Fortnite Season 8 Map Changes: The Sideways, NPC Challenges, More

by in Fortnite | Sep, 14th 2021

Fortnite is entering a new era with Season 8 that has been released. The new season of battle royale content is here. It features new additions, including a new battle pass with a surprising crossover, more weapons to use in combat, the return of zombies, and the new Fortnite Season 8 map. 

Fortnite Season 8 Map Changes Are Honestly Sad

The Fortnite Season 8 map is now available in the battle royale game after the recent Operation Sky Fire live event that finished off Season 7. That event was a wild one, showcasing players joining together to take down the alien mothership, which resulted in the map we have now. 

With the explosion of the mothership and the release of cubes across the island, the Fortnite Season 8 map is here. This new map is an exciting one since it marks the first real return of the cubes on the island in a very long time and what’s to come next after the alien invasion.

However, in all honesty, the Fortnite Season 8 map changes are quite underwhelming. Much like Season 7 before it, the new season of battle royale is devoid of most major changes that we have come to expect from the standard seasons in Fortnite, especially in Chapter 2. 

It’s kind of sad how limited the Fortnite Season 8 map changes are this season with only a few new areas, most of which are not that noteworthy, and the bulk of the changes coming from the return of the monster enemies that players can take on. 

Season 8 may have more changes over time like Season 7 also did, but we will have to wait and see about it for now. That said, a new season is a new season after all, so there are some exciting new additions to check out nonetheless. 

That is where we come in with the full, in-depth look at the new Fortnite Season 8 map and everything that you need to know about the major changes that have happened with it. From the new landmark locations to the arrival of the cubes across the island, here is everything you need to know about the new map and more. 

Major Addition: The Sideways Zones

One of the few major additions in the Fortnite Season 8 map changes is the new Sideways zone. The Sideways is one of the main parts of the new season of content, representing the theme for the season as the return of the cube has brought with it the cube monsters once more. 

The cube monsters seem to originally come from The Sideways, a new zone in Fortnite similar to the Upside Down in Stranger Things, which is likely more than just a coincidence. The Sideways is a terrifying new locale that is a hellish landscape where the cube monsters are from. 

Unlike before, when the cube was in Fortnite, where simply heading to the cube would allow you to fight against the cube monsters, the zombie horde is now only relegated to The Sideways area. This is great since it means that you are never forced to run away from or fight the cube monsters. 

Instead, if you want to find them, you know where to look. If you would rather avoid them at all costs and focus on the other players in the match you are in, you can do that, too. Regardless, The Sideways zones are some of the most important map additions in Season 8. 

How it works is that you will find that orange circles will appear over some of the main points of interest on the island when you start a match. These are randomly chosen from the start of the match, much like the Abductors in Season 7. You can plan your journey there ahead of time. 

These orange circles are the destinations where The Sideways has invaded the real world. Players can enter there if they like. In my experience, I have found at least one per match that I am in, but there are chances for smaller Sideways zones to appear in random landmarks on the map, sometimes later in the match, too. 

Inside of The Sideways, you will see the entire atmosphere change. You will be able to fight the cube monsters there. This is a great optional objective since the monsters will drop crafting parts and new Sideways weapons for you to use in combat. 

New Landmark Locations

Unfortunately, one of the largest missing parts of this season is the lack of a brand new point of interest. Sludgy Swamp is technically a new area, but not really at all. It is just the new name for Slurpy Swamp, the same location that we have pretty much visited through all of the Chapter 2 seasons. 

The only real difference is some minor aesthetic changes to make it more sludgy of a swamp than the Slurpy Juice-tainted location before. This has resulted in a new name but not a new location. The same goes for Corny Complex that is no longer the place that it was in Season 7.

Instead, it returned to its old name of Corny Crops, which was previously known for a limited time in Chapter 2. It seems that without the IO base hidden underneath the red barn, there is no need to call it Corny Complex any more, but this is, again, another old location returning. 

The same goes for Holly Hatchery, which has returned to its old name, Holly Hedges, now that the alien menace has been purged from that small town. However, there are some new areas on the island, but they are all landmark locations, rather than the main points of interest that you can easily find on the map. 

When you hop into the new season, you will see that much of the island is gray, but that is because of these new landmark locations, rather than the newly named locations that we are used to. Some of these new locations include Destroyed Dish, where a satellite dish base has been destroyed. 

Another is Smashed Stronghold, which is oddly named and located south of the Stealthy Stronghold, so this one is confusing. The last one that we have found thus far is Wasted Woods, which is on the western side of Weeping Woods and features a biome change in that area. 

NPCs Now Give Challenges

One of the other new additions this season is that players will now have a different way of picking up and completing challenges, from what we can tell. There is still the chance for normal weekly missions to be here this season, but from what we can tell thus far, it looks like this is not the case. 

Instead, it is a map-based experience where you do not immediately have the challenges available in the game, but you have to accept them first in the match. It works because the NPCs have a punchcard that players can progress through that are the missions this season. 

Each NPC has a different task that is typically themed, like using sniper rifles or dealing with vehicles, that you have to get from them. This can be done by visiting the NPC you wish to complete the punch card for and taking on their first quest.

Each of them usually has multiple stages to the quests, like three or even five parts, that will each give you experience and gold bars upon completion. The difficult part is figuring out where the NPCs are located and talking to them individually, but there is an easier way to do this. 

The other way of talking to the NPCs is to head to any of the many phone booths or payphones found around the island. When you chat with them, you will be able to talk with various NPCs and accept their quests. 

What players need to keep in mind here is that you can only have five of these NPC quest lines active simultaneously. If you try to accept more from either the NPCs themselves or the phone, you will have to either replace an old quest or wait to do it later. 

The Cubes Return

Another major addition in this new season is that the cubes have returned to Fortnite battle royale. One of the more controversial aspects of the game over the years, the cube is back and in full force with countless companions who have taken over the island. 

The cubes returning in Season 8 have resulted in several different changes to the island in various ways, besides just the introduction of The Sideways. This return of the cubes has brought with it another Chapter 1’s season’s main mechanic. 

One of the interesting parts of the Season 9’s futuristic theme was introducing the hyper gates that you could float through to get around various parts of the map quickly. This has returned on a smaller scale, with some cubes bringing some purple floating tubes to fly through. 

These are typically centered around some of the new landmarks like the Destroyed Dish location and others where you can fly around the place quickly and get a nice boost to glide somewhere else, too. Furthermore, the cube has also brought back one of the most controversial items: the shadow stone. 

Consuming this stone turns the player into a nigh invisible ghost that can teleport short distances and be invulnerable to damage from other players. This item was hated in the original Season 6 for being broken for quite some time. Hopefully, something like that does not happen again. 

Will There Be More Fortnite Season 8 Map Changes?

With those Fortnite Season 8 map changes noted, what is really on my mind at this point is how Epic Games will handle the rest of the season. Like Season 7, the start of this season is light in terms of map changes, but there is always the chance that we will see even more additions in the coming weeks and months. 

This is likely the case, especially since there is no new point of interest this season. We could easily see The Sideways spread over time to the rest of the island and even turn one or two of the named locations into a brand new Sideways-themed area. 

I could see a place like Retail Row, Lazy Lake, or Pleasant Park change into one of these new areas since it has been a while since Epic has done something with them. Overall, though, I do not expect much from the future changes in Season 8. 

I think this new season is just a victim of the fact that we are nearing the end of the second chapter of Fortnite. With the end of the chapter only a couple of seasons after this one, there is a high chance Epic is saving some content and effort on Season 9 and the final season. For now, though, we will have to wait and see, so be sure to check back for future updates to the Season 8 map. 


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