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Fortnite’s enhanced ‘rocket riding’ could be a game changer

Battle Royale’s new guided missile has opened up some interesting strategies

Charlie Hall is Polygon’s tabletop editor. In 10-plus years as a journalist & photographer, he has covered simulation, strategy, and spacefaring games, as well as public policy.

You’ve likely heard of the “rocket jump,” made famous by players in the original Quake. Well, allow me to introduce you to the “rocket ride,” an exploit born of Fortnite Battle Royale. It allows players to fly across the map while picking off their opponents with sniper rifles, and a newly added weapon just made it a lot more deadly.

To rocket ride, players in a squad have traditionally teamed up to launch each other across the map using a shoulder-mounted rocket-propelled grenade. The practice isn’t necessarily new, but it’s very risky. One false move could wipe your entire party.

An excellent example comes from Vikkstar123. Caught under fire by another player perched atop a hill, he used his RPG to launch a squadmate up and over. Once he’s past the crest, he’s able to crack off a quick shot and take the enemy out from behind. It’s a tremendous move, and allows his squad to continue on to the final circle.

The recent update to Fortnite Battle Royale added a guided missile launcher to the game for the first time. While the RPG is simply a dumb-fire rocket, the new guided missile allows players to steer it around corners. That means you no longer need a teammate. Players are suddenly able to rocket ride all by themselves.

Over the weekend, Rocket League caster Grant “Fickle_Platypus” Haynes upped the ante, showing how to rocket ride across multiple rockets. You can see the video above, or on the original Reddit thread.

What’s interesting here is that the missile launcher’s projectiles appear to have two phases to their launch, not unlike modern anti-tank weapons. First, the projectile is boosted out of the launch tube with a small explosive. Once it’s a safe distance away from player, the main engine ignites. Haynes seems to be demonstrating that the missile is not armed during that initial boost. He’s able to fire the missile down through some terrain that he’s standing on before casually hopping on.

But once he gets going, Haynes launches a second and a third missile. Since all the missiles seem to be locked at the same speed, he’s able to leap from one to another in sequence. At that point, Fortnite turns into a very complicated, three-dimensional platformer.

What exactly players are going to do with this strategy is anyone’s guess, but it has the potential to change the meta of the game dramatically.

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