In season 2, Epic offered players something called a Battle Pass, something akin to a punch card that can be leveled up to unlock more rewards. It's available for 950 Epic V-Bucks or about $10. Purchasing the Battle Pass immediately unlocks the space-themed Mission Specialist Outfit, and a couple other rewards.
The more you play, the more you can level up the Battle Pass, which has been divided into tiers. For Season 3 there are 30 more tiers than season two, bringing the total to 100 tiers. The more tiers you unlock, the more loot you'll be rewarded with.
Epic says it will take about the same time to fully complete the Battle Pass as last season even with the additional tiers, something Epic estimates as between 75 and 150 hours to complete. There are also weekly challenges that reward bonus Battle Pass points to help speed up your progress.
Of course this being a modern game, Epic also sells tier unlocks for 150 V-Bucks a piece. This is for players who can't invest between 75-150 hours into the game, and would rather pay to unlock the rewards at each tier. But estimates will put unlocking all 100 tiers through V-Bucks at about $150. There is also a Battle Pass which comes with the first 25 tiers pre-upgrades and will be available for 2,800 V-Bucks.
Buying a Battle Pass later in the season will retroactively unlock all the tier rewards up to your current level, so don't fret if you can't pick up a Battle Pass right as Season 3 kicks off. Also, the rewards unlocked in the Battle Pass are cosmetic only, meaning there are no game-boosting rewards available to win or purchase through V-Bucks.
There is no confirmed date for Fortnite Season 3, but by most estimates it could be February 21, the day after Season 2 ends. The special Battle Pass rewards throughout the season will be space-themed, including banners and gliders.