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Fortnite Season 8 release date - Earthquake cracks, Season 8 map changes, skins, theories

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Season 8 of Fortnite is set to arrive at the end of this month, and Epic are doing what they do best, ramping up the tension and the hype with minor in-game events. This time round, we’re chasing earthquakes, with cracks and fissures appearing every day or two in different areas of the map. But what does this mean for Season 8 and all the changes it might bring? And how does this tie in with the earlier Ice Storm, and those eggs below Polar Peak?

Our Fortnite Season 8 guide will walk you through absolutely everything we know about the upcoming Season 8, from release dates to earthquake event leaks, from likely themes to the map changes and new features we might expect from the new Season. So let’s get stuck in!

Earthquake CRACKING!! from r/FortNiteBR

When is Fortnite Season 8? Fortnite Season 8 release date

Thursday 28 February is when Season 7 of Fortnite is set to end, and Season 8 to begin. The end of Season 7 was delayed by two weeks beyond the customary ten weeks, so that the folks over at Epic Games could take a two-week break for Christmas.

Epic’s usual approach is to bring their servers offline at around 8 AM GMT to start off the new season, and the downtime usually lasts three-to-four hours. But after that, we’ll all be free to explore the new map and Battle Pass together for (presumably) the next ten weeks – meaning Season 8 will likely be with us until Thursday 9 May, whereupon Season 9 will begin.

Fortnite Earthquake – Season 8 Event

Soon after a premature reveal via a datamine by Twitter user “@FortTory” that there was an upcoming “Earthquake” event hidden in Fortnite’s game files, the first evidence of the event began to make itself known. Players across many games began to feel intermittent tremors shaking the island, giving further credence to the theory that this earthquake event would mark the end of Season 7, and the beginning of Season 8.

Things got serious very quickly on the 14th Feb, when a fissure carved its way through the ground south-west of Tomato Temple. There it remains even now – and almost certainly until the end of the season – and since then it’s been joined by seven other similar cracks appearing aross the entire north-east quadrant of the island, from Dusty Divot to the Block. These fissures are likely to continue appearing right up until the beginning of the new Season, which will of course be marked by some enormous in-game event. Just spitballing here – maybe an earthquake?

Earthquake #7 from r/FortNiteBR

Future Earthquake Crack times leaked

Thanks to another datamine, we’ve also got a pretty good idea of when the next fissures are going to appear. Take a look at the image below for all the upcoming crack times, taken from this reddit post by user “ScrapMechanicKid”.

So we’re looking at 25 cracks in total, with the last one occurring on the 27th – one day before the end of Season 7. But the question that remains is this: will these fissures stay confined to the north-east locations of the Fortnite map, or will they start occurring all over?

We’ve been saying for some time now that the north-east area of the island is in need of some major work, and if all 25 cracks appear around Wailing Woods, Tomato Temple, Lonely Lodge, the Block, and elsewhere in that quadrant, then it’s all but confirmed that this is where we’ll see the most change heading into Season 8.

Fortnite Season 8 theme, skins, Battle Pass

One discovery made quite a bit earlier in Season 7, which may indicate the theme of Season 8’s skins and Battle Pass, was a cluster of what appear to be giant dragon eggs hidden in a difficult-to-reach area under the castle atop Polar Peak. What’s more, you can clearly hear heartbeats emanating from the eggs if you are near enough to them – so whatever is inside is definitely alive, and waiting for the right moment to hatch.

This prompted reddit user LethalSnowmeme to post a lengthy theory explaining how we might soon see a resurgence of medieval and Arthurian-themed skins and phenomena for Season 8, much like we saw in Season 2, which brought with it numerous knight skins and accompanying cosmetic items. Backing up this claim is a recent update to Fortnite’s Save The World mode, which introduces a new medieval weapons set; and the previous release of the (hilariously game-breaking) Infinity Blade, which also resided atop Polar Peak, and alluded to Epic Games’s mobile game of the same name, which features a great deal of knightly and medieval imagery and themes.

Oh, and guess what? The Infinity Blade game also features dragons.

