Fortnite Season 4 Start Date, Update Time, And What To Expect [Update]

Fortnite is preparing to launch Chapter 2, Season 4, and Thor looks to be a lock to make an appearance.

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[Update: Fortnite Season 4 has now begun. The game has updated with new Marvel content despite ongoing legal battles between Epic Games, Google, and Apple preventing new mobile players from installing it.]

Original story follows:

Fortnite: Chapter 2, Season 4 starts today, August 27, which is now less than a day away. Server downtime will commence overnight US time to prepare for update 14.00, which will kick off Season 4 and its Marvel tie-in that involves "the war to save reality." The days leading up to its release have seen Epic and Marvel release a series of teasers and in-game comics that are setting up the game's latest Marvel crossover. Thor appears to be at least one of the stars and may be this season's special battle pass skin. We'll know for sure on Thursday, but read on for a look at everything we know about Season 4 so far, including exactly when it begins and what teasers have been shared.

What Time Does Fortnite Season 4 Start?

Epic has revealed that Fortnite Season 4 will begin on August 27, 2020--that's this Thursday. Specifically, you can expect downtime to begin at 2 AM ET / 7 AM BST (11 AM PT on August 26), with the Season 4 update, version 14.00, arriving once it's concluded. Epic has warned that patch sizes will be "larger than normal" with the start of the new season, but it didn't specify exact download sizes.

The studio confirmed the launch date in a blog post regarding the upcoming Free Fortnite tournament. That tourney is another move intended to put pressure on Apple and Google, both by offering exclusive prizes and encouraging players to send feedback to the platform-holders. The tournament was held on Sunday, August 23.

Since the legal dispute between Epic and the mobile storefronts for Apple and Google began, Epic has used the imminent launch of Season 4 to rally its player base to complain about the game's removal from its store. That indicated that the launch wasn't too far off, but the company only recently announced exactly when. As of now, Fortnite Season 4 won't be available on iOS, though it will be playable on Android thanks to the game's availability through places other than the Google Play Store.

What To Expect From Season 4

Epic hasn't detailed exactly what to expect from Season 4, but it has already teased a big cameo: Thor. A Twitter post shows Marvel branding, along with what appears to be Thor's glowing eyes and golden locks visible in the logo. This is supported by the tweet itself, which sports a hammer, lightning, and rainbow emoji--all symbols associated with the character.

Prior to the actual Season 4 start date, a prelude comic is available when opening the game and a new rift seems to have formed in the sky. It points to very big changes happening again in just a few days. The comic mentions Thor by name, fueling speculation he will be in the game. The second part of the comic has also now been released.

Another collaboration with Marvel makes sense. Fortnite has incorporated several Marvel Comics characters into its game, from a Thanos tie-in to Infinity War to the recent addition of the popular (and very R-rated) character Deadpool.

Recent seasons have introduced Deadpool and Aquaman skins, along with challenges and other content themed around the characters. It seems likely that a Thor skin is on the way for Season 4. Fortnite leaks have also suggested that Thor's hammer is coming to the new season.

Additional teasers have continued to roll out each day; you can see them all above or head into the game to read all of the comics that have been released to date.

Apple and Google Legal Battle Ongoing

Amid all this stage-setting for Fortnite Season 4, the company is moving forward with its antitrust suits against Apple and Google. The legal dispute began when Epic Games introduced a way to circumvent Apple and Google's payment systems with direct payments to Epic, thereby cutting out their share of the sales. Both platforms then pulled the game, prompting a lawsuit and PR blitz that appeared to have been prepared in advance.

Most recently, Epic says Apple has "retaliated ferociously" against the company, threatening to cut off dev tools like the ones used by Unreal Engine developers across the industry. That could have a wide impact on much more than Fortnite.

But in terms of how this impacts the game, Fortnite: Season 4 will not be accessible on iOS. Android players have means outside of the Google Play Store to acquire and update the game, so they should be able to continue. But without being able to distribute the update on Apple's App Store, Epic says Fortnite players on iPhone and iPad won't be able to dive into the new season's content.

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