Fortnite finally takes shotguns down a peg (and buffs traps) with these balances changes

If you’ve played any Fortnite (opens in new tab) at all, then you’re well aware of how deadly the shotgun (particularly those of the pump-action variety) can be. If an enemy can get the drop on you from the high ground, a shotgun blast to the head can instantly drop you before you can so much as think about building some cover. The shotgun feels so powerful that not having one is effectively a guaranteed death in close-quarters combat – but Fortnite’s v4.3 patch deploying today is finally doing something about the shotty’s oppressive damage potential. 

In terms of raw numbers, both the Pump Shotgun and the Tactical Shotgun are having their Headshot multiplier reduced from 2.5 to 2.0, and the Pump Shotgun gets the additional nerf of its damage reduced from 90/95 to 80/85. 

Here’s what that means in practical terms: no more one-hit-kills if a shotgun hits your head when you’re at full health and full shield. The old damage multiplier resulted in 225 damage, enough to KO someone even if they had maximum defenses; now, the highest value of 170 damage from a headshot will still leave a shielded player with a chance to fight back instead of immediately losing. “With the recent equip time changes, Shotguns are being used more often than we like,” explains Epic Games in the v4.3 patch notes (opens in new tab). “It’s something we’ve been keeping an eye on, but broadly speaking we feel Shotguns are a little too strong in their current state.” 

The other big change – besides the addition of Bouncer Traps (opens in new tab) – is that traps are having their damage boosted back up after a recent nerf. In fact, they’re better now than they ever were: the damage was reduced from 125 to 75 a few weeks ago, and now it’s being buffed from 75 to 150. “We are going to lean more into improving [traps’] effectiveness,” says Epic. “We want this to add more ways for you to be potent in combat.” You’ve now got a lot more incentive to learn how to construct a deadly trap tower (like the one seen above) in record time, cackling as your enemies are impaled by a ceiling of spikes.

Lastly, the Fortnite’s limited-time jetpacks (opens in new tab) are going away come June 11, so if you want to rain down gunfire from the sky, now’s the time!

Wonder what else is on the horizon? Check out our predictions for Fortnite Season 5 (opens in new tab). 

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