Ah, the sweet smell of patch day. This morning, Epic Games dropped Patch v.3.0.0 for Fortnite, which kicks off Season 3. There were some issues with the release, causing Epic Games to extend the server maintenance period until approximately 10AM ET, but the servers are live at the time of this writing.
Season 3 Battle Pass
The biggest addition for Fortnite Battle Royale is the Season 3 Battle Pass of course. The previous season offered Knights as the go-to costume theme, but the new Battle Pass switches things up with a new Astronaut motif. The trailer shows off three astronaut outfits, and subsequent art has a wicked biker-style outfit, some tactical gear, and what looks to be John Wick.
The Battle Pass adds new dances, emotes, pickaxes, and gliders, but Epic Games is also offering new cosmetic options, including cosmetic backpacks and Skydiving FX. The latter allows players to have smoke and fire trails when they're free-falling; this is a tactically poor option, but very cool-looking. Much like the previous Battle Pass, the Season 3 version costs 950 V-Bucks.
Fortnite Battle Royale is the recipient of a replacement performance option, offering 60 FPS for players on PlayStation 4, PlayStation 4 Pro, Xbox One, and Xbox One X. The option will cut visual fidelity in order to maintain that smooth frame rate, and Epic Games says it has been "hand-tuned for each console". Battle Royale will default to the 60 FPS mode automatically, and this is technically replacing the original Uncapped frame rate option.
These changes are all for Battle Royale, but Save the World isn't entirely left in the dark. There's a new score being added to that mode with this patch, by Logan and The Hurt Locker composer Marco Beltrami and Krypton TV series composer Pinar Toprak. In-game, Save the World players have access to the new Hoverboard, which is unlocked after completing Stonewood Homebase Storm Shield Defense 5. The Hoverboard is a new, quicker way to get around the map.
Save the World is also ringing in the Lunar New Year with new quests and rewards. The Spring It On! event continues with "Luck Explosion", offering new heroes and a Dragon Weapon of your choice when you complete the quest line.
Both Save the World and Battle Royale get the new Hand Cannon weapon. It's a pistol-type weapon, but it uses Heavy Ammo. In Battle Royale it's a normal drop, while in Save the World, the weapon is called the Bald Eagle Hand Cannon, available in the Weekly Store.
Finally, Epic Games has outlines a whole host of building improvements coming in this patch. First up, Turbo Building allows players to hold down the primary fire and drop building pieces in a line as they move, letting you build cover and ramps quickly. Fortnite will now also automatically swap materials if you run out of a certain material while building. If you're not a fan of either option, they can be toggled in the game options.
The developer has made a fairly massive change in terms of where you can build. Until the latest patch, building objects could not be dropped if there were large objects in the way, like a tree or car. Now, build objects will spawn through these objects.
"Sometimes it's frustrating when your placement is blocked unexpectedly and you aren’t sure why. Currently, smaller objects like furniture and shrubs are destroyed when you build over them, but trees, rocks and vehicles can still get in the way. We've changed the building system to allow you to place structures right through large objects, meaning you can now build pretty much anywhere at anytime!" says the Fortnite team.
It's worth noting that build objects won't be physically tethered to trees, rocks, and cars. If your ramp or tower's foundation is destroyed, being placed through a tree doesn't count as attached to the terrain and your structure will fall.
Battle Royale also gets a fairly behind-the-scenes change, where Fortnite doesn't have to check Epic's servers when cycling through building pieces. This should speed up building. Unfortunately, Epic Games is still working to bring it to Save the World.
That's a lot of changes coming to Fortnite with Season 3, as Epic Games firmly settles into ongoing service.