Epic listened to the prayers of competitive Fortnite: Battle Royale players and added two big nerfs to strong items in the v9.01 patch today. The Drum Gun and The Baller are now officially weaker than ever. Epic reduced the damage of the former and the total health of the latter, which are just what professional players wanted for healthier competition.
The Drum Gun is now an SMG-like gun that deals 22/23 damage to players according to its rarity. Before the v9.01 nerf, it dealt 26/27. This change should also affect its structure damage, which is a key component of applying pressure with a gun. This nerf seems small, but this means players using the Drum Gun need to hit five shots instead of four to take down a player with full health and no shield, or nine instead of eight on players with full health and shield. Accuracy will play a bigger role when playing with this gun now.
The nerf to the Baller is on point. It reduces the vehicle’s health from 200 to 150. As Epic wrote, “this change should reduce the effectiveness there while not impacting its strengths.” The Baller will now be worse for players who want to use it for protection, but its mobility will remain as the best the game has ever seen.
Several competitive players had been questioning the strength of both items for days. When Epic disabled vehicles for the Fortnite World Cup Qualifiers last weekend due to an issue, some praised how much better the tournament was without The Baller.
Players will be able to test the post-nerf Drum Gun and The Baller once the v9.01 update downtime is over.