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Fortnite’s new modes are fun, but don’t sleep on Battle Royale’s great update

Fortnite is literally the gift that keeps on giving. With so many updates bringing big changes to the game, I don’t blame anyone that can no longer keep up with the live-service juggernaut. How could you after Epic recently added a full Rocket League spinoff, a recreation of Rock Band, and a Minecraft-like Lego adventure to the mix? For me, though, those can’t completely overshadow the classic Battle Royale playlist that made Fortnite such a hit in the first place — especially since that mode got some great updates of its own in its latest chapter.

Fortnite Battle Royale Chapter 5 Launch Trailer

Epic always find a fresh way to change up Fortnite with every big update. Whether it’s new movement options, weapons, maps, or  mechanics like the roleplaying game-like Augment upgrades that blew me away, I always find myself impressed by new modifications. But I never thought an addition as simple as the current Chapter 5 one would awe me as much as it did.

Customize the party

The current name of the game in Fortnite is “customization.” This time around, players aren’t just tweaking character mechanics as they did with Augments. The update doesn’t just add weapon loadouts either. During a battle royale round, players can find hidden rooms containing a Mod Bench. Here, anyone is able to edit their currently held weapons on the fly, Call of Duty style. This means adding silencers to snipers, scopes to shotguns and assault rifles, and other attachments to help out with that pesky recoil.

Gwen at Fortnite's Mod Bench.
Epic Games

This sounds super simple, right? Is it, and that’s the beauty of it. I got hooked on finding these little outposts as soon as possible so I could create my dream weapons at the press of a button. That tiny change adds the most player expression and personality to Fortnite that I’ve seen in ages. During any given round, I now have choices that’ll shape how it plays out. Do I want to hold more ammunition in a rifle or do more damage per shot? These are questions Fortnite players have never really gotten to ask.

Along with these modification stations, players can also defeat bosses to collect up to five medallions. Each of these acts as a power-up that can give you an enhancement like a slowly recovering shield or increasing max shield. The downside is that carrying a bunch will make players more visible on enemy maps.

Character holding modded gun in Fortnite Chapter 5
Epic Games

What has to be my favorite part of this chapter is that all of this can be ignored. If you want to skip these customization tools and carry on with Fortnite as you have, then you totally can. When I started up the game with my sister, she was worried about having to learn a whole bunch of new gameplay systems to find the fun. To her surprise, she was able to do exactly what she’s done in the past and still do well. Unlike the Augments, you don’t feel some obligation to open up an intrusive new menu to keep up with the Joneses.

Whether you’re playing this chapter for its new updates or just enjoying Fortnite the same way as always, Chapter 5 has something for everyone. The shooter has always been a master class on how to add new elements while keeping the core familiar for the more casual players, and that continues here. With so much more to do now other than Battle Royale, it’s as great a time as ever to finally surrender that hard drive space and give Fortnite a try.

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DeAngelo Epps
De'Angelo Epps is a gaming writer passionate about the culture, communities, and industry surrounding gaming. His work ranges…
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