If you're like me, the Fortnite Chapter 3 trailer was bonkers simply for the fact that it showed off what Unreal Engine 5 can bring to battle royale: Namely, giant honkin' tornadoes and violent lightning storms. The latest Fortnite update finally adds these awesome weather effects, and some new gameplay twists as a result.
First up, these huge tornadoes. They're house-swallowing, truck-hurling size funnels that appear to stay in place as of this writing, but I'll be checking out if they move across the map later.
Their primary use as a player is to escape from sketchy firefights. You do this by entering the tornado's pull, which sweeps you up into the sky. You can either fly your way out at any height or let yourself be carried higher up until you're automatically spit out. The good news is you won't take any fall damage, which is not at all how real tornadoes work last I checked. Lastly, Epic has bumped up the chances of finding a tornado in Fortnite for the first week until January 17 at 9 AM ET.
Then we've got the lightning storms. These are signaled by dark clouds forming overhead, followed quickly by, you guessed it, giant bolts of electricity raining from the sky. Your odds of being hit by one increase if you're in a body of water or at a relatively high height. Do you want to get hit by lightning? Well, one bolt will deal a small amount of damage, but it will also give you a significant speed boost, which could give you the edge over an unaware enemy. Thankfully, you can't get hit twice in a short span of time.
One final addition to the arsenal: The flare gun is being unvaulted and can now be found in loot chests, ground loot, and in supply drops. Players will remember that shooting a flare into structures or greenery will burn anything it touches and beyond. So keep one on hand for players who think they can build their way to a win.
It's worth noting that, if you're a competitive player, tornadoes and storms are disabled in competitive matchmaking, and flare guns are going through an evaluation period.
What do you think of the new weather effects? Let us know in the comments if you think they'll change the meta in any significant way. In the meantime, don't forget to check out our Fortnite guides page for more challenge walkthroughs and the latest skins.
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Joseph Knoop is a freelance writer specializing in all things Fortnite at PC Gamer. Master of Creative Codes and Fortnite's weekly missions, Joe's always ready with a scoop on Boba Fett or John Wick or whoever the hell is coming to Fortnite this week. It's with a mix of relief and disappointment that he hasn't yet become a Fortnite skin himself. There's always next season...