Fortnite’s New Update Nerfs Fort Building

Fortnite’s New Update Nerfs Fort Building
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Fortnite’s latest update has made the skill of building forts or any other structures less relevant to success, leaving some players to lament that the thing that makes Fortnite unique is slowly disappearing.

Update V5.10, released July 24, nerfed the building materials used to make walls, floors and any other structures in the game. Stat changes made most of the materials easier for opposing players to destroy.

The starting health of stone walls dropped from 90 to 80, and from 100 to 80 for wood. Meanwhile the max health for wood walls was reduced from 200 to 150. Metal also saw changes, gaining 100 points of max health but also seeing its build time increased by the same percentage.

The changes might appear slight, but the differences have been acutely felt by players who could previously craft their way out of dangerous situations.

Players used to get into tense showdowns of weapon-swapping and rapid building, encasing themselves in one protective cocoon after another while trying to slowly chip away at their opponents’ health. Now they find themselves at the mercy of however powerful their opponent’s gun is.

Just spray and pray” has become the new meta overnight.

Twitch" loading="lazy" > Screenshot: Fortnite, Twitch

The latest update also added a large magazine, high fire-rate weapon, the Compact SMG P90, which has made the new weakness of building materials that much more pronounced.

Since the update, the kill ticker on the left of the screen tends to fill up with the letters “SMG” as the gun cuts through defensive structures like warm butter. Fights now have a tendency to end more quickly, especially if someone has a P90.

In the game’s 50v50 mode, this means large, pitched battles play out more like something out of a WWII movie than the back-and-forth duels many Fortnite players have come to know and love so much.

“I just feel bad for the players that invest time into learning to build effectively and using builds to win fights but are CONSTANTLY getting shut down by nerf after nerf to building and additional buffs to weapons that destroy builds faster,” wrote one player in a thread about the new changes on the Fortnite subreddit.

Other posters are sharing memes to express their displeasure at the changing meta. The running joke now is that the P90 is more powerful even than Thanos, the god-like buff players could attain during matches several updates ago, and that master builders are powerless to stop it.

Reddit" loading="lazy" > Screenshot: Fortnite, Reddit

One theory is that Epic Games has nerfed building to try and make the game more approachable for new and casual players, including people on smartphones. There was as similar backlash last month when material drops were made less abundant and buildings lost their increased resistance to shots fired from far away.

Changes along those lines culminated in a players re-sharing “The Battle Is Building” slogan from the game’s original release. Some players have already joked that the prejudice against building goes so far as to include bushes and trees now requiring twice as many hits to destroy for the same amount of wood, but Epic has since confirmed this is merely a temporary bug that will be fixed in the next patch.

It’s also possible that Epic is simply testing these things out and will pull the P90 sooner rather than later while also coming up with a new way to assert the importance of building.

Fortnite is constantly shifting, and it’s only the second day of this brutal, more fortless world. At the very least, V5.10 shows how easily it is to transform a game as big and complex as Fortnite into something that feels incredibly different, despite only tweaking a few numbers.


  • I love this part – ‘…including people on smartphones.’

    What? If you really really need to play a game like this on a phone, then deal with the issues it presents, don’t nerf the game for everyone else who plays how it was originally intended.

    (on a side note, I only played Fortnite the week it was released, the building part didn’t do much for me, so nerfing it doesn’t phase me apart from the fact that they’re doing it for phone users)

    • What? If you really really need to play a game like this on a phone, then deal with the issues it presents, don’t nerf the game for everyone else who plays how it was originally intended.

      Not saying I agree or disagree, but with how many kids who won’t have consoles or their own PC but have their own phone, it makes sense (and dollars) to keep them invested.

  • At end game, build & shotgun was really the only effective approach. Nobody was using brick/steel because wood was so damn effective, fast, and abundant. Like all balancing though, it’s an iterative to-and-fro thing and you’re always going to annoy someone when you tweak things. Like @hoi_polloi said though, it would be pretty shitty if this was all to accommodate mobile users (aka cash cows). The game is called Fortnite for a reason…..

  • I haven’t played the last few days at all so correct me if I’m wrong but just reading those changes it sounds like it could be more about balancing the material types rather than reducing building altogether.

    Last few weeks (probably longer that that really) all anyone does is build wood structures; it’s quick, cheap and strong enough for most things. These changes seem to be pushing players to think more about which structures they should build.

  • Sounds good to me. I like the building aspect of Fortnite but damn is it frustrating when battles just turn into “who can spam wood fastest”.

  • the challenge of learning to build fast under presure keeps me interested, but its a pretty one sided battle when one person knows how to build vs someone whos just good as shooters, so i welcome the tweak.

  • Have hey made any indication of when the original ‘Horde mode’ will be released as F2P yet as they announced forever ago it would? Not too fussed by the battle royale, but the original mode did seem interesting (except for the hefty price tag)

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