Fortnite and its developer, Epic Games, are no strangers to controversy. Over the last few months, they’ve had to deal with hackers selling accounts; a complex and organized money laundering scheme involving V-Bucks, Fortnite’s in-game currency; and, of course, lawsuits pertaining to allegedly stolen dances.
Unfortunately, players have discovered that Fortnite and its biggest battle royale competitor, PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds, share a much more technical problem. It appears that frame rate, long recognized as a component in a game’s presentation that basically impacts how smooth the picture looks and how responsive the controls are, plays a pivotal role in how fast your gun fires. In other words, playing with a higher frame rate than your opponents means you can shoot faster than them too.
This issue has been thoroughly tested by a number of websites and players, including YouTuber WackyJacky101, who reported last week on the lower frame rate issues on PUBG. They’ve determined that it has something to do with the Unreal Engine—which both games run on. However, this issue is much more concerning to Fortnite players, considering the game’s full cross-platform functionality.
For example, players on the Nintendo Switch or their mobile devices will find themselves at a considerable disadvantage against console players, where the frame rates are 30 frames per second (fps) and 60 fps, respectively. PC players could find themselves at an even greater advantage, as the frame rate can climb much higher than the 60 fps threshold.
The PC advantage, furthered
If this weren’t troubling enough, MutuTutu on Reddit provided more details on this issue in PUBG. Apparently, there’s more of a connection between fire rate and frame rate than WackyJacky101 initially described: the way your frame rate and fire rate sync up has a noticeable impact on both recoil and maximum fire rate.
By locking the frame rate at different values for different guns (on PC), fire rate can improve by up to 10% while recoil becomes noticeably more consistent. As a result of this, PUBG players have started using shortcuts to quickly change their locked frame rate based on what gun they’re using.
Of course, not everyone is so tech-savvy that they can quickly and consistently change their frame rate to an appropriate level (especially non-PC players). Fortunately, Fortnite’s official Twitter made it clear that they’re at least aware of the issue, and are looking for fixes. Hopefully they can find a solution before too long, and it can be implemented in both of the popular battle royale games.