While Fortnite Battle Royale itself is free-to-play, the game currently offers something called a Battle Pass. For the current season, stretching from December 14, 2017 to February 20, 2018, players can purchase the Battle Pass for $9.99 or 950 V-Bucks.
If you play for free, there's one rewards track that offers goodies as you level up. If you own the Battle Pass, you get a second Premium rewards track in addition, with much better costumes and emotes. Epic Games estimates 75-100 hours of play to finish off the tracks, or players can spend more V-Bucks to level up.
For the next season though, Epic Games is switching things up. The Fortnite Season 3 Battle Pass will have no real money purchase price, instead you can only pick up in-game for 950 V-Bucks.
Season 3 Battle Pass will be 950 V-Bucks. We will not be offering the Season 3 Battle Pass as a real money purchase. Spread the word!— Fortnite (@FortniteGame) February 14, 2018
Now, this is a bit of a dodge, because you can buy V-Bucks with real money. The lowest denomination is 1,000 V-Bucks for $9.99, making the Season 3 Battle Pass essentially cost $9.99. In general though, Epic Games expects players to gain V-Bucks by through daily login rewards or completing challenges Fortnite's PVE Save The World mode. Given that, the hope seems to be getting Fortnite Battle Players to log in more often and actually play the PVE side of the game.
This news comes as Epic Games is under a bit of fire from the Fortnite community for a lack of updates for the Save The World mode.