Fortnite’s Season 6 is here, following a solo event rather than a multiplayer one. Called “Primal,” it features a forest area, weapons crafting, and wildlife.
While most Fortnite seasons start with multiplayer events, Season 6's event was a solo one, playable the first time players boot up the game. Without spoiling too much for those of you who did not get up at the ungodly hour of 4am Eastern, it featured Agent Jones attempting to close the Zero Point with the player’s help, dealing with the rifts that were growing during Season 5 and ultimately leading to—who would have guessed—map changes. The solo event was dramatic and exciting, taking advantage of its single-player nature to show more of Agent Jones’ character. Still, I missed the drama of a big multiplayer event, and I hope we see one come back at the end of this season.
Following that, the servers went online. There are several Lara Croft skins in the battle, pass, including a 25th anniversary style and a “classic” style. There’s also, as rumored, a DC-themed skin in the form of Raven from Teen Titans. The battle pass contains slots for additional battle pass level rewards, so, like previous recent seasons, we’re likely to see more crossover skins as the season progresses. The season logo reads “Neymar Jr” above some ominous eyes, a reference to the Brazilian soccer player many players speculated was being teased in the lead-up to the season. The battle pass screen references “Neymar Jr rewards,” which unlock in 43 days, so we’ll see how he figures in. (Correction, 10:31am—As pointed out in the comments, Teen Titans’ Rachel Roth is more commonly known as Raven, so I’ve changed it. The battle pass features skins by both names.)
Map changes come in the form of a “primal biome” where the desert stood last season, featuring an autumnal forest, a spire taking the place of the Zero Point, and a rustic-looking city. Epic’s blog about Season 6 reads that “the wilderness has taken over the island’s locations, like Colossal Crops and Boney Burbs. If you venture to the edges of the primal biome, you’ll find guardian spires protected by mysterious forces.” I don’t miss sinking in the desert’s sand, though I haven’t seen many of the other new locations yet. (Update, 6:06am—Boney Burbs is an area full of ramshackle buildings. In another area, I found an NPC I could spend my gold bars to get tasks from, like in the previous season.)
Fortnite previously had weapons upgrading, but this season introduces crafting. While playing, I found several “makeshift” weapons, including a rifle and a bow. A tooltip said “these can be upgraded to primal and metal-based weapons,” seemingly with loot found around the world. Epic’s notes read that “as the season progresses, new advancements will arrive in the form of weapons and upgrades, like a new Chonkers tire set to let you tear it up off-road.” Some quests reference crafting a “Hunter’s Cloak” and collecting “mechanical parts” from vehicles, so it looks like there’ll be lots of ways to get crafting items.
Besides other players, you can use these weapons on NPC animals that roam the world, including boars, chickens, and the wolves hinted at in the teasers to the season. I killed a frog while playing, which dropped some kind of loot my teammate rudely stole from me before I could grab it. Later, I spectated a player killing a boar, which dropped a food item. Some of these animals seem like they’ll attack you—Epic’s notes read, “though wolves may roam, the most fearsome predators have yet to hatch.” It sounds stressful, but also pretty fun, and I’m looking forward to running screaming from animals that surprise me.
(Update, 6:06am—Killing an NPC chicken got me some animal bones, which I could use to upgrade the rarity of my guns by going into my inventory. It’s neat, though it’s never good to spend too long in your menus in the middle of a Fortnite match.)
(Update, 11:03am—Epic has released a guide that explains in more detail how crafting works. The system looks like it offers a lot of possibilities, and I’m excited to play around with it more and almost certainly get killed by other players in the process.)
I’m still getting the lay of the land (and chugging coffee), so I’ll add new things other players and I find as we explore what Season 6 has to offer.