be possible.
  • Goal #2 – Our weapons should have characteristics that encourage a wide range of engagements based on: distance to target, target type, ammo availability, etc.

This meant using accuracy as a mechanic to force closer engagement distances. In most cases, this had the desired result: weapons very neatly grouped into different ranges.

After looking at this info, we quickly realized that a Scoped Assault Rifle and a longer range SMG were required to round out our base weapon lineup, which we added in the update on 9/26.

So, what are we doing going forward? There’s a few additional approaches:

  • Some weapons don’t quite live up to their expectations. The biggest culprits are the Assault Rifles and the SMGs which were recently adjusted. We’ll continue to evaluate and there may be more incremental improvements, not a radical adjustments.
  • It can be unclear what improves accuracy. Standing still, crouching, and aiming (instead of hip-firing) all have some form of impact on accuracy. We’ll look into ways to improve usability on the reticle, including improved readability of your accuracy cone.
  • We’ll be running prototypes using more recoil and reducing accuracy penalties. The idea behind this is that the first shot will have higher accuracy (but again, not perfect) and then subsequent shots will require slightly more skill. These will be incremental adjustments until we find the sweet spot.
  • Lastly, enabling projectiles for all weapons (not just the Sniper Rifle) is something we’d like to explore. Doing this would allow for tighter accuracy overall. We’ve run prototypes internally and it shows promise, but there are challenges preventing us from turning it on. Once those are sorted out, we’ll consider running a broader test.

Our goal is to provide a competitive experience without losing our unique playstyle and crazy over-the-top moments that Fortnite Battle Royale brings to the table. We look forward to your help as we continue to hone the experience.

We’ll keep you all updated on Fortnite weapon accuracy as Epic continues to iterate upon their free-to-play shooter. For more on the game, check out the latest Fortnite Battle Royale update.

[Source: Epic Games]