Season 6 of Fortnite brought more than just new skins, Shadow Stones, and an updated battle royale map. It also updated one of the most important tools players have in their arsenal for winning matches: Audio.
The audio has always been a key aspect of Fortnite, and Epic Games continues to push the limits of what can be achieved with sound. For Season 6, Epic Games addressed one concern that players had for a while, the sound of footsteps. Listening out for footsteps in Fortnite is a key way to pinpoint the location of enemy players when they’re in close proximity to you and now, thanks to Season 6, the contrast between footsteps has been made clearer.
Footsteps that are above the player will sound higher in pitch while footsteps below you will sound lower in pitch, as if they are coming from a basement. To further improve and cement footsteps as an important callout, the sound of footsteps that are blocked by terrain and other items have also been increased. Now, when someone is behind a rock or other structure, their movement will be easier to hear, though having a good headset will still be critical.
This is why a headset like the Stealth 700 can vastly improve your chances of claiming victory. The Stealth 700 offers DTS Headphone:X Surround Sound Technology, allowing you to accurately locate your enemy using audio cues alone. The unique 7.1 channel soundstage that encompasses your head is made all the more clearer thanks to the 50mm speakers, letting the audio of footsteps on the floor above you cut through the cacophony of gunfire happening around you.
The glider has also received a few interesting improvements in the most recent Fortnite update. The overall volume of the glider has been increased, allowing you to hear the open and close sounds of a glider from further away. For those that manage to rush to the ground first, this will be an important audio cue to listen out for as you’re looting. Being able to hear a glider open or close while you’re focused on reaching that hidden chest can mean the difference between being snuck upon and knocked out of the game, or positioning yourself to better attack the slow lander.
For all the audiophiles out there, Epic Games has also added a Doppler effect to the glider – an incredible detail that adds a whole lot of realism to how sound moves in a 3D space. How this works in-game will be interesting for those who have a keen ear. As a glider is approaching you, the sounds it makes will compress closer together, almost sounding like it’s happening all at once, but then as it passes by, the sounds will space out. The patch notes refer to it as a “car passing by” effect, almost as if you’re standing beside a racetrack and hearing the car approaching rapidly and then having the sound slowly seep away.
Finally, Fortnite will be receiving some finer audio improvements during Season 6. As it stands, players can fling themselves through the air using a vast array of items, but there aren’t a lot of audio cues to tell you how the enemy player is moving about. Epic Games seeks to address these in-air movements by adding audio tells that allows players to gather more clues from the environment while in the thick of battle.
Fortnite continues to go from strength to strength, and the attention to detail that Epic Games is showing with the sound design reaffirms that fact. We here at Turtle Beach love it when developers infuse their games with incredible audio choices, as it really does bring life to each world that we explore. Don’t you agree?