Fortnite Chapter 2 is a refinement (opens in new tab) of everything Epic learned in its first 10 seasons, a refinement that has resulted in nearly every non-essential item and weapon getting sent back to the vault. The new map isn't sitting on years of compounded changes and tweaks, traversal is limited to boats, swimming, and running—Fortnite is a much leaner game now.
But that doesn't mean it's lost any depth, you'll just have to do a little more looking to find it. I've been consistently surprised at how much complexity is baked into the new map landmarks and weapons in subtle ways. Here's a few choice cuts of the quiet changes you might've missed.
You can upgrade weapons for materials at workbenches
We're still trying to find them all, but a good portion of POIs and landmarks on Fortnite Chapter 2's map (opens in new tab) have a workbench on location. By spending some materials (wood, brick, metal), you can then upgrade the equipped weapon to the next rarity level. They're not just a novelty, circumstantial tool either. Rare weapons are actually rare in Chapter 2. It pays to pay the 250 mats across the board for a golden SCAR or sniper rifle. Matches can come down down to minuscule differences in damage output, so it's worth making sure you have the upper hand in some capacity.
The fishing pole can pull other players towards you
I can see it as an efficient means of harassing friends. Maybe it's possible to dig players out of cover? See a player turtling in a one-by-one and hook 'em right on out? Big trout? I sure hope so. Word is it doesn't work on downed players, which is super unfortunate. I'm in love with the thought of fishing for my incapacitated friends, pulling them closer without risking my neck. Here's Reddit user OrangeIzCool yanking his friend out of the sightlines of a lone sniper.
Swim like the dolphin in your soul
Tapping jump after diving underwater turns your character into an elegant aquatic creature. They'll give a hard kick and leap out of the water. Keep it up, rhythmically tapping jump and you'll get a nice speed boost and be much harder to hit. It's an excellent way to escape gunfire or outrun the storm.
The career tab actually tracks stats now
It's received a lovely makeover, keeping a timeline of major milestones in your Fortnite career.
Players can queue into another game without returning to the lobby
I missed this one out of habit, hitting the 'Return to lobby' button for a few hours before noticing the change. About 8 out of 10 of my usual solo games end abruptly, so getting back in right away is a godsend. Pure flow. Fortnite forever, no rests, no interruptions—the chain shall forever remain unbroken. But really, don't forget to hit the 'Go outside' button on occasion, too.
There's buried treasure on the beaches in Sweaty Sands
Look for those little circular protrusions (they look like belly buttons) on the beach and start swinging. Treasure is coming up.
Slurpy Swamp is healing heaven
So that's where baby shield jugs comes from. In what's sure to be a popular POI, there's magic blue healing goo all over the damn place. Stand in the open vats or glowing riverbeds to heal and juice your shields slowly. Head to the factory itself and bust open barrels for a small burst of healing. Destroy the bigger, sealed vats for a huge splash of health and shields, just be sure to invite the whole squad over first.
Power lines work as ziplines
If you're dropping near Retail Row, Dirty Docks, or Steamy Stacks and need to move between all three locations, quickly, build up and press the use key to latch onto the power lines for a free ride. It's particularly helpful if you notice too many players landing at one location and want to make a quick switch. Divert and hit the power line on your way down.
You can carry downed enemies, not just allies (and toss them off cliffs)
Achieve the highest tier of humiliation. I'd like to see a squad keep an enemy alive with campfires for the length of a match, staging a huge kidnapping operation, but maybe that's too cruel. Is it? Is it?
There's a Homer Simpson Easter egg at Steamy Stacks
Looks like the one true donut lover has a side gig at another radioactive plant on Fortnite's new island. Swipe through the gallery for a closer look.