Holy Geralt Of Rivia On A Dirt Bike: Here’s What’s New In Fortnite Chapter 4

Holy Geralt Of Rivia On A Dirt Bike: Here’s What’s New In Fortnite Chapter 4

Fortnite Chapter 4 has finally arrived, and we now know what to expect from the next phase of the wildly popular Battle Royale game.

Fortnite has brought Chapter 3 to a close much sooner than many players anticipated, moving to Chapter 4, Season 1 and introducing a swath of new features. Previous chapters have run for ten seasons or more, and to have one only last four seasons before moving on came as a bit of a surprise. However, the list of updates provides significant context for why Epic felt the need to shorten the life of Chapter 3 overall. For one thing…

Unreal Engine 5.1

Fortnite now runs on Unreal Engine 5.1. A major upgrade to the software that underpins Fortnite (and further proof that Epic is using Fortnite as a sprawling testbed/showroom for new in-engine features), Unreal Engine 5.1 opens the door to a wave of new mechanics. Building on mechanics introduced in Chapter 3, like mantling, sliding, and rope swinging, Chapter 4 introduces more traversal options, like hurdling low objects while sprinting. There are also dirt bikes. We’ll talk more about those in a minute.

The big changes that Unreal Engine 5.1 opens up have to do with the game’s visuals and UE’s suite of graphics tools.

“Unreal Engine 5 ushers in a generational leap in visual fidelity, bringing an unprecedented level of detail to game worlds like the Battle Royale Island,” reads Epic’s press release on the update. Next-gen Unreal Engine 5 features such as Nanite, Lumen, Virtual Shadow Maps, and Temporal Super Resolution.”

These terms are both technical and rather non-descript for the layperson, so what do they mean exactly? Here’s a breakdown straight from the Epic Blog:


Nanite provides highly-detailed architectural geometry. Specifically, buildings are rendered from millions of polygons in real time, and each brick, stone, wood plank, and wall trim is modeled. Natural landscapes are highly-detailed too. Individual trees have around 300,000 polygons, and each stone, flower, and blade of grass is modeled.


Lumen reflections provide high-quality ray traced reflections on glossy materials and water.

Also, Lumen provides real-time global illumination at 60 FPS. You’ll see beautiful interior spaces with bounce lighting, plus characters reacting to the lighting of their surroundings. (For example, red rugs may bounce red light onto your Outfit.) Also, Outfits that have emissive (a.k.a. glowing) qualities will scatter light on nearby objects and surfaces.

Virtual shadow maps

Virtual Shadow Maps allow for highly detailed shadowing. Each brick, leaf, and modeled detail will cast a shadow, and character self-shadowing is extremely accurate. This means that things like hats and other small details on characters will also cast shadows.

Temporal Super Resolution (TSR)

Temporal Super Resolution is an upgrade over Temporal Anti-Aliasing in Fortnite, and allows for high-quality visuals at a high framerate.

What does all this mean for you, the player? It means if you’re playing on an especially tip-top gaming PC, or on a current-gen console like the PlayStation 5 or Xbox Series X, Fortnite Chapter 4 is going to look absolutely gorgeous (and provide PC players with some fresh visual options to turn off in the search for ever higher frame rates).

A new island

Based on the season title ‘Fracture’, I had originally expected Epic Games to split Fortnite Chapter 4 into two islands, one for each of its Build and Zero Build gameplay modes. One of Chapter 3’s biggest additions was the Zero Build mode, which removed Fortnite‘s signature building mechanic to create a more traditional shooter experience. The gamble paid off, bringing loads of new and returning players to the game. However, one of Chapter 3’s greatest failings was that its map was not constructed with the Zero Build game type in mind. It seems this new island attempts to bridge that gap.

New POIs

With a new map comes new POIs, some of which are themed around the licensed characters appearing this season. These include the rustic village of Anvil Square, where you’ll find Geralt, and Brutal Bastion, where you’ll find Doom Guy. Frenzy Fields also rebuilds the map’s usually central farmland.

Territory control

A new map mechanic for this season is Territory Control. If your squad hangs around a given POI’s capture point long enough, you’ll eventually take it as claimed territory. The POI will then be decked out in your team’s banners, and the first squad to take the area will get a big loot reward. This will obviously create new opportunities for squads lying in ambush to try to jump you. An interesting new wrinkle and one that aims to keep people moving from POI to POI in hopes of a big payday. Keen to see how this one shakes out.

Getting around

Fortnite Chapter 4 introduces both hurdling and motorcycle mechanics to the island. Hurdling is the latest on-foot upgrade for traversal, following on from the addition of sprinting, mantling and sliding in Chapter 3. Hurdling is accomplished by sprinting at a low wall. Approached at speed, your character will simply leap over the wall and continue their forward sprint. A basic mechanic, you could argue, and true enough. It’s wild that Fortnite became one of the biggest games in the world without this stuff.

And then there’s the motorbikes. Just like Chapter 3’s introduction of rope swinging via the Spider-Man Gauntlet mythic item, Chapter 4 introduces motorbikes as a new way of getting around the island. The turbocharged version of last season’s animal riding mechanic, bikes now accompany cars as a fuel-consuming method of quickly covering large amounts of ground. Like the cars already scattered around the island, you can use the bikes to perform aerial tricks to complete challenges and gain extra XP.

Reality augments

One of the new features for Chapter 4 are reality augments. Reality augments special power-ups applied over the course of the match. At certain intervals, you’ll be given the choice between randomly selected reality augments. The longer you survive in any given match, the more reality augments you’ll accrue. It might be easier to think of it a bit like levelling up your heroes in a MOBA, except that, instead of knowing which new move options will appear at certain levels, you get random pulls from a larger pool.

Some of these augments relate to specific ammo types, like Light Fingers, which makes all your Light Ammo weapons reload faster. Others augment your character (Soaring Sprints, which gives you moon physics) or the way they interact with the environment (Supercharged, which puts infinite fuel in any vehicles you drive).

Reality augments are clearly another attempt by Epic to close the skill gap between players and ensure a wider spread of Victory Royales between newer players and the long-time sweatlords alike.

New weapons

As with any new season of Fortnite, Chapter 4 Season 1 introduces a slate of new weapons. Let’s take a look at some of the more interesting examples.

Ex-Caliber Rifle

Semi-automatic rifle that fires lancing blades at your opponent that then detonate after a few moments.

Thunder Shotgun

Shotgun that fires an automatic double-tap. Makes a lot of noise, but has phenomenal stopping power if you can get both hits to connect. You’ll want to stock up on ammo, though — expending two shots every time you fire it will chew up your reserves very quickly.

Characters Coming This Season

There’s a lot. Some new Marvel stuff, some YouTube stuff (??) and some video game stuff!

Doom Guy

fortnite chapter 4
Image: Epic Games

Geralt of Rivia

fortnite chapter 4
Image: Epic Games

Hulk on a tiny bike

fortnite chapter 4
Image: Epic Games

Mr Beast

Fortnite Chapter 4, Season 1 is out now on PlayStation and Xbox platforms, PC, Nintendo Switch, and Android devices.

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