A real comparison between the level 25 perks

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Hey guys, Whitesushi here. Many of you guys were asking for a comparison between the popular level 25 perks so here we are. A lot of the calculations will be done with my 4.2 Perk Combinations Calculator which lets you factor in stuff like weapon level (including evolutions) and offense to correctly replicate in-game damage values. We start off by looking at what the individual perks do and end off trying to compare them to see how they fair against one another. Without further ado, let's jump into the summary for this post


This post first examines 3 perks in order

  • Snare
  • Affliction
  • %Damage after 5 headshots

and gives readers a breakdown of how the perks are expected to work accompanied by a painted scenario to help them understand. Once those are out of the way, we look at some

  • Issues worth mentioning

which were purposefully omitted during the analysis to keep explanations simple. Finally, we move onto

  • The Verdict

where we drew comparisons between the perks and concluded that a min-maxer should opt for %damage after 5 headshots and that the difference between the rest are close enough that it's down to personal preference.

Snare Perk

On the weapon, this perk reads

Damage dealt with this weapon snares the target by 30% for 6 seconds.

This is a slowing effect which I managed to test in-game. To do so, I setup a 7.5 tile pathway from a 1/3 to the encampment. Next, I recorded myself shooting the husks (to apply the snare) and timing the "tile difference" between the first and second husks when the leading husk reaches the wall. Some things I noticed was

  • It took husks 15 seconds to traverse 7.5 tiles (Husks travel 1 tile every 2 seconds)
  • With 100% uptime gif here>, snared husk took ~2.4 tiles longer to reach
  • With single shot (6s) uptime gif here>, snared husk took ~1 tile longer to reach

These results happen to work out mathematically too since if a husk is originally going to take 15 seconds, then a snared husk should take 15 x 1.3 = 19.5 seconds which is about 4.5s, slightly over 2 tiles (matching our 100% uptime test). So how effective is this perk? If you haven't noticed yet, snare doesn't actually increase your damage output, it just gives you more time to do damage. As such, our evaluation for this perk should be based around this damage window

The damage window

Let's say we setup a funnel close to the spawn point that is 7.5 tiles away. To do so, we leave a 2.5 tile gap so our stuff doesn't get destroyed and then use 1 tile for the actual funnel. The result leaves us with a 4 tile distance to do enough damage to kill whatever husks that emerge from the funnel. If we tabulate the husks that matter for this snaring effect, we can basically get

HuskDoes it matter?
Tiny HusksNope, dead to funnel
Regular HusksNope, dead to funnel
PitchersNope, dead to funnel
BeesNope, dead to funnel
Husky HusksYes
LobbersNope, doesn't even need to move

and then there's the mist monsters which would look something like

Mist MonstersDoes it matter?
BlastersNo, they don't need to get close anyway
FlingersNo, they don't even move to funnel

Already, we can tell that snare is basically useless against majority of the enemies. In fact, it is only effective against Husky Husks, Smashers and Takers. Next, we introduce the second problem being whether or not you really need the snare effect. In our scenario, once the husk has cleared the funnel, it has to traverse a distance of 4 tiles. That is a total of 8 seconds for you to shoot at it. To put this number into perspective, the Siegebreaker is able to empty 2 full clips into the husk during this time including reload. In other words, the snare only matters if the player is unable to kill the target (usually a Smasher) in 2 full clips meaning

  • he is severely under-leveled
  • he is not spec'ed properly for it (not using counter element)

Honestly, I'd rather fix the 2 problems above than getting snare on my weapon which gives me enough time to empty another clip into the Smasher before it hits the wall. Don't get me wrong, that's a lot of time for a single perk but ultimately it is just giving us more time not more damage. If this was still last year when everyone was of much lower level, having more time is fantastic but in the game's current state, having more time is a lot less impactful.

So what if we don't use a funnel?

That's even worse actually. The regular husks (that would've otherwise been killed by the funnel) doesn't take much ammunition to be killed in the first place and..

I honestly don't see anyone tagging each regular husk once just to slow an army of it over outright shoving an additional bullet in to kill it

That is not to mention how the player now has a 7.5 tile distance, 15s to deal with whatever bigger targets which is essentially 3 full clips of Siegebreaker ammunition. If you still can't kill a Smasher with that much allowance, it is the stat and better perks you need, not the snare on your weapon.

