Fortnite Season 7 live with new planes, ziplines, custom weapons and an expanded snowy island - all you need to know

Tom Hoggins
Fortnite Season 7 will features planes for the first time

With Season 6 of Fortnite coming to its conclusion, Fortnite Season 7 is now live for the Battle Royale behemoth's 200 million players. The new season brings brand new 'Stormwing', machine-gun equipped biplanes for combatants to fly, ziplines to get around the (now bigger) Fortnite island quicker and a new locations in the form of 'Frosty Flights' and Expedition outposts.

The iceberg that was travelling towards the map has shunted into the south-west corner of Fortnite island, growing the map considerably, while that particular quadrant of the map is now covered in snow.

Season 7 also brings a brand new sandbox mode to the game called Fortnite Creative. The Minecraft-esque mode will be available for all Season 7 Battle Pass buyers today, before becoming playable for all Fortnite players on 13 December.

The Battle Pass will also feature a new cosmetic item called Wraps, which will allow player to customise weapons and vehicles to match their costumes.

Fortnite Season 7 sees the map expand to the southwest, with the quadrant covered in snow

Epic first starting teasing the new season at the start of this week, with a tweet from the official Fortnite Twitter account that featured an image of an wintry knight figure with the tagline "a bitter ice spreads... 3 days to Season 7".

A second teaser arrived on Tuesday evening, featuring a snowboarding figure and the tagline " a frigid day dawns." The third and presumably final teaser was released on Wednesday, with a figure on a zipline and a plane in the background. The tagline for the latest tease was "Ascend to new heights...", suggesting new aerial vehicles in the new season.

The Battle Royale phenomenon shows no signs of abating. Earlier this month, developer Epic Games said that Fortnite has 8.3 million concurrent players and that the game has now topped 200 million registered players. A quite staggering number, particularly as the game celebrated its first birthday in September.

That it continues to attract such numbers worldwide, with a recent release in Korea boosting its numbers still further, means that anticipation for Season 7 is about to reach fever-pitch. Here is everything you need to know about Fortnite Season 7.

When is the Fortnite Season 7 release date and start time?

Fortnite Season 7 and its battles pass is now live for all players of Fortnite. As is the brand new Creative Mode.

The Fortnite developer is looking to clean up during the holiday season, even as it faces stiff competition from Call of Duty: Black Ops 4 well-received battle royale mode Blackout. Fortnite Season 7 will run through to 28 February 2019.

Fortnite Season 7: Map changes, skins and theme

Season 7 has brought one of the most significant map changes to Fortnite in months. The iceberg that has been travelling towards the map over the last week or so has landed, shunting into the south-west corner and greatly expanding the map. The new area features new locations Frosty Flights, Polar Peak and Happy Hamlet, while the entire south-west quadrant is covered in snow.

Season 7 also brings some significant gameplay changes, adding the five-player, machine-gun equipped Stormwing biplanes that mean players can take to the skies. There are also ziplines on the area's more vertiginous peaks, allowing combatants to quickly whizz across the map.

The new skins, meanwhile, are a winter-themed collection, with the Tier 100 costume pegged as The Ice King. On your way to that tier, you will find yourself with a snowsuit as Zenith and the muscular Santa figure, Sgt. Winter.

 

First look at the new Fortnite Season 7 skins

The line of thinking had always been that Season 7 will feature a wintery, Christmas theme. As Season 7 approached, a snowstorm appeared on the horizon and rolled towards the Fortnite map. As the swirling clouds came closer, an intrepid player on Reddit surfed right out into the mists to uncover an iceberg with a castle turret poking out of the top. That iceberg has now attached itself to the south-west corner of the island, while the castle sits atop Polar Peak.

While the winter theme seemed a fairly obvious assumption, further fuel to this line of thinking came with the retail release of the Deep Freeze bundle. Epic released the boxed product on 16 November, which featured a snowsuit skin and other wintery goodies. 

The resourcefulness of the Fortnite community in uncovering Epic's equally impressive teases never fails to impress. Should you have looked directly into the snowstorm, it makes a particular sound. One other player apparently ran the sound through a spectrogram, which visualised the soundwaves as resembling the logo of the A.I.M. robot skin. Could the robot, which has also been appearing in loading screens more frequently, have a role to play in Season 7?

