Fortnite announced in a June 3 post that they would be rolling out a graphics update upon release of Chapter 2, Season 7 on June 8.
With Season 7 here we’re taking a look at these graphics changes and what you can expect from them, in regards to both picture quality and performance.
What did Fortnite’s graphics update change?
These graphics upgrades introduce advanced effects, especially centered around explosions that you’ll come across when shooting cars, gas cans, and other volatile items on the island. Improvements have also been made to slurp juice splash and fire effects.
Additionally, Epic Games has updated their shadow effects, so expect these to look a bit more realistic.
Which settings will the graphics update affect?
These graphics changes will only affect the High and Epic presets; Performance Mode Alpha, Low, and Medium presets will be entirely unaffected.
From what Epic states in their blog post, it appears that the High preset will take over the role that the Epic preset formerly held. In other words, if you used to run Fortnite at maximum settings, you can expect roughly the same appearance in Chapter 2 Season 7 when running at High.
This means that the Epic preset will offer the best graphics available to date, and the most realistic effects.
What do I need to run Epic settings?
With the release of v17.00 (C2S7), Epic Games has also released system spec recommendations for the Epic quality preset.
The specifications are as follows:
- Nvidia GTX 1080/Radeon RX 5700 XT or better
- 4GB VRAM or better (this seems strange, since both the GTX 1080 and RX 5700XT have 8GB of VRAM. We’d recommend at least 8GB for best results).
- Core i7-8700/Ryzen 7 3700X or better
- 16GB RAM or better
- NVMe SSD
- Windows 10 64-bit
These are pretty stringent specifications, especially considering the difficulty of acquiring a good graphics card at the moment.
Chapter 2 Season 6 vs. Season 7 Fortnite Benchmarks (with RTX 3080)
In order to compare the effect of the update on performance, we benchmarked the game at both High and Epic presets with our RTX 3080.
- Gigabyte RTX 3080 (stock speeds)
- Intel Core i5-11600K (stock speeds)
- ABKONCORE CT407W
- ASRock Z590M Phantom Gaming 4
- OLOy 32GB DDR4 3200MHz RAM
- PNY CS3030 1TB NVMe
- EVGA SuperNova 750 G5
- NZXT H510
Season 6 vs. Season 7 Graphics Comparison
We just so happened to record benchmarks during the middle of Season 6 when we were testing our newly-acquired RTX 3080, which you can view below. Keep in mind there’s typically a 5-10FPS drop associated with GeForce Experience (our recording software), so average FPS would be slightly higher if we weren’t recording.
If you’d rather skip to the results (we’d recommend it), we display them all at the end of the video.
Our final results for the Chapter 2 Season 6 benchmarks at High and Epic presets were 211FPS and 166FPS, respectively.
Meanwhile, when tested this season (this time without GeForce Experience, thus reflecting maximum FPS), we saw framerates of 185 and 172 at High and Epic.
In other words, our High-preset FPS took a pretty sizeable hit (26FPS, or a 12% loss), but Epic was largely unaffected. In fact, we actually saw better performance in Season 7, although this was almost definitely due to game-to-game fluctuations as well as GeForce Experience.
How will the graphics update affect you?
If you have a card with a lot of VRAM (like the 3080’s 10GB), you won’t be affected nearly as badly. In our instance, nothing really changed, since we’d likely cap our FPS at 144 when playing at high resolutions, anyway.
If you were already dangerously close to your preferred threshold (like 60 or 144FPS), the update may impact you more substantially.
The good news is that, in the worst case scenario, you can switch to the High preset to get the same graphical experience, more or less, that you had before.