Epic Games announced several changes coming to Fortnite in the near future on Friday, detailing performance improvements across all platforms, matchmaking, competitive play, Playground updates, game controls, and more.
In a development-oriented blog post on Friday, Epic discussed several performance-related pain points in detail, including missed frames, long hitches, level of detail, screen resolution, and ping times. The Fortnite team is currently focused on 50v50 mode, which it admits has gotten worse on iOS and Nintendo Switch since launch.
Missed frames is one of the chief problems on different platforms. Android had it the worst with over 16 percent missed frames, though there’s not a trend to speak of given its recent release in beta. MacOS hovered around 12 percent for the last couple of months, going up to 14 percent for a few weeks before dropping down. Xbox One is next with over 9 percent, though it had fallen to over 4 percent by mid-August.
In terms of long hitches lasting half a second or more, Epic says it has fixed a big cause – which accounted for 60 percent of long hitches – in the v5.30 update. Playground mode was the worst affected, with macOS leading. Epic says “improved caching for shader objects” helped bring it down, from a peak of nearly 0.7 long hitches per minute at the tail end of May to less than 0.2 in mid-August.
Fortnite players on Switch who had to deal with streaming artefacts and low screen resolution can look forward to improvements as well. Epic has some improvements in v5.30, while it introduced a new “high-end forward renderer” for Switch in v5.20 which brought a 10 percent improvement in GPU time – in plain English, higher resolution, less blurry images and better battery life.
Speaking of screen resolution, Epic plans to bring support for “greater than 1080p” for PS4 Pro in the near future.
That brings us to ping times, with the Fortnite team noting Southeast Asia as the region that’s most affected in terms of performance. It said: “Our solution is to add an additional datacenter in Singapore and use sub-region matchmaking to route you there if it would improve your ping, as long as wait times remain reasonable. When wait times grow too long, we’ll dynamically re-route you to a larger sub-region, in this case that’d be Tokyo.”
Beyond that, matchmaking will soon factor in keyboard and mouse players on console and pair them with PC players. That means if any of your console friends prefers keyboard and mouse, you’ll be paired against PC players even if you use a controller yourself.
Epic is also working on a new “robust competition system” that will ship later in the autumn, in addition to new items – ATKs and more jumps – coming to Playground mode soon. Building material effectiveness has been tweaked, with more distinction between metal, brick and wood.
As for game controls, the Fortnite dev is working on improvements and bug fixes related to aiming on controllers – dead zones and accelerations being the two areas – as well as bringing custom controls so players can remap the gamepad to suit their preferences.
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