While pets are the cutest change in Fortnite’s sixth season, one of the biggest gameplay shifts is the addition of “shadow stones,” consumable items that radically change how your character interacts with the world.
The stones can be found most reliably near the “corrupted” areas of the map, which are pretty easy to see from the air as you drop in. If you want to get started by going straight to some of the shadow stones, the picture below shows the places where you should start:
Picking up one of the glowing stones uses it instantly, so you can’t grab one to activate it near another area of the map. Shadow stones also only last for 45 seconds each. This limits how far you can take your powers, and where you can use them against other players.
To make a long story short, the shadow stones turn you into Reaper from Overwatch. You are invisible when standing still, you can hit the left mouse button to phase through walls and ceilings, and you can’t fire your weapon, although others can and will shoot you if they figure out where you are. It’s a trip to stand completely still and watch other players move past you, although the more you move around, the easier you’ll be to spot.
If someone begins firing at you, however, the best course of action may just be to phase through a wall or two.
Seeing ghostlike players move around the map is an eerie sight, and it fits the overall spooky theme of season six.
Being able to blend into the environment and move through walls aren’t the only change to how you move, however. You can jump higher in your shadow form, and you become immune to falling damage. You move faster in general, which makes you harder to hit.
Overall, it leads to some really strange things happening during battle.
What does this all mean?
It means that fights near the shadow stones are going to get really funky, really quickly. It’s going to take players a little bit of time to get used to this new reality, and any areas of the map that are within 45 seconds of the shadow stones are going to be more fraught than usual. We’re likely going to see some very strange plays on high level streams.
This is the sort of big change that Epic Games is never scared to try, and the shadow stones completely change the mental calculus of tactics near their location. There could be an enemy lurking anywhere, as long as they stand still, and you can no longer build anyone into a cage or a maze to try controlling where they go. Players in the shadow form can now just phase through your walls.
You can also turn the effect off at any time by holding the alternate fire button, so you’ll be able to use the new abilities to collect weapons and gear, get into position and then fight back. Being unable to fire weapons doesn’t mean you can’t bounce to where they are and hoard them until you’re ready to do battle again. That’s going to make for some strange, four-dimensional chess as players stay hidden and wait to strike.