Fortnite season 5 is upon us at last. After ten weeks of superheroes and blockbuster films, we are entering an entirely new era in Fortnite, one that has a historical theme, and brings major changes to the game.
As I write this article (at 4 AM ET), the game is still offline, but Epic has already posted patch notes for v5.0, the giant patch to kick off season 5. There is a ton to go through, and you’re going to want to buckle up for what will be a rather bumpy ride. Obviously before the game is playable, it’s hard to fully decipher all of this, but for now, here’s what we know. I’ll update later once the game comes back online.
Shotgun Nerfs (and Buffs?)
Here we go. In what will surely upset a good amount of players, Epic has nerfed the popular dual shotgun strategy, which allows players to switch quickly to a second slotted shotgun to avoid reloading during fast-paced up-close battles. The note itself reads “After firing a shotgun, another shotgun cannot be fired for a very short time.” That seems like kind of a clumsy fix, as I’m not sure what happens when you switch to a second shotgun (is there some sort of onscreen cooldown?), but we’ll have to see how it works in practice. Epic has also adjust shotgun spread to be consistent, not random, which should end up being a buff and produce less “9 damage” meme situations going forward. I understand the slotting change, as Epic clearly doesn’t want it to feel mandatory to take up two whole slots with shotguns, though I know this will disrupt how many players are used to playing. So in a way, this is both a nerf (no dual shotguns) and a buff (no more shotgun randomness). We’ll see how it shakes out.
Fortnite is going PUBG? It may not be a full-on car, but we now have access to Fortnite’s first real vehicle that’s a step above and beyond a shopping cart. It’s the All-Terrain Kart, or ATK, which seats four and has a bounce pad for a roof. The kart can drift and actually jump, but that requires players in the back to lean backward to clear obstacles. If everyone does this at the same time, it results in a higher jump. Sounds…slightly convoluted, but we’ll see how it works in practice. Between this and another change (XP for revives) Epic seems to be highlighting and encouraging team play in this patch.
Deserts And Rifts
If you were expecting Jurassic Jungle and Viking Valley to show up as new historical POIs on the map, that’s not exactly what’s happened today. All Epic has to say about Rifts in these patch notes are that you should “Test your courage and step through a Rift. You’re in for a wild ride.” They also say there are new, unnamed POIs across the map, but until the game is live, we don’t get more than the note that “Viking ships, desert outposts, and ancient statues have appeared across the island.” But the patch notes do promise a new Desert biome, which does not appear to be blanketing the entire map, but instead a section of it. There are two new named POIs, Paradise Palms and Lazy Links. Paradise Palms appears to be a sort of Grand Canyon-like campground, while Lazy Links is no doubt a golf course. We won’t know the full extent of map changes for a little while yet, but it seems like there’s a lot to go through, and that at least these two zones are going to be permanent, whatever happens with the historical stuff.
Epic is streamlining challenges a little bit. Progressive challenges are now longer restricted to a single season, and can be complete over the course of your entire Fortnite career. They can be completed with a certain amount of fixed XP, and your season level no longer matters. Also, weekly challenges are now split between three free ones and four others if you own the Battle Pass. But you still need to complete four to unlock the weekly reward, so you’ll need the Battle Pass for that to happen.
You can read the entire patch notes for yourself here if you want every single details besides the biggest changes, but here are a few last highlights I thought were worth pointing out:
- Fixed issue where Autorun could be active while using a Shopping Cart. (Wait that was an accident?)
- Gyro/motion controls have been added to the Nintendo Switch. Adjust these options in the Settings menu. (I hate gyro controls but I know some people love them)
- The center of Storm circles 7, 8, and 9 can now shift in random directions (instead of simply shrinking). As the storm closes in, it will move & shrink to the new location. (Still not quite sure what this means, but this could be significant depending on how this behavior works)
- Lowered the volume of the Battle Pass Challenge success sound. (oh thank god)
So, this is my rather quick pass, but these are massive changes to both the map and the metagame that will take a while to parse out. Can’t wait to start playing and see how this goes. See you out there.