January 17, 2018
Big 'Fortnite: Battle Royale' Map Update Drops Thursday With Soccer And Other Gameplay Changes

The planned Fortnite: Battle Royale big map update is happening Thursday, Epic Games announced. PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC players can expect to see new areas added plus some important gameplay changes with the new update. The developer also has an important word about turning off friendly fire in the game and teased the addition of soccer to the shooter.

As covered yesterday, Fortnite: Battle Royale will add five new locations to the western side of the map to help fill up some of the empty spaces with the update. This includes Tilted Towers, Shifty Shafts, Snobby Shores, Haunted Hills, and Junk Junction.

Smaller, unnamed points of interest are also being added, and there is a refresh of the entire map to make it easier to distinguish between the world's different biomes. Just looking at the new overhead map will make it easier to spot the swampland in the southeast corner, the farmland in the north, and the more open areas in the middle.

An unexplained soccer mode is also being added, per the trailer accompanying the Fortnite: Battle Royale update. Epic hasn't shared any details yet, but it appears to be a four-versus-four mode where players use their pickaxes to knock a soccer ball around a small field with two goals.

Soccer matches coming to Fortnite: Battle Royale.

Gameplay Updates

The Thursday update will do more than just revamp the Fortnite: Battle Royale map. It also marks the end of the Winter event and the start of a new season. Epic Games has also made some important gameplay changes.

Scoped AR rifles will no longer be included in Supply Drops and have had their scope reticle updated to a more modern design. Additionally, players will no longer be able to hide in water to protect themselves. Epic Games has fixed a bug so water no longer blocks bullets and other projectiles.

Other changes of note include players being able to aim their weapon immediately when landing by holding the aim button while in the air. Sniper eliminations in the kill feed will now also show the distance the shot was taken at in meters.

Epic Games has also thrown in some performance improvements with this build of Fortnite: Battle Royale, including support for level streaming. This allows the game to load assets on the fly as players move around the world to improve frame rates and loading times while reducing hitching.

Voice chat has also been enabled for the pre-game lobby.

Finally, friendly fire was turned off in Fortnite: Battle Royale squad modes this past weekend through a server update to address team killing issues. Epic Games did not previously announce the change but stated it is an exploratory tweak and subject to change based on their evaluation and player feedback.