Welcome to Fortnite Season 8. Finally we know what all those earthquakes were about. The Prisoner has escaped from the Ice King's dungeon and is now causing havoc across Fortnite will lava. There's a volcano, volcanic fissures that can send you shooting up into the sky, but also the promise of legendary loot.
Epic has released the Season 8 patch notes, which you can check out here. Additions include giant hamster balls with grappling hooks, and lots of pirate-themed fun.
When does Fortnite Season 8 start?
Fortnite Season 8 is pirate-themed
It's not just pirates, either—there are ninjas, too. One is always close behind the other. Epic promises legendary treasure, which pirates, ninjas and the Ice King are all searching for. The map's been transformed by a volcano and the appearance of a pirate cove, and expect to find several new areas when you start exploring.
How has the map changed in Fortnite Season 8?
You can get some idea of the extent of the changes in the map above. In the north west, a volcano has erupted out of the ground and the whole place has transformed. Volcanic fissures can be found scarring the ground, conveniently launching you into the air and sending you across the map. Planes have been vaulted, so it's the next best thing to flying.
Sunny Steps and Lazy Lagoon, complete with pirate ship, are the new locations, but there are other new areas dotted around, as well as a few secrets waiting to be found by intrepid explorers.
Fornite season 8's Battle Pass is free (for some)
Fortnite season 8's Battle Pass is free, assuming you completed 13 free Overtime challenges by February 27. The idea is you can save a few V-Bucks, and get a bunch of outfits in the process.
Otherwise, expect the usual 950 V-Bucks ($10) ticket price.
What new skins are in the Fortnite Season 8 battle pass?
Lots of pirate and ninja-themed stuff, of course, but check out the battle pass trailer above to see the rest. The highlights include undead pirate Blackheart and a lizard ninja, Hybrid. They're both progressive skins, so you can unlock new styles for them as you level them up. You'll get both straight away.
There's more than 100 emotes, outfits and other unlockables in the battle pass, and it should also be easier to complete challenges thanks to the new party assist system.
You can perform team objectives now
Before jumping into a game, you can turn on the new party assist feature and use it to team up with your squad to take on a daily or weekly challenge. Every player in the party will help with the progress, so if you're playing with mates willing to help, you'll be able to get through the battle pass a lot faster.
What kind of new items and/or vehicles can we expect?
You can launch yourself out of a cannon. It's perfectly safe! You'll find them around the map and, while you can push them into position and use them to kill your enemies, they also double up as a quick and convenient way to get around the map without using your legs. It's how all pirates travel when they're on land.
Between the cannons and the volcanic fissures, that might fill the space left by planes being vaulted. Yes, they're gone, along with snowmen, chiller grenades and shopping carts. I hope you made the most out of them.
The 8.10 update also adds 'The Baller', a giant hamster ball that you can climb into. You can find them at outposts and pirate camp loot stashes. The Baller has a boost and a grapple which lets you shoot up mountains and swing from trees. The outer shell protects you from harm, and can take 300 damage before shattering.
Vending machines have also been changed. They are now one use only, but they will dispense a single item before exploding.
Are we getting dragons?
There are massive eggs in the castle, ninja lizards, serpents being teased and a new bad guy with an obsession with fire—dragons don't seem entirely implausible. Epic's not revealed them yet, however.
Mid-season means we'll probably see some in-game events start kicking off soon as Epic attempts to maintain interest until the launch of Season 8. The ice around the castle is melting, the eggs are incubating, and spring is on the way. Maybe dragons will hasten the thaw. C'mon Epic, we want to ride some dragons.
We'll update this page as we explore the update, so check back in soon for the latest on Fortnite Season 8.