The Fortnite Season 8 (opens in new tab) patch notes detail volcanic vents, cannons, and a pretty new UI, but this season's most prominent new feature is Fortnite's new ping system. Taking a cue from how we and everyone else have fawned over Apex Legends' (opens in new tab) deep, intuitive communication tools, Epic's implemented its own simpler take on team comms for Fortnite.
A single ping that isn't focused on an object spits out a location marker, marked by a blue arrow on the screen, also visible on the map. A quick double-tap turns that icon red to indicate the enemy's position. For all markers, if the marked position or item isn't visible in your immediate field of vision, it'll turn into an icon on the edge of the screen closest to the marked position.
If you ping an item or weapon, you'll see a special marker depicting the item and rarity. I've walked right by golden heavy snipers so many times. Never again (assuming my teammates aren't greedy jerks).
Problem is, items and weapons are currently the only objects the ping system will pick up. Pinging a chest or an empty player building won't trigger any object-sensitive markers or callouts, and there's no wheel or list of custom markers to choose from either. That means you can't mark open doors or traps, a massive omission in an otherwise helpful system. Fortnite characters don't talk either, meaning the system lacks a helpful layer of vocal reinforcement. That said, I'm not sure I ever want to hear a banana make mouth sounds.
If you're playing squads with voice comms off, the ping system will go a long way, but Apex Legends this ain't. And that's OK. Epic has demonstrated how quickly it can iterate on Fortnite's growing feature list. The ping system is bound to grow and change to fit the shape of its container, I just hope it doesn't take long.
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