Today is the coveted day: Fortnite Season 5 has arrived, bringing major changes to the game, including entirely new portions of the map, a new vehicle, face masks, and more. The patch notes are huge and picking through them is tedious. Haven’t had time to jump into a game yet? Here are five big things you should know.
Rifts teleport players
Those shiny blue rifts that appeared after Fortnite‘s in-game rocket event earlier this month aren’t just for looks. Thanks to the Season 5 update, players can now find portals in various places near the ground. Jump into one of these portals and you’ll be teleported to a large rift in the sky near it, at which point you can skydive and deploy your glider.
This makes the rifts more useful than bounce pads and jump pads, but there’s a big catch: the teleportation is noisy and everyone nearby will hear your arrival as you break through. For this reason, choosing to teleport is tricky — you can make a fast escape or use it to glide elsewhere, but others may try to shoot you out of the sky.
Bouncy golf carts (ATV)
That’s right — Fortnite‘s Battle Royale finally has a proper vehicle and it comes in the form of an ATV. Players are already referring to this as a ‘golf cart,’ though it’s a bit more robust than that. Don’t worry, shopping carts remain, but the ATV is powered and can be accelerated rather than pushed, traveling at faster speeds and offering more protection.
Even better, the ATV’s roof doubles as a bounce pad, giving players a way to jump out of the car and then jump out of danger. The golf cart has room for an entire four-person squad, gets a speed boost from drifting, and rear passengers can lean back to make the ATV jump over obstacles.
Major shotgun changes
Epic has made some big changes to in-game shotguns, including one that has some players disappointed: the ability to double-pump shotguns is gone. That said, Season 5 brings some welcome tweaks that include red dots showing exactly where the pellets are going to hit. Within the reticle, players can now also see how many of the pellets hit the opponent.
Random variation in shotgun pellets is gone — the weapons now have adjusted, consistent shotgun patterns, helping improve accuracy and efficacy. The heavy shotgun now shoots 10 pellets instead of five, as well.
The shotgun isn’t the only weapon that has been updated, of course — the hunting rifle aim assist has been reduced, the suppressed SMG now has the same damage drop-off profile as other SMGs, and explosives have lowered vehicle knock back strength.
Even bigger map changes
As we’d hoped, Season 5 brings massive changes to the Fortnite BR island, eliminating Moisty Mire and replacing it with a large desert. Within that desert, players find a large race track, ATVs, new buildings, large cacti, and much more. Another familiar place has disappeared and been replaced: Anarchy Acres was removed and a new destination called “Lucky Links” has replaced it.
Changes can be found throughout other parts of the map — there’s now a large Viking village on the mountain near Snobby Shores, for example, as well as many new places scattered around that don’t have names. Existing places have been modified, too. Dusty Divot, for example, is nearly filled with trees and now has multiple small ponds, completely changing the nature of the region.
Perhaps one of the biggest surprises is how the storm works at the end of the game, upping the difficulty. Forget building large forts when the storm is near its smallest size — the circle can now shift into the existing storm.
These shifty changes can happen in storm circles 7, 8, and 9, resulting in the circle appearing in the purple on the map. The storm will move and shrink as necessary toward the new circle, forcing final players to move with it or be consumed.
Fortnite: Battle Royale is free to download and play, including the new Season 5 update. The changes are vast and impressive, improving an already great game to keep things fresh, fair, and fun. If you enjoy the content and spend many hours playing, consider picking up a Battle Pass to unlock items as you level up.
Find all the new changes in Epic’s Season 5 patch notes here.