If you're only playing Fortnite in order to win another hard-earned Victory Royale, you're missing out. Oh, sure, Fortnite: Battle Royale's 100-player winner-takes-all slugfests are among some of the most exciting, silliest, and just plain best things going in gaming. There's a reason why Fortnite has seemingly taken over the world. It's really dang fun.
But there's a lot more to Epic Games' incredibly popular take on the battle royale genre: in addition to the player-versus-player mayhem, it's got a story. A good one, even. You might just have to work a little to find it. As it turns out, Fortnite's alliterated map is chock full of secrets, and many fans spend just as much time trying to unravel the game's many mysteries as they have shooting at each other. Here are the mysteries that we can't wait to see solved, but be warned: in Fortnite, every answer leads to more questions. The rabbit hole is very, very deep.
In Fortnite: Battle Royale, players fall from the sky onto a mysterious and deadly island filled with all kinds of mysteries. Sound familiar? Then you probably watched LOST, the '00s television phenomenon that hooked millions of viewers with its dynamic combination of soap opera-esque drama, unconventional storytelling structure, and all kinds of unexplainable weirdness.
Fortnite and LOST have more in common than just a premise and a big collection of unanswered questions, though. In May 2018, right around the time that Avengers big bad Thanos started wreaking havoc on Fortnite island, an unmarked hatch appeared in the game's Wailing Woods region. As the LOST faithful know, that's a foreboding omen. In the television show, a similar-looking hatch fueled many of the show's inaugural mysteries, while its contents- an underground bunker, as well as one very confused occupant - helped kick off its second season.
As of this writing, we still don't know what's inside of the Fortnite equivalent. While a few players have managed to get the thing open, the game still won't let anyone go inside (at least, not outside of glitches). Some people think that the hatch might just be a Half-Life 2 Easter egg, but no one knows for sure. It's not even clear if Epic has any idea. If not, they're in good company: at first, the LOST staff didn't know what was inside their hatch, either.
At first, it seemed like a bug. When Fortnite: Battle Royale's 3.4 patch hit in late March, people playing on Xbox One and PlayStation 4 noticed that their controllers were randomly vibrating. Most players dismissed this as a glitch. Epic even said as much. The only option, the developer said, was to turn the force feedback on controllers off, to make sure that the unwanted shakes didn't interfere with all of the game's good old-fashioned killing.
But it wasn't a mistake. It was a message. As Reddit user Vigilancefoetracer discovered, the seemingly random vibrations were actually Morse code. After some quick decoding, Vigilancefoetracer deduced that someone calling for help. See, the translated message read "SOS D 5 418." Players quickly figured out what the first two parts of the code meant: D5 is the region of Fortnite's map where the Tilted Towers reside, while SOS is self-explanatory. The "418" was less obvious. Most people surmised that it was a date (April, 2018), and concluded that Twisted Towers would be destroyed by Fortnite's encroaching meteors sometime that month.
They were partly correct. A meteor shower did indeed hit Fortnite at the end of April, but the Towers (mostly) survived. Meanwhile, fans still don't know who sent the message, or how that individual knew about the meteor strike ahead of time. At this rate, they may never figure it out.
What they don't want us to know
The fourth wall-shattering controller stunt isn't the only time that Fortnite: Battle Royale flirted with coded messages. In late April 2018, just a few days before the meteors arrived, in-game televisions started broadcasting emergency message adorned with a Loot Pinata, Fortnite's single-player loot crate equivalent, and the game's de facto mascot.
Of course, this being Fornite, there was more going on here than it seemed. Players realized that an audio file played during the broadcast contained another helping of Morse code, and like the controller vibrations, it contained an ominous warning. According to those who translated the sounds, the hidden message says, "They don't want us to k…" That final word isn't completely clear, but most fans assume that it's the beginning of "know."
But what don't they want us to know - and who are "they," anyway? So far, we've got no answers. Inspired by a line from Fortnite's single-player Save the World, many players are taking this to mean that Fortnite is home to some kind extraterrestrial threat. That fits — the whole hidden message and forbidden knowledge thing certainly has an Area 51-type vibe about it. Still, that's just a fan theory. We won't know what they don't want us to know until Epic spills the beans - unless, of course, they already have. Maybe the truth is out there. Maybe we simply haven't found it - yet.
Not all of Fortnite's mysteries come from the stars. A few have their roots in the past. Fortnite Season 5 introduced time travel to the game's increasingly complex storyline, but even before that, the game's been signaling that some of your favorite prehistoric creatures aren't as extinct as you think they are.
So, yeah, dinosaurs. We're talking about dinosaurs. Shortly before Season 5 began, a large animal skeleton appeared in Moisty Mire (which, as of Season 5, has been dried out and transformed into a desert), but even before that, there have been hints that so-called "terrible lizards" are lurking somewhere in Fortnite's world. Just a few days after Fortnite's meteor shower, fans found a giant footprint lurking just south of Snobby Shores, near where a house used to be. It's not the first time that the ancient critters have made an appearance in the game, either. Not only can fans purchase stylish Rex and Tricera Ops skins, but they could earn a dinosaur skull banner icon during the game's third season.
Of course, the whole dinosaur thing could just be some Hollywood magic. After all, the footprint is surrounded by one of the film sets that appeared during Season 4. At this point, it's hard to say exactly what's going on. That's what makes it a mystery!
