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Feature Article

What's New In Fortnite Season 9: Map Changes, Patch Notes, Battle Pass Skins, And More

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New season, new you.

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Fortnite Season 9 has officially begun. If you're a long-time player, you likely know what the rough outline of what to expect: a new Battle Pass filled with skins and other rewards, changes to the map, more challenges, items/mechanics, and so on. Sure enough, that's all packed into Season 9, which is now live across all platforms and introduces things like wind tunnels and the Neo Tilted area of the map (hence "Neo" being spelled out in the teasers Epic Games shared recently).

We have extensive coverage of what to expect, along with challenge guides and much more. Below, you'll find a roundup of all of this to make it easy for you to find what you're looking for. Be sure to check back as we add more.

When Does Fortnite Season 9 Start?

Epic Games posted a teaser for Fortnite Season 9 on Twitter earlier this week and confirmed that it will begin on PS4, Xbox One, PC, Switch, and mobile on Thursday, May 9. Downtime began in the early morning hours (US time) and servers are now back online with the 9.00 update.

Fortnite Season 9 Update Patch Notes

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Epic Games has released the complete patch notes for Fortnite Season 9. The notes reveal more about Slipstreams, which are a new way for players to get around the Fortnite island, and Air Vents, among many other things. The patch notes also reveal what's new and tweaked with weapons such as the Combat Shotgun. Vaulted items and weapons are also listed out.

Season 9 Map Changes

In addition to the new map elements that help you to get around, such as the aforementioned Air Vents and Slipstreams, there are also new locations on the map. In the wake of the volcano's explosion near the end of Season 8 (more on that below), Epic has added two major named areas: Mega Mall and Neo Tilted.

Season 9's First Trailer

Fortnite Season 9's first trailer features characters--the male Fortnite dude Jonesy and the Banana--discovering a hidden vault. The kill a whole load of time in there playing arcade games, working out, and generally having a good time. Eventually, however, they're rediscovered and return to the island to find it has changed significantly.

What Is The Battle Pass?

The start of Season 9 means there's a new Battle Pass. Longtime players will know what this entails and how they can get to work on unlocking all the cool cosmetics. However, if you're new to the game, we've put together a Fortnite Season 9 Battle Pass guide to get you up to speed. That article will tell you everything from what a Battle Pass is, to how much it costs (950 V-Bucks, once again), and what you get as part of it.

Fortnite Season 9's New Skins And Rewards

Along with the futuristic theme, there's a whole bunch of new outfits and styles for Fortnite players to enjoy. Some of these, like Rox, are cool progressive skins. This means that, over time, the way they look will evolve, become cooler and more elaborate as they go through the various iterations.

Buying the Battle Pass allows you to unlock all the rewards exclusive to premium pass owners; a select number of rewards are available to everyone. There are over 100 in total, spanning skins, wraps, emoticons, and more.

Season 9 Challenges

A whole new season of challenges have begun. As always, completing these will allow you to level up your Battle Pass more quickly and earn its rewards, in addition to some special ones tied directly to completing enough challenges. As in recent seasons, three challenges each week are available to everyone, while four more are reserved only for those who purchase the Battle Pass.

Each week also has an XP bonus for completing any four of the week's challenges, and new Utopia challenges are now in place for completing all challenges from a given week. Because of these requirements, they're only available to premium Battle Pass owners.

Season 9 Teasers

The first teaser tweet reads, "The Future is Unknown," indicating that the theme for Season 9 may be futuristic. The accompanying image of what looks like a demonic android ninja skin certainly lends weight to this idea.

Since the initial Twitter tease, Epic has released more teaser images. The second, showed that these teasers seem to be forming a word. The first teaser had the letter "N" in it, while the second had an "E." This time around, however, the accompanying text reads, "The future is bright." There's also a little peek at another new skin. You can take a look at the second teaser tweet below.

On May 8, the third teaser arrived. "The future is Tilted," reads the message. Again, there's an up-close shot of a new character skin. Thus far, the teasers seem to be spelling "NEO," though it's unclear if that's the clue in its entirety or whether there's more to come. Epic could be spelling out "NEON," which would make sense given the vivid colours used in the teaser images. Either way, we'll find out soon enough.

What Happened With The Volcano?

One of the major changes for Season 9 began in late Season 8. Recently an in-game event called "The Unvaulting." During this, players gathered around Loot Lake and then jumped into the mysterious vault at its center. While in there, they freed the Tommy Gun and made it available in the game. However, when players were returned to the island, the volcano that appeared for Season 8 erupted, spewing lava and firing rocks across the island. As part of this, Tilted Towers was destroyed, and this is interesting because the third teaser tweet Epic posted says, "The future is Tilted." This, of course, paved the way for Neo Tilted to be introduced.

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Sadly, The Unvaulting event had some issues and some players that were in-game hoping to see it were instead left out. In response, Epic Games has offered players the chance to rewatch it. Additionally, those that were affected by the bug are being gifted the Arcana Glider. Anyone that already purchased the Arcana Glider using V-Bucks will be refunded the 1200 V-Bucks they spent on it, although Epic has noted it's encountered some issues with this process that it's still ironing out.

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