Feature Article

Fortnite Is Having A Spray And Pray Problem

Spray and pray.

We need to talk about Fortnite. Epic Games' world-conquering battle royale shooter has a problem. Whether you agree with this or not depends on whether you take umbrage with the meta infamously known as "Spray and Pray," which stems from various factors introduced in Season 5 that have altered the way the majority of firefights play out.

So let's start from the top. Fortnite's shooting mechanics are centered around a system known as "bloom," which affects each weapon's accuracy. Where you aim isn't the deciding factor in where your bullets will hit, as there's also a random element of luck involved. The shots you take will always land somewhere within your crosshair, with the size of each crosshair varying depending on whether you're aiming down sights, moving, standing, crouching, or jumping. First-shot accuracy (which guarantees your first shot is more accurate than the rest) is also something to take into consideration, but beyond that there isn't anything you can do to ensure each bullet successfully hits its target. Crouching and standing still helps, but you'll still have to pray to the RNG gods if you want your bullets to connect.

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As you can imagine, bloom is already divisive on its own, with one alternative being PlayerUnknown's Battlegrounds' utilisation of mechanics like weapon recoil and bullet drop--offering a more authentic and skill-based depiction of weapon firing. However, it's clear Epic implemented bloom to reduce the skill gap between dedicated players and newcomers--at least when it comes to straight-up firefights. This makes sense when you consider Fortnite is the most popular video game in the world right now, with its availability enticing people from all walks of life to hop into the fray. But recent changes have intensified bloom's impact in a much more negative way.

The two key factors to consider here are the increase in power for SMGs, as well as the nerfs to building and the amount of crafting materials you receive. The new P90 Compact SMG is, of course, the leading major here, with its large magazine and high fire-rate giving it a distinct advantage over most other weapons. But the P90s fellow SMG brethren aren't far behind either. With simple firefights regularly boiling down to a healthy dollop of luck, the rapid-firing SMGs reign supreme in the current Fortnite meta. Just hold down fire and pray for the best. More than anything, however, the emergence of SMGs as the be-all-and-end-all of weapons has made the nerfs to building even more pronounced.

Epic has tinkered with the health of buildings and the amount of materials you receive from knocking down trees, walls, fences, and so on. However, with fewer materials to work with, and less health for each structure you build, the general consensus is that building is gradually being nullified.

SMGs can easily tear through structures with little issue, forcing you to burn through resources just to keep out of the firing line

SMGs can easily tear through structures with little issue, forcing you to burn through resources just to keep out of the firing line. This has led to fights becoming much less dynamic and more predictable, while protracted battles of wits and proficiency are few and far between. There's a clear skill gap when it comes to building that might deter some, but it's also the fundamental aspect that makes Fortnite so unique. And it’s being undermined by the SMG-heavy Spray and Pray meta.

One theory being bandied about is that Epic are nerfing building to make the game more welcoming for new and casual players, especially with Fortnite now available on smartphones. Again, this would make sense, but it also feels like a misguided move. Pro players and popular streamers have voiced their concerns about the current meta, along with the hordes of other dedicated players putting in the hours every day, and it's hard to argue with them. Getting good at building is tough, sure, but implementing a tutorial, or making Playground a constant fixture, would give people the opportunity to practice and improve their building skillset without Epic needing to quash its effectiveness.

It's always going to be difficult to please everyone, but deferring to those who have put in the time, money, and effort sounds like a solid strategy. Fortnite is constantly changing, and this meta won't last forever, but it could set a disappointing precedent if Epic sticks to this path going forward.

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I_Suk

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Edited By I_Suk

I don't know about the rest of you idiots, but when I'm playing solo squads and four players gather around me, ALL of them with drum guns, and just spray their hearts out while I'm stuck in a little box, and they only eventually kill me because they make me run out of my two stacks of max materials, it's unfair only a little bit, y'know? Just a fucking little bit.

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OzmoCallot

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Nah. It's fine. Bet you didn't write an article about how new players were getting double pumped from a head glitch. Bloom is fine. Go play cod if u want magic guns. You must have never shot an actual gun. You can't run and jump of 2 story buildings and hope for high accuracy. Standing with a rifle with no rest is difficult enough. PC players man I swear. I clicked on the head why they still alive? I mean sure I was sprinting while trying to shoot a 100 meter shot. At a moving target. Why wouldn't I hit every shot I sling? Obviously the author is another salty pub g player. Get over your doo doo game.

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kgsg-19-2

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"Fornite is having a spray and pray problem"

Tell me about it. There's literally 3 FN articles below this one.

