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Fortnite's new Party Royale mode is all chill, no guns, and live now

(Image credit: Epic Games)
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(Image credit: Epic Games)

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Fortnite (opens in new tab) is a battle royale game, the operative word being "battle": For all the building and dancing and stuff you can do, the bottom-line name of the game is to shoot people and be the last person left alive. Yet the biggest, most memorable Fortnite events are often those that don't involve mass murder. 

The recent Travis Scott (opens in new tab) concert, for instance, drew 27.7 million unique players, and even more conventional in-game events like the big rocket launch (opens in new tab) a couple years ago attract major crowds. (Although there's always going to be that one guy (opens in new tab), isn't there?)

It appears that Epic is going to lean more heavily into that social aspect of Fortnite with the addition of a new "Party Royale" mode, described in emails sent to content creators (who then shared them on social media, because apparently somebody forgot to add an NDA) as "All chill, no sweat."

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"Party Royale is a new experimental and evolving space," the message says. "Leave your weapons and mats behind."

Dataminers quickly leapt into action and came up with a slightly-extended description of the mode, a new map, and images of Party Royale-exclusive weapons and sprites.

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An even bigger surprise is that the mode is live now: Epic's email suggested that the party would get started on Friday, but FireMonkey of Fortnite Intel discovered that the doors actually opened today (opens in new tab), and an Epic rep confirmed that the new mode is in fact accessible now. The Friday tests are still planned for 9 am ET, though, although that timing is subject to change. We'll no doubt be hearing more about it very soon—we'll keep you posted.

Andy has been gaming on PCs from the very beginning, starting as a youngster with text adventures and primitive action games on a cassette-based TRS80. From there he graduated to the glory days of Sierra Online adventures and Microprose sims, ran a local BBS, learned how to build PCs, and developed a longstanding love of RPGs, immersive sims, and shooters. He began writing videogame news in 2007 for The Escapist and somehow managed to avoid getting fired until 2014, when he joined the storied ranks of PC Gamer. He covers all aspects of the industry, from new game announcements and patch notes to legal disputes, Twitch beefs, esports, and Henry Cavill. Lots of Henry Cavill.