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Things We Wish We Knew Before Playing Fortnite Chapter 2

For a while there, Fortnite players were stuck. The map that they had known for so long had been destroyed, leaving a mere black hole in its wake. The community watched, and waited, wondering what Epic Games was going to do with it next.

When it finally did open up, Chapter 2 was born. This is the next evolutionary phase in Fortnite, presenting a new map and a wealth of improvements, some of which are based on user feedback. Days later, people were still discovering fun little things to make their stay in this new area feel worthwhile.

That said, the number of tweaks and changes could be overwhelming to some. That's why we put together a little guide that breaks down the things we wish we had known about before Epic Games delivered them to us. Don't get us wrong, we like surprises. But if we had an idea of what the developers had in mind for the next phase, we wouldn't have been so overwhelmed at what we found. Here's what we wish we'd known about before the second chapter's launch.

The map brings something old, and a lot of new

While some players may miss the old stomping grounds that got obliterated, Fortnite Chapter 2 has a whole lot of territory to cover. The Fortnite Chapter 2 map has something for everyone among its many changes. There's a lot more water in this stage, including what appears to be a lazy river-like circle in the middle. There's also a lot of farmland on Frenzy Farm, with different colored crops. Those who prefer to live like Shrek can do so in the Slurpy Swamp to the southwest, while snow-capped mountains await just to the east of that.

But that's not all. A number of popular locations from the original Fortnite are back. Those in the mood to hang around the shopping mall-esque Retail Row can do so once more. Salty Springs gives you some paradise-like views as you battle for a first place victory. Pleasant Park provides a lot of familiar ground to cover, just like the original. And, much to fans' delight, Risky Reels is back after being so heavily teased for Season X.

The battle doesn't just take place on solid ground

The new water features added to Fortnite Chapter 2 actually present some interesting opportunities — namely, you don't always have to run around on solid ground anymore. Your character can actually go for a swim this time around. Simply walk into the water and, when it gets deep enough, your character will start to engage in a natural swimming motion. What's more, you can still jump while in the water. This provides a neat little speed boost, in case you're in a hurry to get to a location — or get out of harm's way.

Just because someone's shooting at you while you're in the water doesn't mean you can't do anything about it. You can make a quick dive, underneath the surface, for a moment before resurfacing. This can give you a quick speed burst, too. The really cool thing, however, is being able to shoot your weapons while in the water. Just draw whatever weapon you have on hand and fire away. Your character will safely remain above water, even when firing.

Shrubbery's not the only place to hide

While players may still find it tempting to hide in Fortnite: Chapter 2's shrubs, that's not the only option available. First up are haystacks. It may seem a bit Assassin's Creed-ish, but the haystacks can make for a convenient hiding spot. Simply hop in and wait for your opponents to arrive, then pop out again and get the jump on them. The only catch is if they try to destroy the haystack first ... in which case, run.

There are also dumpsters. If you're not hunting down fellow Battle Royale members, you can do a little dumpster diving. Just get real close, wait for the button prompt and hop in. You're also able to get out again by doing the same thing — but maybe wait to get the jump on an opponent first.

Finally, shrubs are back. But this time, there's more variety to them. The smaller ones have returned, although now there are also bigger ones. The advantage here is that you can hide in them even when standing. This is great for popping out when the situation calls for it. There are barrels as well, but don't hide in those — they explode. Ouch.

Materials can now be used with weapons

Previously in Fortnite, materials gathered in each area could be used to build structures on the fly. That's still an option in Chapter 2. However, now you can apply them where they really count: with weapons! The key here is making sure you have enough materials to upgrade. This includes 50 units of wood, metal, and brick resources to turn a Common weapon into a stronger, Uncommon version. Fortunately, Fortnite: Chapter 2 is ripe with locations to stock up on these materials.

But you can't just get your upgrades anywhere. You need to locate a workbench, with various ones scattered throughout Fortnite's world. Just do a little looking around and you'll come across one. Once located, get the proper resources, select the weapon you want to tune up, and you have a better weapon — and all without the need of a vending machine, no less.

Just keep in mind that if you want to upgrade it past Uncommon, you'll need more materials. The price usually goes up by 100 with each new version you aim to get. Just don't leave yourself too short on resources!

We're on a boat!

While swimming is an option in the world of Fortnite: Chapter 2, it can take quite a while to get anywhere. Luckily, there are some new transports available to accelerate your progress: boats! For the first time in the series, you can hop into one of these speedy little vehicles and get around the map fairly easily. There are a number of water routes scattered throughout to get you from point A to point B in a cinch. Furthermore, you can bring friends, as boats seat up to four people. They also come with a missile launcher, just in case you run into any wannabe pirates.

