Fortnite's latest patch, v8.10, has arrived, and it has introduced some significant changes to the game's crossplay functionality. The new patch also brings changes to the vending machine systems and the addition of the rumored Fortnite hamster ball single-player vehicle.
Fortnite remains one of the most popular games in the world, despite ceding some ground to the rising fortunes of Apex Legends. Since the newest competitor arrived on the scene, developer Epic Games has been making deliberate changes to Fortnite that reflect respect for Respawn Entertainment's battle royale game, going so far as to copy some of the more well-received elements of Apex Legends like its ping system. Epic Games has continued to push hard on changes to Fortnite, and the result has been a healthy, competitive battle royale genre that should benefit all of its players.
Patch v8.10 certainly seems like an indication that this trend will continue, at least. Fortnite's newest update brings some big changes to the game, and all of them seem like they'll benefit players immediately. The most noticeable change will come to Fortnite's matchmaking system, which will be modified to better support the needs of players during crossplay functionality. Epic will be merging the Switch and mobile cross-play pools, which should provide a more balanced playing field for those players. Previously, Switch players were grouped in with PS4 and Xbox One parties, which could result in imbalanced experiences due to the nature of the Switch as a device. Epic's patch notes were certainly optimistic about the change:
"We expect an on-average better per-game experience for both Mobile and Switch players."
For Battle Royale crossplay matchmaking, the patch now combines the Xbox One and PS4 pools as well, although that will require players to opt-in to crossplay as a feature. Players who opt out will be restricted to Creative Mode and Playgrounds, however.
The patch also brings changes to Fortnite's vending machines, which will no longer require funds and will self-destruct once players use them, essentially making them another version of loot chests. The biggest change to the gameplay meta is a nerf to the heavy assault rifle, which has gotten an 8-point damage reduction to all rarity variants. The heavy assault rifle has a low rate of fire, which means that a significant reduction in its base damage could make it a less desirable option for competitive players looking for an edge.
The new crossplay design should be a huge boon to Switch owners, who were previously at a disadvantage in matchmaking due to technical specs and the console's small screen, which could be a factor during mobile sessions. Fortnite's newest update should provide a distinctly more level playing field for all its players, which will be of vital importance as the game continues to push forward and maintain its spot at the top of the battle royale mountain.
Source: Epic Games