Fortnite's shotguns finally nerfed, traps buffed back up

In a small update to Fortnite with massive implications, Epic Games has finally nerfed shotgun damage (and restored trap damage from 75 to 150, thank goodness). 

"For awhile we felt that Shotguns promoted healthy close quarter gameplay, however with the recent equip time changes, Shotguns are being used more often than we like," the update reads. "It's something we've been keeping an eye on, but broadly speaking we feel Shotguns are a little too strong in their current state."

You can read the full patch notes over at Epic's Fortnite blog, but here's the basic gist: Pump shotgun damage has been reduced from 90 (Uncommon)/95 (Rare) to 80/85, and the headshot multiplier has been reduced from 2.5 to 2.0. 

What that means is no one with full shields and full health can get instantly killed with a well-aimed shot from a pump shotgun. For anyone below 190 health though, you're still in hell. But the ability to close the gap and get the better shot is Fortnite's true skill test, so it's unclear how easily players will take to such a big change. 

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The good news for pump enthusiasts is that the 'double-pump' tactic is still valid, where players carry two pump shotguns in their inventory, fire a shot, and quickly switch to the next shotgun for fast, heavy damage output. 

The remaining shotguns have been visited with more mercy. Tactical shotgun damage (67/70/74) hasn't been nerfed, but they'll face the same headshot multiplier decrease from 2.5 to 2.0. The change leaves the heavy shotgun as the most powerful (73.5/77), better to suit its lower drop rate. 

With recent buffs to other mid-close proximity weapons like the minigun and silenced SMGs, Epic is hoping to make the inevitable conclusion of any rush or build battle more than a single point-and-click contest. Between pistols, SMGs, miniguns, and LMGs, there's a suite of weapons most players ignore in favor of shotguns. Any move to diversify close-proximity combat is cool with me.

Any players still attempting to get a trap kill after Epic halved its damage output can rejoice. Spike traps are back up to 150. Let's hope it never changes. But some change is inevtiable. Prepare to say goodbye to jetpacks. Introduced as a temporary item, they're taking off this next Monday, June 11. 

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.