Analyzing Fortnite Hotfix Adjustment 10.20.2

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Analyzing Fortnite Hotfix Adjustment 10.20.2

Epic Games is back with a mid-cycle patch hotfix that includes some very interesting Vaults.

Fortnite Battle Royale has been in flux since the premiere of Season X. The release of Season X brought changes that casual and competitive players equally disliked. At the forefront of this hate included the B.R.U.T.E., which gave players control of a mech suit and allowed them to decimate an entire lobby without much resistance. Amongst these concerns also included the continuing presence of the Combat Shotgun, Drum Shotgun and the Proximity Grenade Launcher. Epic Games’ latest hotfix resolved many issues previously cited by the Fortnite community.


Epic Games implemented Hotfix 10.20.2 on September 4th. According to the hotfix notes, the Fortnite developer implemented the following changes:


  • Combat Shotgun
  • Drum Shotgun
  • Proximity Launcher


  • Suppressed Assault Rifle (Epic/Legendary)

Automatic Sniper

  • The Automatic Sniper was underperforming relative to some of the other Sniper Rifles. This adjustment to damage should make it more desirable as an alternative long-range weapon.
    • Increased damage from 31/33/35 to 40/42/44

10.20.2 Hotfix Analysis

Combat Shotgun

To call this a welcome change to the landscape of Fortnite is an understatement. Most notable of the bunch is the removal of the Combat Shotgun. Well-documented is the history of the Combat Shotgun’s inconsistency. It possessed the ability to take down opposing player’s shields from a sizable distance, and the playing field in Fortnite feels a bit more level after this adjustment. Future Fortnite competitions will provide a breath of fresh air after pro competitor's heavy reliance on the Combat Shotgun.

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Drum Shotgun

In addition to this, the Drum Shotgun is no longer apart of Fortnite Battle Royale. As with the Combat Shotgun, the collective community grew tired of this weapon. Players recognized the Drum Shotgun as a notoriously overpowered weapon as it allowed players to intrude into another player’s 1v1 with ease and inflict heavy damage. Not many Fortnite fans will disagree with the removal of this weapon.

Proximity Launcher

Last, but not least, is the removal of the Proximity Launcher. Introduced in patch 9.2.1, this weapon tracked and exploded on enemies within a specific range. It was not an ideal weapon for competitive play due to it requiring rockets to use, and players generally preferring the Rocket Launcher. Nevertheless, this is one less weapon professional players need to consider going forward.

Suppressed Assault Rifle and Automatic Sniper

The Suppressed Assault Rifle is now available after the most recent update. This is overall a positive as it adds yet another relevant Assault Rifle to the competitive scene. Weapons such as the Infantry Rifle, Scoped Assault Rifle and Heavy Assault Rifle are not useful in terms of spraying at other players. The Automatic Sniper received a damage boost in this hotfix as well. It is too soon to predict its usage in a competitive setting, but players will surely test the waters after this adjustment.

Retail Row Adjustments

Capping off the latest hotfix is the general nerf of Retail Row. In recent months, Retail Row has existed as a hot spot for top Fortnite professionals. Epic Games recognized the overabundance of loot and minimal risk of elimination by the zombies or other players.

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Retail Row

  • “This POI is intended to be a high-risk, high-reward drop location, but we feel the reward has outweighed the risk. By reducing the availability of Obelisks, gathering rare loot will require a little more time investment.
    • Reduced the maximum number of Spawn Obelisks from 7 to 5.
    • Increased the time before Spawn Obelisks respawn to a max of 30 seconds (previously a max of 5 seconds).
      • The respawn timer for Spawn Obelisks is on a loop and time may vary between 1-30 seconds.
    • Decreased the chance to drop Rocket Launchers from destroyed Spawn Obelisks from 18.46% to 10%
    • Decreased the chance to drop Jump Pads from destroyed Spawn Obelisks from 50% to 40%”

The intention here is to balance out Retail Row a bit more than it was previously. In professional scrims, high-level players often dropped at this location. The endless loot possibilities provided a great opportunity to all who dropped Retail Row. Going forward, players will have to make a decision on whether they will alter their routes or not,” according to Epic Games.

This change is overall a win for the Fortnite community. The prayers of Fortnite players the world over can now rejoice. Fortnite Battle Royale’s meta will now change yet again with this most recent hotfix. It will be worth watching professional players as the Fortnite Champion Series continues.

Stay tuned to ESTNN as these changes will undoubtedly affect the landscape of professional Fortnite in the future.

Image VIA: Epic Games

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Matt Pryor
Matt is a graduate of Southern New Hampshire University. He appreciates all esports titles but primarily focuses on Fortnite and Call of Duty. Matt continuously analyzes gameplay and plays the games himself to better understand in-game decisions by the best players in the world.