Most of the early birds who awaited the release of Fortnite Season 4 rejoiced when they heard that the fan-favorite Combat Shotgun would be returning for the new Fortnite season. It wasn’t until they landed at Doom’s Domain and found one that they learned the bad news.
The Season 4 Combat wasn’t the same Combat that we used seasons ago. The damage was far lower than the Charge or Pump. It still had superior range and fire power, but the “W-Key” meta nullified the advantages of the Combat, and the damage nerf was enough to make it useless.
Sadly, it soon became apparent that the Season 4 Charge Shotgun was one of the worst shotguns that Fortnite has ever seen. The playstyle of most modern Fortnite players is more conducive to even the low-damage Tac Shotgun that we had in Season 3. Most daily players began to wonder why the Combat was even in the game in the first place.
In v14.30 – the most recent Fortnite update at the time of writing – Epic buffed the Combat Shotgun’s damage at all range. A Gold Combat can now deal 62 damage to the head from three whole tiles away. From one tile away, it can deal 94 headshot damage – enough to take some players down in two shots – just over one second.
This was a massive buff to the gun and takes it out of the F-tier, where it sat for most of the season. In a meta dominated by the Pump and – in some cases – the Charge, is the Combat worth carrying?
The answer to this question is nuanced and, largely, depends on your playstyle. At the higher levels of competition, the Combat still falls short. As one commenter in this Reddit thread points out, players have gotten better at Fortnite since the original release of the Combat. This means that players don’t expose themselves during fights as they once did, giving you less of an opportunity to shoot them from mid-range without a spray weapon like an AR or SMG.
The current Fortnite meta relies on getting in a player’s face, jumping into their box, or taking their wall and editing. The Combat doesn’t have the one-shot potential that the Pump and even the Charge do, making it far less viable at higher levels of Fortnite.
Sadly, the removal of Launch Pads had a negative effect on the Combat, as well. Anyone who remembers the original Combat knows that it excelled at downing players who were flying through the air. Simply put: this just doesn’t happen in Chapter 2 Season 4.
On the other hand, if you don’t care about playing like you’re in the FNCS, then the Charge is perfectly fine to use. You can sit on top of a ramp and chunk-damage a player running out in the open – from surprisingly far away.
Is the Combat worth carrying over a Blue or Purple Pump if you’re playing a competitive match? Probably not. The good news is that it’s usable, again, and you can make it work if that’s what you want to use. We are playing a game, after all, and the Combat is fun, again.