Fortnite 9.01 brings tactical assault rifle, makes drum gun changes

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Fortnite tactical AR
Update today to get your hands on it.
Photo: Epic Games

Fortnite’s first update of season nine is rolling out now, complete with a brand new assault rifle and a number of notable changes. The version 9.01 release also takes away a popular SMG.

Epic Games made big changes to Battle Royale with the introduction of season nine, forcing almost all players to change the way they approach close combat. Shotguns are nowhere near as effective as they once were, while SMGs are golden.

This continues with today’s version 9.01 update.

Fortnite bags new tactical assault rifle

Despite criticism from many players, Epic has not changed its mind on shotguns and SMGs. Instead, it has added a brand new tactical assault rifle which is ideal for close-quarter gunfights.

The tactical assault rifle deals 22/23/24 damage and has a headshot multiplier of 1.75x. It has a tight bullet spread but is less effective than other assault rifles at range.

It’s available in rare, epic, and legendary varieties, and you’ll find it in chests, supply drops, vending machines, and on the floor. It’s fully-automatic with a 30-round magazine.

The tactical assault rifle sounds more like an SMG, so it will be interesting to see how it gets used. Its addition to the game has led to the removal of the compact SMG or “P90.”

Drum gun and Baller adjustments

The drum gun was already pretty overpowered, and with the changes made in season nine, it become unstoppable. But Epic has made some adjustments to address that.

Base damage has fallen from 26/27 to just 22/23. Epic says this will “reduce its combat effectiveness while still retaining its flavor.”

Meanwhile, Baller health has been reduced again — from 200 to 150 — making it harder for players to ride around and avoid fights for large portions of the game.

Slipstream changes

The other big change is this week’s update is to Slipstreams, which no longer block building. That means you can now build into the stream, reducing your changes of falling to your death.

“We noticed some cases where players would build up to the Slipstream, but due to build restrictions would take a ‘leap of faith’ and not make the jump,” Epic explains. “This should make getting into a Slipstream easier.”

In addition, Slipstreams now become inactive during phase five of the storm. This will prevent players from being able to ride around and avoid being eliminated in the late game, and it will stop others from being sucked in accidentally in smaller storm circles.

Update Fortnite now

The Fortnite version 9.01 update is available across all platforms, including iOS, now. For the official patch notes and details on Save the World changes, check out the Fortnite blog.