Fortnite's High Stakes event: everything you need to know
Fortnite is raising the stakes with its new game mode.
Jason ParkerSenior Editor / Reviews - Software
Jason Parker has been at CNET for nearly 15 years. He is the senior editor in charge of iOS software and has become an expert reviewer of the software that runs on each new Apple device. He now spends most of his time covering Apple iOS releases and third-party apps.
Epic Games' Fortnite: Battle Royale got a big update with the v.5.40 patch, which kicked off the "High Stakes" event that added a new limited-time game mode: Getaway. It's a squad-based game in which your team needs to capture one of four jewels scattered across the map, then make your way safely to an escape van in order to win. The only problem? There are 100 players (roughly 25 squads) trying to do the same thing.
Before you dive in, we've gathered up all the things you need to know about the limited-time event and the update in general. And if you want to check out all of the v.5.40 patch notes, head here.
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When is Getaway available?
It's available now as part of the v5.40 patch that went live Thursday morning. The patch was delayed from Epic Games' usual Tuesday launch time due to a "critical controller issue" that's since been resolved. You can play it right now.
How does Getaway work?
The new Getaway game mode is selectable from the lobby just like all the other game modes. You can bring three of your friends to play in a squad or use the game's matchmaking services to fill out the rest of your team. When it's time to go, 100 players drop from the battle bus as usual, but in Getaway, you'll see four icons on the map where the safes that contain jewels will land.
Even in your first game, you'll immediately notice how this is different from usual battle royale modes. For one thing, there are only four locations that everyone is focused on, so you're likely to be in for a fight no matter where you land. The fighting is particularly intense around the safe's drop balloon as everyone scrambles to get one of the four jewels. If your team manages to survive this opening onslaught, it's time to regroup and transport your treasure to the escape van for the Victory Royale.
You've got the jewel, now what?
When your team grabs the jewel, you will be visible on the map for 30 seconds, so you better get moving because your opponents can easily spot you during that period. The jewel has some advantages because it slowly regenerates health and shields for your whole team. But there's a drawback: It also slows your team down by 10 percent.
There are four total getaway vans on the map over the course of the game -- three from early in the match and a fourth that drops toward the end. Once the vans arrive, they will be visible to everyone on the map. Getaway vans float in midair with balloons of their own so your team will need to build up to the van to secure access while fighting off pursuers who will inevitably try to halt your progress. Note that resource gathering is increased by 50 percent in this game mode, so you should have the materials necessary to build your defenses.
The other factor you'll be working against are the "Pursuit" supply drops. There are 12 of these special supply drops across the map and they're tailored for opponents trying to catch you with long-range weapons so they can snipe you from afar.
If your team manages to get the jewel and make your way to the van against these odds, your team will be awarded with the Victory Royale.
What are The Getaway's specific challenges?
Epic also released some challenges specific to the Getaway game mode so you can earn heist themed cosmetic items. Here are the three challenges:
Play 10 matches of The Getaway - Get 5,000 XP
Do 500 damage to Jewel carrying opponents - Unlock the Suited Up Spray
Pick up a Jewel in 5 different matches of The Getaway LTM - Unlock the Cash Flow Contrail
If you complete all three challenges, you'll unlock the crowbar pick-axe.
What else comes with the patch?
Along with the new game mode came a swanky Wildcard skin you can buy in the store to make your character look more dapper, with slim-fitting suits that fit the heist theme. The skin comes with four swappable masks so you can differentiate between yourself and the rest of your crew. You also can buy the Cuff Case back bling and the Safecracker glider to complete your team's look.
But the patch also introduced a new item called the Grappler. This mobility item lets you shoot a cable at a location and will quickly pull your character there. It's clear Epic had the Getaway game mode in mind with this item, because it can help you cover ground quickly. Note, however, that only the pursuit supply drops will get the Grappler in the Getaway game mode, so the advantage will be to your opponents trying to pursue.
One item is going away in the patch as well: The revolver. Slow to fire and difficult to use in firefights, it's not a big surprise this weapon is going back in the vault. Though it might get upgrades in the future that could bring it back into the game, it probably isn't a big loss for most players because it's not a particularly popular item.