Fortnite Season 7 Battle Pass

The Season 7 Battle Pass, which will give players access to new skins and exclusive challenges, costs 950 V-Bucks as usual. That’s around £7.99/$9.99 in real money. The Battle Pass will give buyers instant access to the Zenith and Lynx outfits. There are also a new cosmetic item in the form of wraps, which allows player to customise weapons and vehicles to match their avatar's costume.

Battle Pass owners will also get early access to Fortnite Creative, until the mode launches for all Fortnite players on 13 December.

Fortnite Creative mode

As Season 7 launches, Fortnite will be getting a major new Minecraft-style mode called Fortnite Creative. News of the new mode was originally leaked by YouTuber Lachlan, who posted a detailed fifteen minute video after he was invited to play the mode ahead of time.

But hours later, Epic confirmed the news in a tweet and blog post. The developer said that Fortnite Creative will be available to all Battle Pass buyers from tomorrow, while everyone will be able to play around in its sandbox on 13 December.

The new mode will allow players to build their own island with almost unlimited resources of tiles, blocks, pre-fabricated structures and gadgets such as scoreboards and timers. You will also be able to set special rulesets for mini-games ranging from simple deathmatches on maps of your own creation, or complex, Rube Goldberg-esque contraptions.

Once built, you can then save your creations and invite your friends to play on your personal server. Epic will also be provided developer-made builds and will highlight particularly creative constructions from the community.

What is the Fortnite story so far?

Despite Fortnite’s simplicity in its core mechanics --drop onto an island, find weapons, survive until the end-- Epic have built an intriguing brand of environmental and even real-world narrative of colliding parallel worlds into its game.

Back in July a rocket launched across its map, creating a giant crack in the sky. Rifts then started appearing around Fortnite’s map, changing locations significantly as the game’s world and the real world collided. A sign for Durr Burger in Fortnite, sucked out of the game, appeared in the real-world California desert.

Meanwhile Fortnite’s map has undergone significant changes, with a comet crashing into Dusty Depot, leaving just a crater with variable gravity. Film sets have appeared as well as various other changes. Moisty Mire in the south-east, was replaced by Paradise Palms, a desert biome apparently pulled in from that California location.

The mysterious purple cube, nicknamed Kevin, that has been causing havoc across Fortnite's map for the past two seasons. Before exploding.

Then the cube, dubbed ‘Kevin’ found its final resting place in Loot Lake, turning the contentious water mass in the centre of the map into a jelly trampoline, before embedding itself on the bottom of the island in the middle. At the start of Season 6, the island began to levitate, floating around the map with Kevin protruding from the bottom. Eventually Kevin broke free, exploding in a flash of light at a special timed event, sending participating players to a bright netherworld for a brief moment in time.

Fortnite v7.00 patch notes

Battle Pass (Battle Royale)

New Season, new Battle Pass. 100 levels, over 100 new rewards. Available in-game right now for 950 V-Bucks. Find out more information on this season's Battle Pass here.

Creative (New Mode)

Imagine, Build, and Battle like never before in the early release of Fortnite Creative! Battle Pass owners will have early access to their own Creative island for one week, then all players will receive islands on December 13, 2018. Let us know your feedback on any of our social channels!

X-4 Stormwing Plane (Battle Royale)

Do a barrel roll! Control the skies alone or with your wingmen with the X-4 Stormwing

Wraps (Battle Royale)

Give your weapons and vehicles a new look with Wraps. Level up your Battle Pass to unlock different Wraps, then equip them in your locker to items like vehicles, shotguns, rifles and more.  

Canny Valley Act 3 (Save the World)

Complete new quests, explore new areas, and unlock a Mythic reward as the Stand and Fight campaign comes to a dramatic conclusion!

General

  • Updated the minimum macOS version required to run Fortnite on Mac to 10.13.6.
  • Added some optimizations for when players build structures.

Bug Fixes

  • Fixed daily Challenge text and some other text to properly switch when changing languages.
  • Fixed a crash when terminating the game because of an error during initialization.
  • Fixed a potential performance degradation when loading content.
  • Modified the error window to use a scrolling region for overflowing text.

Performance

Improved the data layout on Xbox One to improve loading times generally and reduce building streaming issues in Battle Royale.

UI

  • Made the Fortnite taskbar icon blink (Windows only) upon successfully entering a lobby after matchmaking if the application is minimized or inactive in the background.
  • Minimized chat text on PC and Mobile is no longer clickable. Clicking the chat entry text box will still expand the chat text as normal.

