Developer Epic Games is doing a rather excellent job at keeping Fortnite constantly relevant. As if the season structure and the 100 tiers of new unlocks that emerge every 10 weeks wasn’t enough, there are also the regular patches.
More than just tweaking the game’s balance and squishing bugs, these patches frequently add major new features to the game. They can even remove entire modes and then replace them with others. And these changes occur across both the beloved Battle Royale competitive mode, and the PvE fun of the original Save the World experience.
Patch 5.3 has released for Fortnite bringing with it another handful of intriguing changes. We’re going to take you through them and how they influence the way you play.
What’s in Fortnite Patch 5.3?
Shockwave Grenade (Battle Royale):
Rarity: Epic Stackable: 6 Damage: 0 Located: Supply Drops, Vending Machines, Llamas and Chests
This new grenade isn’t about inflicting damage, but instead shoving anything (including vehicles, which is hilarious) in its sphere of influence a great deal out of the way. It’s a really nifty item in combat and even just for generally making your way across the island.
In combat, it can be used to provide an instant height advantage. You simply throw the grenade at your feet, explode it and rocket skyward. We’ve seen this used to get above enemies in a superior location, or even just to escape a closequarters situation. You can use your mid- to long-range arsenal from up above as you are falling back to the turf, for example.
It’s also a convenient way to escape combat if your health is low. There is no fall damage when using this grenade to escape harm’s way, so you can just jettison out of there and make a run for it. The Shockwave Grenade also blows enemies out of the way, so it can be used to clear forts or buildings, shove enemies away from loot, or to blow enemies off their creations during a build battle.
Finally, you can also use it to simply traverse across the island. A well placed explosion can fling you across ravines, or from one cliff top to the next, very quickly. A lot faster that building.
Rift-to-Go (Battle Royale):
Rarity: Epic Stackable: 2 Lasts: 10 seconds Located: Supply Drops, Vending Machines, Llamas and Chests
Rifts are an excellent addition to the Battle Royale mode in Season 5, but they’re not too easy to come across and can only be used once. This new utility item puts a Rift in the palm of your hand, allowing you to throw one down and transport your way high up into the sky on demand.
It’s extremely useful in the endgame when combat is getting congested and survivors are staking their claim to be the last one standing. You can, for example, send a squad mate with a sniper rifle through the Rift, where they can take some shots while gliding back to the ground, and then land behind the enemy position for a clear line-of-sight assault while they’re distracted.
General flanking manoeuvres in this fashion can work for any player really, or the Rift can be used to get a wounded player quickly out of harm’s way.
Elsewhere, a Rift-to-Go can make getting out of the Storm’s path of destruction a lot easier. This can allow you to spend more time looting and gathering resources in an area close to the front than others who may have had to make a run for it early on foot.
Don’t forget that you can drive an ATK into a Rift. So one tactic is to get your whole squad on the All-Terrain Kart, then drive the lot of you into a Rift for a mass, rapid migration to another location. The only real annoyance we have with this new item is that Rift-to-Go wasn’t available when the Steady Storm mode was live.
Solid Gold Limited Time Mode (Battle Royale)
Players can now take the standard or the 50 v 50 Battle Royale experiences into the realm of Solid Gold. The reference here is to the colour coding of loot which determines their rarity. Solid Gold is a version of these modes where only Legendary weapons exist.
It’s a mode for the sharpshooters and those who’ve mastered build battles. Legendary weapons generally deliver more damage per second, and have quicker reload times, than their peasant brethren. It means you’re going to die faster, forcing you to tweak your strategy somewhat to be more reliant on health or shield buffs, and resources, in order to defend yourself. Everyone you come across will have decent firepower.
It’s worth noting that not all weapon types have a Legendary variant. So missing from this mode altogether are hunting rifles, tactical shotguns, pump shotguns, pistols (except dual pistols), revolvers, normal and suppressed submachine guns, drum guns, light machine guns, and scoped assault rifles.
RIP Score Royale Mode (Battle Royale)
The arrival of Solid Gold saw the removal of Score Royale mode. It’s a shame! This new Limited Time Mode barely got a week’s run and was quite enjoyable. It converted various gameplay actions into points, asking players to end the game with the highest score. Here’s hoping it returns.
Mythic Bladestorm Enforcer Ninja (Save the World)
It’s always nice when a new hero joins the fray, especially when it offers a new subclass in Bladestorm. The Ninja brings with it a new ability. The hero backflips, throwing 15 pointed knives downwards in the process, which is a great little move.
Weekly Horde Challenge 4 (Save the World)
A neat tweak for those looking to beat this week’s challenge: traps won’t work! So the Husks will wander straight past or through them, greatly impacting your defensive strategies. We love this challenge as it really does alter your approach, upping the reliance on team play. Win it though, and you will score the Legendary Redline Ramirez (a variant of Raider).