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Fortnite Season 7 patch notes: update v17.21 adds Plasma Cannon and more

Epic Games deploys update v17.21 to spruce up Fortnite Chapter 2 Season 7.

Fortnite Chapter 2 Season 7 patch notes.
Epic Games
Published: Tuesday, 20th July 2021 at 10:45 am

Once again, Fortnite is deploying an update! Today (that's 27th July 2021), fans will be treated to the v17.21 update, which Epic Games is patching into the game as we speak.


As part of Fortnite Chapter 2 Season 7, this update's patch notes will freshen things up a bit and give fans some new things to enjoy. The current spate of Fortnite Season 7 downtime should be worth the hassle, then.

Today's v17.21 update follows hot on the heels of last week's v17.20 update, which added the Preferred Item Slots setting as well as the Bugha’s Late Game mode.

But what does today's update, v17.21, have to add? Keep on reading and we'll break down everything we know about the patch notes.

Full Fortnite Season 7 patch notes for update v17.21

Teasing the update yesterday, Epic Games said in a tweet: "Take up the power… of science!" It never takes much to get fans speculating, but those weird certainly sent our thinking caps into overdrive! What could it mean?

Luckily, Epic Games didn't leave us alone with our thoughts for too long, dropping an official Fortnite blog post on the morning of 27th July to explain the update in more detail.

This blog is basically the full patch notes, so there's plentiful information to absorb here. There are three main sections to these patch notes, which we'll summarise for you below:

New item: How to get the Plasma Cannon in Fortnite

The major new attraction within update v17.21 is the Plasma Cannon weapon, which Epic Games describes like so: "Found from IO Chests and normal ones, the Plasma Cannon has enough energy to fire five plasma balls.

"What’s the big deal about these? An electrical dome will surround them as they slowly move forward, and enemies who get caught in the dome will take heavy damage and be impulsed back. Vehicles are affected in the same way. Tip: if you find a way to keep enemies in the dome even when impulsed, they will take repeated damage.

"How the Plasma Cannon affects buildings is a different story. Fearing Aliens may prove to be advanced architects, the IO made it so that the Plasma Cannon destroys structures just about instantly. The Plasma Cannon can be crafted in addition to being found. Because the IO used Alien technology to invent it, it can be crafted by combining a Legendary Pistol with an Alien Nanite.

"With one Plasma Cannon, one plasma ball can be deployed at a time. (Technically two for a brief moment.) But if you have multiple Plasma Cannons and cycle through them, multiple plasma balls can be deployed at once."

If you want to get a Plasma Cannon for yourself, you'd better starting looking - they can be found in both IO Chests and normal chests, so fingers crossed they shouldn't be too tricky to find. Take a look at the trailer below to see on in action!

New POI: Where to find the mysterious spaceship

Another interesting addition is a peaceful-seeming spaceship right at the heart of the Fortnite Season 7 map. As Epic Games puts it: "An unusual Alien ship is hovering over The Aftermath… The IO says 'unusual' because its intent doesn’t seem to be for harm. It’s predicted its purpose will become clearer in the near future."

If you want to check out this new point of interest for yourself, all you need to do is head to The Aftermath. That's the big, circular, purple debris field right in the centre of the map. It seems pretty clear that this spaceship will play a role in some sort of story event soon!

Any other business: Two brief notes from Epic Games

Right at the end of the patch notes, Epic Games offered two brief notes. The first one says, "Please note that the Plasma Cannon is not present in competitive playlists."

And on a totally different note, the second sentence at the end of patch notes says: "The Inflate-A-Bull has been re-enabled in competitive playlists."

And that's pretty much everything you need to know about today's update! There's no sign of the rumoured Ariana Grande concert just yet... unless she's hiding in that spaceship?

What else is happening in Fortnite Season 7?

In case you've been living under a rock for the last month, allow us to sum up what Season 7 is all about. Aliens are a major factor in Fortnite Chapter 2 Season 7, with the Invasion event bringing otherworldly beings into the game back in June.

In a big blog post, Epic Games confirmed a lot of new additions: there are now flying saucers in the game that players can hijack and control; there are also changes to various weapons, including a Rail Gun that can shoot through structures; there are 'Roving Saucers' that rain nuts and bolts that you can use to craft upgrades; and in the Season 7 Battle Pass, there is even an option to customise your own alien using Alien Artifacts.

As seen in the trailer above, Fortnite Season 7 features such iconic sci-fi characters as DC's Superman and Rick from Rick & Morty.

And in a fun twist to the usual Fortnite art style, Rick has retained his exact character model from the TV show, so it will literally look like he just walked in from one of his many televised adventures.

Whether this leads to further alien-related skins being added to the game remains to be seen, but our fingers are crossed in hope that Mulder and Scully will be running around the map before too long.

Epic Games also shared another video (see above), teasing the contents of the Fortnite Chapter 2 Season 7 battle pass. It gives us a better look at Superman, Rick and various other snazzy skins that will be unlockable/available to purchase during this season.

Read more:

Epic Games also confirmed in a blog post that Fortnite Chapter 2 Season 7 will add some new 'Epic' PC settings to the game, for those of you whose computers can handle them. With these new settings on, you'll see some decent benefits: effects will be enhanced, there will be improved post-processing features and look for shadow quality to be given a boost too.

To make the most of the changes, which will include Battle Royale and Creative modes getting better effects for storms and clouds, you will need to make sure your PC is powerful enough to handle it. If you do see it start to struggle, the option is there to go back to the earlier settings and play as normal.

Here are the specs you will need to run Fortnite's 'Epic' settings with the changes on PC:

  • Nvidia GTX 1080, AMD Radeon RX 5700 XT, or equivalent GPU
  • 4 GB VRAM or higher
  • Intel Core i7-8700, AMD Ryzen 7 3700x, or equivalent
  • 16 GB RAM or higher
  • NVMe Solid State Drive
  • Windows 10 64-bit

Whenever the next Fortnite update rolls around, we'll be sure to let you know! Surely it won't be long before we start to hear about Fortnite Season 8!

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