Here's what to know about the new season of Epic's popular battle royale game.
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Following an extended bout of downtime, Chapter 2 of Fortnite has officially begun. Epic's hit battle royale game has returned from the depths of a black hole with a big update that significantly revamps the experience. Not only is there a new map, but new gameplay mechanics--such as swimming, fishing, and weapon upgrading--have also been added. On top of that, there's a slew of new skins and other cosmetic rewards to unlock as part of the new Battle Pass--which is easier to level up in this time around.
In short, a lot has changed in Fortnite Chapter 2, and we're still discovering more tweaks because Epic hasn't released patch notes for the update. To catch you up on everything that's different in this season of Fortnite, we've rounded up all the most important details about Chapter 2 below, from the map changes and new mechanics to Battle Pass adjustments and more.
What Was "The End" Event?
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Before Chapter 2 kicked off, Epic closed out Season 10 of Fortnite with a cataclysmic event called "The End." On October 13, the countdown clocks around the island struck zero, and the new rocket the Visitor had built at Dusty Depot launched, precipitating a chain reaction that ultimately created a black hole. The vortex sucked everything--players, the Battle Bus, and even the island itself--up, seemingly deleting the game. If you missed the event live, you can watch a replay of it above.
Following the event, Fortnite experienced an extended blackout. Players were still able to log into the game, but their character would similarly be sucked into the black hole before they were able to jump into a match--although they could play a secret mini-game by inputting the Konami code. The game would remain offline like this for more than 24 hours--the longest Fortnite has ever been down--until Epic rolled out the Chapter 2 update on October 15.
Is This Fortnite Season 11?
Naturally, many assumed that Season 10 of Fortnite would be followed by Season 11, and while a new season is indeed underway, Epic has rebranded it as Chapter 2, Season 1. That said, the usual changes that accompany each seasonal changeover are present and accounted for. There's a new Battle Pass to purchase, and it grants holders access to exclusive challenges to complete and rewards to unlock.
What New Map Locations Are There?
Each season typically introduces a handful of new areas to explore, but Chapter 2 makes some larger-than-usual changes to the battlefield. Epic has completely revamped Fortnite's map for Chapter 2. There are 13 major locations across the island; while a handful, such as Retail Row and Pleasant Park, will be immediately familiar to Fortnite veterans, most of the areas are entirely new, like Slurpy Swamp and Craggy Cliffs. You can see a list of all the big named locations on the new map below:
- Sweaty Sands
- Holly Hedges
- Slurpy Swamp
- Weeping Woods
- Salty Springs
- Pleasant Park
- Craggy Cliffs
- Frenzy Farm
- Steams Stacks
- Dirty Docks
- Lazy Lake
- Misty Meadows
- Retail Row
Is There A Fortnite Chapter 2 Battle Pass?
While many aspects of Fortnite have changed with the arrival of Chapter 2, one that hasn't is the Battle Pass. You can purchase a pass for 950 V-Bucks--roughly $10 USD--and it grants you access to exclusive rewards that you can unlock as the season progresses. Some of these rewards can be unlocked by anyone, but the most coveted ones are locked behind the Battle Pass, so you'll want to pick one up if you intend on playing the game often. You can recoup the cost just by playing, however; you can earn up to 1,500 V-Bucks throughout the season as Battle Pass rewards, which is more than enough to cover the cost of next season's pass barring any big changes.
Season 10 made some major changes to how the Battle Pass works. Among other things, it gave only Battle Pass holders access to the weekly challenges. It's currently unclear if this restriction will carry over in Chapter 2, Season 1, but an introductory set of challenges is now available, with another batch coming on October 17. If you want a head start on unlocking rewards, you can pick up a Battle Bundle for 2,800 V-Bucks, which will give you immediate access to the first 25 tiers of unlockables. You can also gift a Battle Pass to a friend for $9.49 directly, rather than having to use V-Bucks.
What Else Is New In Fortnite Chapter 2?
In addition to the aforementioned map changes, Epic has introduced a variety of new mechanics to Fortnite, many related to the increased presence of water on the island. Now, you can traverse bodies of water by swimming or hopping into one of the game's new motor boats. You can also go fishing. To do so, you'll first need to find a fishing rod (they're typically located inside barrels near beaches or lakes) and then head to any body of water. You can fish up various rewards, including random weapons and a Slurpfish, which restores 50 points to both your health and shield.
On top of that, Epic has added an upgrade bench to the game. Using the materials you've gathered in a match, you can upgrade your weapons, improving their rarity and effectiveness. This has significant gameplay implications, as you're no longer dependent on random drops to get the best loot; you can now craft if yourself with enough resources. Other gameplay tweaks include the ability to carry downed allies on your shoulders to safety, and you'll now earn XP and medals for various actions while you play such as looting chests and eliminating opponents, making it easier than before to level up your Battle Pass.
Another significant change that Epic confirmed before the season even began: the addition of bots. As part of its recent Fortnite matchmaking changes, the developer has introduced AI-controlled opponents to the game, so if you suddenly find yourself having an easier time securing Victory Royales, that's likely why. According to Epic, these bots are intended to help players hone their skills and develop their strategies, and the better players get, the fewer bots will appear in their matches, the developer says.