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GM_Strykr

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Edited By GM_Strykr

RNG Bloom is absolutely an issue in this game for ARs - that's why most combat comes down to shotgun fights or spray battles with an smg/tommy gun at close range. ARs just feel like they don't have reliable DPS as compared to other weapons.

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xNSHD

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Edited By xNSHD

so the game being more balanced and not just about spam building to stay alive for the people who have shit aim means the game has a problem? okay! dear author of this article stop crying and be better at the game. without your little building mechanic your trash how about have an actual gun fight with someone without your building and see who comes out on top even with bloom. my guess is not you. thats not anything to do with RNG thats just you having bad aim.

the game is getting better which these changes but i still think they haven't gone far enough with the building nerfs, as i still think its ridiculous how you can have a massive fight building a massive fort wasting over 3 or 4 hundred resources then win the fight and just pick up all of those resources again from a dead body. there is absolutely no consequence for spam building and there should be. i think they need to have it so the people you kill shouldn't drop their resources so then you have to actually think about how much you are building instead of knowing that if you win the fight you get back all your resources from the dead persons loot.

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richardwakeling

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@xnshd: I wouldn't call the game more balanced when we're talking about an overpowered weapon type. And like I said below, I'm not great at building so this meta doesn't affect me as much as it has others. If anything, lowering the skill gap means I'm racking up more kills, but I can't say it's more enjoyable than it was before because a lot of fights are too predictable now.

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xNSHD

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@richardwakeling: and having someone build a massive tower instantly before everytime you shot at someone wasn't predictable? wanna talk about overpowered lets talk about pump switching when that was a thing. please don't talk about balance if you genuinely think the game was more balanced post SMG meta since you clearly no nothing if that is the case.

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Thretosix

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When online gaming started becoming a thing, I was so excited I would get to play with my friends. Gaming online has been a big letdown for me. Player vs. player never seems to get matchmaking right. I've always thought it would be more exciting to play WITH my friends or people I meet online, not against them. Online Co-op seems to be the niche I've always wanted yet games like it are few and far between. When I see spray and pray, all I can think of is lazy programming and an ease of mind why I don't play these games.

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OzmoCallot

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@Thretosix: create a party and play squads.

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tlpina

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Someday, I need someone to explain to me what's so appealing about this game?

I downloaded it and played it a few times. Won my first match without even killing anyone and found the whole experience as boring as drinking water with a slice of cucumber.

I'm apologize to the people that love this game, but I just don't get it.

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ragethorn

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@tlpina: I simply love it because every game I play is different. It's a less linear experience. I have lots of fun solo.

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Litchie

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Edited By Litchie

@tlpina: There's not much that's appealing, really. They had enormous luck that it took off, it didn't take off because it's such a masterfully designed game. The shooting isn't very good, and the building isn't very good. People will just play what's popular. Us gamers who cares about what we play and the quality of the games we play usually don't play games such as Fortnite or Candycrush or *insert popular crappy game here*.

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OzmoCallot

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@Litchie: lol. What are you talking about. Get outta here. Fortnite is killing it. You are another salty player that thought you were in some kinda club. Get over yourself and your false sense of elitism.

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Litchie

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@mmoalex: Disgusting.

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Litchie

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Edited By Litchie

@rose525: More disgusting.

The hell is up with all the spam on this site recently? I've flagged like a 100 posters for spam in the last couple of weeks.

I wish I could flag this whole website for spam.

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masterthrall

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Edited By masterthrall

Fortnite is the new Destiny 2, over-hyped, over-promoted, and over-covered.

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OzmoCallot

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@masterthrall: except no. Destiny is halo trash.

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XenomorphAlien

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You know what's actually a problem? The avalanche of Fortnite articles that plague this site.

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wetro

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Edited By wetro

Gamespot = "spray and pray meta" Fortnite Articles each week hoping for more website traffic and clicks

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spartanx169x

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Thankfully Epic will probably not ever see this article. It boils down to the fact that the author is getting his butt kicked and can’t adapt. Just be a man and admit it. I suck at the game, but I’m not going to whine about it. I do the best I can when playing with friends and I never play solo and I get plenty of enjoyment from the game. Adapt or play another game.

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Pyrosa

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@spartanx169x: THIS.

The author is simply whining.

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Htowns_D_Brown

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This is what annoys me with any online game, they nerf guns all the time. I'm so sick of any game that you have a gun to shoot someone (I have the jump on you) then they turn around and shoot me with like one shot even though my gun has been blazing your way before. The way Fortnite did to the shotguns is the same as Call of Duty did to the shotguns like the 1887s in Modern Warfare 2.

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OzmoCallot

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@htowns_d_brown: high ping?

