Fortnite players have discovered that playing on a more powerful device gives players a noticeable competitive advantage.
Over on Reddit, Fortnite fans have been discussing the possibility that playing the game at 60 FPS rather than 30 FPS actually allows you to do more damage in identical scenarios. The theory is that the higher frame rates also allow you to achieve a higher maximum fire rate on your gun. This means that a 60 FPS player firing at a 30 FPS player with identical weapons will be able to do more damage than the other player can possibly do.
While the 30 FPS mark isn’t a huge deal for PC players (unless they are playing on a lower end computer) it is a big deal for Nintendo Switch players competing against gamers on other devices. Because the Switch doesn’t allow you to go over 30 FPS, there’s no real way to get around the frame rate drop-off and the disadvantages it causes. Considering that Epic has gone out of their way to hype Fortnite‘s cross-play features, that’s kind of a noticeable oversight.
Eurogamer tested this theory and found that it’s mostly true. While playing on the Switch, it took them 27.52 seconds to shoot down a wall with a rifle. On a 60 FPS set-up, it took them 26.08 to shoot down the same wall with the same weapon. That might not sound like a huge difference, but it’s just big enough to ensure that the 60 FPS player enters ever fight with a damage advantage.
Thankfully, it doesn’t sound like this is going to be a problem for long. Epic has already announced that they intend to investigate and fix this problem via a patch. While there’s no word on when this patch will hit, the fact that they formally acknowledged the problem seemingly confirms that it exists and is significant enough to warrant a fix.
The upshot is that you might actually be able to blame your Fortnite loss on your Nintendo Switch and not sound entirely bitter. In any case, we doubt that this glitch is going to significantly impact Fortnite‘s impressive bottom line or Epic’s attempts to beat Steam at its own game.
Matthew Byrd is a staff writer for Den of Geek. He spends most of his days trying to pitch deep-dive analytical pieces about Killer Klowns From Outer Space to an increasingly perturbed series of editors. You can read more of his work here or find him on Twitter at @SilverTuna014.