Fortnite Season 8 patch notes reveal cannons, a volcano and a ping system

Fortnite Season 8 starts today, and Epic has already released the patch notes for us to devour. It's going to be a season full of pirates, ninjas and booty, with the island transformed by the appearance of a lava spewing volcano and volcanic vents that boost players into the sky. There's been a UI update, too, which should make Apex Legends players very happy.

With the Prisoner freed from the Ice King's castle, he's spreading "fire and flame" across Fortnite, heralded by those earthquakes and massive fissures that have been appearing. The map now boasts a couple of new locations, Lazy Lagoon and Sunny Steps, new areas and a river of lava. It does damage, of course, and will make you hop. 

You can't be a pirate if you don't go around blowing things up with cannons. It's one of the rules. Luckily, Season 8 adds a new weapon to the roster, and yes, it's a cannon. You'll find them dotted around the map, but since they're hefty, you'll need to push them into position and line up your shot before firing. They fire cannonballs that do 100 direct damage and 50 damage to nearby enemies, but they can also be used to launch people. Just jump in a cannon and take a trip. 

Apex Legends has been spoiling us, lately, by allowing players to effortlessly communicate without every needing to awkwardly chat to strangers. Now Fortnite's getting a similar ping system. World markers have been upgraded so you can alert your mates to danger and highlight weapons and items of interest. The item's rarity and icon will also appear. Handy!

There's a new battle pass available, which you'll get for free if you completed last season's 13 challenges. It includes 100 exclusive rewards and, if you haven't unlocked it from the challenges, costs 950 V-bucks. You'll be able to earn the Blackheart and Hybrid progressive outfits the moment you get the battle pass. Check out the trailer below.

Two limited time modes are also kicking off. 50 vs. 50 (the best mode) is returning, splitting players into two warring groups, while Close Encounters straps jetpacks on everyone and gives them a shotgun. 

Fortnite Season 8 will begin shortly, and you can read the full patch notes here, which also includes changes to Creative—like the new jungle temple theme—and Save the World.