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Video Games

Fortnite's latest update brings you new ways to fly

Epic Games' patch is out, and balloons are the headlining addition.

epicballoons
Epic Games

Fortnite's 6.21 update is now live, and as always Epic Games released the patch notes to showcase the new additions, tweaks to gameplay, and also some things that're going away. But the biggest new addition this week is balloons that'll make you and your teammates lighter than air.

The balloon item is now available in Fortnite: Battle Royale, letting you rise up into the air and giving you new ways to dispatch your enemies. Meanwhile, on the co-op side of Fortnite, the Save the World mode now has a shadowy new hero who throws smoke bombs.

Up, up and away

fortniteballoons

The balloons give you a new way to take flight, but they'll also make you a fun target for other players.

Jason Parker/CNET

Balloons can spawn anywhere you'd usually find loot, including chests, llamas, loot drops and regular ground spawn locations. They come in bunches of 20 and you can use your primary fire button to inflate a balloon and secondary fire to let one go. When you inflate five balloons you'll start to float upward and you can use directional controls to fly. When you want to come back down, just release balloons until you have less than five.

It remains to be seen how balloons will affect the matches, but so far it's been a lot of fun trying them out.

You'll also still be able to redeploy your glider when jumping from a height of three stories or more. Epic released this feature last week and has decided to let it continue. As for items being removed from Fortnite, the list includes the semi-auto sniper, dual pistols and guided missile launcher. They may resurface in later updates, but for now they're going in the vault and you'll be able to find these items only in Playground mode.

New ninja hero in Save the World

Epic also announced a new playable hero in the Save the World co-op mode named Dim Mak Igor. Part of the ninja class of heroes, this character lets you throw smoke bombs at enemies and you can resist damage when you switch into Shadow Stance. 

shadowninja
Epic Games

There were also several tweaks to missions and game systems in the patch notes. Check out the full list of patch notes here:

Battle Royale

Playground

Bug fixes

  • Updated Port-A-Challenge grenade names.
  • Improved clarity of where to throw Port-A-Challenge grenades.

Weapons + Items

  • Balloons added.
    • Epic rarity.
      • Comes with 20 deployable balloons.
        • Allows the player to defy gravity by holding up to six balloons at a time.
        • Primary fire button to inflate a balloon, secondary fire button to let go of a balloon.
      • Can be found from floor loot, chests, Supply Drops, Supply Llamas and Vending Machines.
      • Note: Don't float too high for too long, balloons only last so long at max build height.
  • Grappler.
    • When grappling as a vehicle passenger, the velocity of your vehicle is factored into the grapple force.
      • Only occurs in instances where vehicle velocity will be a net gain to grapple force.
    • Grappling as a vehicle passenger will now cause the vehicle to travel in a straight line to its destination rather than traveling in an arc.
  • Vaulted.
    • Semi-Auto Sniper.
    • Guided Missile.
    • Dual Pistols.
      • These items will remain available in Playground Mode.
  • 25 percent of explosive damage will now penetrate through structures and the environment.

Gameplay

Glider Re-deploy

We've finished our first week of Glider Re-deploy being available in all modes. During this time, we've been collecting internal data and monitoring constructive feedback from all of you. We understand that not all players agree with this change, but we'd like to continue with this functionality in the game based on the positive results we've been seeing.

As this feature remains available, we'll begin making quality of life changes to its functionality. First of which will be prioritizing Glider audio over weapon audio within certain ranges, this will begin in v6.21. We also plan on adding additional changes in future updates.

Thanks for the discussion and feedback you've provided. Please continue letting us know how we can improve this feature, your thoughts on its effect in matches, and any other feedback you may have as we continue to work on Glider Re-deploy.

Additional gameplay changes

  • Grass updates more frequently resulting in smoother animation.
  • Added support for Nintendo Switch Pro Controller and newer versions of PS4 and Xbox One controllers on Mac.

Bug fixes

  • Fixed an issue where picking up a trap could cause a hitch.
  • Certain bindings will no longer override the ability to use the fullscreen map and spectating actions.
  • Fixed the delay between using multiple Small Shields.
  • Fixed an issue where inventory could get stuck when using the Grappler while picking up an item.
  • Map zooming with trigger buttons works on Switch again.

Audio

  • Intensified Fiend Hunter Crossbow fire sounds.
  • Reduced volume of Cube Monsters and dynamic spawners.
  • It's now easier to hear gliders while shooting or harvesting.

Bug fixes

  • Fixed sniper projectiles playing the wrong impact sounds when hitting Cube Monsters.
  • Fixed Boogie Bomb music not playing for Cube Monsters.

Replay System

Bug fixes

  • Fixed a bug causing Quad Launcher rocket explosions to reset when scrubbing replays.

Mobile

  • Optimization to reduce hitching on Android phones using Vulkan.
  • Snap-to-value slider added to the HUD Layout tool.

Bug fixes

  • Widgets that should not have had editable visibility shown will now be properly hidden.

Save the World

Missions + systems

  • All rarities of Perk-UP and RE-Perk materials are now distributed starting in mid-Plankerton and beyond.
    • This applies to mission rewards and Miniboss Mission Alerts.
  • Perk caches.
    • New Cache type that can drop both RE-Perk and Perk-UP.
    • Will start appearing in mid-Plankerton.
    • These can drop from Mini-bosses and treasure chests.
  • The Volcanic and Vortex modifiers can now appear on mini-bosses.
    • The Vortex modifier allows the enemy to use a bolt of energy to pull heroes towards it.
    • The Volcanic modifier causes the ground to rupture under a player, exploding for huge damage.
  • Adjusted the Mutant Storm mission table to assure only one of the three modifiers could possibly appear in a mission.
    • Acid Pools, Smoke Screens, and Slowing Pools.
  • The Frenzied Deathburst modifier now applies an increase to enemy attack damage as well as a speed increase.

Heroes

  • Dim Mak Igor -- Plague Doctor Ninja.

Bug fixes

  • Goin' Commando's perk Boomstick now properly deals energy damage.

Gameplay

Bug fixes

  • Fixed an issue where upgraded Adrenaline Rush would not revive allies.
  • When placing traps or using BASE with perks or attributes that increase max health to building pieces, the building pieces no longer get stuck with "Repair 1" instead of letting you Upgrade.
  • Fixed a possible crash leaving the zone on Xbox.
  • Correct mission info now displays for party members in zone lobby.
  • Defenses built around storm trap are destroyed when storm trap is placed afterward.

Enemies

Bug fixes

  • Taker now properly pushes players out of the way with swoop attack.
  • The outline for pumpkin headed Husks now appears properly.

UI

Bug fixes

  • The zone selected by the party leader is now properly replicated to the other players in the lobby.
  • The Halloween-themed background is now properly appearing on the Fortnitemares quest map on the Play Tab.

Audio

  • Added sound updates for vote system with Mission Control.

Bug fixes

  • Fixed issue with Disintegrator explosion sounds not playing consistently.
  • Fixed issue with combat music persisting when completing Fight the Storm missions.
  • Fixed issue with Husk Bee Hive damage sounds not playing consistently.