Fortnite will get huge audio improvements in 9.1 update

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Fortnite
Listen out for the sound improvements this week.
Photo: Epic Games

Epic Games has promised huge audio improvements for Fortnite Battle Royale.

The changes, which are especially focused on enemy player awareness, will be made in the version 9.10 update. It is expected to roll out to all platforms later this week.

Fortnite might be the biggest battle royale game on the planet, but that doesn’t mean it’s perfect. One of the biggest complaints surrounds its audio, which has been broken from the beginning.

Audio is hugely important in a game like Fortnite because players rely on it to locate their opponents, establish what’s happening around them, and more.

Now Epic is promising even more fixes that should have a big impact.

Fortnite sound fixes coming in version 9.1

Epic director of audio Zak Belica has detailed the upcoming changes in a post on Reddit. Here’s what we can expect:

  • Switch audio dropout issues fixed for real- apologies, this was meant to be in for 9.0 but we had unexpected technical problems.
  • Fixed location of close-range enemy pickaxe impact sound, so it plays from the impact point and not the player that’s pickaxing.
  • Removed ducking of building sounds when firing your weapon.
  • Lowered the minimum velocity required to trigger a landing sound; this helps prevent players from silently ‘bunny hopping’ up ramps.
  • Added a new jump sound for enemies that’s louder than your own.
  • Increased jump sound attenuation to match enemy footsteps.
  • Reduced the amount of time that it takes the enemy in-air audio loop to kick on, for better awareness of an enemy dropping in on you from above.
  • Boosted volume of occluded footsteps and landing sounds.
  • Tighter spatialization of close-range pickaxe sounds from other players.
  • Added a clearer sound when an enemy confirms an edit on a building piece within 2 tiles of your position.
  • Removed glider audio tell for players traveling through a Slipstream.
  • Added a new “Headshot + Shield Break” sound, for when the two events occur at the same time. If a shield break is “CHINGSHH” and a headshot is “PA-CHING” then the new sound is “PA-CHINGSHH”.

Belica also promises a fix for audio device swap issues on PC, but we won’t see that until the version 9.2 update.

Sound fixes for the future

We can expect further audio improvements throughout season nine, Belica adds. We don’t yet know which updates they will be included in or when they will arrive, but they include:

  • 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.
  • 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.

Players are encouraged to report any bugs — audio or otherwise — to Epic so that they can be addressed.

What can we expect Fortnite 9.1?

Fortnite’s version 9.1 update should roll out later this week across all platforms. You will likely see it on Thursday, May 23. We’ll provide an update on what else is included in the patch as soon as Epic makes it official.