Whether we’ll see dragons taking the form of cosmetics such as dragon-bone pickaxes, or just as part of the spectacle which brings about the change in seasons remains unclear… But now that Epic have dipped their toes in the waters of aerial combat with the Stormwings, many players are asking whether it’s too far out of the realms of possibility that we might get rideable dragons. Or might we somehow be able to harness the power of the dragons in order to create new elemental weapons? I can’t imagine the playerbase will be too happy with this idea… But only time will tell; fortunately we won’t have too long to wait.

Fortnite Season 8 map changes

Rumours of what the overarching theme of Season 8 might be were also kickstarted long before the earthquakes we’re all now experiencing, back with the appearance of a mysterious giant sphere of ice, poised in the sky just above Polar Peak, within which the Ice King resided for a short time. Back in January, an in-game event witnessed by many thousands of players simultaneously saw the Ice King emerge from his icy bubble and cast an ice storm which blanketed the entire map in snow, and unleashed icy versions of the zombies we last saw around Halloween of 2018 across the island. If you missed it, take a look at these cinematic shots caught by Reddit user “savage_star_gaming” below.

Cinematic shots, if you missed it. from r/FortNiteBR

Since this time the snow and ice has thawed back to cover just less than half the island. But regardless, all this points to one thing: the elemental forces (fire, water, and earth) all have major roles to play in the coming weeks. The Ice Storm was predicted by a great many people after the sphere first appeared, and we believe this only consolidates our theory that Season 8 will bring a great deal of water to the map as the rest of the ice and snow thaws away in the transition from Winter to Spring. It may even be that the Earthquake is what hatches the eggs in the next in-game event, and fire-breathing dragons cause the island to melt into its Season 8 form in a matter of seconds.

But, I hear you ask, if we’re to see a multitude of springs and lakes crop up across the map in Season 8, won’t this be treading on Loot Lake’s toes a little? And water isn’t exactly the most fun terrain to navigate through, anyway, right?

That’s why some players are theorising that we’ll see some changes made to how players interact with water for Season 8. Perhaps instead of treading water we’ll be able to submerge ourselves completely? And with the recent expansion of Fortnite’s arsenal of vehicles, might we expect boat and submarines to make their first appearances? If this is indeed the case, it’s fun just imagining how the introduced verticality of underwater play might affect build battles and final circle fights.

Click the above image to view it at highest resolution.

Season 8 locations

The other question to ask is how existing locations might change, and whether new ones will be added and old favourites taken away. The advent of Season 7 disposed of Risky Reels, Greasy Grove, and Flush Factory. The first few weeks of Season 6 was dominated by a floating island that moved across the map from match to match. Travel back even further, and old favourites such as Moisty Mire were discarded in favour of new hotspots such as Paradise Palms and Westworld.

So how can we expect our favourite spots to fare against the onset of Season 8? A large earthquake would be very capable of transforming multiple areas across the map in the same moment, so we might well see major changes not just in the north-east but to other areas of the map which have remained untouched for a long time, such as Junk Junction, or Salty Springs. But, as previously mentioned, it feels like the north-east section of the island, dominated by Wailing Woods since Season 1, is long overdue some major changes. They added The Block, admittedly; but compared to the major towns in the other areas of the map, there’s still comparatively little of interest to lure players to the top-left corner.

Could it be that this volcano people are speculating will rise into being as a result of the earthquake will destroy Wailing Woods itself? That way, we’ll have fire and ice facing each other from across the map, creating a satisfying balance and a very visually striking map for the advent of Season 8.

Whatever the changes may be, it’s safe to expect they will be elemental in nature, the result of fire, ice, and earth possibly all in the same moments. Let’s not forget that Epic needs to outdo the Ice Storm event for the Season 8 release, so we have to expect something really spectacular to rock the Fortnite map this time round.

That’s just about everything we know so far on the upcoming arrival of Season 8 of Fortnite Battle Royale; but do check back here for all the latest information, as we track the activities of the map, the sphere, and everything else we deem to be of interest. In the meantime, do check out our Fortnite guide series, which contains all sorts of useful explanations, tips and strategies on how to become a seasoned Fortnite killer, including detailed explanations of all the Fortnite weapons, guides on the various Fortnite weekly challenges, a full rundown of all the best Fortnite locations for loot and safety, and much more.

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Ollie Toms

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Ollie is a staunch lover of words, games, and words about games. Some say he used to be quite good at Rocket League. His alter ego is an Excel spreadsheet and his favourite colour is tortelloni.

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