BATTLE ROYALE

WEAPONS + ITEMS

X-4 Stormwing Plane

  • 5 total seats.
  • Seats 4 passengers (on the wings) and a pilot.
  • Has a mounted machine gun. Be careful, it can overheat.
  • Players will go into the skydiving state when exiting the X-4 Stormwing.
  • Use the roll buttons for sharp turns.
  • Pressing both will fly upside down.
  • Double tapping roll buttons will do a barrel roll.
  • Can boost and airbrake for extra mobility.

Balloons

  • Balloons have been reworked so that while they are equipped, it is possible to use weapons and items.
  • Players can attach up to 3 Balloons to their back, lifting off the ground when the 3rd Balloon is attached.
  • Press jump while in the air to release Balloons one at a time.
  • Reduced stack size from 20 to 10.
  • Updated scope crosshair on Scoped AR and Thermal AR.

Vaulted Items

Note: Each new season gives us an opportunity to evaluate the current item rotation. Our goal is to have a reasonable number of items to learn, while avoiding duplicates or overlapping functionality. Based on recent (and upcoming) item additions, we've selected the following for vaulting.

  • Shadow Stones
  • Port-a-Fort
  • Chiller
  • Clinger
  • Double Barrel Shotgun
  • Shockwave Grenade

GAMEPLAY

  • Map Updated
  • New Biome: Iceberg
  • New Location: Frosty Flights
  • New Location: Polar Peak
  • New Location: Happy Hamlet
  • Other unnamed Points of Interest (POIs) have also appeared across the island.
  • Icy Surfaces can be found in snowy areas.
  • Players will slide on certain frozen surfaces.
  • Ziplines can be found around the Iceberg and near Expedition Outposts.
  • Latch on and zip from one end to the other.
  • Aim, fire, or use items all while conveniently traveling on Ziplines.
  • Minimap updated.
  • Increased the chance of final circles ending on the outer edges of the map.

Bug Fixes

Fixed a bug causing weapon impact effects to play when shooting friendly players, even though no damage was being dealt.

EVENTS

  • New Tournament: Explorer Pop-Up Cup
  • Material cap set to 700/500/300 for Wood/Stone/Metal.
  • Players receive 100/50/50 Wood/Stone/Metal on elimination.
  • Resource rate increased by 40%
  • +50 effective health on elimination.

Safezone Changes

  • Increased chances of Supply Drops in later circles.
  • Circle 9 now travels twice as far but takes twice as long to close.
  • Some tournaments will now feature a limit on the number of matches that can be played during an event session.

Bug Fixes

Fixed an issue which prevented players from receiving elimination rewards if a player they downed was eliminated by the Down-But-Not-Out timer ending or if their team was fully eliminated.

PERFORMANCE

  • Optimized spawning pickups when a player is eliminated.
  • Optimized the performance of the Dynamite fuse.
  • Switch audio performance improvements - falling sounds no longer hitch.
  • Minor Switch rendering optimizations to help general framerate.

AUDIO

  • Reduced the volume of bullet and pickaxe impact audio on the starting island.
  • Added a hit notification audio cue when a vehicle you’re riding in recieves damage.

Bug Fixes

  • Fixed an issue that would cause in-air glider audio to continue playing when eliminating a gliding player.
  • Fixed an issue that would cause vehicle audio loops to get stuck on.
  • Fixed “crackling” audio heard on Mobile/Switch when shooting weapons or emoting.

UI

  • The Calamity, Dire, Ragnarok, and Drift Challenges have been moved to a new section at the bottom of the Challenges tab.
  • Added filtering and updated the layout of the Locker.
  • Vehicle Damage Numbers have been added!
  • Vehicles now have a unique damage number pop color and show damage numbers.
  • Polished the Store layout to support a larger number of tiles without needing to scroll.
  • Minor update to the player feedback UI to add reporting categories and a list of other players in the current or last-played match.

Bug Fixes

  • Fixed Battle Pass information from being displayed in the Lobby tab for players that have not purchased a Battle Pass.
  • Fixed the header entry in the daily Challenges screen to work correctly when clicked.
  • Moved the Nvidia Highlights button to the top right of the Battle Royale lobby to avoid conflicts with chat click zone.
  • Fixed an issue where the Two Factor Authentication screen could sometimes cause input to become unresponsive.

REPLAY

Bug Fixes

  • Nameplates will no longer sit above other HUD elements, such as the map.

