Fortnite gets a lot of updates due Epic Games’ dedication to the craft and their unwavering support for the community, but not everything always works out. Audio design and footsteps are among these issues.
It’s no secret that the footstep sounds in Fortnite have had a wild development cycle. Fixes on audio volume, distance, occulusion, and many other factor have been implemented. While the steps can now be heard better than at Fortnite’s launch, they still present a problem.
Popular Twitch streamer, former CoD World League caster, and Fortnite player Courage commented on the current state of footstep audio in Fortnite. He isn’t happy with the situation.
It’s actually pretty nuts with how many good things Epic has done for the game that they still can’t get footstep audio right.— Jack "CouRage" Dunlop (@CouRageJD) March 13, 2019
I’ve played 9,000+ games and still couldn’t tell you if the enemy is above, below, or same level as me.
The problems stem from the difficulty to hear opponent’s elevation in relation to the player. At times, an enemy above you can sound like they are below you or vice-versa.
Diagonal sounds when players are on different levels, but not directly above/below each other can warp sounds too. This creates the illusion that the sound is coming from the same level/floor as the player.
These sound issues reach a fever pitch when Fortnite is played between two experienced players. Split second decisions need to be made based the opponents position and the game’s footstep audio can radically alter gameplay outcomes.
Imagine if you are build-fighting an opponent and you swear you hear him build above you. You decide to try to trick them out by editing downward and build another tower/ramp up to the opponent.
Then it turns out the game’s audio messed up and the enemy shoots you as you edit downwards. This type of audio glitching is annoying to put it mildly.
We hope Epic Games is working on improving the footstep audio to become more predictable. The fix is much needed as both casual and competitive players need accurate audio data to make plays. A patch for this would be important before the Fortnite World Cup events start later this year.