The ninth season of Fortnite is here, and it brings the battle royale game into a new sci-fi future. The biggest changes to the game are two locations: the destroyed Tilted Towers has been rebuilt as a futuristic cityscape called Neo Tilted, while Retail Row has turned into Mega Mall. The Neo Tilted structures are also available to build with in Fortnite’s creative mode. Other smaller changes to the island include some kind of power plant built around the volcano, a banana stand, and drone-like hovering platforms.
Along with new locations, there’s a new form of transportation called the “slipstream,” which is essentially a wind tunnel that moves you quickly from one spot to the next. Developer Epic has added a new weapon called the “combat shotgun,” while removing a long list of items from the game, including the treasure map, balloons, and a slew of weapons. Check out all of the changes in the patch notes here.
A new season also means a new battle pass, and here, the sci-fi trend continues with a number of unlockable items that include a Gundam-style suit and a robot cat. Also new are collectible computer chips called “fortbytes.” You have to collect 100 of the hidden items to complete certain challenges as well as “uncover the secrets of season 9,” according to Epic. Meanwhile, Epic has also added Arabic language support, and it says Middle East servers are in the works. “We’re still a few months from having services come online and hope to provide a more meaningful update on server support before then,” Epic says.
The developer started teasing season 9 on Monday, hinting at the sci-fi aesthetic. Later teases included taglines like “the future is bright” and “the future is unknown.” The most overt tease came yesterday, with an image accompanied by the text “the future is tilted.”
The new update arrives after a fairly eventful season 8. It kicked off in February and introduced a new adventure theme, complete with major additions to the Fortnite island like a volcano, pirate ship, and jungle area, along with a terrifying banana suit. (It also removed some notable features, including the short-lived airplanes.) There was also another Avengers crossover event, along with the very important option for players to pet the in-game dogs.
More recently, developer Epic orchestrated another large-scale event that lasted a few weeks. It started when a strange alien rune floated its way across the island before the new volcano showed signs of erupting. Then, last weekend, a mysterious vault opened up, and players were able to collectively vote on which classic weapon to bring back. (They chose the drum gun.) After that, the volcano finally exploded, and it devastated two of Fortnite’s most iconic locations: Tilted Towers and Retail Row.
As always, the start of a new season of Fortnite is just the beginning. So expect plenty of changes and updates as season 9 continues to roll out.