Robots and Infinity Blades may be momentarily lost to a gravitational point of singularity but boats introduce entire new gameplay mechanics. The Post spoke with professional Fortnite streamer and FaZe Clan member Nate Hill, 25, to get his first thoughts about how to boat, fish and swim your way to a “Victory Royale.”
“In my experience, with any game that used water, it was always the worst part of the game,” Hill told The Washington Post, citing World of Warcraft and earlier versions of Minecraft. “Fortnite has done a good job making it a part of the game.”
If you’re trying to find your way through Fortnite’s new water world or just dipping a toe into the game for the first time, here’s what Hill recommends.
Rivers are the new highways. Use them to your advantage.
Jump pads, grapple guns and shock wave grenades are all absent from the game’s current equipment list. Actually, the overall load out is pretty bare-bones, with just eight basic weapon variants.
The simple load out is good for pros, Hill said, because games don’t turn into a wild-goose chase to find a rare — and possibly overpowered — weapon. (For those wondering, Hill recommends the average player pick up the AR rifle, tactical shotgun and an RPG.)
What all this means practically is that there aren’t a lot of flashy ways to move around the map quickly. No more rifts to transport you around the island via the space-time continuum.
“There’s always been items that can get you out of a jam and, kind of, turn nothing into something, but now if you’re late [running from the storm] … you’re going to get punished for it,” Hill said.
When you’re in a pinch, and the storm’s breathing down your neck, you need to run or jump on a boat. And, while you’re on that boat, Hill recommends taking it around the top northwest of the island near the outskirts of the map, where you’ll find some worthwhile loot.
Compared with recent seasons, Hill told The Post there’s just more loot to find at random locations around the map. Players don’t need to drop at popular points of interest to start a match off right.
“There’s definitely spots on the map where boats will come in clutch,” Hill said.
Boats are the new cars. Yes, you can drive a boat on the road.
The boats in the game aren’t just harmless schooners. Rather, they have a regenerating boost and a missile launcher that deals 35 damage points on impact.
“Eventually, we’re going to see people using boats as a weapon late game,” Hill said, explaining the missile launcher is a useful way to bring down enemy fortifications.
The boats are big targets toward the middle of the map, Hill said, as the rivers converge. That said, you can take boats off-road (or, more appropriately, off-water) to practically anywhere on the map by relying on its boost. The boat will take a small amount of damage skidding across the island, and the damage will add up fast if you’re already taking fire from opposing teams.
It might be worth it, though, because the boats can fit a four-person squad: one driver, and plenty of space for three passengers to provide covering fire — or fish. Speaking of ...
Fishing is the new farming.
Fishing in Fortnite is basically a way to farm for health and shields. Small fries, the white fish, provide 25 health points. Floppers, the green fish, count for 50 health points. Slurpfish, which are purple, give players 50 points for their shield. You’ll just need to find a fishing pole (usually sitting in a barrel on docks near the water) to catch them.
“I thought [fishing] was going to be boring and just kind of useless,” Hill told The Post. “It’s actually very beneficial to have somebody fishing.”
Some in the community have been scouring the game for a fabled “mythic goldfish” — which, from some evidence found online, appears to be a gold trophy you can throw at your opponents. No word yet from Epic Games about whether the trophy is a confirmed addition for the season. The waterways across the map are the biggest addition for the season, which is another way of saying there’s not much of anything “new.” Rather, Fortnite is seeing a return to basics. There’s an “old-school vibe” to the game now, Hill said.
“The game has definitely become more simplified and less sweaty,” Hill said, referring to the players who use flashy, over-the-top tactics to just get one elimination in a match.
It’s worth dropping in again for players who’ve walked away from the game, Hill said, telling The Post the latest meta forces you to have “very quick thinking” to make sure you stay ahead of the storm wall.
The new version of the game is “a little easier to get behind instead of these mech robots or swords or shock waves. It’s a little easier to understand,” Hill added.