‘s birthday update patch is now live, with a new set of weekly challenges for the Battle Pass, a new submachine gun and the return of Playground Mode. But most importantly, the update brings birthday-themed skins, a Battle Bus strewn with streamers and birthday challenges you can complete even without a Battle Pass.
Happy birthday, Fortnite!
To celebrate the one-year anniversary of the game’s release, Epic Games added three free challenges to unlock cosmetic items. The first two are pretty standard: Play 14 matches to complete the first challenge, then deal 1,000 damage to opponents to complete the second. But the third challenge is a little more unorthodox: You’ll need to dance in front of 10 birthday cakes scattered around the island.
Each of the challenges unlocks cosmetic items, including a birthday cake-themed character skin, a new spray and a birthday-themed backpack called “back bling.” There will also be birthday cake slices around the island that will instantly give you five health points and five shield points when you eat them.
Playground Mode is back
The popular Fortnite sandbox mode is once again available as a limited-time event, but with a few welcome changes. According to the official patch notes, you’ll now be able to switch teams within the game. Formerly, you dropped in as a squad with friendly fire turned on, but with the ability to switch teams on the fly, you’ll now be able to practice battling with your friends once you’re all geared up.
You’ll also be able to drive the game’s new golf carts in Playground Mode, and they’re guaranteed to spawn in their usual locations. Chests will now hold three weapons and other items, and ground loot will spawn more items than the regular battle royale mode. Materials within Playground Mode are now stronger, and construction times have been decreased. And among several other minor changes, rocket launchers get a max ammo of 60, so those tougher constructs may not last very long.
Another significant update
One of the things that makes Fortnite so addictive is Epic’s near constant updates to keep people coming back to see what’s new. This week is no different, with plenty of non-birthday tweaks and additions included in the new update.
First, there’s a new fast-firing submachine gun that’s tuned for close combat:
Next, Slurp Juice got a major revamp and will now heals one hit point every 0.5 seconds, capping at up to 75 hit points (that’s up from 25 before the update). Loot drop rates have also been increased almost across the board, so you’ll have more chances to find the guns and items you want.
Update: Not so fast on Slurp Juice changes. A recent tweet from the Fortnite Twitter account says they’ve been put on hold for the time being:
Still, frequent players will be pleased to see a new “sprint by default” option. This makes it so you can automatically sprint when moving, with the former sprint button turning into a walk button. Three cheers to Epic for helping save our thumbs.
But one change is less exciting: Epic has removed dual pistols, silenced pistols and the hand cannon from the game. That leaves just the regular pistols still available as the game’s only sidearms.
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