Several improvements for audio cues and spatialization are coming in Fortnite: Battle Royale’s season nine, director of audio production Zak Belica revealed. He shared a few of the incoming adjustments in a Reddit post soon after yesterday’s v8.50 update released with fixes to ghost sound issues.
“We are investigating ways to improve vertical and spatial audio in Fortnite,” Belica said. “We are actively working on a binaural/HRTF solution that will be a great help to headphone players, as well as other spatialization improvements.”
Both head-related transfer function (HRTF) and binaural solutions should help developers come closer to how real human ears would listen to the in-game sounds and emulate that in the game’s audio. This would improve three-dimensional sounds and help players better understand how far or close a certain sound is to their character, as well as if it’s coming from their back, front, above, or below.
Belica also wrote that the audio team is working in “better tactical audio when inside player-built structures,” which has been a key issue for competitive players, who usually spend a lot of time inside their structures in professional competition and are forced to figure out the position of their enemies through audio cues. Sounds such as an enemy’s pickaxe and wallbreaks should become clearer and louder when update v9.00 is released.
Fortnite will also get better audio tells for jumping and landing, improvement in close and distant sounds for gliders, and adjustment in sounds of explosives and bullet impact. This will prevent players from abusing techniques such as bunny-hopping to produce less noise when moving over their opponent’s structures and will allow players who are waiting for their opponents to land after gliding to accurately detect their position.
Players should expect most of these changes to come in season nine’s first update, v9.00, on March 8.