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Epic Games issues update on upcoming Season 9 audio improvements

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Audio in video games is any extremely difficult art and Epic Games has been hard at work trying solve Fortnite’s sound related issues. They’ve released a new update post about upcoming audio improvements.

As many of you know, audio quality in Fortnite isn’t the greatest. Battle Royale games as a whole feature some of the worst sound setups in the industry. Why? It’s due to the extremely high number of differing audio queues and cases.

But, just because something is hard doesn’t mean it cannot be done. Epic Games is hoping to improve audio quality with upcoming Season 9 improvements.

Season 9 Audio Improvements

Epic Games has been talking about audio updates for a few weeks now. This is in response to players becoming fed up with the poor quality of end-game fights. This is more prevalent in Fortnite esports, but also affects casual Fortnite in major ways.

On May 6th, Epic took to Reddit to release a more detailed view of the current audio improvements in the works.

‘Hello all,

We hope you all enjoy the release of Season 9, it was a blast for us to work on. Thanks for all the Fortnite audio quality feedback in the recent 8.5 release thread, it’s much appreciated. As always, please feel free to point out areas of audio improvement and bugs to us in the thread; we’ll be reading and investigating what the community shares and report what we’re working on. Here’s an overview of the Season 9 audio improvements and roadmap:’

Release 9.0 Audio fixes and updates:

  • Switch audio dropout issues fixed.
  • Better tactical audio when inside player-built structures:
    • Enemy Pickaxe impact within ~one building tile radius has new, louder sound.
    • Wallbreak by enemy close/behind player much clearer/louder.
  • Explosion audio improvements- shorter, higher dynamic range sounds that will make explosion audio clearer and punchier.

Release 9.0 open audio issues:

  • Fix for PC audio device swap issues; we are planning to have this for the 9.1 release.

What we’re working on for the upcoming season:

  • Fix for footstep sounds on the edge of structures gives audio as if you’re walking on the ground.
  • Better hear the approach of enemy players outside player-built structures.
  • Better audio tells for jump/landing:
    • Jump tell audio added (so bunny-hopping isn’t as noiseless).
    • Clearer landing sound detection.
  • Improvements to issues of sounds dropping outside of player FOV.
  • Improvement of close versus distant player gliding sounds, to help clarify distance of gliding enemies.
  • Longer sounds properly playing during Replays.
  • Improved differentiation of teammate verus enemy audio.
  • Internal testing of binaural/HRTF solution that will be a great help to headphone players, as well as other spatialization improvements.

As a reminder, the best way to inform us of your bugs is following the below format:

  • replay URL
  • time code of issue
  • display name of player followed via gameplay view
  • description of issue

What does this all mean?

Epic Game’s audio team shows their dedication with weekly news

There’s a lot of information here to dissect. The top three bullet points are most important for right now as they release with Season 9.

The addition of ‘better tactical audio’ will be huge for players that commonly engage in hectic, multi team fights. Pickaxe sounds for enemies have been weirdly quiet which meant that players could get snuck up on.

Season 9 will fix this and allow for some better/louder audio queues for nearby pickaxes.

As for the future improvements, the most important ones to look forward to are the HRTF/biaural upgrades, improved glider sounds, bunny hopping nerfs, and differentiation of teammate vs. enemy sound.

Yonder’s waiting for Epic’s audio improvements intently

Many of the fixes here are simple band-aids and workarounds to the core problem. Current audio technology is simply not adequate for high-end gaming. Biaural and HRTF solutions are the most effective methods of long term fixes for the game’s audio.

One other possible future audio improvement could come in the form of ray-tracing. This has not been mentioned by Epic Games yet, but the tech for ray-tracing audio is beginning to be implemented into modern titles.

You may have heard of ray-tracing for visual aspects of games, but the same tech can be used for audio with a much reduced resource cost. Essentially, this can help game developers create in-game audio that naturally bounces off or penetrates surfaces. We’ll see if Epic intends to use this to their advantage.

Ray-tracing requires specific hardware to run and current gen consoles could not use these upgrades. GTX and RTX cards are among the only ray-tracing hardware solutions available, but new Radeon cards and next-gen consoles are just around the corner.

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5 updated Fortnite Zone Wars codes you have to try

Want to try out some of the newest Fortnite Zone wars maps? Take a look at these five options here.

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Want to try out some of the Fortnite Chapter 2 Zone Wars maps? Take a look at these five options here.

Zone Wars is one of the most popular Creative Mode map genres in Fortnite – so much so that Epic included a Zone Wars playlist during Chapter 2.

We probably won’t see another official Zone Wars lineup while Chapter 2 is still fresh, but here are five updated map codes for some of the best Fortnite Chapter 2 Zone Wars maps for your Playground Fill matches.

Make sure to get to the Hub as fast as you can so you can avoid the Red vs. Blue battle.

Realistic Solos (XA)(Pack 1): 1234-0621-9943

Realistic Solos (XA)(Pack 1) by Prettyboy may not have “zone wars” in the name, but it is an authentic competitive experience that can get intense quickly. Two to 16 players spawn in random locations across various well-crafted maps. With randomized loadouts, players race to be the last one standing.

Nuketown 2025 Zone Wars: 1149-4422-7888

Nuketown 2025 zone wars by Clapzfn is more of a novelty than anything. It’s very cool to revisit this highly detailed recreation of a Call of Duty classic. Some of the buildings have invisible barriers at the top, and the storm always pushes to the center of the map. Regardless, it’s a ton of fun to be the last player standing in Nuke Town.

Desert Zone Wars Chapter 2: 1811-9621-1739

Those who have been playing zone wars maps for a long time are probably familiar with Jotapegame’s desert zone wars maps. However, this is the latest installment in the series that incorporates the changes made in Chapter 2. Enjoy the classic desert-themed zone wars with modern weapons and items.