MOBILE

  • 60 FPS enabled on the iPad Pro 2018.
  • 4x MSAA Anti-Aliasing turned back on for iOS.
  • Improved performance on all Galaxy Note 9 devices as well as the North American variant of the Galaxy S9 Plus.
  • Added support for the Samsung Galaxy A9 (2018).

Bug Fixes

  • Fixed the black border on the iPad Pro 2018.
  • Fixed graphics settings on previous supported iPad Pro models.
  • Fixed incorrect quality settings for iPad 6th Generation.
  • Fixed occasional shadow flickerings in the game lobby.

Creative

This is an early release so you may experience client crashes, loss of progress, or other unexpected errors.

OVERVIEW

  • Creative Hub provides access to your own island, the islands of other friends who have joined on the server, or featured islands selected from the community.
  • Player Islands are your creative space that automatically saves.
  • Players will be able to keep a server active for up to 4 hours at a time.
  • Battle Pass owners will start with 4 islands to allow for different creations. On December 13, all players will receive 4 islands.
  • Friends can visit your island and island owners can set permissions to determine if your friends can edit/build while visiting.
  • The My Island menu is accessible through the Main Menu in-game while on your island.  

GAMEPLAY

  • Phone is the in-game tool your character holds that’s used to edit, copy, and manipulate props in the world. Experiment with its features to discover all the things it can do.
  • Fly mode allows players to quickly travel around their island and create in mid-air.
  • Double jump to start flying.
  • My Island menu
  • The “Game” tab starts and stops player-created games. When a game is stopped your island reverts to its pre-game state.
  • You may experience functionality issues with this feature as we continue to make improvements.
  • The “Game Settings” tab sets health, fall damage, spawn location, etc and can be changed at any time through the My Island menu.
  • The “Island Tools” tab resets your island back to its original state and sets who can build on your island.

CREATIVE INVENTORY

  • Accessed from the inventory menu.
  • Inventory allows you to spawn prefabs, devices, weapons, or consumables.
  • Use Inventory to create your own chests or llamas for your island filled with items you select.
  • Prefabs are pre-made structures the player can place on their island with throwables.
  • Devices are placeable items that allow you to create games.

PREFABS

  • 8 obstacle courses
  • 25 buildings from Battle Royale
  • 34 galleries of building tiles and props

DEVICES

  • New Devices
  • Ice Block
  • Damage Rails
  • Speed Boost
  • Timer
  • Scoreboard
  • Player Spawn
  • From Battle Royale:
  • Spikes
  • Chiller
  • Bouncer
  • Launch Pad
  • Mounted Turret
  • Cozy Campfire

PERFORMANCE

  • The memory bar at the bottom of the HUD provides feedback on how much you can build on your island.
  • This will change as we gather more data on performance and memory usage.

SOCIAL

Players will have the ability to join in progress games with any of their Epic friends, even if they are not in a party together. Find your friend in the social panel and select Join Creative Server. Your friend must have their Privacy option set to Friends or Public to allow those who aren’t in a party to join.

REPLAY

  • Replays will record the entire 4-hour play session, however, these will be saved in 30-minute individual files.
  • Replays are off by default and can be enabled in the settings.

MOBILE

  • Creative buttons added as well as a new “Creative” visibility setting. Buttons with extra functionality are in the HUD Layout Tool.
  • The “Creative” visibility is off in the tool by default, so buttons will be hidden until they are turned on.

SAVE THE WORLD

MISSIONS + SYSTEMS

  • Canny Valley Act 3
  • 20 new quests bringing the Stand and Fight campaign to a dramatic conclusion!
  • 2 new landmark zones.
  • Anthony, the Steel Wool drummer is a Mythic hero reward for completing the last act of Canny Valley.
  • Note: This is an early, work-in-progress version of the Stand and Fight campaign finale. We’re working on an ending song and video that will be added in at a later date. All added content will be retroactively available to anyone who completes the campaign.
  • Want to check it out now? There may just be a very special reward for players that finish the storyline this year...
  • Season 7 Warmup:
  • Hydraulic weapons, Storm Zone heroes, Scavenger weapons, and Scavenger heroes have been permanently added to the core set of Loot Llamas.
  • Mutant Storm mission alerts are now more numerous, will grant Snowflake Tickets and additional Survivor/Hero/Schematic XP when completed, and have a quota of 10 per 24 hour period.
  • Legendary Troll Stash Llamas are available in the Pinata Store and can be purchased for 1000 Snowflake tickets each.
  • Miniboss mission alerts have returned to normal.
  • Fewer are available on the map, quota of 3 per 24 hours, no event tickets.
  • Players who are at max level will now continue to earn rewards each time they earn enough XP to level up again.
  • These rewards will be retroactively granted to max level players based on the amount of XP acquired since update 6.30.
  • Reorganized Collection Book pages.
  • All event-related pages are now grouped together under the new “Event” section.
  • There is a new “Expansion” section containing all the pages for items that used to be event items but have been moved into the core set of items.

