Barely a week after the addition of the last new item, the Port-a-Fort, Fortnite Battle Royale has announced that a new weapon will be coming to the game: a Light Machine Gun.
A new addition will come as little surprise to those familiar with Epic Games' regular updates to their Battle Royale phenomenon, intended to constantly vary the metagame and keep their immense player base coming back for more. Fortnite players can generally expect game-changing new items at least every few weeks, with each addition bringing brand new strategies to the game, such as last month's Guided Missile Launcher bringing the ability to ride your own rockets.
On the game's news tab, the Light Machine Gun is described as having "a fast rate of fire, large magazine, and slow reload." Though the background picture is green, it's likely this color choice is arbitrary, with the actual weapon coming in multiple rarities similar to assault rifles, shotguns, and snipers.
It's currently unknown what ammunition type will be used in the Light Machine Gun, but many players are speculating that it will use medium ammo based on the fact that heavy ammo is too rare for a gun with a high fire rate, and using light ammo would make the Light Machine Gun function too similarly to the current Minigun.
The addition of the Light Machine Gun likely means we'll soon see the removal of a current weapon from the game. As Epic Games once explained on Reddit:
“As we add more weapons, consumables, and other item types, we want to make sure that the balance of itemization isn’t ruined. Expect more items to be released (and likewise vaulted!) in the future. And of course, items will often come back out of the Vault when the timing is right.”
While it's unclear which weapon (if any) will be "vaulted" by Epic Games to make room for the Light Machine Gun, the lesser used weapons are usually the ones to go, making the Crossbow, Minigun, and Revolver all possible targets for removal.
The Light Machine Gun's high fire rate and ammo capacity do make it seem similar to the Minigun at first glance, but the fact that the new weapon will need to be reloaded is very telling. As a result, it's possible that the Light Machine Gun will have better damage and accuracy than the Minigun, making it very valuable for late-game combat.
People generally avoid the Minigun because, although it can destroy buildings quickly, firing it has a delay and leaves the player out in the open. With a Light Machine Gun, players may effectively possess all the benefits of the Minigun's large ammo capacity, with none of the drawbacks of low damage and accuracy.
The Light Machine Gun will be added to the game within a week, so only time will tell if it becomes the new must-have weapon for Fortnite's endgame.
Fortnite Battle Royale is free to play now on PC, PS4, Xbox One, and Mobile.