It's now possible to spend an entire match of Fortnite in the sky, and you don't need to build to get there. With Fortnite Season 7, the X-4 Stormwing has been added to the soldier stew as the first aerial vehicle, an addition that I never thought Fortnite would ever get, let alone one that was needed.
I was so wrong. Dogfighting in Fortnite rules, and along the added verticality of the new snow biome, the sky poses as much of as a threat as anywhere else. Watch the short montage of my first match of the new season above. I land and try to gear up as quickly as possible, not too worried about the other player I hear gliding nearby. I get to the guns first, so I should be set. But they take a plane and book it out of there. I figure they know I was on my way to say hello.
As I harvest materials, I hear the low rumble of an X-4 engine approaching. The building around dissolves as they circle back around with me in their sights. I manage to escape on a zipline and survive—it's hard to keep track of tiny figures from up high, especially because you can't whip a plane around very quickly. Clearly, this isn't the same Fortnite I played just last morning.
I come back around when things calm down and grab an X-4 for myself. The rest of the match is mostly spent in the sky shooting down other pilots. Building? What's that? It doesn't end well for me, but I make it to the top 15 or so from puttering around up there. Flying feels great, with simple controls for carving left and right and barrel-rolls, and collision is fairly forgiving. You won't explode from brushing up against a tree or anything.
But even if you're not in an X-4, the added ambiance from consistent dogfights and gunfire raining down from above finally makes Fortnite feel like a large scale conflict. In the big team deathmatch LTM, Fortnite basically plays like Battlefield's unpredictable hormonal teen son. And that, messy as it is at times, is a compliment. Still, I'm just a Fortnite amateur, hard as I try. Take a look at everything much better players have pulled off with the plane. Follow the links to see each clip in full.
Everyone knows the feeling. Your plane gets shot outta the sky and you begin tumbling towards the earth. Next time, just look for another plane on the way down.
This player used the grappler to get what they wanted, and it didn't even take being bit by a radioactive spider or uncle-death the pull off.
When all hope is lost, just look to the sky.
What goes up, must come down. And it might come down right on top of you.
This player uses the gracious low-grav boost from a quadcrasher to steal a plane out of midair.
These players aren't murdering, they're just skillfully flying through holes. Classic plane stuff.
This one speaks for itself.
One plane for me, and one plane for me
The double plane steal. 🛩️🛩️ This is so much fun! pic.twitter.com/obWLzLhmJlDecember 7, 2018
How to split two planes equally between one person.