Fortnite

Fire rate is capped by your FPS. Not your console, your FPS.

Fortnite Battle Royale Halloween 1024x576 - Fire rate is capped by your FPS. Not your console, your FPS.

tl;dr: Higher FPS = faster shooty shoot. Lower FPS = you're not getting all the shooty shoot you should be. Epic plz fix

Non-tl;dr version:

So after watching


by SlyGumbi where he explains that capping your FPS to 60 reduces the wild bloom on the Wraith (skip to about 9 minutes to see it in action) I decided to do a bit of research.

For months now console players have been complaining that their fire rate is capped at 10 for no apparent reason. The video above showed that when Gumbi (demonstrating on PC btw) capped his FPS to 60 in the game settings, the bloom on the Wraith remained fairly small and manageable, while uncapping it caused it to spread to a massive amount.

Well, as it turns out, he was on to something. A lower frame rate means your maximum fire rate will be lower. To test this I recorded myself firing a Level 1 Cyclone gatling pistol (fire rate 18) under a variety of circumstances and frame rate caps, and measured back the amount of time it took to empty the magazine (excluding the windup delay) under a variety of circumstances.

To be more specific, I recorded the exact number of frames it took to empty the magazine, starting when my ammo count reduced from 60 to 59, and ending when the ammo count hit 0, then taking the frame count and dividing by 120 (the frame rate I recorded at) to get the total time it took to empty the magazine, and therefore the actual fire rate of the weapon.

No fire rate buffs

  • 30 FPS: 3.942 seconds (Actual fire rate = 15.22)
  • 60 FPS: 3.95 seconds (Actual fire rate = 15.19)
  • 120 FPS: 3.45 seconds (Actual fire rate = 17.39)

With War Cry (18 fire rate –> 23.4)

  • 30 FPS: 3.942 seconds (Actual fire rate = 15.22)
  • 60 FPS: 2.967 seconds (Actual fire rate = 20.222)
  • 120 FPS: 2.93 seconds (Actual fire rate = 20.478)

Already we can see that console players at 30 FPS are definitely restricted to a fire rate of approximately 15. The 60 FPS value is a bit more odd here, the War Cry-boosted result is a bit more in line with what you should be getting, but without War Cry it's closer to the 30 FPS result. I tested this several times to make sure it wasn't an error on my end with my recording software but got consistent results.

Either way it's obvious we're not getting the full benefit of War Cry even at 120 FPS.

For the remainder of the tests I used the Bullet Storm soldier class to further increase the fire rate, as I did not have a leveled First Shot soldier to test with. Using a Level 30 Bullet Storm, the Cyclone's magazine size increases to 84, but more importantly, the fire rate becomes 26.64 after the first 20 rounds are exhausted. So instead of counting the entire magazine, I skipped the first 20 rounds and started counting at 64.

Bullet Storm soldier class with no other buffs (est. fire rate 26.64)

  • 30 FPS: 4.208 seconds (Actual fire rate = 15.21)
  • 60 FPS: 3.17 seconds (Actual fire rate = 20.19)
  • 120 FPS: 120 FPS: 2.63 seconds (Actual fire rate = 24.33)

Right away we can see a massive difference. The 30 FPS player is getting absolutely no benefit from Bullet Storm's ability, with the fire rate still capped at 15. 60 FPS players are similarly restricted, with results similar to the War Cry test, and 120 FPS is getting the closest to what the actual result should be (but still falling short)

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Bullet Storm soldier class with War Cry (est. fire rate 34.632)

  • 30 FPS: 2.842 seconds (Actual fire rate = 22.52)
  • 60 FPS: 2.842 seconds (Actual fire rate = 22.52)
  • 120 FPS: 2.808 seconds (Actual fire rate = 22.79)

These results are damning. Not only do they all appear to be capped at around 22.5, but while I ran this particular test, the ammo count in the magazine started skipping numbers, as if the server was unable to keep up with the amount of bullets left. I ran these tests a few more times but got the same result every time. I did not experience this issue with any other test. I'll elaborate on this further below in the technical section (if you don't want to read the technical crap, just understand that there is a server-side fire rate cap, and this is probably the cause of the weird test results)

For the final test a kind soul from Gumbi's twitch chat donated a shadowshard Monsoon with a fire rate buff. Despite being shadowsharded, the fire rate perk increased the Monsoon's fire rate from base 18 to 20.74. Here are the results. Again, the first 20 rounds in the magazine were not counted.

