Here's what's new in Fortnite Season 3, from Splash Down map changes to skins and rideable sharks

(Image: Epic Games)(Image: Epic Games)
(Image: Epic Games)

The newest season of Fortnite is finally upon us, as Season 3 of the game’s Chapter 2 kicks off today!

‘Splash Down’ is one of the more anticipated new seasons of the popular Battle Royale game, and arrives following multiple delays.

Ahead of the new season, there was a big in-game event; excitement began building when a countdown timer appeared in the game, set to hit zero on Monday 15 June.

One of Fortnite’s more spectacular live events, ‘The Device’ set in motion a wave of changes that have made some big difference to a now soggy map.

Here’s everything you need to know:

What happened during The Device event?

During The Device event, Midas’ doomsday clock hit zero, and kicked off a chain of events that sunk the game’s map.

As the countdown ended, pillars lifted up from under the map’s existing stretches of water as an explosion blew up The Agency building.

The ‘Doomsday’ device appeared on a pedestal, as players were lifted into the air and transported to an alternate dimension office, where a character could be heard talking about storms and “the loop.”

When players were eventually sent back to the map, it was completely sunken into the sea.

Immediately after the event, the game was in a sort of limbo between The Device and the start of Season 3; players hoping to jump into a match instead found themselves on an island surrounded by a wall of water, and were promptly killed by AI-controlled Henchmen.

What’s new in Season 3?

Fortnite’s map is now a watery paradise (Image: Epic Games)Fortnite’s map is now a watery paradise (Image: Epic Games)
Fortnite’s map is now a watery paradise (Image: Epic Games)

As expected, Fortnite’s map is now a watery paradise, with entire areas altered drastically by an influx of H2O.

But it’s not just the map that has changed (more on that later); a number of new features, mechanics and items have been introduced to the game.

For one, rideable sharks now allow you to latch on and zip about the wetter areas of the map at speed. Careful though, as developers Epic Games describe the big fish as “item hungry”, so they’ll likely gobble up any dropped loot in their vicinity.

Maybe they’ll be partial to biting players too?

Pirate-style Marauders have also been added to the game, and will crash down onto the island to give you an extra challenge, similar to the Henchmen of last season.

Jason Momoa's big-screen depiction of DC Comic hero Aquaman has also been dropped into the game.

Fortnite has previously featured comic book stars like Deadpool and Batman – complete with themed challenges – and Aquaman seems a perfect fit for the new, water-based season.

In terms of new weapons, the Ocean’s Burst Assault Rifle and Flare Gun seem to be on-theme additions, and you can now use some dual-wielding pickaxes as a single-handed version.

Then there is a host of new vehicles to pilot, including cars, trucks, and quite a few others, and of course all of the usual new skins and loot you’d expect from a major update to Fortnite!

How has the map changed?

(Image: Epic Games)(Image: Epic Games)
(Image: Epic Games)

Due to its being ‘drowned’, Fortnite’s map has changed considerably, and now there appears to be considerably less solid ground,

Players are still exploring the new iteration of the map, but fresh named locations currently include The Fortilla, Rickety Rig, The Authority, and Catty Corner.

The addition of the briny blue where once there was land will likely change the way Fortnite plays in considerable ways; fan favourite locations seem to have been flooded out entirely, or at least changed immeasurably by a load of water moving in to the neighbourhood.

Epic is inviting players to “survive more than just the storm in the aftermath of its revenge”, and “adapt to its flooded way of life.”

“Stay afloat and take on new challenges,” they say.

Locations that have ‘survived’ the flooding include Pleasant Park, Salty Springs, Frenzy Farm, Retail Row, Lazy Lake, Holly Hedges, Sweaty Sands, Lazy Lake, and Misty Meadows.

But things are likely to be much more soggy, and its likely these locations won’t appear quite as they did before.

What else is new?

Alongside the map changes and new content, the new update also brings with it bug fixes and quality of life improvements, to make your experience of playing the game just that little bit smoother.

For more information on Fortnite Season 3, head to Epic Games’ website

How do I update the game?

Many gamers have their consoles set to install game updates automatically, so if you’re just now booting up your machine, it could be that you don’t need to do anything at all to jump into the latest version of Fortnite.

But for those who need to update manually, here’s a quick guide:

On Xbox One, press the Home button on your controller and select Games & Apps. From there, select Updates, and you should see a Fortnite tile appear. Select it, press the Menu button, and select Update.

PS4 players need to highlight Fortnite in the console’s main menu, press the Options button on your controller, and press Check For Updates. If there is an update, the game update will be put into your download queue and once completed, you will be informed by an on-screen message.

Nintendo Switch users should ensure their console is connected to the Internet, and from the HOME Menu, select the icon for the software you wish to update without starting the game or application. Press the + or - Button on your controller, then select Software Update followed by Via the Internet.

Of course, with Fortnite release patches and updates on a weekly business, it’s highly advised you set up automatic updates on your console of choice, to streamline your experience.