The sixth season of Fortnite: Battle Royale is here, and it sounds like it could be the biggest and best one yet.
The theme of the season is “Darkness Rises,” as the traveling cube has made further changes to the map after making its mark at Loot Lake. The island now features growing crops, floating lands, and an even further approaching storm.
Season 6 is here and downtime has begun!
— Fortnite (@FortniteGame) September 27, 2018
Several of the changes can be seen in the new overhead map, but a lot of them will be discovered in the coming days as players drop from the Battle Bus. Some of the new areas include Floating Island, Corrupted Areas, Corn Fields, and a Haunted Castle.
One of the new features is called Shadow Stones, which can be found throughout the map. They are new consumables which will allow players to “embrace the darkness,” similar to previous seasons’ Hop Rocks and Rifts.
When you use a Shadow Stone, you will be unable to use weapons and will become invisible to enemies when stationary. When moving, you become slightly more visible and leave behind a shadow trail when moving. You also gain increased movement speed, jump height, and fall damage immunity, and a cool new ability called Phase. Phase will propel you in the direction you’re facing, and allow you to pass through objects. The effects of a Shadow Stone will last 45 seconds.
It’s not all map changes and skins, however, as the patch notes for update 6.0 contain some pretty big implications for the meta moving forward.
Impulse Grenades, Suppressed Submachine Guns, Light Machine Guns, Bouncer, and Remote Explosives have been vaulted. The items will remain in Playground mode for now, but they are out of the normal game modes for the time being.
Two popular items in the current meta have also received some pretty substantial nerfs. The Grappler will now hold just 10 shots instead of 15, forcing players to be more selective when they use it. And the Double Barrel Shotgun has seen its damage reduced to 114/120 from 143/150.
The storm circle will now move faster in the late game now, too—50 percent faster, according to Epic Games.
Season six also sees the inception of input-based matchmaking, meaning the game will match players together based on what they’re using to play the game—players seeking an advantage on console with mouse and keyboard will now be matched with other players using mouse and keyboard.
To read the full patch notes, head over to Epic Games’ website.