Affliction Perk

So I painted a pretty grim picture for snare but honestly, affliction isn't much better. Assuming that we have a player running

  • Level 50 Urban Assault + Master Grenadier + Special Forces
  • 3027 Tech (solo stat cap)

We can calculate his affliction damage using our formula here to be

Affliction per tick = 6 * ( 10.65 + 0.2 * 10.65 + 0.2 * 10.65 ) * ( 1 + 30.27 ) = 6 * 14.91 * 31.27 = 2797.4142 

If we were to assume Urban Assault's 45% debilitating shots, this value goes up to 4056.25 per tick. Over a course of 6 seconds (full duration), that would be 24337.5 damage. To put this into perspective, we assume the player runs a Siegebreaker with perfect perk combinations assuming a 70% headshot accuracy. I plug my numbers in and my calculator shows me the results to be 231218.3 DPS running the perks

  • Fire Rate / Magazine / Element / Headshot / Damage / Affliction

Affliction in this case only makes up 1.75% of the weapon's overall DPS. That's pretty sad to be honest. However if you let the affliction tick fully, that will be 10.53% of the weapon's overall damage output which feels pretty okay. In other words, affliction is

  • Pretty terrible against bigger targets where you shoot a lot a bullets in
  • Pretty good against smaller targets where you take a 1~2 shots and it's dead or affliction helps you chip it away

Pretty good is not good enough

If we just look at our table previously for snare, the only husks making through our funnels are going to be the tankier husks which as concluded earlier, affliction making up merely 1.75% isn't going to do much to. It does do a lot more to stuff like

  • Blasters (still minor damage but at least does something over snare)
  • Lobbers (probably the only target affliction is good against)

However if we were to take away the funnels, affliction suddenly shines a lot more as compared to snare since there are now way more smaller targets for you to shoot at and affliction starts making up for a bigger portion of your damage output

30% Damage after 5 headshots in a row

To find out how good this perk is, we compare it to our affliction setup assuming the same loadout and weapon. Previously, we established that the weapon, with its conditional perk (45% damage)

  • Does 231218.3 DPS

If we were to swap affliction out for headshots damage (which isn't possible by the way unless you swap the weapon), the new weapon would do

  • 214791.7 DPS to normal husks (7.1% less)

However, by free-ing up the affliction slot, it also means that we can now pick up 36% damage to Bosses and Mist Monsters in our level 20 slot. That would put our weapon at

  • 255618.2 DPS to bosses & mist monsters (10.55% more)

To find out how many % of our shots should be on bosses & mist monsters before the headshot combination beats conditional, we take 'a' to be the % of shots on bosses & mist monsters. The resulting calculations look something like

231218.3 * (1 - a) + 231218.3 * (a) = 214791.7 * (1 - a) + 255618.2 * (a) 231218.3 - 231218.3a + 231218.3a = 214791.7 - 214791.7a + 255618.2a 231218.3 = 214791.7 + 40826.5a 40826.5a = 16426.6 a = 40.24% 

Remember, this is the percentage of shots taken on Mist Monsters rather than the percentage of mist monsters. If we just look at our previous table assuming funnels and stuff, the only husks that "survive" are

  • Lobbers
  • Husky Husks
  • Smashers
  • Blasters
  • Takers

Most of which are by default mist monsters. We can further our point by referring to u/aFrequ's husk health scaling post. If you notice, at Twine Peaks blasters have 65.9% more health than Husky Husks which basically translates to them taking that much more bullets to kill. We don't even have to do the tests to know that Smashers are going to have even more % of health than that. Hell, we can even argue that the only enemies that even needs us doing more damage to are the bosses and mist monsters so having the damage where it matters…. matters more.

What if there are no funnels?

On the surface, 45% damage consistently across the board should beat out this perk on top of whatever effect the condition itself has on the husk. However, even if there are no funnels, there are certain factors that help diminish the quantity of those regular husks and thus indirectly making us take less shots on them. This could be

  • Hover Turrets melting smaller husks away
  • Abilities like Keep Out!!! or Dragon Slash
  • Simply the fact that regular husks are likely to die in a single shot and not benefit from %conditional damage

That said, all these pretty much go into scenarios which are hard for us to accurately qualify. As such, I am just leaving the possibilities open to your interpretation.