Boats also come with boosters, which gives you an even greater speed advantage. And here's another neat trick: you're not limited to water. You can actually drive these things on land with the right amount of boost. Just be careful — they can only take so much damage before exploding. Golf carts, they are not.

Put on your captain's hat and crank up the Lonely Island. Because in this game, you're gonna want to be on a boat.

Team members can be carried — or kidnapped

One situation that irked us with the original Fortnite was when a team member was brought down with gunfire, and we had no way to save them before it was too late. But that's a thing of the past with Fortnite: Chapter Two, as players now have the option to carry teammates! If someone is taken down, simply walk over to them and look for the "carry" prompt. Once that's done, they'll be picked up. At this point, it's up to you to get them to a safe spot so they can recover, without having to worry about gunfire.

But be careful — you're not the only one who can pick up the fallen. Rival team members can also pick up downed soldiers and take them away before their teammates get to them. And they can apparently carry them a long way — even dropping them off in an area where they can await their rescuers.

Carrying your fellow squad members (and rivals) presents a fun new tactic that could get you that much closer to a Victory Royale. Go ahead, pick up a friend (or enemy).

The graphics and UI show major signs of improvement

While the original Fortnite wasn't bad looking, players had plenty of feedback, mainly with repetitive animations and occasional glitches. Apparently, Epic Games was listening, because it applied an overhaul to the game's visuals with Chapter 2. It's never looked better.

First off, several new animations have been added, resulting in better overall player movement. There also appears to be a steady framerate with each of the versions (even Switch), making performance hitches a thing of the past. Then there's the user interface, which has been upgraded to make it easier to navigate through your options while you're playing. What's more, you no longer have to go to the main menu to start a game. You can request a new match on the spot, then jump right back into the action! And, of course, the new map looks amazing with all its environmental touch-ups and water effects. It provides a new experience that's well worth a look. 

All in all, Fortnite: Chapter 2 has enough significant updates to keep players excited about each new discovery for a long while.

You can fish now — and it's fun!

Fortnite isn't just about shooting and gathering resources. Chapter Two has a fun new activity that actually pays off better than expected: fishing! That's not to say it's becoming Sega Bass Fishing or anything like that. But it does make for an enjoyable activity, and you might actually score some loot in the process.

First, players will need to find a fishing rod. They can be found in random chests, as well as in barrels that are near bodies of water. With a rod in hand, you simply need to look for rings that pop up in the water. Once a location is found, sit back, throw your lure, and prepare to catch something.

But aquatic life isn't the only thing you can catch in the water. This is Fortnite, after all, so there are weapons to loot! Simply throw your line and see what comes back to you — you could pull up a pistol or even something better! There's something you won't catch in real life.

So before you scoff at the idea of fishing in a Battle Royale-themed game, try it.

Celebrating with the squad

Fortnite players have purchased all kinds of dancing emotes in the past, if only to shake their groove thing in the best way possible following a win. That said, it seems that when you try to dance with your squad, there's nothing that really makes you feel in sync with them. Sure, it's fun, and you'll look goofy as a result. Still, it'd be great to actually interact with the team with some emotes, right?

That's where Fortnite: Chapter 2 comes in. With the new Battle Pass, a number of emotes are available where the team can get involved for the first time. These are done through Synced Emotes, available for purchase using precious V-Bucks. Once applied, players can engage in a number of activities. For example, teammates can now high five each other. And there's more where that came from — you can even get your crew the "Boing!" emote and ride around on pogo sticks in celebration!

More Synced Emotes are likely to be introduced in the months ahead. The Battle Pass sure seems like it's worth a high-five.

Progression feels less "grindy" now

In the past, some players had complaints about Fortnite feeling too much like a "grind" to make forward progress right away. But that's changed quite a bit with Chapter 2, mainly because of a new "Punchcard" that makes it simpler to get that precious XP.

As you partake in matches throughout the game, you'll have the ability to earn Medals, which are unlocked by meeting certain criteria. Once located, they're added to your Battle Pass — and earn you some sweet XP, among other rewards. This replaces the previous Daily Missions within the game, while providing deeper rewards. With each medal, you earn 2,000 XP. But for the fifth and tenth medals you find with each run, you earn 4,000 XP.

These challenges vary, ranging from more difficult tasks (like surviving 50 enemies) to simpler things (like chopping a piece of wood). Up to ten medals are available, before a new list appears the following day. This should give players plenty to do in the long run — when they're not competing for a Victory Royale, of course.

Thank goodness the Medal Punchcard system is definitely less "grindy" this time.