Fortnite Season 5 has officially begun, bringing with it a ton of major changes to the game, alongside the regular suite of new challenges for the Battle Pass, new character outfits, emotes and dances. After Epic released a slew of teaser images to give players some clues for what's in store, the latest details on the update reveal that the speculation about rifts and time travel were true. But players have also been surprised by a new vehicle, and the addition of gyro controls to the Nintendo Switch version of the game.
Here's our running breakdown of everything we know about Season 5 so far, updated as we discover more about map updates, gameplay tweaks and more. Plus, you can enter to win 7,500 V-Bucks to start off Season 5 here.
If you want to see Epic Games complete list of changes in Season 5, scroll to the bottom of this page to see the patch notes.
Rifts, karts and other major Season 5 changes
With the new season underway, I have to bring up the new Battle Pass, which is always a big deal for diehard players. Instead of buying items at full price from the store, you'll need to pay roughly $10 (950 V-Bucks) to enable a tiered-reward system so you can slowly unlock skins, emotes and other items over time by completing in-game challenges. You can obviously spend money to get most of the same items individually in the store, but the Battle Pass has historically been a much better deal.
Here's Epic's preview of what you can expect to be rewarded with in the Season 5 Battle Pass:
With that out of the way, the new All-Terrain Karts are probably the biggest game changer, letting you and your squad drive around the map at a speed that's faster than running, but not too fast to break the game.
You can get a small speed boost, though. If you hit the R1 button on PS4 or right bumper on Xbox One controllers, you can initiate a drift. Once your skid marks turn blue, you can you let go of the button to get a small speed boost, like in Mario Kart. Also, the player in the driver's seat has to drive, obviously, but the rest of the passengers can all wield and shoot weapons. From what I've experienced so far, the karts are fun to drive and don't take damage when you jump from a reasonable height, but I haven't tested it out on any of the bigger cliffs in the game.
There are two big new areas to explore as well. Unfortunately, if you liked Anarchy Acres or the Moisty Mire, you're out of luck; Lazy Links and Paradise Palms have taken their respective places. Lazy Links is a golf course with rolling grassy fairways and sand pits, but it also has a number of buildings to loot and you can find karts at the clubhouse. Paradise Palms is a much bigger desert-themed addition, adding a small town and several other buildings for looting along with a racetrack where you can find and race karts. (Incidentally, it's a great place to practice the drift boost.)
Near the Paradise Palms race track, I also came across the mysterious rifts that have been teased since the rocket launch event. Here's how they work: You simply walk up to the sparkling rift and when you hit the action button on your controller, you'll be transported high above the same location. This will be useful when you want to switch to glider to speed towards the circle when the storm is closing in or if you need to make a quick getaway. I assume we'll be able to find rifts in various places around the map, but these were the first I found.
Over time, there are also likely to be new limited-time game modes, new guns and other new items that will become available over the course of Season 5. The frequent updates to the game are part of what keeps people coming back, and there's no reason to believe any of that will change in the new season.
Here's the complete list of gameplay and weapon updates, straight from Epic's v5.0 patch notes:
Weapons and items
- Shotguns will now indicate how many pellets hit, visible within the reticle.
- Adjusted shotgun spread patterns to be consistent with no random variation.
- Heavy Shotgun now fires 10 pellets rather than 5.
- Maximum damage for the Heavy Shotgun remains unchanged.
- After firing a shotgun, another shotgun cannot be fired for a very short time.
- Reduced Hunting Rifle aim assist when targeting to match that of other Sniper Rifles with projectile bullets.
- Lowered the vehicle knockback strength on Grenade, Sticky Grenade, Grenade Launcher and Rocket Launcher.
- Tac and Silenced SMG environmental damage now correctly matches player damage.
- Changed the damage drop-off profile for the Suppressed SMG to be the same as other SMGs.
- Fall off starts at 24 meters from 28 meters.
- Damage reduced to 80 percent at 35 meters from 85 percent at 47.5 meters.
- Damage reduced to 65 percent at 50+ meters from 75 percent at 70+ meters.
- All Terrain Kart (ATK)
- The new ATK has room for your entire squad.
- Get a speed boost after drifting.
- The roof acts as a bounce pad.
- Work together as rear passengers to leap over obstacles with the ATK. Lean back and release at the same time for a higher jump.
- Lean back by holding S on keyboards or holding back on the thumbstick for controllers.
- Map Updated
- New Biome: Desert
- New Location: Paradise Palms
- New Location: Lazy Links
- A few unnamed POIs have also appeared across the island.
- Minimap Updated
- 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.
- Starting in Season 5, progressive challenges will no longer be restricted to a single season. You can now complete progressive challenges at your own pace.
- Progressive challenges are now completed by acquiring a fixed amount of XP and is no longer dependant on your season level.
- Gyro/motion controls have been added to the Nintendo Switch. Adjust these options in the Settings menu.
- Weekly challenges are now split into two sections, free and Battle Pass. The first 3 challenges will be available for free while the last 4 are only available if you own the Battle Pass. The threshold to unlock the weekly challenge reward will remain at 4.
- Down But Not Out players now have smaller collision. Previously their collision was at the standing height which blocked DBNO players from crawling under doors and blocked building collision in some cases.
- Players that were crouching when knocked Down But Not Out will be returned to a crouching state upon revival.
- Emoting will now interrupt sprinting.
- You now earn XP for reviving teammates in 50v50 and Teams of 20 LTMs up to three times per match (30XP, 10XP, 10XP).
- Weapon reticle will now fade slightly when reloading, out of ammo, or changing weapons.
- The player camera can now see out of the water when walking in lakes.
As is often the case with Fortnite, Season 5 will continue to change and evolve, so we'll have further updates as we get more time with the changes (and those new Switch gyro controls)!
Keep checking back for the latest updates to the world's most popular battle royale game.
Originally published July 11.
Updated, July 12: Added Season 5 changes that have gone live and our playing impressions.
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