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According to Forbes – Games (This article and its images were originally posted on Forbes – Games July 10, 2018 at 07:49AM.)
If you just started playing Fortnite recently, you might be a little confused about why people are freaking out right now. The game is currently in the final moments of Season 4, with Season 5 right around the corner and a bunch of in-game events starting to tie into whatever is coming next. But, of course, that might not make any sense it all, leaving yopu with a lot of questions about why a straightforward PvP game has a giant crack in the sky. What does it all even mean? Season 5 is tied to the Season 5 battle pass, and it translates to a whole lot of different things about the experience of Fortnite: Battle Royale.
So if you’re a bit lost, read on to learn everything you need to know about Fortnite: Battle Royale’s Season 5 battle pass.
What is it? As a free-to-play game, Fortnite has to make its truckloads of cash somehow. The biggest tool developer Epic Games has in its arsenal is the battle pass, a combination of traditional and free-to-play game mechanics. The battle pass is a big collection of skins, emotes, gliders, pickaxes and other cosmetic rewards, but you don’t get them all when you pay the initial purchase price. You have to level it up by completing in-game challenges in order to get everything it has to offer.
Each battle pass is tied to an in-game season, and those seasons last 10 weeks. So when you buy a battle pass, you have until the end of the season to unlock everything it has to offer.
When can I buy it, and for how much? The Season 5 battle pass will come out this Thursday, July 12. You can buy a basic version for approximately $10, or spend approximately $25 to get a version with 25/100 tiers unlocked. Those prices are an estimate because you also might have some of the game’s premium currency lying around from last season’s battle pass.
How do I unlock things? The battle pass doesn’t just give you access to cosmetics it also gives you challenges with which to structure your play. Every week you get a set of challenges that you can complete to earn battle pass tiers and new cosmetics: these range from eliminating opponents in a particular location to following simple treasure maps. They’re fun, and you can’t do them without the battle pass. We don’t know if these will change in Season 5, but they were similar in Seasons 3 and 4.
You can also earn tiers by completing daily challenges and just playing enough to gain XP and level up.
What about the theme? Each battle pass comes with a theme that informs the cosmetics available in the pass: Season 2 was medieval, Season 3 was space, and Season 4 was superheroes. Recently, the true theme has been a closely guarded secret until release day, but Epic also has a way of dropping hints in the week leading up to it.
Right now, in-game tears in the fabric of space and time have been spitting out strange objects that don’t appear to fit with the current season: an anchor, a stagecoach and likely soon a skeleton. This would all appear to confirm earlier speculation that we’re getting a time travel or history theme, with all sorts of different historical eras mashed together. There’s also broad speculation that we’ll be seeing a desert theme in some form.
This morning, Epic teased the upcoming battle pass with an image that appears to be a stylized Japanese Kitsune mask, which doesn’t contradict the time travel possibility. We’re predicting more images to drop over the coming days.
What about the map? The concept of a Fortnite season has gotten more and more complex since the game started. Last season Epic also gave the map a fairly thorough overhaul, adding a series of new locations and blowing one long-standing point of interest up with a giant comet. We’re expecting to see something similar this time, but we really don’t know on what scale. Epic has a ton of developers working on this game, and so it’s possible that we’re going to something that looks less like a heavily modified version of the current map and more like a whole new map entirely. We won’t know what will happen until Thursday, but expect to see the theme of the season reflected not just in battle pass cosmetics but in a ton of new map content as well.
You’ll see all of this whether you buy the pass or not.
Should I buy it? Do you play a ton of Fortnite? Then maybe! The game is pretty much the same whether you buy the battle pass or not, but the ability to complete challenges for rewards can lend a little bit of achievement to an otherwise tough game experience. It also sort of lets you in on the continuing narrative of the season, and there’s something fun about that. But you will see a lot of what’s happening with the game even without the pass, and so really just buy this if you either like cosmetics or play enough Fortnite that $10 every 10 weeks isn’t so much to sweat.
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