Other issues worth mentioning

Some people like advocating the use of snare to make husks stay in their funnels longer and take more damage. However, that is a myth and there are several problems with it being

  1. You don't really want to shoot into your funnel lest you trigger a propane
  2. Even if you know there aren't any propanes, a husk that takes 4s to get through ur 2×1 funnel isn't going to take an additional proc from any traps for being in there 1.2 seconds longer simply because no traps have such a short reload

There are also others that suggest using gas traps and floor spikes to inflict conditional for a conditional level 20 perk and then using something non-conditional for level 25. That is a terrible idea. Relying on funnels alone would give an approximate 4s uptime on conditional across the entire 15s. In other words, your 45% damage is now akin to having 45 x 4 / 15 = only 12% damage instead. The only situations where I see this being a possibility is not via traps but rather

  • Corrosive blade
  • Or Electric floors

Since those essentially give 100% uptime. However, that means locking yourself into playing those classes specifically. Last but not least, a lot of the 'you don't say' stuff were intentionally omitted to keep the post of reasonable length. These include, but are not limited to

  • The fact that it is unreasonable to expect some weapons to land 5 headshots in a row
  • The fact that affliction isn't going to benefit from full 45% debilitating in the first tick
  • The fact that there are so many the fact that I'm not going to list all the fact that

But yea, you guys get the point

The Verdict

If you haven't noticed already, the comparisons were mostly split between damage per second and damage window with affliction and 5 headshots contesting for the former and snare occupying the later. I mean, snare just gives players a bigger window of time to do damage and doesn't actually influence damage in any way.

The comparisons were then broken down further to assume funnel scenarios versus non-funnel scenarios, bigger husk vs smaller husks and the conclusions can basically be tabulated here

ScenarioHuskSnareAffliction5 Headshots
FunnelBigPretty AlrightNegligibleGreat
FunnelSmallDead anywayOnly for LobbersDead anyway
No FunnelBigWorseStill negligibleGreat
No FunnelSmallTerribleCan be greatGood
  • Snare has the potential to make or break your game but most of the time, snare is only relevant if the player is weak in the first place. I like to call this huge impact but limited situations

  • Affliction does a bit to everything and has a slightly larger number of situations it can perform well in. However, it's impact is mostly low and scales only in those situations where it happens to make the difference between having to take an additional shot. I like to call this small impact but across the board

  • Last but not least, 5 headshots performs regardless of the situation you are in. However, this is simply not an option when it comes to certain weapons or certain players. This would be the moderate impact dictated by situations

While it seems equal between the three, we notice that as a player gets stronger within the game, the first 2 being snare and affliction actually "falls off" and become less relevant. You find yourself in less situations where snare is going to make a difference and affliction does a smaller percentage of your overall damage. On the contrary, 5 headshots begin to shine because the player

  • Starts making adjustments to his build to fit the perk (i.e running weapons that can headshot well)
  • Get better with their aim, making the 5 headshots in a row easier to achieve
  • Deals with the smaller husks adequately and only needs to focus on bosses/ mist monsters

As such, 30% damage after 5 headshots in a row should be the min-maxers choice and my personal favourite. Afterall, min-maxing is all about 'min-ing' one aspect (in this case reducing your potential damage to regular husks) and 'max-ing' the other (increasing your potential damage to the bosses/ mist monsters that matter). Between the other 2, it is honestly a choice of preference since they are really close but personally, I like affliction more

The Conclusion

30% damage after 5 headshots is an amazing perk that can be combined with 36% damage to bosses & mist monsters to maximize your damage output against the targets that matter. On the other hand, conditional statuses like affliction and snare are but feel good perks and rarely have an impact on your gameplay unless the player is

  • Hitting certain thresholds with affliction
  • Underpowered for the content and snare makes the difference

As such, my personal ranking for the 3 perks would be

30% damage after 5 headshots > Affliction > Snare

but it is perfectly normal and understandable for players to pivot towards snare as that perk feels better to them. I am just never in a situation where I feel that having a bigger damage window helps me and would rather settle for doing damage (albeit inconsequential amounts) across the board (that I know for sure I am applying). However in this regard, I feel that affliction is definitely a lot weaker than snare in terms of impact when its needed and it deserves a buff to match how affliction works on Dragon's Roar

Once again, I would like to state that you don't need to min-max in this game and experiences are going to differ between individuals. Don't feel compelled to play %damage after 5 headshots just because I concluded that it is "better" than other perks. For all you know, you could feel terrible playing that perk simply because you are now "forced" to change your playstyle and land more headshots as opposed to just spraying across husks and slowing an army of them down. Afterall, your enjoyment of the game is far more important than what the numbers tell you.

As always, thank you for reading my post. Feel free to share your thoughts on these perks in the comments. I didn't include stuff like %impact because "impact guard" is a concept we haven't been able to fully grasp numerically. There are also others such as headshot explosions and roman candle but those are so negligible that they aren't worth considering

TL;DR %damage after 5 headshots > affliction / snare > impact > the rest. Personally, I like affliction more than snare

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