Over the weekend, Fortnite went dark as a massive publicity stunt where the game's battle royale island was sucked into a black hole. Today marks the launch of Chapter 2, and it brings along some significant changes. The most notable being the addition of a new island that replaces the last, but you can also expect new water-based gameplay, new hideouts/explosives, plus combat has been upgraded with a streamlined weapon arsenal. You can also expect less of a grind thanks to a brand new XP system and Medals for Chapter 2's Battle Pass. All in all, the launch of Chapter 2 appears to be a big one, so if you're eager to play, I'm happy to report that that the first season in the latest chapter is live.

Games as a service have to be continually updated to keep fans happy, and so new updates, seasons, and bug fixes that address these frequent additions are continuous, so it's hardly a surprise to learn that Epic has released yet another update for Fortnite. Of course, the recent publicity stunt that saw the last island sucked into a black hole garnered more press than a standard update, but with how these things go, there was never a question that the game would return.

The new island launched today in Fortnite Chapter 2 contains 13 locations, and water-based gameplay is included, which means players can now fish, ride in boats, and go swimming. Besides the new island and its water mechanics, you can also expect new support features such as the addition of the Bandage Bazooka and the ability to carry your fallen teammates to safety. There's also a new hideout mechanic where you can duck into a haystack or dumpster to avoid detection, and explosive gas tanks and barrels tie into this hideout feature so that you can get a jump on your opponents. It's also worth noting that combat has been adjusted with a streamlined weapon arsenal and that the Season 1 Battle Pass includes a brand new XP system that should cut down on grinding for subscribers.

So there you have it. Fortnite is back, and a new island is available. While I had no doubt that the weekend blackout was a simple way to get a lot of press coverage, it's nice to see that the publicity stunt was backed up with some significant changes to the game. I have no doubt players will be busy for months exploring the new island, and the inclusion of water mechanics, a hideout feature, and new support mechanics should expand the meta by allowing new player strategies to gain kills. So if you're eager to jump into Fortnite's latest chapter to see what's new, today's the day.

Fortnite: Download

Press Release

Fortnite Chapter 2 available now

Today, Epic Games launched Fortnite Chapter 2, available as a free download on PlayStation 4, Xbox One, PC, Mac, iOS, and Android.

Chapter 2 brings some huge changes to Fortnite. You can check out some highlights below, and we encourage you to drop in and check it out for yourself, because there’s so much more.

Drop in to a New World - Choose your landing spot and explore an all-new island featuring 13 locations.
New Water Gameplay - Swimming, Fishing, Motorboats, and more!
Support Your Squad - Heal your squad with the Bandage Bazooka, carry your fallen teammates to safety, and celebrate with new group emotes like high fives!
Hideouts and Explosives - Hide in Haystacks and Dumpsters to get the drop on your opponent or go in blazing by blowing up gas tanks and explosive barrels.
Upgraded Combat - Get back to basics and battle enemies with a streamlined weapon arsenal. Upgrade weapons using resources at the Upgrade Bench.
More Fun, Less Grind - Level through the all-new Chapter 2 - Season 1 Battle Pass with a brand new XP system and Medals you earn in match.

For more information, head over to www.fortnite.com.