What’s New In Fortnite’s v7.20 Update?

Fortnite’s content and balance is ever changing. Rather than just fiddling with the effectiveness of items and gradually expanding, Epic makes sweeping changes to the game. This latest update is no exception. Season 7’s latest batch of balance changes and content has introduced some bizarre new equipment and done a bit to fix previous problems. Many were hoping for a solution to the recent Shield potion shortage. That has not been entirely addressed, but there has been a big step towards that. Likewise, the issue of overpowered planes continues to gradually move towards a solution. In the meantime, some novelty items have made an appearance to shake things up and distract from any ongoing problems.

Item Added – Sneaky Snowman

This Sneaky Snowman might be arriving a little late for Christmas, but it’s a pretty fun item. The primary fire button for this snowman will throw the snowman at a player, the snowman will sit on the ground and eventually destruct. Another projectile might not be what you wanted from a new item, but it’s colourful way to distract another player. This version is a hollow destructible decoy. It might trick some over-eager players into destroying it, but most probably won’t take the bait. This function is going to have more use in showboating and griefing than in tactical play. Still, it’s a fun addition.


© Epic Games

The secondary function is a bit more useful. The secondary fire allows you to wear the sneaky snowman. You clamber inside the Frosty stand-in, it’s a form of camouflage that’s about as useful as Snake’s box. As well as making you look a bit ridiculous, the Sneaky Snowman gives you a generous health boost. This hiding spot will also give you a 100-point Shield while you’re wearing it. Once it’s depleted, the Snowman will be destroyed. This may help with the recent reduction in shield spawning. You can have your Shield for as long as you’re willing to skulk around as a Snowman.

Using the Snowman to hide is a one-time consumable. After switching to another item or building mode, the Snowman will disappear. They’ll drop in stacks of five, and you will be able to carry 10 of them. This generous allowance means you’ll be seeing a lot of them.

Adjustment to Shield Potion drop Rate

The Shield shortage hasn’t really been fixed. Instead the Shield Potion’s spawn rate has been switched with that of the Small Shield Potion. Some other items have had their drop rates adjusted to give the shields a greater chance of occurring, but it’s not the major fix that players had it mind. Making the smaller size of Shield Potion more common than the larger is an odd move when considering their recent scarcity. This actually backpedals a little on some of the improvements from reducing Glider drop rates. Shields are definitely in a better position than they were before the update. However, switching round the drop rate gives the impression that Epic is still trying to reduce their importance.

Vaulted Items

The Quad Rocket Launcher, Port-A-Fortress, and Grappler have all been vaulted. The Port-A-Fortress will be missed, but other Port-A items are still available. The grappler was fun for a while, but its novelty has definitely worn off. Rotating the obnoxious novelty items is a good move. Now the Snowman is in the game, this could easily have become overwhelming.

Reduced Drop Rates

The drop rate of Gliders has been severely reduced. It now sits at 4.43% compared with its previous 11.89%. This is going to make them considerably rarer, you shouldn’t bank on finding one. The Balloon drop rate has been decreased from 7.58% to 3.24%. Like the glider, this is a major drop. Any player who, for some reason, used Balloons a lot should probably play around with the Snowman instead. Let’s be real, this current update it about Sneaky Snowman and Decoy Sneaky Snowmen at the expense of all the previous fun items.


© Epic Games

The spawn rate of Quad Crushers has been halved to 50%. The X-4 Stormwing has also dropped from 80% to 50%. This is a welcome change. It should help to balance the overpowered Stormwings, it’s definitely a step in the right direction.

This new update is focused on one fun looking novelty. Major problems with recent balancing have only been slightly adjusted. The Stormwing and Shield Potion adjustments are welcome, but they don’t fix the problem entirely. Fortnite will probably gradually correct these problems with small adjustment to Shield Potions and Planes, until they are inevitably thrown out of balance by the next weird addition. These additions might keep the game feeling consistently fresh, but they have all the subtlety of a bull in a china shop. Epic likes to keep strategic players on their toes.

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