Fortnite Battle Royale's new launch pads shoot you into the air for a second chance at skydiving

In today's 1.9 update to Fortnite Battle Royale, launch pads have officially, uhh, launched! They do exactly what they advertise, sending anyone that steps on them into the air, high enough to redeploy their glider. 

The launch pad is categorized as a trap, so you'll need to find the resources to build it or get a lucky drop, but once you do, it's an excellent tool for infiltrating enemy fortresses. Players are already making great use of it, as demonstrated in the following clips.

Aerial maneuvering is quickly becoming its own test of skill, with players sweeping around the sides of hills and directly behind their opponents completely undetected. If it seems overpowered—well, it might be.

But leaping haphazardly into the air also makes you an easy target for anyone with an eye on the sky. Proper use of the launch pad so far has been fairly surgical, and I hope it stays that way. I do wonder whether it trivializes some obstacles completely, but I suppose it will also encourage more thorough base building. Players are going to have to account for airborne surprises now. 

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Either way, between riding pumpkin rockets across the map and turning into a bush, Fortnite Battle Royale keeps on getting weirder, and my affection for its anything-goes design is growing along with it. I'm happy that Epic Games has veered off from mirroring PUBG and into some wild new territory. What will this game look like in another year?

James Davenport

James is stuck in an endless loop, playing the Dark Souls games on repeat until Elden Ring and Silksong set him free. He's a truffle pig for indie horror and weird FPS games too, seeking out games that actively hurt to play. Otherwise he's wandering Austin, identifying mushrooms and doodling grackles.