Bug Fixes

  • The Battle of Plank Harbor quest now has an accurate objective description.
  • I'm Probably Dead quest now has an accurate objective description.
  • Deeply Disturbing Simulations quest has an updated quest objective description that includes City, Suburban, or Industrial zone requirement.
  • Also, the quest items now appear properly in the world.
  • Fixed the "Uncanny!" achievement so that it requires doing all of the Story quests currently available in Canny Valley.
  • Quests Fight On and Pump Up the Volume now have accurate quest descriptions.
  • Fixed an issue that could cause the server to crash when going into a Storm Shield Defense.
  • Fixed an issue where some of the zones on the map could be improperly locked behind side quests in Canny Valley.
  • Fixed an issue where Mission Alerts could appear on “hidden” zones in the map that are only available during certain quests, and thus not accessible to most players.
  • Fixed an issue causing BluGlo not to spawn in Group Deliver the Bomb missions.
  • Fixed bad mission locations for Deliver the Bomb mission in Ghost Town sub biome.
  • Fixed clients not receiving a ‘Rejoin Game’ option after hard closing the client.

UI

  • Added a notification on the Command Screen when earning additional Upgrade Points or when the Research Lab has improved.
  • Bug Fixes
  • Fixed an issue where missions were appearing locked for parties with the correct Power Level.
  • Banners now properly display the player's icon and color during the reward sequence.
  • Event Store items now retain scroll positions for both Event and Weekly item views when backing out or switching to another view.
  • Fixed an issue that prevented Lead Survivors from appearing on the Top Survivor Portrait board.
  • Fixed the in-zone account level showing as 0.
  • Fixed issue where options in the “More” menu of the schematics screen were showing that they were unchecked when there were actually checked.
  • Sorting Survivors by Name now prioritizes Survivors with names over survivors without names. Mythical Lead survivors and Husk survivors now display at the beginning of the list in alphabetical order.
  • Changed the wording on the popup displayed when slotting items to the Collection Book. This prompt will now read: “This will remove the item from your inventory and add it to your collection book."
  • Fixed an issue where a second set of windows controls is visible on the Profile screen.
  • Fixed the message on Defender Traps when a player doesn't have any weapons for the selected defender.
  • XP Boost now has a visual indicator when used successfully.
  • Fixed F.O.R.T. stats not updating in the Survivor Squads screen when a slotted survivor is leveled up.
  • Added an input prompt gamepad to the Location Select screen on the Map tab.
  • On the Item Shop tab, under the Event section, fixed a layout issue where the left/right arrows were misaligned in gamepad mode when on item purchase screen.
  • Corrected the description used for XP boosts.
  • Fixed an issue where the display of some Collection Book rewards would be skipped if multiple collection levels are earned from a single slotted item.

PERFORMANCE

  • Optimized the system for checking player proximity to Storm Shield, used for triggering audio.

HEROES

  • Steel Wool Anthony
  • Mythic Outlander variant of Vanguard.
  • Found during the new Canny Valley quest line.
  • Airheart will remain in the Event Store for the duration of Season 7.

Bug Fixes

  • Airheart no longer takes up inventory space.
  • Steel Wool Heroes now have Steel Wool in their display name.
  • Fixed an issue that caused Supercharged Trap and Overclocked Trap perks to apply to all Constructors. These perks are now only applied to Heavy BASE and Machinist.

WEAPONS + ITEMS

  • Frostbite Sniper Rifle has returned to the Weekly Store!
  • A mid to long range rifle that deals good damage and can be fired quickly.
  • Available from December 5 at 7 PM ET until December 12 at 7 PM ET.

GAMEPLAY

Bug Fixes

  • Fixed an issue with player levels dropping significantly if the player is left behind in the zone completion phase.
  • Enemies with the damage buff from Frenzied Deathburst will now properly glow red.

AUDIO

Bug Fixes

  • Fixed an issue with audio ducking from voiceover when dialogue is set to 0.