'Fortnite' Hotfix Patch Notes: Epic Nerfs Stinger SMG and MK-Seven Assault Rifle in New Update

A new hotfix has been rolled out to Fortnite to implement some balancing tweaks.

The battle royale already had a major update earlier this week, which saw the long-awaited debut of tornadoes and the return of flare guns. By comparison, this latest patch doesn't bring much else to the table, other than some minor adjustments for pre-existing content. However, the changes made to the weapon loadout here will have a significant impact on matches going forward and the loot that people crave.

On Wednesday, January 12, the official Fortnite status Twitter account (which normally posts about things like server downtime and platform-specific bugs) announced that balancing tweaks were imminent and that they were going to be applied to a handful of weapons. Specifically, they mentioned that the Stinger SMG, the MK-Seven Assault Rifle and the Auto Shotgun would all be affected by this patch.

At the time, they didn't indicate how these firearms were going to be changed with the hotfix, but many assumed they were getting nerfed. The community response to this was mixed, with some fans claiming that the update was overdue (and that Stinger SMG in particular has been overpowered for far too long), while others voiced concerns that this could make the pump-action shotgun the only viable weapon for pros in Fortnite.

Keeping the community happy with things like this is always a delicate balancing act, as there is never a consensus on whether certain mechanics truly need to be rebalanced. For example, the salvaged B.R.U.T.E mechs were considered to be absurdly strong back in Chapter 1, Season X, but some fans started to miss them once they were gone.

Stinger SMG and MK-Seven Assault Rifle Damage Reduced

In the case of the latest update, it has now been announced that the Stinger SMG and MK-Seven Assault Rifle have been nerfed, while the Auto Shotgun has actually been improved ever-so-slightly.

The official patch notes clarify that the Stinger's damage was "decreased," while the MK-Seven's firepower was only "slightly decreased." They didn't release hard numbers to quantify how much the guns had been downgraded, but the phrasing did suggest that the SMG took the biggest hit.

This has since been confirmed by data miners like @HYPEX, who have taken a look at the game's code and discovered the exact figures. It turns out that the Stinger SMG has had its damage reduced by 2, while the MK-Seven has been reduced by 1.

This reduction has been applied to all of the different variants of each weapon. For instance, a common Stinger used to deal 18 damage, but now only inflicts 16, while its mythic counterpart has gone down from 24 to 22.

As for the Auto Shotgun, it has had a few seconds shaved off its reload time, to make it a more desirable weapon. The specifics of each change from the new hotfix have been broken down in the tables below.

It'll be interesting to see how this hotfix affects the dynamic of Fortnite matches, as the Stinger had become a really popular weapon lately. Epic Games has indicated that it will continue to monitor the situation and may adjust the guns yet again if there is enough feedback from the community.

Stinger SMG Damage Reduction

Weapon RarityDamage Reduction
Common (Grey)18 to 16
Uncommon (Green)19 to 17
Rare (Blue)20 to 18
Epic (Purple)21 to 19
Legendary (Orange)22 to 20
Mythic (Gold)24 to 22

MK-Seven Assault Rifle Damage Reduction

Weapon RarityDamage Reduction
Common (Grey)21 to 20
Uncommon (Green)22 to 21
Rare (Blue)23 to 22
Epic (Purple)24 to 23
Legendary (Orange)25 to 24
Mythic (Gold)26 to 25

Auto Shotgun Reload Time Buff

Weapon RarityReload Speed
Common (Grey)8.8 to 6.2
Uncommon (Green)8.4 to 6
Rare (Blue)8 to 5.7
Epic (Purple)7.6 to 5.4
Legendary (Orange)7.2 to 5.1
Mythic (Gold)6.8 to 4.8
Fortnite Chapter 3 Season 1 Keyart
Image shows the promotional artwork for "Fortnite" Chapter 3, Season 1. The game has just made some balancing tweaks to a few of its more powerful weapons. Epic Games