Say what you will about Fortnite: the developers know how to make an impression on players!
On Sunday, October 13, the game shut down for two days. In-game players saw the game’s island getting sucked into a black hole. Afterward, no one could launch the game. Fortnite’s official Twitter account even temporarily deleted all of its tweets after one last message: “This is The End.”
Fortunately, “the end” only lasted about 36 hours. When the game returned on Tuesday, players were greeted with a “Chapter 2.” This new update promises a whole new experience for the rabid fanbase.
You don’t have to personally jump into a black hole to discover the new secrets. We’ve put together a definitive guide to the changes in Fortnite Chapter 2 after the “black hole.”
Shirts and Skins
Once upon a time, the Fortnite characters and skins were relatively unknown. Now, they are some of the most iconic designs in gaming history.
The developers, however, are not content to rest on their previous successes. Fortnite Chapter 2 gets rid of these old skins in favor of brand new designs. Here’s to finding your new favorite design!
Fortnite’s most defining feature is its map. While other games have a variety of levels, this game has one giant map that features a series of cool locations just waiting to be explored.
Arguably, the map is Fortnite Chapter 2’s biggest change. The black hole was quite literal: it sucked the old map into the void. While we may never see the classic map again, the newest chapter brings an entirely new space for you to turn into one giant battlezone.
Water, Water Everywhere
As you know, the different locations in the Fortnite map are very different. The newest map has one element that is pretty consistent across the board: plenty of water all over the place!
The water isn’t just something pretty to look at. It also ushers in an important new ability: swimming! You can now swim to explore, find treasure, or just burst out of the water like John Rambo when enemies are nearby.
Boats are now littered across the map. This gives you an easier, faster, and safer way to navigate the various water features on the map.
Progress Bar and Progress Changes
Some players are understandably nervous about the User Interface of the game. The good news is that the UI is mostly the same, with the exception of skin icons and a progress bar on screen.
That ties into some general improvements to the progress system. In short, you can now get experience for just about everything. While killing fellow players still nets XP, you can also make progress for finding goodies and mining for various materials.
If you didn’t like the wonky leveling system of previous seasons, this update may be what you’ve been waiting for.
Major Medic Overhaul
You can blame it on games like Team Fortress 2 and Overwatch, but many players just love playing doctor and healing their teammates. Previously, though, Fortnite offered very limited ways to play a support role.
That’s all changing in Fortnite Chapter 2. New gear such as a “bandage bazooka” helps you boost someone’s health regardless of the distance between your characters. You can also now carry downed players (both enemy characters and allies), allowing you to get a fallen friend out of the firing line and back into the fight.
Fortnite has historically had trouble with weapon balance. This refers both to balancing weapons against each other and balancing the overall amount of available gear.
In Fortnite Chapter 2, the developers are trying to finally achieve that balance with a complete weapons overhaul. The result is that you will have fewer weapons to choose from, creating a more streamlined experience. However, there are still new weapons for you to find and master.
Hide and Yeet
Critics of Fortnite often pointed out that there were only so many ways to play. You find weapons, build helpful structures, and hope you get the jump on enough people to win.
Fortnite Chapter 2 brings a new wrinkle to the combat situation in the form of hiding. You can now actually hide inside various features — for example, you can squirrel yourself into nearby dumpsters to hide from the enemy. While this may not change combat that much, it’s far better than ducking down in the bushes and crossing your fingers.
You can now fish in Fortnite. If that doesn’t sound thrilling, though, you can also do several sneaky things with the fishing pole.
For example, you can fish for hidden treasure in the water. This means the fishing pole may be your key to unlocking a secret weapon to really give you an edge.
If you’re feeling lucky or brave, you can also use the fishing pole to yank players towards you. It’s a move so crazy that few opponents will expect it, and that might be enough to help you win.
Upgrade As You Go
Another common Fortnite criticism is that winning often comes down to luck of the draw. If you landed near a power weapon, you were all set. If you didn’t… well, better luck next time!
In Fortnite Chapter 2, you can now harvest materials and upgrade your weapons as you go. This helps to create a more balanced environment while encouraging more players to use surrounding materials to their advantage.
Sometimes, the best game improvements are the simplest ones. Take the queue system for example: players were understandably annoyed that they had to go back to the lobby just to get ready for another game.
Now, you can queue up another match without going back to the lobby. It’s a small improvement, but it is going to save regular players countless hours of jamming “Return to Lobby” until their fingers are numb.
Zippety Doo Dah
Fortnite is at its best when it is fast and frenzied. If you thought the game would slow down in Fortnite Chapter 2, think again!
In addition to zipping around on foot and in boats, you can now travel around on power lines. This gives you a fun and convenient way of traveling between locations as well as an exciting new way to get the drop on your opponents.
What’s your favorite change in Fortnite Chapter 2? Do you miss the old map? Did you freak out during the black hole? Let us know in the comments below!