Fortnite season 9: Chug Splash, Neon Triangle and Sofia outfit – CNET

Fortnite season 9 teaser image

Fortnite season 9 is live.

Epic Games

Fortnite season 9 is here, and it’s all about the future. Epic released the new season of its popular battle royale game with changes to the theme, new in-game content and other changes for players.

When does season 9 begin?

Fortnite season 9 went live May 9 after servers were taken down for updates. Once the servers were back, Epic tweeted the season trailer.

According to the trailer, the volcano event that happened on May 4 had a lasting effect on the island. The two destroyed areas, Tilted Towers and Retail Row, are now replaced with futuristic versions of the locations, called Neo Tilted and Mega Mall. The volcano also changed and is now known as Pressure Plant.

Epic tweeted on May 14 that the first official update, v.9.01, would happen Wednesday, May 15, at 1 a.m. PT. 

As the company regularly does, Epic also included a tease within its tweet with the phrase “get up close and personal.” This could reference a new weapon Fortnite players saw when logging in: the tactical assault rifle. 

Fortnite v9.10 update went live on Wednesday, May 22, and featured a new crossover with Nike called FortniteXJumpman. Players can purchase news skins decked out in hyped Air Jordan 1’s and play in the new Downtown Drop limited time mode. 

Season 9 will last for the next 10 weeks, and then Fortnite season 10 will start Aug. 1, according to fan site Fortnite Intel.

What’s new?

As prominently shown in the Fortnite season 9 trailer, there are two new areas to explore: Neo Tiled Towers and Mega Mall. Players who know the island like the back of their hand will have to spend some time exploring to figure out the places to loot and where to ambush others, as these two spots will be popular in the early days of the new season.

Neo Tilted

Neo Tilted


Another futuristic addition: the Slipstreams. Located around Neo Tilted Towers, Mega Mall and a large portion of the inner island, these new towers will propel players once they enter the wind stream. Players should use these Slipstreams as both a mode of transportation and a way to get out of trouble. Air vents were another mobility addition to propel players into the air and make them immune to fall damage.

Slipstreams around Mega Mall

Slipstreams around Mega Mall


Epic added only one new weapon at the start of season 9: the combat shotgun. The semi-automatic weapon takes the place of the pump shotgun, which was vaulted — aka removed from the game. Several other weapons, items and throwables were also vaulted, including clingers, buried treasure, poison dart trap, scoped revolver, suppressed assault rifle, thermal assault rifle and balloons.

Epic also made changes to the Battle Pass for Season 9. As in previous seasons, those who purchased the pass for 950 V-Bucks, or just shy of $10, will have 100 levels to work their way through to unlock new emotes, pickaxes and skins such as the Sentinel, Rox progressive and for those who make it to tier 100, the Vendetta skin.

Something new with this Fortnite season 9 Battle Pass are the Fortbytes. These collectible computer chips are hidden across the island with a new one unlocked each day of the season. Collecting these items will piece together an image that hints at what’s in store for Fortnite season 10.

With these new additions, Epic made various changes to the gameplay and improvement. The company also added new Limited Time Modes such as Trios, where players can make three-person squads, the Legendary-focused Solid Gold mode and One Shot, which has players with 50 health and can only access sniper weapons, meaning one hit is all it takes to eliminate players.

After the first week of Fortnite season 9, Epic released the first update of the season, v9.01, on May 15. That includes a new weapon, the tactical assault rifle. 


Fortnite tactical assault rifle

Epic Games

The automatic weapon, unlike most rifles, is far more effective up close than at a distance. It also has:

  • 30-round magazine
  • Deals 22/23/24 damage
  • Headshot multiplier of 1.75x

Epic also reduced the damage of the drum gun, which was brought back from the “vault” during the volcano event that kicked off the season. Many players complained about the weapon’s damage, so it was decreased from 26/27 to 22/23.

The v9.10 update on May 22 added a new way to get loot during a match: Hot Spots. Random named locations on the map will turn gold, meaning Loot Carriers are in the vicinity. These floating caches can be shot down to acquire a high-end weapon. 

Fortnite Loot Carrier

A Loot Carrier added in the Fortnite v9.10 update. 

Epic Games

Other changes in the v9.10 update are the reduced availability of the Shadow Bombs and Combat Shotgun and unvaulting of the Semi-Automatic Sniper Rifle. 

For Season 9 week 4, Epic added a new Burst SMG weapon for players to shoot quick four-bullet bursts. 

Epic delayed the v9.20 update by a day and plans to release it on Thursday, June 6. New in the update is a throwable called Storm Flip. When thrown in an area where the storm is active, it will create a safe area for players that can be a huge advantage as those players who are safe can easily pick off opponents running in the storm while taking damage. On the flip side, those who use a Storm Flip in a safe area will create a small storm when thrown, which will damage players within. 

Storm Flip, however, is reportedly causing issues near the end of games, making it almost impossible for players to tell which areas are safe and which aren’t. Epic Games on Thursday said it’ll be disabling the item during this weekend’s World Cup and in Arena mode.

Other changes in the v9.20 update are changes to Loot Carrier drops and the vaulting of all Hunter Rifles. 

Update v9.21 went live on June 12 featuring the new Proximity Grenade Launcher to deal damage to opponents near the projectile. 

The update also had weapon balance changes, especially to the new Storm Flip item, which is now harder to find and does less damage. 

Also included in the v9.21 was a new limited time mode called Horde Rush. The new mode is a four-player co-op with its own challenges launching on June 13. 

