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Fortnite’s new patch brings back planes for a dogfighting mode

Time to take to the skies

Fortnite infantry rifle
Fortnite’s Legendary Infantry Rifle
Epic Games via Polygon
Austen Goslin (he/him) is an entertainment editor. He writes about the latest TV shows and movies, and particularly loves all things horror.

With Fortnite’s World Cup Qualifying underway it should come as no surprise that this week’s patch, v8.40 is on the small side.

The biggest addition to Battle Royale comes in the form of a new gun (kinda): the Epic and Legendary versions of the Infantry Rifle. This version of the weapon has a new model and a different sound, but overall it’s still the same gun as its lesser-rarity cousins. All the Infantry Rifles remain semi-automatic and hitscan, meaning that you don’t have to lead your target when you shoot.

That about does it for the balance changes (unless you count Epic adding the ability to pet Fortnite’s various pets), but there is a new game mode coming with this patch. The new Air Royale mode brings back the planes from last season for their own specific mode. The mode is duo only and will focus on dogfighting with each team starting in a plane that has three lives. Run out of lives or touch the ground and you’re eliminated. If you outlive all of your opponents, you win.

For a look at all the changes Epic is bringing to Fortnite in patch v8.40 you can check out the full patch notes below.

Fortnite Air Royale
Fortnite Air Royale
Epic Games

Weapons and Items

Egg Launcher

  • Everyone’s favorite egg-themed Grenade Launcher skin is back!
  • This is a visual only change for the Grenade Launcher.

Infantry Rifle

  • Added Epic and Legendary Infantry Rifle variants.
  • Deals 42/44 damage.
  • Can be found from Floor Loot, Chests, Supply Drops and Vending Machines.
  • Uses Medium Ammo.


You can now pet the dog ... and other Pets!

The Battle Pass Friend XP Bonus has been upgraded!

  • Instead of giving a small XP boost to each friend in your party, you now get a larger XP boost for partying with one or more friends.
  • The overall total XP Bonus remains the same (120%) and will now be much easier to keep active
  • In short, play any match with any number of friends and you’ll be getting the same amount of XP as someone who’s been playing with a full squad of Battle-Pass-owning friends.

Bug Fixes

  • Fixed an issue where the Season 8 trailer wouldn’t play in some cases.
  • Fixed an issue where the embers from environmental Campfires would linger if the floor they were attached to was destroyed.
  • Fixed issue where Coconuts could not be pinged.
  • Fixed an issue where turbo building could stop if you ran out of the current type of material you were using.
  • Fixed an issue with Traps being be placed inside walls, making them difficult to see.
  • Fixed an issue with Traps being placed inconsistently when auto-placed.
  • Fixed ‘Emotes’ not playing when bound to specific keys.
  • Fixed an issue when using ‘Replay Last Emote’ before using any other emote, so it now plays the emote in the default slot.


New Tournament - April 20 & 21: Fortnite World Cup Online Open Week 2 ($1,000,000 total prize pool!)

  • Top performers in each server region will qualify to the Fortnite World Cup Finals in New York City. Full Fortnite World Cup details and official rules can be found here:
  • Duos Game Mode
  • Participation in this event requires both players to have reached Champion League in Arena.
  • Region Lock is in effect - players may only participate in the qualifier for a single server region each week of the Online Opens. The server region of the first match entered for that weekend’s tournament will be the one the player will be locked into for that entire weekend.
  • Format:

April 20 - Round One: All Eligible Players.

April 21 - Round Two: Top 1500 Teams from Round One.

  • Added Fortnite World Cup Qualifier slots onto the prize breakout for Online Open tournaments.
  • Visual improvements for Lobby panel during Online Open tournaments.
  • Updated how Anonymous Mode works in tournaments to provide an improved experience for stream viewers while still protecting streamers.

When a player is eliminated, their name will be shown in the elimination feed.

When a player eliminates an opponent, their name will be shown to the eliminated player only.

  • Maximum Screen Aspect Ratio can no longer be greater than 16:9.


Resolved a performance regression occurring on PCs with less than quad-core CPUs.

  • If you’re still experiencing performance issues on PC, try manually adding the “NoRHIThread” to the Epic Games Launcher settings for Fortnite.

Art and Animation

  • Increased the Size and Intensity of the Boom Bow explosion effects to better represent the damage radius.


  • Adjusted the attenuation of the Reboot Van cooldown and Reboot Chip ambient looping audio, so that it’s not as loud.

Bug Fixes

  • Fixed an issue that would cause the Shotgun equip sounds to occasionally not play.


  • Mimic! When bringing up your emote wheel there’s now an option that appears if you’re looking at another player doing an emote you own, to allow you to play the same emote.
  • When hiding HUD elements in the options, some of them now collapse to free up the space they were taking up - the minimap for example.
  • There’s now a HUD UI option to hide the vehicle control hints.

Bug Fixes

  • The Limited Time Mode Victory screen is no longer pushed out of place on mobile/Switch.


Bug Fixes

  • Fixed an issue where drone speed was not saved when scrubbing
  • Fixed an issue where scrubbing a replay while in Drone Attach mode would result in the camera being left behind.


  • Updated the Baller controls on default and custom HUDs.

Baller controls are available to be adjusted in the HUD Layout Tool for custom HUD players.

  • Audiovisual shot indicators will no longer display for players in the same vehicle.

Bug Fixes

  • Fixed an issue with the Android app icon being incorrectly displayed.
  • Fixed an issue with Voice Chat while spectating

Push-To-Talk button is also no longer hidden while spectating

  • Fixed an issue where Auto-run would not activate in vehicles.
  • Fixed an issue where the Reboot Card description was missing.
  • Fixed an issue where the Arena overview panel was not displaying.
  • Fixed an issue with the FPS counter being shown twice.
  • Fixed an issue where the weapon icon would not display in inventory hot bar sometimes.
  • Fixed an issue where textures would appear stretched when on a Creative Island.
  • Fixed an issue that displayed a checkmark icon on certain commands of vehicles.
  • Fixed an issue where a second storm wall would appear in the desert biome during the first closing period.
  • Fixed an issue where some chests could not be opened.
  • Fixed issues where weak wifi halted gameplay and could cause some disconnects.

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