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Fortnite season 9: The future comes to Tilted Towers – CNET

Fortnite season 9 is live.

Epic

Fortnite season 9 is here, and it's all about the future. Epic released the new season of its popular battle royale game with changes to the theme, new in-game content and other changes for players.

When does season 9 begin?

Fortnite season 9 went live Thursday morning after servers were taken down for updates. Once the servers were back, Epic tweeted the new season trailer.

According to the trailer, the volcano event that happened on Saturday had a lasting effect on the island. The two destroyed areas, Tilted Towers and Retail Row, are now replaced with futuristic versions of the locations called Neo Tilted and Mega Mall. The volcano also changed and is now known as Pressure Plant.

Season 9 will last for the next 10 weeks, and then Fortnite season 10 will start on Aug. 1, according to fan site Fortnite Intel.

What's new?

As prominently shown in the Fortnite season 9 trailer, there are two new areas to explore:  Neo Tiled Towers and Mega Mall. Players who know the island like the back of their hand will have to spend some time exploring to figuring out the places to loot and where to ambush others, as these two spots will be popular in the early days of the new season.

Neo Tilted

Neo Tilted

Epic

Another futuristic addition: the Slipstreams. Located around Neo Tilted Towers, Mega Mall and a large portion of the inner island, these new towers will propel players once they enter the wind stream. Players should use these Slipstreams as both a mode of transportation and a way to get out of trouble. Air vents were another mobility addition to propel players into the air and make them immune to fall damage.

Slipstreams around Mega Mall

Slipstreams around Mega Mall

Epic

Epic added only one new weapon at the start of season 9: the combat shotgun. The semi-automatic weapon takes the place of the pump shotgun, which was removed from the game otherwise known as "vaulted." Several other weapons, items and throwables were also vaulted including Clingers, Buried Treasure, Poison Dart Trap, Scoped Revolver, Suppressed Assault Rifle, Thermal Assault Rifle and Balloons.

Epic also made changes to the Battle Pass for Season 9. As in previous seasons, those who purchased the pass for 950 V-Bucks, or just shy of $10, will have 100 levels to work their way through to unlock new emotes, pickaxes and skins such as the Sentinel, Rox progressive and for those who make it to tier 100, the Vendetta skin.

Something new with this Fortnite season 9 Battle Pass are the Fortbytes. These collectible computer chips are hidden across the island with a new one unlocked each day of the season. Collecting these items will piece together an image that hints at what's in store for Fortnite season 10.

With these new additions, Epic made various changes to the gameplay and improvement. The company also added new Limited Time Modes such as Trios, where players can make three-person squads, the Legendary-focused Solid Gold mode and One Shot, which has players with 50 health and can only access sniper weapons, meaning one hit is all it takes to eliminate players.

Fortnite players should expect more content, modes, weapons skins and eventually, clues to the next season.

Hidden secrets and Easter eggs

Epic tends to add clues and Easter eggs on the island that hint at upcoming events or the next season. A less than subtle example in Fortnite season 9 is the addition of a building in Paradise Palms that looks remarkably like the house from the John Wick films. 

John Wick house in Fortnite

John Wick house in Fortnite

Epic Games

One data miner also discovered a set of challenges for a limited time mode called Wick's Bounty or WAX. This event could take place when the third entry in the franchise, John Wick: Chapter 3 - Parabellum, releases in theaters on May 17. 

Another subtle reference found in Fortnite season 9 is a storefront called Scoops Ahoy, the ice cream shop in Stranger Things. The third season of the Netflix series starts on July 4, which would be during the second half of Fortnite season 9.

Fortnite is available on PS4, Nintendo Switch, Xbox One, PC, and Android and iOS devices.

Originally published on May 7. 
Updates, May 8: Adds new tweet from Epic and server downtime notice. May 9: Adds new season info. May 10: Adds new section on Easter eggs.

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