Fortnite Season 5: What to know about rifts, karts and map changes – CNET

The Fortnite you know and love is about to be turned upside down….

screen-shot-2018-07-12-at-5-49-31-amEpic Games

Fortnite Season 5 has officially begun, bringing with it a ton of major changes to the game alongside standard suite of new challenges for the Battle Pass, new character outfits, emotes and dances. After Epic released a slew of teaser images to give players some clues for what’s in store, the latest details on the update reveal that the speculation about rifts and time travel were true. But players have also been surprised by a new vehicle, and the addition of gyro controls to the Nintendo Switch version of the game.

Here’s our running breakdown of everything we know about Season 5 so far, updated as we discover more about map updates, gameplay tweaks and more.

Rifts, buggies and other major Season 5 changes



Fortnite’s reality is cracking!

Epic Games

The speculation over teaser images showing a Nordic-looking ax that’s at the top of this post and the Kitsune-looking mask below, turned out to be mostly right. Fortnite Season 5 has a big focus on historic elements and mysterious rifts, though Epic did include some unexpected surprises.

The biggest of which is the All-Terrain Kart, which brings a bigger focus on vehicle transport to Fortnite, as well as numerous tweaks to weapons and the map, which now has a new biome and interactive rifts placed across the environment.

And not to mention the most important changes of all… new skins!

Dubbed Worlds Collide, the latest update embraces some of Fortnite’s weirdness, which you can see in the announcement trailer:

Here’s the complete list of gameplay and weapon updates, straight from Epic’s v5.0 patch notes:

Weapons and Items

  • Shotguns will now indicate how many pellets hit, visible within the reticle.
  • Adjusted shotgun spread patterns to be consistent with no random variation.
  • Heavy Shotgun now fires 10 pellets rather than 5.
    • Maximum damage for the Heavy Shotgun remains unchanged.
  • After firing a shotgun, another shotgun cannot be fired for a very short time.
  • Reduced Hunting Rifle aim assist when targeting to match that of other Sniper Rifles with projectile bullets.
  • Lowered the vehicle knockback strength on Grenade, Sticky Grenade, Grenade Launcher and Rocket Launcher.
  • Tac and Silenced SMG environmental damage now correctly matches player damage.
  • Changed the damage drop-off profile for the Suppressed SMG to be the same as other SMGs.
    • Fall off starts at 24 meters from 28 meters.
    • Damage reduced to 80 percent at 35 meters from 85 percent at 47.5 meters.
    • Damage reduced to 65 percent at 50+ meters from 75 percent at 70+ meters.


  • All Terrain Kart (ATK)
    • The new ATK has room for your entire squad.
    • Get a speed boost after drifting.
    • The roof acts as a bounce pad.
    • Work together as rear passengers to leap over obstacles with the ATK. Lean back and release at the same time for a higher jump.
      • Lean back by holding S on keyboards or holding back on the thumbstick for controllers.
  • Map Updated
    • New Biome: Desert
    • New Location: Paradise Palms
    • New Location: Lazy Links
    • A few unnamed POIs have also appeared across the island.
    • Minimap Updated
  • The center of Storm circles 7, 8, and 9 can now shift in random directions (instead of simply shrinking). As the storm closes in, it will move & shrink to the new location.
  • Starting in Season 5, progressive challenges will no longer be restricted to a single season. You can now complete progressive challenges at your own pace.
  • Progressive challenges are now completed by acquiring a fixed amount of XP and is no longer dependant on your season level.
  • Gyro/motion controls have been added to the Nintendo Switch. Adjust these options in the Settings menu.
  • Weekly challenges are now split into two sections, free and Battle Pass. The first 3 challenges will be available for free while the last 4 are only available if you own the Battle Pass. The threshold to unlock the weekly challenge reward will remain at 4.
  • Down But Not Out players now have smaller collision. Previously their collision was at the standing height which blocked DBNO players from crawling under doors and blocked building collision in some cases.
    • Players that were crouching when knocked Down But Not Out will be returned to a crouching state upon revival.
  • Emoting will now interrupt sprinting.
  • You now earn XP for reviving teammates in 50v50 and Teams of 20 LTMs up to three times per match (30XP, 10XP, 10XP).
  • Weapon reticle will now fade slightly when reloading, out of ammo, or changing weapons.
  • The player camera can now see out of the water when walking in lakes.
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Keen Fortnite fans had been pointing out the rifts and other map changes through the lead-up to Season 5 on Twitter and YouTube:

And in the strangest turn of events, Fortnite items were turning up in the real world as part of the Season 5 promotion. Players will recognize these rare Loot Llamas that show up in game, which have now been showing up in different countries across the world:

As is often the case with Fortnite, Season 5 will continue to change and evolve, so we’ll have further updates as we get more time with the changes (and those new Switch gyro controls)!

Season 5’s other known changes

Assuming there are no major changes to the basic structure of the game, there will be a new Battle Pass, which is always tempting for diehard players. You’ll need to pay roughly $10 to enable a tiered-reward system so you can slowly unlock skins, emotes and other items over time by completing in-game challenges. You could probably also spend money to get most of the same items individually in the store, but the Battle Pass has historically been a much better deal. 

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Over time, there are also likely to be new limited-time game modes, new guns and other new items that will become available over the course of Season 5. The frequent updates to the game are part of what keeps people coming back, and there’s no reason to believe any of that will change in the new season.

Here’s a preview of what you can expect to be rewarded with in the Season 5 Battle Pass:

What about the rocket and all the rifts?

Where the real questions remain is how a recent live event will affect the game world. To see the event a couple weeks ago, you had to land on the island at a specific time and head to the rocket silo. 

For those who missed it, when the time came, a rocket blasted off into the sky only to break apart as it got high in the air. A piece broke off and landed elsewhere on the island, but then things got really weird. As a friend and I watched, we saw a laser being fired from the sky down to Tilted Towers, and then we all witnessed the rocket (or another rocket?) go directly for the popular landing spot and disappear into a portal. 

A few moments went by, then a rocket warped into the world only to fly around and warp back out again, as though it was jumping between dimensions. Finally, a rocket flew straight up into the sky and hit the “ceiling” of the world, producing giant glowing cracks and possibly dimensional rifts.



There’s a giant crack in the sky, but what’s going to happen when Season 5 begins?

Epic Games

It was an amazing sight to behold and there’s been lots of speculation, but nobody (except Epic) truly knows what it all meant. Epic Games released a couple of screenshots to tease what’s next, but they don’t tell you much except that the rifts might deliver things from another time onto the island.

Since the event, the Fortnite world has been changing gradually. The crack in the sky has been getting bigger, and other small rifts have appeared at various locations around the island. In some places, items (from another dimension?) have been warping into existence:

The giant signs at both Lonely Lodge and the motel in the northwest part of the map have been swallowed up by smaller portals in those areas

Keep checking back for the latest updates to the world’s most popular battle royale game.

Originally published July 11.
Updated, July 12: Added Season 5 changes that have gone live.

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