The phantom vans we spotted when Fortnite Season 8 arrived are exactly what everyone suspected: respawn stations. During the latest Fortnite Dev Update video, Reboot Vans were formally announced and detailed by a man in a banana suit.
They mostly work as expected, and they're arriving next week. Here's the rundown if you don't want to watch the the scary banana:
Eliminated squadmates drop reboot cards. Much like Apex Legends, you'll need to sweep over the remains of your teammate and pick up an item if you have any hope of bringing them back.
Surviving squadmates can activate reboot cards at any van. You'll then need to go out of your way and likely into danger to find a reboot van to bring a bud back. It's a small price to pay for friendship.
The reboot process kicks off a loud audio cue and sends a beacon of light into the sky. If it was too easy to bring teammates back, matches would never end. Rebooting a bud is also loud, bright invitation from any nearby squads to finish off the rest of your team.
Once the reboot process finishes, that van will be need to recharge before it can be used again. I'm not sure how this will play out, but it makes each van a more contestable, valuable resource.
We still don't know how long it takes for the reboot process to finish or for each van to recharge, but we'll find out when the update hits next week.
Personally, I'm pretty excited to see how the vans reinvigorate squad play, if they do at all. Squad mode was gutted once the siphon mechanic was removed (health given to players for every kill), so respawns could be the panacea Fortnite players are longing for. It could also be the thing that gets my friends to finally play Fortnite with me, but I'm not holding out much hope. Apex Legends exists, after all.