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Fortnite's new 50v50 mode takes to the skies

Another variation of Fortnite Battle Royale‘s megamurdering 50v50 event mode has arrived in today’s patch, and it’s a good’un. The “Soaring 50’s” limited time mode sends 50v50 airborne by letting players redeploy their glider when in mid-air, adding a huge amount of mobility to help get around and bust through the vast forts that sprawl across the landscape when dozens of players start building together. The further Fortnite gets from Plunkbat, the more I like it – and I like these high-flying megafights.

Soaring 50’s [look, it’s their official poor punctuation – ed.] arrived with patch v5.21 this morning. As with earlier modes, it sorts players onto teams of 50 (with communication across squads of four, if you want) and scatters around enough loot, ammo, and building materials for everyone. What makes this special is that players can deploy their glider any time they’re falling from a height of at least ten metres, making everyone far more mobile as we leap of buildings, cliffs, ramps, and forts and zip around. Typically, players can only whip their gliders back out when launching off special items. Impulse Grenades, Bounce Pads, and Launch Pads spawn at an increased rate to help you launch yourself too.

This all leads to players leaping and soaring across the map as they loot and fight. 50v50 always has big exciting scraps, especially around the final circle, but letting people quickly cross the no man’s land adds a nice bit of spice. I still don’t much enjoy Fortnite Battle Royale but I do like this, because the pace and scale of the action makes Fortnite feel its own thing rather than a bland Plunkbat with bad shooting and pop-up sheds. Matches have a good pace too, with all I’ve played ending after 11 minutes.

The final circle, which is visible on the map from the start, ends up a great battleground of big forts going up and down all over. Click this to watch from one of my rounds:

Version 5.21 has also added a new weapon, the Heavy Sniper Rifle, a Barrett M82-lookin’ nasty which is great at punching through buildings as well as faces. It’s still weird that this wacky cartoon world of vikings, aliens, art thieves, superheroes, and lifeguards leans so hard on real-world weapon designs.

Accompanying the Heavy Sniper is a new version of the “Sniper Shootout” LTM, where it’s all snipers all the time. Now the Heavy Sniper is here, Scoped Assault Rifles are removed from the mode.

See the v5.21 patch notes for more on everything.

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Alice O'Connor

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When not writing news, Alice may be found in the sea.

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