The new patch adds a fun new mode.
The newest Fortnite patch, v5.30, launched recently on PS4, Xbox One, PC, Nintendo Switch, and mobile. It adds one of Fortnite's most unique Limited-Time Modes to date in Score Royale. Also, Playground Mode gets an update and a new item, Rift-To-Go, comes to the world. You can read the full patch notes here. We've spent some time with the new update and here are our thoughts:
Score Royale LTM Is Fortnite's Biggest, Most Exciting Change Yet
All of the Fortnite Limited Time Modes have twisted the familiar, last-player-standing formula in some way, but Score Royale is the biggest change yet. The mode gives players a very different objective. Instead of fighting to stay alive, you're going for the highest Point total. You earn Points by collecting coins scattered throughout the map; opening chests, ammo boxes, and Supply Llamas; eating apples and mushrooms; and of course by eliminating enemies. The first to hit the target score of 2,000 points is the winner. It's an intriguing change of pace, and one that forces you to rethink some of the strategies you may already be familiar with.
Accruing points quickly is essential. So right off the bat, you have a big decision to make. You can drop right away (don't forget to thank the driver first, of course) to start collecting points, but doing so means you will face a warzone populated with like-minded players; if you get lucky and find a great weapon you can clean up and begin the match with a nice point advantage. But that is not easy. Another choice is to wait it out and drop in a safer zone where your chances of dying in the first minute are far less. I had the most success dropping later.
Dropping later can feel frustrating at first, as you might be 150 or more Points down before you even hit the ground. But don't lose hope--the first wave of coins doesn't arrive until a few minutes into the match. So while you may start the round at a theoretical disadvantage by dropping later, you may be able to make up the difference by collecting unclaimed coins and opening uncontested crates. You still need to build smartly and often, while your gun skills will continue to make all the difference in battle. The major change with Score Royale is that you have to always be on the run; that is the only way to win, and it makes the Fortnite experience totally different (and camper-free).
Another noteworthy element of Score Royale is that there are more Llamas on the map and the Storm circle at the beginning of matches is larger and moves more slowly. Epic says this should give players more time and opportunities to loot and rack up points. In the late-game stages, however, the Storm circle closes at a faster rate. Score Royale is the biggest change to the Fortnite formula so far, and it's a blast to play the game in such a new and different way. I hope this mode stays in rotation for a while.
- Eat apples and mushrooms as often as you see them. They only count for 10 points each, but it's a quick way to collect Points.
- Get in an ATK or shopping cart and zip through the hills to scoop up Coins faster than you can on foot.
Playground LTM Gets Small Changes:
Playground, the low-stress mode that effectively acts as a training ground, gets some small changes with the new update. There are now many more ATKs available to drive and ramps to zoom off to practice for the ramp challenges. There are also more Rifts on the map to help you practice skydiving back onto the battlefield. Practice makes perfect, and it's nice to see Epic continue to add to Playground to help let players hone their skills.
Rift-To-Go Helps You Escape (Maybe):
Similar to the previously released Port-a-Fort item that automatically builds a fort for you, the Rift-to-Go item can be deployed to instantly launch you into a Rift. Just like when you come across a Rift in the world, you immediately get teleported into the sky and begin a skydive. This lets you get out of a firefight in a flash, but there is a catch: the Rift remains open for 10 seconds, so the very enemy you were trying to escape from might go through and be right on your tail. The Rift-to-Go item is Epic-level rarity, so you don't have to worry about the landscape getting overrun by players teleporting in and out of the world.
The Rift-to-Go, like the Port-a-Fort item and the Vending Machines before it, will likely be criticised for helping contribute to Fortnite being too beginner-friendly in some players' eyes. But I disagree. Having any of these items in your inventory never guarantees a victory. Your skills on the sticks will (almost) always be what determines your success or failure.