Fortnite Battle Royale update news, patch notes and more

Image credit: Epic Games

In such a short space of time, Fortnite Battle Royale has become certified gaming phenomenon. Pitting 100 players against each other on a single map, it melds fun, cartoonish gameplay with a fierce competitive streak, and has attracted millions of players across the globe across all ages and demographics. 

Season 9 is now officially live, and we've got details of all the latest updates. We knew from the teaser tweet that we had a futuristic theme to look forward to, and so it's been proved.

To help you keep on top of what's new and what's coming up in Fortnite, we've put together this handy page which will be updated with all the latest announcements. So to get you ready for blast off, here's everything you need to know about Fortnite.

What is Fortnite?

There's been a lot of hype surrounding Fortnite since its release in July 2017. But what exactly is it? 

Fortnite is a battle royale game which sees you thrown onto an island with no weapons or armor and it's up to you to scavenge for supplies and fight for your life to be the last man or squad standing at the end of the game – with the added pressure of a shrinking map that closes in as the match progresses, forcing players into tighter skirmishes. 

The game is available for free on PC, Xbox One, PS4, Nintendo Switch, iOS, and Android, with in-game purchases limited to purely cosmetic options.

Fortnite update news and Fortnite patch notes

  • What's new? Fortnite Season 9 is live and we're now on patch 9.4. Find out what's involved below!

Fortnite is now into season 9 and version 9.40 is our latest patch with brand new items and gameplay to enjoy.

Weapons

This patch introduces a new weapon: the Epic and Legendary Tactical Shotgun. It is, as the name would suggest, available in Epic and Legendary variants which do 83 and 87 maximum damage respectively. It holds 8 shells which can be fired at 1.5 shots per second. If you manage to get a headshot expect a juicy damage multiplier of 2.25. You'll find this weapon in Floor Loot, Supply Drops, Chests, Loot Carriers and Vending Machines.

The Epic, Legendary and Rare variants of the Bolt-Action Sniper Rifle have also been unvaulted.

But, when Epic giveth, they also taketh away and this time to balance things out the Epic and Legendary variants of the Suppressed Bolt-Action Sniper Rifle has been vaulted.

Gameplay

There are no mind boggling gameplay changes to contend with as you'd expect but Epic has made it so that a player will automatically pick up a consumable if it's already in their inventory and their stack isn't maxed which makes a fair bit of sense and should keep play moving swiftly. 

Further to that, if a player picks up an item that fills their stack and creates an overflow, they won't just drop their currently equipped item anymore. Instead, more sensibly, the overflow will be dropped. 

Competitions

If you think you're good enough, a handful of Battle Royale competitions have been announced with some appealing prizes. 

The Xbox Cup for Xbox players only will run on 20 and 21 of July. It's a solo game mode with $1 million in cash prizes to be distributed to winners across the server regions. 

There's also the Trios Cash Cup running on 21 July. To take part in this competitive trios game you'll need to have reached Champion League in Arena play before proceedings kick off. But the prize pool for this is also $1 million. 

Outside of active competitions, players can now also choose a flag to display on their career profile to declare their loyalty to their team. It'll be visible on profiles and on leaderboards. There are 37 flags available at the moment and more will be added in the future. 

Mobile 

Good news mobile users—it's now possible to use Bluetooth headsets for voice chat.

Those are the highlights, though there are plenty more small changes and bug fixes on top of this which can be found in the official Fortnite patch notes.  

Can I play Fortnite on mobile?

Yes you can! Well, maybe. After months of waiting, Fortnite is finally on both iOS and Android, though you'll need a phone that can actually run the game.

iOS users can download straight from the App Store. As long as you're using iOS 11 on iPhone 6S/SE, iPad Mini 4, iPad Air 2, iPad 2017, iPad Pro devices or later you'll be fine. Oh, and you'll need an internet connection, naturally.

Fortnite also hit Android phones and finally came out of beta in October 2018. You can see the full list of phones – and how to find the Fortnite Installer – on our Fortnite on Android page.

Is it the full game?

It is the full Fortnite game. There are some small differences: it’s not quite as visually impressive as it is on more powerful devices, the controls are touchscreen, and a lot of audio cues have been made visual so you can play comfortably in public without the need for headphones. But you won’t be missing out on any key features.  

Fortnite update patch notes

What's the deal with cross-play?

A sweet deal is what it is. While previously Xbox One and PS4 owners couldn't play the game together, Sony's U-turn on the matter means that now everyone across Xbox One, PS4, Nintendo Switch, iOS, and Android can all take part in the crossfire.

So if you've got friends that prefer PC, others that prefer console and you're off on holiday with your mobile, that's no reason for the fun to stop.

There's also cross-progression. So, if you're logged into your Fortnite account on mobile and you later log into your console to play there, everything you did on mobile later that day is carried over.  

Sounds great, how do I get it?

We have a guide on how to get Fortnite on mobile on TechRadar and we're constantly updating it with the latest rollout news. If your device isn't there yet, keep checking back and one day it probably will be.

What's a Fortnite Battle Pass?

The Battle Pass is a purchasable item in Fortnite that gives you access to exclusive in-game rewards. 

As players complete daily challenges and level up their rank, they earn Battle Stars which can then be used to unlock Tiers in their Battle Pass. Each new Tier you unlock will bring both Free and Premium rewards. The Tiers vary from season to season but in season three you get around 100 items in each Battle Pass which can take anywhere between 75 and 150 hours of play to unlock. 

Everyone that has a Battle Pass will get the Free reward they unlock, but only Premium Pass holders will get the Premium reward. Battle Pass Premium can only be purchased with in-game V bucks and not with real money.

You can purchase a Battle Pass for around £7/$10 in the Battle Pass tab of the game’s menu. 

Twitch Prime benefits

Those who use Twitch Prime and play Fortnite will be glad to know that they have access to free loot right now. Those with a Prime account can claim the Fortnite Twitch Prime Pack  and the Fortnite Twitch Prime Pack 2 which include a host of cosmetic items and are available across all platforms.

The first pack includes two exclusive gliders and outfits: the Havoc Outfit and Back Bling, plus the Sub Commander Outfit and Slipstream Glider.  The second pack contains three exclusive items for Fortnite’s Battle Royale mode including the camouflage-heavy Trailblazer Outfit, the True North Back Bling, and the Tenderizer Pickaxe. There’s also a brand new dance emote for those that like the dance floor as much as the battleground. 

The packs can only be claimed on a single platform, but they can be shared across PC/console and mobile as long as you use the same Epic account across these platforms. You can’t however, share your loot across PS4 and Xbox One even if you are using the same Epic account. 

(Image credits: Epic Games)