Baller and Drum Gun nerfed, new assault rifle added in Fortnite patch

Steven R. May 15, 2019

The first major update of Fortnite Season 9 is here, and there is a lot to talk about.

Version 9.01 has arrived and brings a number of intriguing changes to the game’s battle royale mode. Some nerfs called for by pro players have arrived alongside a new weapon.

The biggest change is the introduction of the Tactical Assault Rifle. The weapon is available in rare, legendary, and epic varieties with damage starting at 22. It boasts a higher rate of fire than other assault rifle weapons and has a spread that makes it a strong option for close and mid-range battles, but it lacks the long-range accuracy of its peers.

With the addition of the Tactical Assault Rifle, the Compact SMG has been thrown into the vault. The weapon inspired by the P90 was removed due to the overabundance of guns that fill the niche of being potent in close quarters while also boasting a high rate of fire.

Those changes come alongside two nerfs that are sure to delight top Fortnite competitors.

The heavily panned Baller vehicle has received yet another nerf, with its health being dropped from 200 to 150. This is the latest move by Epic to limit the Baller’s usefulness outside of its incredible mobility. Though its offensive capabilities are almost nonexistent at this point, its health pool still offered strong defensive value. The vehicle still does allow players to roll and swing across the map, but no longer functionally doubles their health pool.

Right next to the Baller is the Drum Gun. The recently unvaulted SMG drew the ire of many players for its high damage, high rate of fire, and incredible ammo capacity. Though the gun still boasts the latter two benefits, its DPS has been significantly reduced, with shots doing four less damage for each level of rarity.

The last big tweak that is sure to delight players at all levels are some quality of life changes to Slipstreams.

The chutes that allow players to glide around the map have been made easier to access with the new option to construct buildings directly into them, removing the need for risky leaps of faith. Players already in the Slipstream will break through any buildings they encounter, preventing people from blocking off access. Finally, Slipstreams are disabled after phase five to ensure players are not mistakenly sucked outside the safe zone in the later stages of games.

The patch also brings some changes to Creative and PVE modes. Another round of props have been added to Creative alongside the Tactical Assault Rifle, while a new hero and simulation have been added to PVE.

The full list of changes can be found on the official Fortnite website.