Connect with us

Original Content

Where are the promised Season 9 HRTF Fortnite audio improvements?

Published

on

Epic Games deployed a few waves of audio improvements into Fortnite during the early stages of Season 9, but have been oddly quiet on the larger HRTF updates. What has happened to these promised upgrades?

Audio in Fortnite has been an uphill battle from the beginning for Epic Games. Not only does Battle Royale inherently demand greater auditory accuracy than other games, Unreal Engine seems to struggle with delivering this level of fidelity.

Before Season 9 began, Epic provided the community with a long list of updates they’d get to before the end of the season. While some of the band-aid solutions have been implemented, where are the fundamental upgrades like HRTF? Let’s take a look at how long it’s been.

HRTF (Head-related transfer function) is an audio solution which seeks to better replicate how humans hear directional audio. For a further explanation, please check out the third section of this article.

Epic promises Season 9 audio improvements in May

Good effort, but where’s the rest? – via Epic Games

Back in May 2019, Epic put out an extensive Reddit post that detailed changes they would be making to Fortnite’s audio. Many professional players and influencers had complained about the poor quality of audio.

The Reddit post included a list of improvements ranging from small patches to extensive reforms/additions. The list’s main points were better ‘tactical’ audio, clearer landing sounds, HRTF, and more. For a full list, please refer to the May 6 article.

Epic then delivered on some of these promises in the Season’s patches. For example, patch v9.10 included a majority of the original list. Epic then released smaller audio updates in later patches. While we are glad to have a better audio experience than Season 8, these solutions amount to little more than band-aids.

The key solution which Epic stated to be working on was the binaural/HRTF (Head-related transfer function) upgrade. But what has happened to this technology in the past month?

What happened to the Fortnite binaural/HRTF update?

Now, before lay into this topic, we want to emphasize the fact that game development is an extremely difficult task. Unlike many other tech jobs, it’s a seamless blend of art and science that involves a human element with design choices and natural errors. We’re critical of the lack of these updates, but we understand the hardships of game design.

Epic Games last mentioned HRTF in June when DanDaDaDanDan replied to a player’s complaint.

From there on out, we haven’t heard anything on this front. We don’t believe that Epic Games has simply given up on creating a HRTF solution, but the silence has us worried.

The audio upgrade would have signicantly improved the quality of Fortnite esports, but the Fortnite World Cup is presumably too close for that to happen. Casual players would also benefit from improved audio accuracy.

But what do HRTF tech improvements really mean for players in a gameplay sense? Let us try to explain the advantages.

So…what is HRTF and why do we want it in Fortnite?

How are we supposed to listen DJ Yonder’s sick beats without HRTF?

Alright, so…HRTF audio solutions. Epic Games mentioned this in the initial list of Season 9 updates. Instead of small fixes or patches, this would constitute an entirely new system upgrade to Fortnite’s structure.

HRTF (Head-related transfer function) is an audio technology that tries to better replicate how we would hear sounds in real life. Regular surround sound (7.1) can’t fully capture the intricacies of human hearing, but it’s good enough for most situations. For Battle Royale games (or tactical shooters), you need something a little more robust.

How many times have you heard a streamer or friend say ‘I thought he has to the left of me, not the right!’ or something similar? It’s not their fault.

When we hear something drop in real life, we hear it with both ears. The fact that the rightward drop’s sound is quieter in the left ear is just as important as hearing it more loudly on the right ear. HRTF seeks to accurately measure the correct difference in volume for each ear to help you pin-point the location of the sound’s origin.

This is what HRTF seeks to simulate better than regular surround sound. And no, you won’t need to buy a new headset to take advantage of this tech (as long as you have a modern headset).

Do you think we’ll see these promised solutions in Season 10 or has Epic abandoned this project due to time constraints elsewhere? Only time will tell that truth, but we hope to see this key improvement finally come to Fortnite in the near future.

Guides

Fortnite split-screen: how to play with friends

Epic introduced the ability to play split-screen Fortnite in Chapter 2 Season 1. Here’s how to enable the setting.

Published

on

Epic introduced the ability to play split-screen Fortnite back in Chapter 2 Season 1. Here’s how to enable it so you can play locally with a friend.

Fortnite has always had a focus on playing with friends, but that always meant you had to play online. Even if you were in the same house as your friend or family member, the two of you had to play on two separate devices.