Area 51 Alien Zone Wars: 9843-7754-8806

Area 51 Zone Wars by Dropnite is one of the most aesthetically pleasing zone wars maps available. From the way it spawns players in to all of the decorative pieces, it really makes you feel like you’re in Area 51. It also offers a fantastic competitive experience that’s sure to get players ready for the final moments of FNCS tournaments.

50 Player Zonewars: 6167-1882-6710

50 Player Zonewars is one of the most intense creative maps once the lobby is full. The loot pool changes regularly to match Arena Mode, and there are plenty of different maps. For the higher skill tourneys that have 50 or more people in the endgame, this mode is perfect for realistic practice.

Leave us some codes in the comments if we missed your favorite Fortnite Chapter 2 Zone Wars maps!

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Battle Royale

Best Prop Hunt maps available to play now in Fortnite

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Prop Hunt has long been part of collective gaming culture. The mode has finally arrived in Fortnite and it looks to be a whole lot of fun!

Due to some mishaps on the part of Epic, Fortnite has been suffering some negative strides. In order to switch things back around, the devs need a successive streak of victories.

Prop Hunt has been a much asked for ‘just for fun’ mode and Epic is now delivering. This, along with great v9.30 changes, could really bring back a lot of excitement for Fortnite!

Prop Hunt playable now in Fortnite

Fortnite’s Creative mode is a stirring pot of creative genius and remarkable talents. For the lucky few chosen by Epic, the creations made in Creative become legendary adventures played by millions.

Prop Hunt has been brought to life by a team of talented Creative creators. The team at StrayKite managed to create a replica of the classic experience that plays like a dream.

Prop Hunt now in Fortnite! – via Epic Games

The mode is available to play now in Creative & Playground lobbies.

The basic rules of Prop Hunt are as follows:

  • Props are given a set amount of time to hide before Seekers try to find them
  • Each Prop can switch between differing objects a certain amount of times
  • Seekers try to find all the Props before the time limit is reached. If they manage to do so, the Seekers win.
  • If all Props are not found, the Props win.

Epic Games has not given any end-date for the Prop Hunt island feature, but the prop hunt mode can always be played from here on out. This can be done by using the Island Code provided by Epic (6069-9263-9110).

Using the Creative mode’s configuration settings, you can also create custom Prop Hunt game types. This includes longer Seeker time limits, stricter win conditions, banned props, and more. More options will be added for the mode in the future.

Best Prop Hunt island codes 2021

Island NameIsland CodeCreator
Prop Hunt: Modern Mall1679-1165-5282Regirom
Prop Hunt: Cozy Cafe8851-5874-9250Regirom
Lazer Tag Prop Hunt4313-9914-2759Puzzler
Prop Hunt: Battle Pass Edition9565-6442-7019Shride
Mall Prop Hunt!7666-6510-5877Gamerzhits
Prop Hunt Infinite7263-1478-7522Puzzler
Prop Hunt: The Simpsons3913-1259-2687Marablind
Asteroid Arcade (Prop Hunt1534-1221-2242SHAVERMAN46
Stranger Things Prop Hunt7011-8363-9120Mr_glaisternator
The Office Prop Hunt3006-8634-9197Mr_glaisternator
Prop Hunt With Abilities9249-3264-0093TeamUnite
Prophunt: Esports Villa5097-8380-0119H4llover4ter
Silhouette Prop Hunt5176-4146-5073ChannelFN
Swimming Pool Prop Hunt3487-1374-0131Fortniteart
Warlock’s Grave Prop Hunt6180-5637-0525Shinohara

Happy hunting!

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Battle Royale

Fortnite Battle Lab mode removed in latest update (Updated May 4)

Fortnite’s Battle Lab mode has disappeared from the mode select screen and Epic Games has made no comment on where the mode went.

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Fortnite Battle Labs Mode Art

Fortnite’s Battle Lab mode has been disabled in the v16.30 patch, and fans aren’t happy with its removal.

UPDATE: The Battle Labs mode has been turned back on as of May 4th, 2021.

Battle Lab was added in December of 2019 close to the start of Fortnite Chapter 2. This core game mode replaced the Playground mode which allowed players to explore The Island alone or with friends.

While Playground was mostly a vanilla battle royale experience, Battle Lab allowed players to set their own rules and change loot pools. Video editors would use Battle Lab to produce high-quality content, and it also allowed younger players to enjoy the game without allowing them to play with strangers.

Fortnite Mode Select Screen

However, Fortnite’s Battle Lab mode has seemingly disappeared in the latest update without any word from Fortnite or Epic Games. This has led to an outcry from fans on Twitter who are asking for the game mode to be reinstated.

Downtime for the Fortnite v16.30 started at 4 a.m. EST on April 27, and shortly after the servers came back online players started to notice Battle Lab was missing. The Fortnite Status Twitter made various posts noting the changes made in the update, but Battle Lab wasn’t mentioned a single time.

Over the past 24 hours, Fortnite Status has also acknowledged various bug fixes and server issues. While it remains unknown whether Fortnite’s Battle Lab mode was removed by accident, the lack of acknowledgment makes it seem as if it were removed intentionally.

The removal of Battle Lab won’t affect the majority of Fortnite’s player base, it will have an impact on content creators. As stated by Frenzy2nd on Twitter, it would be ideal for Fortnite to let players know what its plans are for the future of Battle Lab.

In the meantime, there are still plenty of modes available for players to enjoy. These include the new Free For All Arena mode, One Shot duos, and an assortment of featured Creative modes. Stay tuned for the latest information regarding Fortnite’s Battle Lab mode.

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