Fortnite has launched its hotly-anticipated Season Five, which features a bevy of new features and is being heralded as the biggest overhaul to the blockbuster game yet.
The latest software update introduces an off-road vehicle, new desert locations, the ability to teleport across the map using so-called rifts, and Wild West themed heroes.
Fortnite is set on a dystopian island, with each new season tweaking the geography.
Season Five is no different, with the introduction of a desert biome to the island that adds new arid playable locations, known as Paradise Palms and Lazy Links.
Players will also see a host of other addition scattered across the map, including Viking warships and ancient statues decorating the island scenery.
New seasons also see developer Epic Games add new missions, characters, abilities and unlockable items – which players access by buying a Battle Pass with in-game credits, known as V-Bucks, which are purchased with real money.
Epic Games took its hugely-successful title offline for two hours to install the new updates to Fortnite.
The scheduled downtime started at 9:00 BST (4:00 ET), with Season Five going live to Fortnite players across the world at 11:15 BST.
Fortnite has launched its Season Five. The game was offline for just over two hours as developers Epic Games worked on installing the updates
The game is also bringing in a new vehicle, called the All Terrain Kart (ATK). The ATK can host an entire squad, helping teams get from one place to the next as a unit (pictured)
Epic Games keeps the in-game additions for each new season secret until it takes the title offline ahead of its launch.
It confirmed on its Reddit page: ‘Patch Notes will be available as soon as downtime begins and we’ll update you once you once servers are back online and you can explore everything new for yourself.’
As well as the new locations, and decorations to the maps – Fortnite Season Five also brings an entirely-new vehicle, known as the All Terrain Kart or ATK.
The ATK is large enough to transport an entire squad, helping teams get from one location on the island to the next as a unit.
Rifts have also been introduced, but details on the new feature remain scarce.
‘Test your courage and step through a Rift. You’re in for a wild ride,’ developer Epic Games teases in the patch notes for the fifth season.
Players have speculated rifts will allow in-game characters to teleport around the map, however, some suggest it could lead to a new world outside of the island.
With regards to the Save The World mode inside Fortnite, the developer has kickstarted a new event, known as ‘Road Trip’.
To go with the latest version of the game, Fortnite has reintroduced the ‘Challenge the Horde’ mode, which was previously dropped from the game.
In Epic’s season five patch notes, it revealed what will be introduced in the game’s next iteration. The game features a new vehicle, desert locations and the ability to rift (pictured)
As well as new costumes and items, Fortnite developer Epic Games has reintroduced the ‘Challenge the Horde’ game mode to the hugely-successful title
With regards to the Save The World mode, a new event has started called ‘Road Trip’ and Fortnite has also released a range of Wild West themed heroes (pictured)
A major change i season five is the introduction of a desert biome that has two separate locations: Paradise Palms and Lazy Links
WHAT IS FORTNITE?
Fortnite is a game that originally launched as a disk back in July 2017 and was then turned into a free-to-download game by its developer, Epic Games, in September.
There are three forms of the game: ‘Battle Royale’, ‘Save The World’ and ‘Playground’.
Save the world is the original form of the game and is currently not available to play as part of the free-to-download game, instead it comes as part of a £30 ($40) extra.
It is a co-op mode with a story that’s playable solo or online with friends.
Fortnite is a battle royale-style survival shooter where players create a superhero avatar and compete against each other on a dystopian island
Users compete in teams of up to three to complete a variety of missions.
It is rumoured that the game will be added to the free-to-play version of the game in the future.
Whilst Save The World may be the original version of the game, its sister mode is by far the most popular.
Battle Royale is a game of survival where players create a superhero avatar and compete against each other on a dystopian island.
Each game, or ‘match’ as each competition is known, starts with 100 players.
The aim of the game is to be the last one standing. Users can form allegiances and play in small groups.
To enable this and the interactive experience, the game allows completely open communication between players.
Inspired by the Hunger Games novels and films, gamers search for weapons to help them survive.
Armed with quirky weapons and amusing dances, the game has swept across the gaming world, with children flocking to it.
While there is no exact figure on how many children play Fortnite, the game has so far pulled in an audience of over 125 million players.
