Epic Games’ focus with the v9.20 Fortnite: Battle Royale update seems to have been Sniper Rifles.
The heaviest hit against this weapon category was the vaulting of the Hunting Rifle. They were one of the worst guns in their category and, like Epic said, were being outclassed by the Infantry Rifle—which is an Assault Rifle. Removing it from the default Fortnite loot pool should give room for either other Sniper Rifles to spawn more often from chests and floor loot or for weapons from other categories to take its place and grow in usage.
And the other Sniper Rifles that remain in the game will now appear less often, at least in Hot Spots. Epic has reduced the sniper package availability from Loot Carriers in these areas from 12 to eight percent, which means other kinds of weapon should come from them more often now. If you like dropping on Hot Spots, you’ll see the impact of such change much more than players who avoid them.
If you include the Boom Bow in the snipers category, like some players like to do, it’s also worse now. It now takes 1.25 seconds to fully charge its shot rather than the previous one second, which makes them more vulnerable to shots from other players while charging and reduces significantly how many fully-charged shots someone can fire in combat.
Epic’s investment against Sniper Rifles might seem odd at first, but it makes sense. Players have been running into them far too often since the company reintroduced the Semi-Auto Sniper Rifle, which comes in low rarities. Having so many Uncommon and Rare Sniper Rifles available was hurting the loot pool more often than not in the early game, where unlucky players were left with more than one of them for close-range combat.
The removal of the Hunting Rifle, which used to come in Uncommon and Rare variants, along with the reduced availability of snipers from Loot Carriers, will let players find other kinds of guns more often. At least, it lets them manipulate the odds of not finding them a bit more, as they can drop in Hot Spots and see them less often from Carriers.
This shouldn’t be enough for Sniper Rifles to become rare items in Fortnite. Players still have plenty of them to find and use across all variants, so this adjustment might leave the category close to the perfect spot it needs in the current loot pool.