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Htowns_D_Brown

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@ozmocallot: Maybe or maybe not, I'm referring to online video games. Every game has this problem; the developers always "think" by nerfing a gun it is for the best, but I think it welcomes "hackers" in quicker.

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Thanatos2k

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The "spray and pray meta" you're referring to is how Gamespot sprays Fortnite articles across 90% of the news stream and prays people click on them, right?

Enough.

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GM_Strykr

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Edited By GM_Strykr

@Thanatos2k: Fortnite is a video game, that is talked about on Gamespot - a website about video games. If it bothers you so much, then don't click on Fortnite articles.

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Oddjob138

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@Thanatos2k: well don’t click on them, then

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Thanatos2k

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@Oddjob138: I want gaming news, not Fortnite news.

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aiyobro

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They nullified the building because you shoot at people, they turn around, they put up a wall, then it's just about depleting resources and not actual skill. You'd have to spend the whole match hiding if you wanted enough bullets to knock peoples structures down. They're still a pain...

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NSA_Protocol44

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Someone at Gamespot doenst like this meta or tactic. Yesss, hopefully now we have less Fortshite articles.

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deactivated-5dd711115e664

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I don't understand this article at all. It starts off talking about the bloom and rng of weapons...and then just says, "So in light of all that, let's complain about how overpowered SMGs are." Maybe I missed something but what does the problem with SMGs have to do with the "meta" or "pump and pray" or bloom/rng of weapons which have been that way since the game released. Really this is just an article complaining about building nerfs which I absolutely support and see very little evidence it has harmed the game in any way. BUilding is still critical to doing well. It just isn't necessarily an auto-win anymore for the person who can manage to build an 80 story straight-up maze of walls and ramps as they try for shotgun kills.

Speaking as someone who is not great at all at Fortnite, and likely never will be, it is extremely frustrating sneaking up on someone, shooting them in the back and barely doing any damage as they turn around and one shot kill you even with your 100/100. Yes, that is a problem with the bloom/rng but is what it is. But what really makes me not want to play is sneaking up on someone, shooting them in the back and they instantly build a massive fort in seconds while backflipping AND somehow shotgunning me from long range and killing me because I can't see them but they can somehow perfectly see and shoot me.

There needs to be a penalty for players who just build and hide in giant forts. If there isn't, the game sucks for everyone. It's not fun to play and certainly no fun to watch. All strategies MUST have risk to them and building MUST be nerfed because up until recently there was zero risk to massive building.

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richardwakeling

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@ZIMdoom: The SMGs just benefit from bloom more than any other weapon. They shoot faster, often have larger magazines, and they're good at both short and medium ranges. It's too easy to pick up kills with them, especially if you're facing someone who doesn't have an SMG of their own.

I agree that building shouldn't be as strong as it was, but it definitely shouldn't be as weak as it is now. I'm not that good at building either, but I also feel like I'm not getting any better at it since season 5 started, purely because as soon as I make anything it just gets shredded to pieces within a second or so. Finding the right balance is tough.

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NSA_Protocol44

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Edited By NSA_Protocol44

@richardwakeling: GG Richard GG

GG = GIT GUD LOL

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Goblinchucker

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@ZIMdoom: The connection between bloom/RNG and SMGs is that they fire more shots per second. And since they were recently buffed in damage that means in the same time-frame you have more attempts to hit your target. This means the rate of fire being faster makes them now stronger than guns that shoot slower but might have slightly better bloom. It is a basic reason why in shooters the SMGs are usually half as powerful or worse than assault rifles. Because by forgoing the higher rate of fire you get somewhat improved accuracy and higher damage, especially from range. This is no longer the case in Fortnite.

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Ish_basic

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Edited By Ish_basic

this is online gaming in a nutshell. Devs make changes, people who profited from old style and are struggling to adapt to new style bitch and make arguments about "tradition" and "identity," going out of their way to talk about how much money they spend, which was their choice knowing full well unless they were born yesterday that nothing is forever in the online world.

Problem is you got used to building as a strategy for getting in close to use your pump and now that you can't, you think the game is broken, rather than considering how building could be used differently. Someone will figure it out, post videos, the masses will copy it and then some other group of players will complain about how that needs to be changed.

Nothing you said is particularly moving because we've heard it all before in every online game ever.

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Calikidd86

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Edited By Calikidd86

@Ish_basic: I have to agree. I dislike it so much I just stopped playing Fortnite period. I won't complain about the game, its just not for me.

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Pyrosa

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Edited By Pyrosa

That does not fit the definition of a "meta."

It is a tactic. A debatable one, but it is a tactic.

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