Before Fortnite Season 4 became all about rockets and time-altering rifts - more on those in just a moment - superheroes took center stage. Not only could players earn exclusive superhero skins by completing the game's Battle Pass challenges, but lairs and secret hideouts started popping up all over the map, too.
In addition, Fortnite's season-specific loading screens, which players unlock by working through the Battle Pass, seemed to be telling a superheroic story: in one, Omega, the villain of the piece, broke out of prison. That ended up leading to a full-on superhero brawl, followed by a major plot twist: in the final loading screen featuring the characters, Omega is seen relaxing on a film set with Valor, one of his supposed foes.
What gives? We know that the rocket found in the supervillain lair is the real deal, given its profound effects on Fortnite's map (not to mention that it actually, y'know, flies), but the combination of the loading screens and imply that the whole conflict was all for the cameras. So, are Valor, Omega, Carbide, and the rest actual superheroes? And if they are, where the heck did they all go?
Now, here's where things get really interesting. As previously mentioned, a meteor shower served as Season 4's big climax - and when the rocks started falling, Fortnite's real mysteries began. To begin with, these clearly aren't regular meteors. After particularly large meteorite demolished Dusty Depot, a shady government agency set up a camp around the interstellar projectile and started studying its effects. In addition, the impact site was surrounded by "hop rocks," physics-altering materials that launched players into the air. That's not normal. Something funny must be going on.
Things cleared up a little bit during the seventh week of Season 4 when it turned out that there was an escape pod in the meteor's core - and that whoever was riding in it escaped. According to Fortnite's Season 4 loading screens, which relay Fortnite: Battle Royale's story, the mysterious passenger is actually The Visitor, a strange character who also happens to be one of the special skins that Fortnite players can earn. After exiting the meteor, the Visitor made a beeline for Fortnite's supervillain hideout, where he launched the rocket that helped bring Season 4 to a close.
But who is The Visitor, and where did he - or she - come from? Are his motives pure, or is he up to no good? So far, that's all still unknown, although some of Fortnite's other mysteries might hold some answers.
The rocket and the rifts
So, the Visitor launched the rocket. If you logged in to Fortnite: Battle Royale on June 30, 2018, you might've watched it happen live. But here's the hard truth: you and countless others still don't know exactly what the rocket did. Oh, sure, you saw the projectile fly into the air and crack the sky wide open. You saw rifts appear on Fortnite's map in the following days, destroying the scenery and dropping items from throughout history all over the island.
And yet, you still don't know why the Visitor did what he did, and the rocket's true nature remains a mystery. There's more than simple time travel involved, too. Shortly after one of the rifts swallowed up Greasy Grove's big Durr Burger sign, the object was found in the real-life California desert. As Fortnite fans flocked to the location, mysterious agents appeared on-site, handing out business cards with phone numbers that play rift sounds when dialed, and which contain secret messages revealing the locations of some real, physical loot pinatas.
That's one hell of a promotional stunt, and yeah, the rifts might just be an excuse for Epic to spice up the Fortnite map with some cool landmarks - Viking ship, anyone? Still, judging by Fortnite's Season 5 trailer, the time and reality-bending cracks will also play a big role in the game's Season 5 storyline. How, exactly, remains to be seen.
Let's take a step back. Before Fortnite: Battle Royale had an ongoing storyline, it was easy to dismiss the game's odd set-up. It didn't really matter why people were jumping out of flying buses and shooting each other. It was fun. That's all that mattered.
Now that Fortnite: Battle Royale has honest-to-goodness stories and lore, however, we've got some questions. The Fortnite map is full of abandoned houses, empty buildings, and closed businesses. So, where did all of the people go? It seems like there's a link between Fortnite's complete lack of non-player characters and the ominous storm that slowly closes in on Battle Royale players and offs them if they spend too much time in its violet rays, but without more evidence, that's just conjecture.
An explanation could be on the way, though. In addition to the Battle Royale, Fortnite also has a cooperative mode known as Save the World, and storms pop up there, too, although they work a little differently. Instead of making the maps smaller, Save the World's storms spawn monsters that players must work together to defeat. It's also why 98% of the population disappeared, although it's not clear where the victims went. There's a very good chance that the two storms are related, and while Save the World hasn't revealed the storm's origins yet, the information could have profound effects on Battle Royale's plot — if it ever surfaces.
Maybe there's one big mystery that ties all of Fortnite: Battle Royale's various unknowns together. Maybe this is all related, and maybe it's building to one giant revelation — one with intergalactic origins.
Outside of the Visitor, aliens haven't played an immediately obvious role in Fortnite's evolving story, but little hints have popped up here and there that indicate that extraterrestrials are very, very involved in the ongoing plot. There's the aforementioned hidden message. Before the meteor struck, players saw UFOs hovering around the descending objects. At least one Fortnite resident must've seen 'em too because they left a heart sign welcoming the aliens to Earth on a Tilted Towers rooftop. During the rocket launch, some players heard alien-like voices. When Kotaku asked what the meteor was, Epic responded with a picture of Giorgio A. Tsoukalos, a television personality best known for spouting insane theories on the History Channel's Ancient Aliens.
Those small pieces add up, and if there's not something otherworldly going on in Fortnite, we're going to be very, very surprised. Look at it this way: if Thanos, a native of the planet Titan, can make an appearance in Fortnite, it stands to reason that other visitors may not be far behind. Heck, we've already met one of 'em. From all indications, that's just the tip of the iceberg.