For months now, “Fortnite: Battle Royale” has kept players on their toes with weekly — and sometimes daily — updates to the game, including new character skins, limited-time game modes, and fun and interesting challenges.
Some of those updates have been just for fun, and some actually change the way the game is played. For example, in the days leading up to the beginning of Season 5, the game hinted that a rocket launch would change the island forever. During the actual launch, the rocket caused a large rift in the space-time continuum to open up above the center of the map, and several items and landmarks throughout the island started disappearing.
The developers have also introduced or removed a few truly game-changing tools throughout the game’s history, including jet packs, guided missiles, fast-moving vehicles, and now rifts.
This week’s update marks the beginning of celebrations for the game’s first birthday, and comes just two weeks after the transition to Battle Pass Season 5, which ushered in several new locations on the island, a new vehicle, and even a new game mechanic.
Here’s everything that’s been added to Fortnite in the last few weeks:
Fortnite’s creators at Epic Games are celebrating the game’s first birthday with a special set of challenges, cosmetics, and decorations, like the ones that now adorn the Battle Bus.
Completing all of the new Birthday Challenges will earn players a festive new emote, spray, and Backbling.
The new challenges are as follows:
- Play 14 matches.
- Deal 1,000 damage to players.
- Dance in front of 10 different birthday cakes.
NEW CONSUMABLE: Birthday Cake
Birthday cake slices have been added as a consumable item, and can be found all throughout the island. Each slice gives 5 health and 5 shield points.
NEW WEAPON: Compact SMG
Fortnite’s newest firearm is a “high capacity, fast firing” submachine gun. The weapon uses light ammo and deals 23-24 points base damage.
Playground Mode will be returning on July 25 — with a few minor adjustments.
“Playground” is a limited-time sandbox-style mode that lets players take a break from the fast-paced battle-royale formula by roaming through the island with up to three of their friends, without any opponents to shoot at or hide from.
The mode includes the island’s normal amount of loot, plus ten times the normal gather rate for building materials and a hundred llamas scattered across the island, giving players the perfect environment to hone their combat and building skills without having to worry about scavenging for weapons and resources.
With this new update, many of the game’s resources are increased. Ammo cans now give ten times more ammo than they do in the regular battle royale mode, players are more likely to find the rare launch and bounce pads, and one hundred supply drops will fall to the island throughout each match.
Friendly fire will be turned on, so squad members will be able to deal damage to one another, but never fear, players who are killed in Playground Mode will immediately respawn and parachute back onto the island.
After 55 minutes of free play, the storm will begin to close in on the island, eventually ending each round after a full hour has gone by. Deaths outside of the eye of the storm will not result in a respawn.
This week’s update happens to fall on Shark Week, which creators at Epic Games have decided to celebrate with a fishy new skin and pick-axe.
Naturally, there’s an emote to go along with the set, which Epic featured on the Fortnite Twitter account:
Two weeks ago, Battle Pass Season 5 made an explosive and entrance and introduced several new items and areas to the game. Here are a few of the highlights. First: Rifts.
From here on out, we’ll focus on the changes to the game that came along with the transition to Season 5 on July 12.
Simply walking up to a rift — that is, a tear in the space-time continuum — will teleport a player way up into the air, where they’re apparently spat back out by another rift, only to parachute back onto the island.
The rifts will always drop you just above the same area where you entered, so this isn’t quite a long-distance travel solution, but it is really fun and could be helpful for making a quick escape while being chased or cornered.
The rifts seem to be scattered around the island randomly, but I found at least three all on the edge of Loot Lake in a single match.
The Season 5 update included the game’s very first four-man fast-moving vehicle, in the form of a golf cart.
They’re not all that much faster than the shopping carts, and tip over quite easily. Although, I was using the Nintendo Switch while trying one out, so I was definitely more prone to over-correcting on the steering than a person playing on PC might be.
However, the carts are really quiet, which is a nice change from lots of other battle-royale games where riding in a loud vehicle will immediately give your position away.
The carts will no doubt be invaluable for those who like to play with their friends in Squads mode.
Moisty Mire is now officially Paradise Palms, a sandy desert complete with cactuses, tumbleweeds, and lots of palm trees.
The new desert landscape covers the entire southeast corner of the map, and offers lots of new areas to explore.
It’s likely that Paradise Palms is at least somewhat inspired by resort destination Palm Springs, California, especially given Epic Game’s recent decision to plant a real-life replica of the Durr Burger in the California desert last week.
Anarchy Acres has officially been replaced by Lazy Links, a small resort complete with swimming pool, lounge chairs and water slides.
Lazy Links will likely be the best place on the map to grab an All Terrain Kart, given that the resort features a complete golf course where players can actually tee off!
A viking ship and village have appeared atop the mountain between Snobby Shores and Greasy Grove.
Season 5 also brought an entirely new selection of skins for Battle Pass holders, including one resembling the character featured in the newest official trailer: