When it was first leaked that helicopters would be coming to Fortnite, many players had flashbacks to Season 7, when planes rained terror across the island. However, it seems that Epic Games have learned their lesson this time around.
Added in the v12.20 update, the Choppa is a new Fortnite vehicle, which if the name didn’t give it away, is a helicopter. Despite initial concern amongst the community, the developers have done a really good job balancing the Choppa, and it makes for an exciting new mobility option.
Although many people loved the X-4 Stormwing planes back in Season 7, there were also plenty who spent every waking second wishing they would be removed. Of course, it’s always going to be hard to please everyone, but it seems that Epic are much closer to doing that this time.
my license as a helicopter pilot is expired pic.twitter.com/IWhaaXJo5w— ewok (@Ewok) March 19, 2020
The first reason for this is that there are far fewer Choppa spawns than there were with planes. This means that there is a greater element of risk if you are trying to compete for one of the helicopters. Also, with the skies less busy, players in a Choppa stick out like a sore thumb, making themselves an easy target.
However, at the same time, this means that if you do get your hands on one, the experience is that little bit more special. Also, whilst it can be quite easy to shoot down a helicopter, they still remain a very strong option for quick movement around the map.
Another big positive is that the attacking power of the Choppa is fairly limited when compared to the planes. There is no built-in weaponry, so the only ways to deal damage are to shoot from the passenger seats or crash directly into someone. Due to the way the helicopters move, it isn’t too hard to avoid one if you see it hurtling towards you.
Helicopter Trick shot ??pic.twitter.com/qDw2FMxkgZ— Fortnite Funny (@FortniteFunny) March 17, 2020
Finally, this new vehicle is not currently available in Arena and tournament playlists. Despite the Choppa perhaps being less controversial than the planes, it would still have caused a rift in the competitive community.
Epic often seem to deal in extremes. We went from the sheer insanity of the mechs in Season X, to the driest few months content wise at the beginning of Chapter 2. The helicopters resemble a nice middle ground, they are fun and completely new to Fortnite, but not too strong or annoying that they will put people off. Hopefully we see more of this sort of balance in the future.