The pump shotgun in Fortnite has been a contentious subject since the title first launched its battle royale mode. From inconsistent damage to fast switching between multiple shotguns, there is the sense that Fortnite’s rise and fall as a competitive experience rests with how developer Epic Games handles the weapon.
While Epic Games has already made numerous tweaks to pump shotguns it appears the studio is not done. According to Design Lead Eric Williamson, pump shotguns will be getting a slight buff to equip time (a lowering of the time it takes to equip a pump shotgun) in update 5.3, which is slated to launch later this week.
Regarding shotgun equip times: current thinking is to reduce Pump Shotgun equip time slightly in update 5.30 next week. Other shotguns will remain unchanged for now
— Eric Williamson (@erwil9) August 14, 2018
It seems Epic’s goal is to try to mirror the sensation of “double pumping” without fully bringing the feature back. By lowering the equip time, Fortnite players should be able to switch to a pump shotgun and fire slightly faster than they did before. How fast exactly that will be is unclear; we will have to wait until update 5.3 to find out the specifics.
As one might expect, there is a heated debate among the Fortnite community as to how best to accommodate pump shotguns. Some would rather that Epic Games go back to double pumping, since it helps balance out the inconsistent damage of the weapon type. Obviously, if Epic Games could help make pump shotgun damage consistent then double wielding wouldn’t be necessary, but that doesn’t seem to be the case. The best the developer has been able to do is give players hit markers to show them how many shotgun pellets actually hit an opponent. But even then it’s still possible to tag an opponent point blank with a pump shotgun and register minimal damage.
Where pump shotguns once were the meta of Fortnite play, now many opt for the heavy or tactical shotgun. But most favor SMGs or the drum machine guns now for their fast firing rate and consistency.
Whether Epic Games will be able to get pump shotguns to a place that players feel comfortable enough relying on them is yet to be determined but at the very least changes are being made. We’ll see if anything meaningful comes of this latest tweak.
Fortnite is available now for iOS, PC, PS4, Switch, and Xbox One.