Fortnite has made good on its threat to drop a tornado in Chapter Three, Season One.
Players can now encounter a tornado and thunderstorms on the island. These storms will appear at random, and last for an equally random amount of time. Storms circle overhead and rain lightning strikes on the ground below. These strikes will start fires when they hit trees, structures and builds. If they actually hit a player, they only deal around 10 points of damage and give the player a short burst of speed.
That’s honestly not what I expected a lightning strike to do to a person but, sure, why not?
The tornado itself does not appear to damage players who wander into the vortex, but it does pick up debris — materials, flora, fauna, rocks, and even loot — and throw it around. Riding the tornado this morning, I got blindsided by a flying boulder that knocked me for more than 60hp. Just be careful if you’re planning to head over and check it out.
Anyway, the tornado was positioned like a huge threat but in practice, it’s just more harmless fun. These are changes that make a striking visual impact but don’t seem to affect the gameplay all that much. Storms will push players out of a particular area, but others are just going to hunker down until it passes. It’ll be hairy when the circle and the tornado meaningfully overlap in the latter stages of a match, but outside of that, it’s been relatively easy to avoid so far.
The addition of the tornado is yet another example of Epic quickly cribbing from other popular games. Battlefield 2042 made a splash last year when it debuted its own dynamic tornados and weather systems and now, here they are in Fortnite. When Respawn was lauded for Apex Legends‘ intuitive, context-sensitive ping system, Epic had its version implemented within weeks. This latest season, Chapter Three, Season One, formally moved Fortnite to Unreal Engine 5. Epic used this as an opportunity to pull from Apex again, implementing momentum-based sliding.
Just last year, Epic found itself in hot water after recreating runaway indie hit Among Us without properly crediting its developers, Inner Sloth.
Fortnite‘s tornado update is available now. The game is free to play on just about everything.