If you currently log into the immensely popular battle royale game Fortnite, you’ll find you can’t actually play. After a cataclysmic event destroyed the island map on which you play, all that’s left is a black hole sitting in the middle of a void. Not to worry though, as we’re expecting a refreshed map to debut with the start of Fortnite Chapter 2 Season 1 (or Season 11 if you’re continuing counting from the previous seasons).
Here’s what we know about what’s coming next for Fortnite, and what you can look forward to when you can play the game again.
When does Fortnite Chapter 2 start?
For some lucky people, it's available now! Twitch Streamer DrLupo is currently exploring the new map with a group of friends, so if you have the chance you can get a first look at the map through him. If you want to try out the refreshed Fortnite for yourself, you'll need to have downloaded the update for the game before logging back in, but the bottom line is don’t worry. You’ll be back leaping from the battle bus again before you know it.
At the end of Season 10 on Sunday October 13, during an event fittingly called ‘The End’, a combination of rifts and rockets tore the island apart, leaving only the black hole you’ll currently see when you log in. Epic Games, developer of fortnite, has gone all the way with this, deleting all of the official Fortnite Twitter account’s tweets (these have since returned), and changing all its profile pictures to be a simple black circle.
The Fortnite YouTube channel also joined in on the action. Its profile picture is still a black hole, and the channel’s was livestreaming the spinning blackness that used to be the map, until the launch trailer replaced it.
Have no fear though, the ‘Fortnite Blackout’ as Epic has described it, has not affected your inventory or V-bucks attached to your account, according to a now-deleted Ask PlayStation tweet.
Fortnite Chapter 2 trailer
The video above marks the first glimpse of what Fortnite Chapter 2 has in store. The trailer shows a group of players entering a new map, fishing, taking in the sights (such as farmland, a mountain and a toxic industrial area) before the familiar battle bus flies into view heralding the start of the new season.
Weapons: Your guns are now upgradeable using resources at special upgrade benches found around the map. The available weaponry has been cut down back to basics, although there are a few new armaments to use. I guess we’ll have to wait for a new season before we get stuff like the mechs, rolling balls and Batman weapons back on the battlefield.
Fishing: This requires you to find a rod first, but when you do, you can catch fish that you can then eat to recover health,
Medals: This sytem helps encourage you to explore the new map and features, rewarding you with XP for finding the new locations and trying all the new things you can do.
Swimming: At last, you can do more than just wade through bodies of water. You can swim and dive through the many waterways of the new map.
Speedboats: A new vehicle for your whole squad to ride in and find innocent swimmers to take down. The boat's also got a mounted gun so you don't waste your own precious ammunition.
Hiding: You can conceal yourself inside haystacks or dumpsters, and then leap out to surprise passing opponents.
Squad abilities: These include a healing bazooka weapon (which you can also use on yourself if needs be), the ability to carry fallen squadmates on your back, and new group emotes.
Fortnite Chapter 2 Map
According to some enterprising individuals who have already datamined the update to the game, the Fortnite Chapter 2 map is codenamed ‘Apollo’.
These dataminers also uncovered the map screen (see below) and the names of the locations: Beachy Buffs, Pleasant Park, Sunny Shores, Salty Springs, Frenzy Farm, Holly Hedges, Slurpy Swamp, Lazy Lake, Retail Row, Dirty Docks, Power Plant and Weeping Woods.
Now that the game is live for some players , it looks as if there's been some graphical changes to the environment and objects, including the outfits for the default character skins. Epic Games are clearly serious about this update being a big change for the game, even compared to previous seasons where they've changed whole chunks of the map.
Fortnite Chapter 2 Battle Pass
The official trailer above shows off how Epic has revamped the Battle Pass, Fortnite Battle Royale’s season-long subscription that lets you unlock cosmetic items
Alongside a new bundle of goodies to unlock and extra V-bucks to earn, there are apparently new ways to go about this, with some of the shown activities including chopping wood, opening chests and fishing as well as defeating other players.
This trailer also shows off some other new mechanics coming to this season, such as speedboats, swimming, or hiding in haystacks or dumpsters to set up an ambush. It also looks like one of the new emotes puts your character on a pogo stick, which without a doubt is going to be the one everyone will start looking for once the game goes live again.
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Richard is based in London, covering news, reviews and how-tos for phones, tablets, gaming, and whatever else people need advice on. Following on from his MA in Magazine Journalism at the University of Sheffield, he's also written for WIRED U.K., The Register and Creative Bloq. When not at work, he's likely thinking about how to brew the perfect cup of specialty coffee.