Earlier this week, Epic Games released the 4.2 update (opens in new tab) for Season 4 of Fortnite Battle Royale. For the most part, it's a very welcome patch that adds cool things like a wickedly powerful burst assault rifle, more accurate submachine guns, and an increased server tickrate.
Those are all good changes, but one other change has many players upset. As of 4.2, Epic Games nerfed damage from traps from 125 to just 75. This means that traps are no longer instantly fatal for players at full health. It's a change that many find inexplicable—after all, isn't the point of traps is that they're deadly to careless players?
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In previous versions of Fortnite, these traps would instantly kill anyone who didn't have health and shields that equaled more than 125 points. They were a great way to punish an over-aggressive attacker invading your fort or, more amusingly, someone just trying to hide in a cottage to catch their breath. In 4.2, these traps still do significant damage, but the nerf has them feeling significantly less threatening. Just watch this video to see why. (opens in new tab) If traps aren't capable of protecting you, what are they good for?
"The main problem with the damage being lowered I see is that sometimes [the first item you find] ends up being a trap," redditor XxStickman1985xX wrote. (opens in new tab) "When you’re in a house where someone potentially picked up a gun and is in your face now, traps at 125 damage actually allowed you to make a play to fight back. With them being lowered to 75 damage it becomes basically impossible get that kill because if you do manage to hit them once with the trap they’re going to kill you before it goes off again and they’ve most likely already moved away from it."
Many of Fortnite Battle Royale's players aren't happy about the change, which has led to a wave of threads on its subreddit debating the topic. (opens in new tab) A lot of players have come up with some smart alternatives that still nerf the damage, but not to such a point where traps feel almost useless.
For example, PiPture suggested (opens in new tab) that traps do 125 damage but only while the owner still lives. Once he dies, the damage drops to 75. Multiple players have suggested creating different rarities of traps similar to Fortnite's other weapons. More common traps will do less damage while their rarer variants do more. Another player suggested (opens in new tab) that traps do more damage the longer they've been around.
But the most interesting suggestion I've seen so far is that this nerf might be a precursor to Epic Games adding more traps (opens in new tab). So far, Fortnite Battle Royale only has the spike trap while its PVE Save the World mode has several others. It'd be great to have some more variety in that area.
Either way, it seems the community is fairly unanimous that the nerf is an unwelcome change. Epic Games has proven reactive to this kind of feedback in the past, so it'll be interesting to see whether further adjustments to trap damage will be made as Season 4 rolls on.