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Fortnite’s latest patch adds a helicopter with room for five

Fortnite finally has a new airborne vehicle

A Fortnite player flies high over the map in the game’s helicopter Image: 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.

In the biggest patch of Fortnite season 2 so far, Epic Games is bringing mobility to the new map in a big way: a helicopter. The new vehicle is called the Choppa and it’s part of Fortnite patch v12.20, but since Epic doesn’t release full patch notes, we don’t know exactly what else has changed.

The helicopter spawns in various places throughout the map — mostly on helipads which are located near most major cities — and can seat four players, along with the pilot. That means you’ll have enough room for every person in your four person squad and ... another passenger, I guess? While this may be a little more space than necessarily for four-person squads, it makes the helicopter perfect for big-team game modes where you might need to shuttle quite a few people from a few different squads to the front lines of a battle.

This is Fortnite’s first major airborne vehicle since Epic Games added the plane to the game back in chapter 1. When it was released, the plane was incredibly strong. Not only could players cross the map in a flash, but it also had powerful machine guns that were nearly impossible to build against. It could also ram players’ structures, destroying them instantly.

It seems that Epic has learned a little more about what players like since then. Unlike the fast and maneuverable plane, the helicopter is slow and very vulnerable. All four passenger players can be easily shot by anyone on the ground, and the helicopter itself has 1,500 health, which means it can stand up to a few shots from one person, but if a whole squad wants to bring you down, you won’t last long.

Perhaps even more dangerous, when you jump out of the helicopter you don’t get the option to reopen your glider. That means to safely exit the vehicle, you’ll need to land or at least get very close to the ground, otherwise you’ll take fall damage or even die.

While it seems like Epic has done quite a few things to help keep the helicopter’s power in check, and off-set its mobility, we’ll just have to wait and see how players use it to know how strong it really is. Since we don’t get patch notes anymore, it may be difficult to see what changes Epic is making, but if the vehicle is too overpowered and it has to make a major change, we’ll likely get an official statement from the developer.