Fortnite Season 5 Is Here: What You Need to Know

Things are starting to heat up in Fortnite as Season 5 officially kicks off.

The lead up to Season 5 has been an exciting one, with live-only events popping up in the Fortnite map and some real-world clues making their way to places in the US and Europe. And now that Season 5 has landed, it's brought a ton of notable gameplay changes (and of course, new skins) with it.

For those of you hungry for every bit of info you can find about Season 5, here's what you need to know.

When does Fortnite Season 5 start and end?

Fortnite Season 5 starts on July 12 and runs through Sept. 25.

What's new in Fortnite Season 5?

Fortnite Season 5 brings some big gameplay changes to the mix in the form of the All Terrain Kart (ATK) as well as Rifts. ATKs are basically drivable go-karts that finally deliver vehicular action to Fortnite, while Rifts are portals on the map that warp you to different locations. Season 5 also brings some notable changes to the game's map, adding new locations including a desert, a viking ship and a golf course.

What's in the Fortnite Season 5 Battle Pass?

As with every new Fortnite season, season 5 brings with it a new Battle Pass and a host of new skins. For the usual 950 V-Bucks (or about $10 in cash), the Season 5 Battle Pass allows you to unlock more than 100 new rewards, including skins and gliders inspired by mythological characters.

The road to Season 5: it started with a rocket

After the events of the live rocket launch in June, Fortnite players began observing strange phenomena around the map. Small cracks or tears in space like the giant one in the sky made by the rocket were showing up at ground level while the crack in the sky has been confirmed to be widening slightly each day.

The cracks are likely meant to be space-time portals, but where they lead and what they’ll ultimately do to Fortnite is still unclear. However, objects have been seen disappearing through those portals live during matches. Those lucky enough to catch it happening, like YouTube user GamerKid14, have posted videos of the Durr Burger mascot disappearing through one of the cracks that formed in Greasy Grove.

Then things got stranger.

Twitter user SelaShiloni posted photos of the burger sat in a desert in Llano, California without knowing what it was, but fans were quick to clue him in. Also in the area was a cop car of similar appearance to the ones in Fortnite. The car’s license plate and VIN numbers seem to indicate things about the length of the coming season (seven weeks). Signs were posted warning that “this site is unstable”.

The area also included a tent that had several items scattered on a table, including several books about UFOs. People who seemed part of the ARG later showed up at the site, as seen in this video by Reddit user boiqqq, handing out business cards with phone numbers on them. Dialing the number (712) 380-4091 only yielded strange sounds, which fans later analyzed and found to hide a code visible only in the spectrogram of the audio’s waveform (I told you it gets strange). If the super sleuths are correct, that code translates into “C7”, a coordinate on the Fortnite map that lines up with Greasy Grove where the Durr Burger mascot used to be.

The same technique was applied to sounds that played in-game during the rocket launch, which yielded more map coordinates. Each sector was the location of a disappearance of something or the appearance of a new item (like a random boat anchor that showed up in B6).

A few days later, seven large pinata llamas were found in cities throughout Europe, including London, Paris and Warsaw. There doesn’t appear to be anything in them, but if we play along with the ARG then it’s presumed they’ve been “warped” there from the game world like the giant burger and cop car in California..

Andrew Melcon is a freelance writer who specializes in covering games and gaming hardware. He's tackled everything from PC game controllers to Pokémon and PUBG and his work has appeared on sites including Tom's Guide, Tom's Hardware, Laptop Mag, and more.