It feels like we had to wait forever, but it's finally here: Fortnite season six has begun. As is customary with any new competitive window, tonnes of new content has landed, but it's also time to say goodbye to items and locations you may have come to love (or really really hate). The theme for season six is "Darkness Rises," turning the island shadowy thanks to the otherworldly powers exhibited by "The Cube."
So what's new? First up is the addition of brand new locations, including a floating island in Loot Lake, a haunted castle (can you guess where that's located?), corn fields and what are known as "Corrupted Areas." These spooky spots will typically feature a new consumable called a Shadow Stone, which is a mini cube that grants you invisibility for a short period. During this time, you won't be able to use your weapons and you will only remain invisible if you stand still. If you do move, you'll leave behind a trail that can alert enemy players.
Epic Games says that Shadow Stones will grant increased movement speed, jump height and negate fall damage, but also bind a "Phase" power that will allow you to pass through walls (and other objects). It'll remain active for 45 seconds, but it can be cancelled by pressing the aim button. Important if you need to make a quick escape.
To remain in keeping with the horror theme, Epic has also created new cosmetics. If you buy the Battle Pass (which remains 950 vBucks), you'll be given two outfits right away: Calamity and DJ Yonder. However, the big news is the arrival of pets; a variety of animals that can be swapped in as your choice of Back Bling. Official season six teasers show a lizard, dog and dragon, but there will certainly be more to unlock (and spend your hard-earned virtual currency on).
Although Season six brings with it plenty of new content, some things weren't fit for the shadow world. They include the impulse grenade, suppressed SMG, LMG, bouncers and C4 (or remote explosives). They will, however, remain available in Playground mode. To balance weapons, grappler charges have been reduced from 15 to 10, double barrel shotgun damage has been nerfed from 143/150 to 114/120. Dual pistols -- the gun you'll always see first when dropping in -- will now appear less and less.
In order to separate controller players from those who utilize a mouse and keyboard (commonly referred to as cheaters), Epic will now put group mouse and keyboard players in PC matchmaking. Players can start a match with a mouse and keyboard, then switch to a controller, but they won't be able to do it the other way around.
Footsteps should now also be more identifiable, with player sounds from below now sounding more echoey. The further below the player is, the lower the pitch, and it'll be the opposite for rivals who have built above you. Glider sounds are now more obvious, ensuring you don't get completely ambushed by a squad flying in from above.
Lastly, storm phases have been subtly tweaked. There will now be less wait time between surges, but the storm will close in slightly slower than before. This should motivate players to begin moving earlier, likely resulting in more confrontations.
To see the full extent of the changes, you will need to update your game drop in and see all of the new areas, consumables, skins and emotes for yourself.