'Fortnite' Is Getting 'Spacier' with Meteorites, Comets and Now a Rocket Launch!

A leaked image of what's to come with the Fortnite rocket. (Image credit: Epic)

Following a major comet impact in the online multiplayer game "Fortnite," players are now anticipating a major rocket launch as the game continues to incorporate more and more space themes.

Fortnite is a free survival game in which players drop onto an island and have to fight to be the last one standing. It's a vibrant, cartoonish battle that's as frantic as it is addicting. The game progresses in periods of time known as "seasons," and players are surprised by exciting new additions with each season.  

In Fortnite Season 4, players watched as a comet crashed into Dusty Depot, creating a massive crater and forever changing the game's landscape. This impact was preceded by a number of small meteorite landings that left players scrambling to predict the time of the comet impact and what might happen next. [Fortnite FAQ: Why It's Taking Over the World]

Players are at it again, crafting elaborate theories as rumors swirl about a predicted rocket launch this week. When Season 4 rolled out, players noticed that the map included an unbreakable hatch in the woods in addition to a massive rocket with a mysterious countdown. But "Fortnite" data-miners @TwoEpicBuddies leaked map changes for the game's v4.5 patch — an update to the game — on Twitter, which showed even more significant changes to the map.

In this leaked image, it was clear that the rocket was missing from the overhead map, among other changes. Players have taken this to mean that the rocket launch is getting close, with some suggesting that the game's villain, known as "The Visitor," lifted off in the rocket. Other players suggested that it's in midair, waiting to crash, like the comet impact of Season 3.

Last week, @TwoEpicBuddies tweeted again, this time saying that the rocket launch would more directly involve the players. They asserted that players will be able to launch the rocket themselves from the lair of The Visitor. [Is 'Fortnite' Sending Kids to Therapy?]

Rumors and speculation continue to fly about the game, which is incorporating more and more space elements. The update  was originally expected to drop yesterday morning (June 26), but is now expected to hit today (June 27), as reported by Forbes, though it's reasonable to think that this target date might change again. Following this update, players will anxiously await the fifth season.

It's anyone's guess whether players will be able to launch the big rocket themselves from The Visitor's lair as anticipation builds for v4.5 and Season 5. But whatever happens, it seems clear that Fortnite is continuing to include a variety of space items and themes. Aside from the fallen meteorites, the impact comet and the anticipated rocket launch, players can purchase a Space Shuttle Glider and an astronaut skin.

Email Chelsea Gohd at cgohd@space.com or follow her @chelsea_gohd. Follow us @Spacedotcom, Facebook and Google+. Original article on Space.com.

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Chelsea Gohd
Senior Writer

Chelsea “Foxanne” Gohd joined Space.com in 2018 and is now a Senior Writer, writing about everything from climate change to planetary science and human spaceflight in both articles and on-camera in videos. With a degree in Public Health and biological sciences, Chelsea has written and worked for institutions including the American Museum of Natural History, Scientific American, Discover Magazine Blog, Astronomy Magazine and Live Science. When not writing, editing or filming something space-y, Chelsea "Foxanne" Gohd is writing music and performing as Foxanne, even launching a song to space in 2021 with Inspiration4. You can follow her on Twitter @chelsea_gohd and @foxannemusic.