Fortnite Birthday update makes big building changes

Fortnite's version 5.10 update has landed, and boy is it a big one. We already knew that the update would tweak the way Slurp Juice works, but as it turns out, those changes are just the tip of the iceberg. This update makes some sweeping changes to building, which were made in an effort to move the meta away from long end-game build fights.

Of course, we knew these changes – or at least something like them – were coming. Last month, Epic stated its desire to change the way building works in the game, noting that "not every encounter should have to end in a build fight." The changes it's making in version 5.10 might seem small on paper, but they have big implications for the way end-game confrontations will play out.

As explained in the official patch notes, the starting health of both wood and stone walls have been nerfed in this update, dropping from 100 (wood) and 90 (brick) to 80. The max health of wood walls has dropped from 200 to 150, while the max health of metal walls has been increased from 400 to 500. Metal walls also have a shorter build time in this update, dropping from 25 seconds to 20 seconds.

Essentially, Epic is trying to counter the wood wall spam we see in many Fortnite matches. Wood may no longer the undisputed best resource to build with, as guns like assault rifles and SMGs will shred through walls thanks to their nerfed health. At the very least, it'll probably a good idea to focus on variety in your resource collection if you want the best chance at surviving an encounter from here on out.

Speaking of SMGs, there's a new one coming to Fortnite today. The Compact SMG, as its called, will drop in epic and legendary variants and do 23/24 base damage per shot. Like other SMGs, this gun uses light ammo, but it has a whopping 50 round capacity. You'll find it in floor loot and in chests, supply drops, and vending machines, so be sure to be on the lookout for one.

With this update, the birthday event that Epic detailed last week is live, and it's placing slices of birthday cake in various locations around the map. Consume one of these to instantly gain five health and five shield. The patch also adds a bunch of changes to the way supply drops and storm circles work, and on top of all of that, we have the return of Playground mode to look forward to tomorrow. This is a beastly update for both Battle Royale and Save the World, so be sure to look through the full patch notes to get a handle on all that's changing.