Bullet Storm soldier class using 20.74 fire rate Monsoon, no War Cry (est. fire rate 30.6952)

  • 30 FPS: 4.208 seconds (Actual fire rate = 15.21)
  • 60 FPS: 3.158 seconds (Actual fire rate = 20.266)
  • 120 FPS: 2.63 seconds (Actual fire rate = 24.335)

Same as above, but with War Cry (est. fire rate 39.90376)

  • 30 FPS: 4.208 seconds (Actual fire rate = 15.21)
  • 60 FPS: 3.158 seconds (Actual fire rate = 20.266)
  • 120 FPS: 2.88 seconds (Actual fire rate = 22.22 – appeared to be slower than without War Cry, but this was likely due to server lag or an error in recording)

Conclusion

So, what does all this actually mean? First, from the numbers alone it's pretty obvious that 30 and 60 FPS players are potentially capped on their fire rate. The issue isn't as noticeable with lower fire rate weapons, but when you're using fast-firing assault rifles or machine pistols like a Siegebreaker, a Viper, or the aforementioned Cyclone or Monsoon, you're definitely not getting all the fire rate you're entitled to.

Secondly, Bullet Storm + War Cry is broken, and not in a good way. Depending on the weapon you're using, you're almost certainly not getting much of a boost, if any at all. Regardless of your frame rate, if you try to Bullet Storm + War Cry a Monsoon, you're wasting your time. If you're using a Terminator (which, arguably is the weapon that the class was designed to use) and you have any fire rate perks on that weapon, you're wasting them, because you're going to hit the fire rate cap regardless of your frame rate (more on the fire rate cap in the technical details below)

Which leads into #3: fire rate perks on already fast-firing weapons are potentially wasted, particularly for 30 FPS players and/or in conjunction with heroes like Bullet Storm, First Shot, Urban Assault, or with War Cry.


Caveats

  • I am not Whitesushi. I am also not Details-Examples, or SlyGumbi, or any of the other well-known Fortnite number-crunchers. I just did this on my own out of boredom and curiosity, and when sharing my findings was recommended that I post my findings here for all to see. Please feel free to verify on your own and report any inaccuracies I may have made.
  • I did not have a First Shot soldier leveled, so I could not test with her. I also did not test with Urban Assault, as her fire rate buffs only trigger when you headshot a husk, and testing in an actual mission would have been more trouble than I deemed necessary (Make it Rain + Rain Faster gives a +50% fire rate, which is only just a bit higher than Bullet Storm's +48%)
  • I did not have extra perk materials and/or Schematic XP to test under more extreme circumstances. Probably the fastest fire rate weapon in the game you could get would be a malachite Monsoon or Cyclone with a maxed fire rate perk (unless there are other fast-firing automatic weapons that can get two fire rate perks… silenced specter?)
  • My computer was not capable of recording at anything higher than 120 FPS, so I could not accurately test under higher frame rates. If you are capable, please do so and let me know what your findings are! I'd be most curious to see if you can get a higher fire rate past 120 FPS.
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Technical crap (feel free to skip)

So earlier when I talked about the Bullet Storm + War Cry test I mentioned a hard fire rate cap on the server. I may not be an expert on how all the underlying netcode in Unreal Engine works, or even how Fortnite's own weapon code works, but I can guarantee that there IS a fire rate cap on the server, and it's almost certainly due to the server tick rate. While our games may run at 60, 120, 240, or whatever FPS your machine or console is capable of, the dedicated servers on Epic's side don't actually run at this frame rate. Rather, there is a server-side tick rate that acts as a de factor frame rate as far as the game logic goes. In The Other Game Mode (does Automod still censor that name?), the tick rate can be anywhere from 20-30 last I heard. However there has been no research done on the tick rate of Save the World's servers. And ultimately, your fire rate is going to be restricted to the game's frame rate. After all, you can only fire one bullet per frame, barring some kind of unusual weapon code that allows for shooting multiple bullets per frame – shotguns come to mind, as one blast delivers multiple pellets (this is why Shock Gunner + Room Sweeper caused major server issues in the past). Seeing as the result from the Bullet Storm + War Cry test was practically identical no matter what the frame rate, I suspect that the StW server tick rate is somewhere around 23, possibly 25 (there is still latency to account for, for each fire command from the client to reach the server).

Basically, this means that combining Bullet Storm or some other high fire rate hero class with War Cry and a high fire rate weapon means you can achieve a fire rate that is literally impossible for the server to keep up with. This is actually kind of hilarious.

Anyway, /u/magyst, /u/epic_clintonious, can either of you provide any information on this subject and/or forward it to the development team? Really curious to see what's actually going on behind the scenes. Thanks.


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