'Fortnite' season 9 launches today with new map locations, and a huge overhaul to its offline mode

‘Fortnite’/Epic GamesThe seven new outfits added to ‘Fortnite’ with Season 9.
  • “Fortnite” Season 9 launched on May 9 – adding new outfits, big map changes, and a futuristic theme to the world’s most popular game.
  • Tilted Towers and Retail Row, two of the most popular “Fortnite” hotspots, have been destroyed by a volcanic eruption and replaced with two brand new destinations: “Neo Tilted” and “Mega Mall.”
  • Both locations have a futuristic tech theme, and a transportation system called Slipstream will let players ride the wind around the new map locations.
  • Players can purchase the season nine battle pass to unlock seven new skins, including three legendary outfits: Vendetta, Rox, and Sentinel. Levelling the battle pass gives players access to hundreds of rewards.

Season nine of “Fortnite” is finally here after a volcanic eruption destroyed two of the game’s most popular locations. If nothing else, Epic Games isn’t afraid to make big changes, and a new cinematic trailer shows that Season 9 of “Fortnite” is all about the future.

With more than 250 million registered players, “Fortnite” is the most popular game in the world. It helps that the game is available for free on essentially every modern video-game platform, including PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch, PC, iOS, and Android. Players can squad up with each other regardless of what platform they choose.

The game has three separate modes: the mega-popular Battle Royale, the freewheeling Creative, and the single-player Save The World campaign. The Battle Royale and Creative modes are free to play, while Save the World costs $US40.

The Season 9 update comes with a new battle pass that adds more than 100 unlockable rewards to the game, along with weekly challenges to encourage players to explore the updated “Fortnite” map.

Players who have been keeping up with “Fortnite” should know that Tilted Towers and Retail Row – two of the most recognisable areas in the game – were erased by the volcanic eruption at the end of season 8. In their place, Epic has introduced a pair of brand new destinations, and a new transportation system to help players travel across the island faster.

These are all of the key updates in “Fortnite” Season 9:

‘Fortnite’ Season 9 update adds seven new skins, but you’ll a battle pass to unlock them.

‘Fortnite’/Epic GamesFrom left to right: Bunker Jonesy, Sentinel, Rox, Vendetta, Demi, Stratrus, and Punk.

The Season Nine battle pass adds three legendary outfits: Vendetta, Rox, and Sentinel. Legendary skins can be upgraded over time, unlocking new styles and colour options as you play. Rox and Sentinel are unlocked as soon as you buy the battle pass.

The battle pass also includes four epic outfits: Bunker Jonesy, Demi, Stratus, and Punk. Jonesy is a twist on the default “Fortnite” skin, while Demi, Stratus, and Punk all embody the futuristic theme of Season 9.

The season 9 battle pass costs 950 vbucks, the game’s virtual currency. You can pay $US10 to unlock it right away or earn vbucks by playing over time. The Battle Bundle gives you some extra rewards for 2,800 vbucks, or $US25.

‘Fortnite’/Epic Games

Like prior seasons, the season nine battle pass costs 950 vbucks, and a discounted battle bundle includes the battle pass and the first 25 tiers of rewards for 2,800 vbucks. Vbucks can be earned through in-game challenges, or you can purchase them in bulk from the “Fortnite” shop.

The battle pass costs just under $US10 if you’re paying with cash, while the battle bundle is $US25.

The battle pass will let you unlock more than 100 rewards — like this new pet, Kyo.

‘Fortnite’/Epic GamesKyo is the only new pet in Season 9, but it comes in multiple colours.

While you can still unlock some items without the battle pass and save your vbucks for your favourite items in the shop, the battle pass has the most valuable rewards. Other exclusive items in the season nine battle pass include Kyo, a robotic pet.

Luckily, even if you spend the first few weeks of season 9 playing without the battle pass, you can still level up. If you decide to buy the pass late in the season, you’ll unlock the same rewards you would have received on day one.

“Mega Mall” is an upgraded version of Retail Row with multiple detailed floors, and players can use the new Slipstream rings to ride the wind around the map.

‘Fortnite’/Epic Games

“Neo Tilted” is a new destination replacing Tilted Towers, the popular drop zone that was destroyed by a volcanic eruption in Season 8.

‘Fortnite’/Epic Games

The Season 9 update also adds the Combat Shotgun, a semi-automatic weapon.

‘Fortnite’/Epic Games

The combat shotgun is an semi-automatic weapon with 10 shells. Each shell fires 9 pellets for 73 to 81 damage; players reload two shells at once. Headshots with the combat shotgun do 70% extra damage and the pellets have a tight firing radius. The combat shotgun will drop in standard locations, with rare, epic and legendary variations.

“Fortnite” has also removed a number of items from Season 8, like the poison dart trap and buried treasure chests. Other vaulted weapons include the pump shotgun, scoped revolver, suppressed assault rifle, thermal assault rifle, and balloons.

Updates to Creative Mode and Save the World

‘Fortnite’/Epic GamesPlayers can now customise the husk monsters in Creative Mode.

While Battle Royale is the game’s most popular mode, Creative and Save the World are getting some big updates too.

Creative mode will give players access to assets based on Neo Tilted and Mega Mall, as well as new options to create specific settings for players and enemies in custom game types. Creators can now adjust the health and damage of monsters, and place resource limits on other players.

Save the World will introduce a new mission system called Wargames that will give players a variety of challenges to survive. Some force Wargames challenge players to detail with natural disasters like volcanoes and tornadoes, while others force players to defend specific parts of the map to avoid getting killed.

Players must rely on their teammates to revive them if they die, which means you’ll only have one shot at completing the challenge if you’re playing solo. You can also add difficulty modifiers for extra rewards.

Fortnite Season 9 will end on August 1st, giving you 10 weeks to unlock your battle pass rewards. Good luck out there!

‘Fortnite’/Epic Games

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