When does season 9 begin?
According to the trailer, the volcano event that happened on Saturday had a lasting effect on the island. The two destroyed areas, Tilted Towers and Retail Row, are now replaced with futuristic versions of the locations, called Neo Tilted and Mega Mall. The volcano also changed and is now known as Pressure Plant.
Epic tweeted on May 14 that the first official update, v.9.01, will happen on Wednesday, May 15, at 1 a.m. PT.
As the company regularly does, Epic also included a tease within its tweet with the phrase “get up close and personal.” This could reference a new weapon Fortnite players saw when logging in on: the Tactical Assault Rifle.
Season 9 will last for the next 10 weeks, and then Fortnite season 10 will start Aug. 1, according to fan site Fortnite Intel.
As prominently shown in the Fortnite season 9 trailer, there are two new areas to explore: Neo Tiled Towers and Mega Mall. Players who know the island like the back of their hand will have to spend some time exploring to figuring out the places to loot and where to ambush others, as these two spots will be popular in the early days of the new season.
Another futuristic addition: the Slipstreams. Located around Neo Tilted Towers, Mega Mall and a large portion of the inner island, these new towers will propel players once they enter the wind stream. Players should use these Slipstreams as both a mode of transportation and a way to get out of trouble. Air vents were another mobility addition to propel players into the air and make them immune to fall damage.
Epic added only one new weapon at the start of season 9: the combat shotgun. The semi-automatic weapon takes the place of the pump shotgun, which was removed from the game otherwise known as “vaulted.” Several other weapons, items and throwables were also vaulted including Clingers, Buried Treasure, Poison Dart Trap, Scoped Revolver, Suppressed Assault Rifle, Thermal Assault Rifle and Balloons.
Epic also made changes to the Battle Pass for Season 9. As in previous seasons, those who purchased the pass for 950 V-Bucks, or just shy of $10, will have 100 levels to work their way through to unlock new emotes, pickaxes and skins such as the Sentinel, Rox progressive and for those who make it to tier 100, the Vendetta skin.
Something new with this Fortnite season 9 Battle Pass are the Fortbytes. These collectible computer chips are hidden across the island with a new one unlocked each day of the season. Collecting these items will piece together an image that hints at what’s in store for Fortnite season 10.
With these new additions, Epic made various changes to the gameplay and improvement. The company also added new Limited Time Modes such as Trios, where players can make three-person squads, the Legendary-focused Solid Gold mode and One Shot, which has players with 50 health and can only access sniper weapons, meaning one hit is all it takes to eliminate players.
After the first week of Fortnite season 9, Epic released the first update of the season, v9.01, on May 15. That includes a new weapon, the Tactical Assault Rifle.
The automatic weapon, unlike most rifles, is far more effective up close than at a distance. It also has:
- 30 round magazine
- Deals 22/23/24 damage
- Headshot multiplier of 1.75x
Epic also reduced the damage of the Drum Gun, which was brought back from the “vault” during the volcano event that kicked off the season. Many players complained about the weapon’s damage, so it was decreased from 26/27 to 22/23.
Fortnite players should expect more content, modes, weapons skins, and, eventually, clues to the next season.
Hidden secrets and Easter eggs
Epic tends to add clues and Easter eggs on the island that hint at upcoming events or the next season. A less than subtle example in Fortnite season 9 is the addition of a building in Paradise Palms that looks remarkably like the house from the John Wick films.
One data miner also discovered a set of challenges for a limited-time mode called Wick’s Bounty, or WAX. This event could take place when the third entry in the franchise, John Wick: Chapter 3 — Parabellum, appears in theaters on May 17.
To add more fuel to the John Wick fire, the Fortnite v9.01 update had a slew of movie-related content leaked by data miners. First is the new John Wick outfit that has a secondary style called “Damaged.”
Another data miner found more info about the Wick’s Bounty limited-time mode in the v9.01 update. The new mode will have infinite spawns, and players will have to collect coins off of other players, which most likely drop when eliminated.
There’s also a new skin known as “Sofia,” which is the name of Halle Berry’s character in John Wick: Chapter 3 — Parabellum. The data miner noted that the head is temporary and could change when the skin officially goes live in the future.
Though the content found by the data miners isn’t official, Epic on May 15 tweeted an emoji-only tweet consisting of a bearded man, a dog, a pencil and a money bag, which are references to the first two John Wick movies.
Another subtle reference found in Fortnite season 9 is a storefront called Scoops Ahoy, the ice cream shop in Stranger Things. The third season of the Netflix series starts July 4, which would be during the second half of Fortnite season 9.
Originally published on May 7.
Updates, May 8: Adds new tweet from Epic and server downtime notice; May 9: Adds new season info; May 10: Adds new section on Easter eggs; May 14: Adds tweets on next update and new weapon; May 15: Adds info from update v9.01.