Fortnite's guided missiles are finally coming back

Fortnite's guided missile was a lot of fun, but it was also a little too powerful, and so in spite of all the surfin' safari parties, Epic pulled the plug in mid-April in order to give it a redesign. In today's developer update video, senior designer Andrew Bains revealed that the work is done and the rocket is returning, with some big changes under the hood. 

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"When the guided missile first made its way to battle royale, we loved all the fun and crazy moments it provided. But after its release we shared the same concerns as the Fortnite community at large," Bains says in the video. "It's hard to compete against a near-endless barrage of highly effective explosives." 

To address those concerns, Epic has nerfed the missile into something Bains described as more akin to a "scouting tool" than a middle-finger of death. Movement speed, turning radius, damage, and damage radius have all been reduced, and the default ammo cap is 12. The mouse and keyboard controls have also been improved, "to bring them more in line with the controller experience." 

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The eye-in-the-sky benefits are still intact, in other words, and I would assume that you can still ride the rocket (I can't imagine Epic would want to cut that), but they'll be easier to dodge and less likely to blow you to pieces in a near-miss. Sounds pretty reasonable to me.   

The video also touches on the reasons behind the recent compact SMG nerf ("We want to make sure that SMGs are a good choice, but not the only choice") and runs down changes to remote explosives, which are now "in a healthier spot." Bains did not indicate when guided missiles will actually return, however, saying only that Epic is "looking forward to putting this exciting weapon back in your hands."

Andy Chalk

Andy has been gaming on PCs from the very beginning, starting as a youngster with text adventures and primitive action games on a cassette-based TRS80. From there he graduated to the glory days of Sierra Online adventures and Microprose sims, ran a local BBS, learned how to build PCs, and developed a longstanding love of RPGs, immersive sims, and shooters. He began writing videogame news in 2007 for The Escapist and somehow managed to avoid getting fired until 2014, when he joined the storied ranks of PC Gamer. He covers all aspects of the industry, from new game announcements and patch notes to legal disputes, Twitch beefs, esports, and Henry Cavill. Lots of Henry Cavill.