Treasure Map Challenges Will Probably Return to 'Fortnite' in Season 8

There are more hints at a pirate theme than anyone else noticed.

Believe it or not, we haven’t seen a treasure map challenge in Fortnite: Battle Royale since Season 5, and it sure seems like Season 8 is primed to reintroduce the classic challenge type once again.

Season 8 releases Thursday, and the usual teasers leading up to it have featured a series of odd images, including a banana with eyes and a snake. The very first, released Sunday, made an overt hint at pirates with what looks like a pirate’s hook hand replacement. The accompanying poem on that one also reads, “‘X’ marks The Spot / Treasure abound / Loot that has been lost / Can always be found.”

It’s possible that this is simply a flavorful way of referencing the “loot” and “treasure” players already find on the ground and inside chests as a consistent part of the Fortnite experience. However, there are more hidden details here that not only hint at pirates, but also the return of treasure maps — and maybe even Davy Jones himself.

Much like the many weapons and items in Fortnite, challenge types also get vaulted and unvaulted on occasion. We haven’t seen a treasure map challenge since Season 5, Week 9, so they’re long overdue for a return.

Because the teaser poem mentions “treasure” and the phrase “‘X’ marks the spot,” it feels like a deliberate riff on the style and language of Fortnite treasure map challenges.

In every Fortnite treasure map, a red ‘X’ literally marks the spot where players can find the treasure.

Snobby Shores Treasure Map
Here's a Snobby Shores treasure map from August 2018.

Also note the odd capitalization of “The Spot” in the Season 8 teaser poem.

Capitalization on Fortnite’s Twitter account and even in-game can be wildly unpredictable, but writing “The Spot” instead of “the spot” could be a secret hint reinforcing the potential pirate theme. “The Spot” looks like a proper noun, and it might even refer specifically to the Black Spot from pirate lore.

Popularized by Robert Louis Stevenson in his novel Treasure Island as a means for pirates to officially pronounce a verdict of guilt or judgment. But in Disney’s Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest (2006), the Black Spot was a magical mark Davy Jones inflicted upon Captain Jack Sparrow as a means to track him and sort of condemn his soul to servitude aboard The Flying Dutchman.

Could 'Fortnite' Season 8 steal this 'Pirates' plot point?

Maybe the Black Spot could be involved in some pirate-themed game mode?

Finally, a tweet from Epic Games on Wednesday afternoon confirming that downtime for Season 8 begins at 4 a.m. Eastern, and began with, “Ahoy, mateys!” Could they get any more pirate-y?

Back in Fortnite Season 5, a lot of bogus theories circulated that Davy Jones and other pirate skins would be introduced. That never happened, even if there’s some cool concept art out there of the character. Whether or not that tentacle-faced villain appears in Season 8, it does seem pretty clear that pirates will be included in some fashion.

The more evidence that emerges in favor of pirates in Season 8 reinforces the theory that treasure maps might return, and vice versa.

Season 8’s debut trailer will probably involve a volcano melting all of the ice and snow on the island, which could increase the ocean levels across the island, leaving more and more waters for pirates — and maybe even their boats.

We’ll know for sure soon enough whether any of this could happen in Season 8.

Fortnite: Battle Royale Season 8 begins Thursday, February 28 around 4 a.m. Eastern or later.