Epic does a fairly good job of helping Fortnite players figure out where opponents and in-game objects are located, but it can still be tricky to tell whether a sound is coming from above or below, among other things. Here to help fix that is a new 3D Headphones setting that, when enabled, provides a proper binaural audio experience that improves the location of sounds positioned around the player’s head.
Being able to pinpoint the location of sounds in Fortnite is one of the most important aspects of the game. In addition to helping users figure out where chests are located, sound positions let players know when and where an opponent is near them, including which direction they’re coming from.
Though Epic has put considerable effort into offering this type of audio, it still lacks at times, making it hard to tell, for example, whether those footsteps are coming from above or below. Here to fix that is the game’s new 3D Headphones setting, which offers true binaural audio when the user is wearing a pair of headphones or earbuds.
Binaural audio is a type of audio that is traditionally created using two microphones, each positioned around the same distance apart as human ears. Audio recorded in this manner can be offered as tracks that precisely place sounds in their accurate location around the listener’s head, the result being, for example, the sound of a door closing behind you or shots that clearly move from the left to the right.
Players can enable the new setting by opening Settings > Audio > 3D Headphones; make sure the setting is turned to ‘On.’ You’ll need to wear headphones in order to hear the 3D audio. The company provides an example of the differences between regular and 3D spatialization in the video above.