2018's first big Fortnite update is scheduled to launch this week, Epic Games has announced. Among a number of other things, this patch makes some significant changes to the Battle Royale map, both adding new areas and changing the look of existing ones.
Epic has released the patch notes for update 2.2.0, which debuts on PC, PS4, and Xbox One on January 18. It includes the previously announced map overhaul showcased in the video below, which sees a number of areas added. These are primarily located on the western half of the map and include a new city area and a series of underground mines. Epic has also updated the various "biomes," as it calls them, so that the swamps, mountains, and so on have a more distinct look and feel to them.
The patch notes also outline a change that has already gone into effect: the removal of friendly fire. This is due at least in part to a desire to reduce frustration stemming from players who deliberately kill their teammates. Whether the change sticks around long-term remains to be seen, as Epic states, "This is exploratory and subject to change. We will be closely evaluating this and want your feedback!"
With this update installed, players will have less trouble reviving teammates when there are pickups nearby, as reviving now receives priority. The Scoped AR will no longer be found in supply drops, and the look of its scope has changed to be more modern and usable. A variety of visual improvements have been introduced; these include players interacting with grass and foliage when walking through it and the addition of water effects when you enter or leave a body of water. Load times are also said to be dramatically reduced on consoles, and voice chat will be available in the pre-game lobby.
Fortnite's Save the World mode also receives some attention in this patch, although that primarily comes in the form of bug fixes. However, Epic has made some changes to Commander XP so that even low-value items yield XP when crafted from the main menu.
Update 2.2.0's launch coincides with the end of Battle Royale's Winter event. However, Save the World's event has been extended until January 24. Additionally, Battle Royale players who purchase the Season 2 Battle Pass will gain five free tiers once Season 3 begins. Those eager to make progress during the current season can purchase ten tiers for the price of six for a limited time. You can check out the full patch notes on Epic's website.