This changed back in the v11.30 update in Chapter 2 Season 1. Epic introduced split screen capabilities on consoles for the first time. It wasn’t perfect when it first came out, but it’s since gotten a lot better.

How to use the Fortnite console split-screen feature

Initiating split-screen is simple. All you have to do is connect two controllers to your Xbox or PlayStation. Split-screen still isn’t available on mobile, PC, or Nintendo Switch. Here are the steps you need to follow:

  1. Start Fortnite
  2. Connect a second controller to the console and turn it on
  3. Hit ‘Main Menu’
  4. Player 1 will need to invite Player 2 with their Epic account
  5. Player 2 will need to sign into their account
  6. Player 2 will join and split-screen will automatically initiate

You can even save another player’s information on another account on your console, making split-screen easier and quicker to complete.

The feature still isn’t perfect and doesn’t replace the feeling of playing online. You’ll only have access to half of your screen, so you’re going to miss a few things that normal players will see. Still, playing split-screen is far more preferable than switching off with your friend or family member game after game. Enjoy!

Image Credit: Epic Games/u/SmonkYT

Continue Reading

Creative

Fortnite Creative Mode could be getting a huge expansion

Fortnite Creative Mode could bring a massive update to truly simulate end-game scenarios, according to a recent leak.

Published

on

Fortnite Creative Mode could bring a massive update to truly simulate end-game scenarios.

Creative Mode was one of the most innovative additions that Epic has made to Fortnite. You don’t even have to play the base game mode to enjoy Fortnite, anymore. You can play Search and Destroy, deathruns, Zone Wars, Trivia, boxfights, and a lot more.

Competitive Fortnite players have taken to Creative Mode the most. Zone Wars gives you a simulated end-game and boxfights let you practice the most important element of high-level competitive play.

Fortnite Creative beta

Over a year ago, way back in, Fortnite v12.10, files were added to the game that we assumed would bring a massive change to Creative Mode. According to the game files, Creative can now support up to 50 players.

A year after we first heard the news about an updated Creative Beta, we still have yet to see this in practice. Since it’s been so long, many players forgot that it was even on the horizon.

After the v15.50 update, however, data miners found some new files that relate to the Creative Mode expansion. According to them, Epic are testing a beta of Creative that should support 50 players.

Such a change would be a massive step for the game. You could truly play a mini-BR game with your friends if this change went through. YouTube creators and streamers could also manage private matches a lot easier, as there’s no chance of a code leak or an unwanted intruder.

The best part of this additional player count is the ability to truly simulate competitive end-game situations. Zone Wars is good practice for a lot of us, but not for those at the highest level.

Anyone who has ever watched a tournament knows what we’re talking about. The end-game in professional Fortnite matches routinely has 40+ players in the final few zones. It’s pure chaos, and a 50-player Zone Wars lobby will be able to capture this.

Of course, the expansion also opens the door to a ton of other possibilities including massive boxfight battles and more. Epic will be focusing on the Creative side of things for the future of Fortnite, and an increased player count is an excellent first step.

Image Credit: Epic Games

Continue Reading

All Platforms

Fortnite leaked skins & cosmetics from v15.50 update

Published

on

Fortnite v15.50 update leaked skins

Epic Games have rolled out their first update in a few weeks, with the arrival of Fortnite patch v15.50, and a number of skins and cosmetics have leaked as a result.

These weekly updates were never missed in times gone by, however Fortnite Chapter 2 has been a lot more inconsistent in that sense. Some weeks there is a huge update with map changes, new crossovers and challenges – while others will just make very minor bug changes.

You can always read about what to expect from the patch here on Fortnite Intel, and alongside those patch notes, let’s run through some of the game’s unreleased outfits.

Fortnite’s most recent crossover was with Street Fighter and Alien, but what’s next?

On March 2, once the downtime began, a number of leakers started looking into the game’s files to see what had changed. To their surprise, with just two weeks left in the season, not much had been tweaked in terms of content.

However, we do have some leaked skins and cosmetics to dig through – courtesy of Lucas7Yoshi and VastBlast.

Fortnite leaked skins and cosmetics from v15.50 update

Bundles

Midas female GoldenTouch bundle

Emotes

So, there you have it! Those are all of the newest unreleased skins in the Fortnite world, some of which may actually roll out following the latest update.

Keep an eye out on the Fortnite Item Shop and you never know, one or two may appear there in the near future.

Continue Reading