Playground is the latest addition to the game and is a consequence free mode with more loot and unlimited respawning to allow players to get creative.
It involved groups of up to four people working as a team and the players can hone their skills as the practise in advance of entering Battle Royale where they will face better players.
Fortnite has also introduced Wild West-themed heroes.
These gunslingers can also be equipped with ‘Flintlock’ weapons, in line with the historical theme of the update, which has been rumoured for weeks.
Fortnite has also updated the selection of skins available to players.
These allow players to customise their in-game characters with a new look.
The showcased Season Five skins include a character wearing the Kitsune mask first seen in the initial teaser image for the latest update.
Fortnite will also be releasing an updated range of skins for gamers to play as. The showcased skins include a character wearing the Kitsune mask from the first Fortnite season 5 teaser
The new skins also includes a biker girl, a military outfit, Viking outfits and a terrifying skin which has a skull face and spiky horns (pictured)
Other skins include a biker girl, a military outfit, Viking outfits and a terrifying demon-esque skin with a skull face and spiky horns.
As with all previous Fortnite updates, there are a bunch of fixes and performance improvements to go with the item and location changes.
For example, shotguns have been tweaked after a huge number of complaints, with the pellet spread produced by the game’s most popular weapon no longer random.
The new Battle Pass also launches with Season 5, and as ever it can only be purchased in-game and costs 950 V-Bucks ($9.50/£8.00).
Fortnite has been drumming up excitement for the update in the lead-up to today, drip-feeding fans with teaser images via Twitter.
A mysterious cat-like figure was the first hint at the update by the game’s developers, immediately provoking speculation as to what it might mean.
Fortnite has been drumming up excitement for the update in the lead up to today, drip-feeding fans with teaser images via Twitter (pictured)
A mysterious cat-like figure was the first hint of the update from the game’s developers, immediately provoking speculation as to what it might mean. This was followed a day later with an image of a viking axe
The Wild West heroes can also be equipped with ‘Flintlock’ weapons, in line with the historical theme of the update (pictured)
WHAT ARE FORTNITE BATTLE PASSES?
Fortnite offers its players powerful new weapon upgrades and new outfits as rewards, some of which can be earned by completing challenges.
But the game’s rarest loot comes from optional premium Battle Passes, which grant players better quality items for each season’s reward tiers.
None of the prizes impact your chances in-game, as they are purely cosmetic.
Battle Passes are paid for with in-game credits, called V-Bucks, purchased with real world money.
One season’s Battle Pass costs 950 V-Bucks, with 1,000 V-Bucks costing £7.99 ($9.99).
However, it’s also possible to buy each season’s reward tiers individually for 150 V-bucks, which unlocks their game-play immediately.
If you were to do this for each of the season’s 100 tiers, this would cost around £120 ($150).
The theories oscillated around two main fan concepts with regards to what the feline figure could represent — with some claiming the image is Bastet, the Egyptian cat goddess of warfare, and others believe it is Kitsune, a Japanese fox with magical powers.
This was followed a day later with an image of a viking axe, and finally a poster, saying ‘Worlds Collide Tomorrow’.
The tweets each garnered thousands of retweets and likes.
Gamers were reporting bouts of unusual activity in the popular survival shooter, as it edged closer to the release date of the latest season.
One of the video game’s disappearing objects even reappeared in the real-world, with a ‘Durr burger’ spotted in the Californian desert.
The game leaked into the real-world in the run up to season five, with supply llamas from the game cropping up in numerous European cities. One was spotted in Covent Garden, London yesterday, inside a red telephone box (pictured)
Cracks in Fortnite’s sky were created by a mysterious rocket launch and objects have been sucked into portals as season four draws to a close. One of the game’s objects even appeared in the real-world, as a ‘Durr burger’ found its way to the Californian desert (pictured)
A confused photographer captured an image of the misplaced burger and there’s now an ‘agent’ in place at the area handing out business cards, with nothing but an Iowa phone number on it.
The game has continued to leak into the real-world, with supply llamas from the game cropping up in numerous European cities.
One was spotted in Covent Garden, in central London yesterday, poking out of a red telephone box.
Llamas have also been spotted in Warsaw, Cologne, Barcelona, Cannes and Paris.