The Fortnite Celebrity Pro-Am competition took place on June 16 when 50 of some of the best Fortnite players in the world teamed up with 50 celebrities. During the event, Epic played a trailer for a new Flare Gun item. 

It’s unclear what the Flare Gun will do in the game or when it will come out. 

Update v9.30 on June 18 added a new healing item made for helping out a squad called Chug Splash. When used, the rare six-pack consumable will create a splash that will heal all allies in its proximity. 

As the case with every new update, data miners were in full force inspecting every file to find something new that may be added in a future update. One discovered assets for a new Drum Gun variant called the Drum Shotgun. 

The Drum Gun was a controversial weapon when it came out as it was deemed too powerful for matches. It was soon removed from the game, or vaulted, but then unvaulted during the Fortnite season 8 volcano event. This new Drum Shotgun may show up in the coming weeks before Fortnite season 9 comes to an end. 

On Tuesday, June 25, Epic released a content update for update v9.30. The patch marks the beginning of the Fortnite 14 Days of Summer that will unvault a new weapon each day as well as have new challenges and limited time modes. 

The weapons unvaulted in the update include the Pump Shotgun, Shockwave Grenade, Suppressed SMG, Revolver, Tactical Shotgun, Burst SMG, SemiAuto Sniper Rifle, FlintKnock Pistol, Infantry Rifle, Minigun, Heavy Assault Rifle and the DrumGun. The Rare Tactical Assault Rifle, Impulse Grenades, Rift-To-Go and Pirate Cannon were all vaulted in the patch. 

Fortnite players should expect more content, modes, weapons, skins and, eventually, clues to the next season.

Hidden secrets and Easter eggs

Epic tends to add clues and Easter eggs on the island that hint at upcoming events or the next season. A less than subtle example in Fortnite season 9 is the addition of a building in Paradise Palms that looks remarkably like the house from the John Wick films. 

John Wick house in Fortnite

The John Wick house in Fortnite

Epic Games

One data miner also discovered a set of challenges for a limited-time mode called Wick’s Bounty, or WAX. This event started May 16,  just before the third entry in the franchise, John Wick: Chapter 3 — Parabellum, opened in theaters. 

To add more fuel to the John Wick fire, the Fortnite v9.01 update had a slew of movie-related content leaked by data miners. First is the new John Wick outfit that has a secondary style called “Damaged.”

Another data miner found more info about the Wick’s Bounty limited-time mode in the v9.01 update. The new mode will have infinite spawns, and players will have to collect coins off of other players, which most likely drop when eliminated. 

There’s also a new skin known as “Sofia,” which is the name of Halle Berry’s character in John Wick: Chapter 3 — Parabellum. The data miner noted that the head is temporary and could change when the skin officially goes live in the future. 

On Friday, June 28, Epic completed the John Wick set with the official release of the Sofia outfit. This time based on Hally Berry’s look in the film. Players can purchase the new skin in the Fortnite Item Shop for 1,500 V-Buck, or approximately $15. 

Another subtle reference found in Fortnite season 9 is a storefront called Scoops Ahoy, the ice cream shop in Stranger Things. Chris Lee, director of interactive games at Netflix, said on June 12 at an E3 panel that the company has plans for a Stranger Things crossover in the coming weeks. The third season of the Netflix series starts July 4, which would be during the second half of Fortnite season 9. 

In the v9.10 update added to the game on May 22, players found something weird at Polar Peak. There’s a block of ice that shakes as wind comes out of the cracks. It almost appears as if there’s something hidden inside. This could be the start of the event that could be the transition to Fortnite season 10.

On May 28, Fortnite players who visited Polar Peak saw something new in the form of a giant eyeball. The creepy eye will track the movements of the player in front of it. 

June 6 saw a big change at Polar Peak. The block of ice holding a monster is broken, taking part of the ice castle with it. Giant footprints can be seen walking away from it toward the Viking Village. 

The Polar Peak monster continues to be on the move, but this time in the water. Players have seen remnants of the castle destroyed by the giant beast floating around in the waters around the island. 

Another sign of destruction by the Polar Peak monster appeared on June 16. Players saw the modern house located in Pleasant Park in a pile of rubble. 

There’s no rhyme or reason as to where the Polar Peak monster will appear next, but it will likely be the catalyst for changes to the island coming in Fortnite season 10. 

After the downtime for update v9.30 on June 18, Fortnite players logged on and found something new at Snobby Shores: a large neon triangle. 

With Fortnite season 9 only weeks away from ending, these kinds of weird additions to the island are typically indicators of an event coming. The triangle isn’t nearly as big as the mysterious cube from 2018, but something could be changing very soon to end the season. 

Fortnite is available on PS4, Nintendo Switch, Xbox One, PC, and Android and iOS devices.

Originally published May 7. 
Updates, May 8: Adds new tweet from Epic and server downtime notice; May 9: Adds new season info; May 10: Adds new section on Easter eggs; May 14: Adds tweets on next update and new weapon; May 15: Adds info from update v9.01; May 21: Adds info about v9.10 update and crossover event; May 22: Includes additional info on v9.10 and new secret; May 28: Adds Polar Peak eye and update tweet; May 29: Includes Burst SMG; June 5: Adds info on v9.20 update; June 6: Includes v9.20 update and Polar Peak changes; June 7: Adds more details about Storm Flip; June 11:  Includes v9.21 tweet. June 12: v9.21 details. June 17: Adds info on update v9.30 and new content. June 18: Adds v9.30 details. June 25: Adds v9.30 content update details. June 28: Add Sofia skin details.