There is a secret facility hidden underneath the Fortnite Season 5 map. It’s a big, corporate-looking base with concrete walls and steel doors. No one is quite sure what the facility is for, but it could play a big role this season.
The secret base can be accessed through multiple points in the map, including new locations like Stealthy Stronghold, Colossal Coliseum, and Hunters Haven. The entrance at each location is hidden underneath some sort of breakable cover. They each contain a handful of items and a couple of chests. Most of the walls, support structures, and doors cannot be destroyed with a harvesting tool.
These mysterious underground rooms could be related to the office that Agent Jonesy has been seen in the previous two live events: the Galactus event and the Device event. It’s possible that the entire facility has always been located underground in the game’s lore or the Zero Point, a singularity at the core of Fortnite’s story, is pushing the two worlds together. It’s not like Fortnite’s lore wasn’t complicated enough already.
The hidden entrances aren’t the only clues that hint at something big hiding under the map. Season 5 also introduced computer-controlled characters called IO Guards that rise up from underground. They’ll attack players on sight after coming out of a steel box that rises like an elevator. They can even be seen in one of the Season 5 trailers, running past Agent Jonesy. Sometimes the boxes rise up from the ground with chests, a golden throne, a dinosaur, or even the bots leftover from previous seasons.
The entrances to these hidden facilities are only found at some of the new locations in Season 5, while the IO Guard boxes are all over. Players have said that they can hear sounds when they’re inside them and hope that the facilities play a part in this season’s live event.
Some players have hypothesized that the IO stands for Imagined Order, which is a government-like agency that helps keep order with the loop (the simulation where battle royale matches are played). One of Season 5’s many NPCs, Bunker Jonesy (who is located in Camp Cod and elsewhere), actually talks about the loop and other elements of Fortnite lore. Players have used him to fill in the gaps.
The secret underground facilities and IO Guards are an interesting way to tie Fortnite’s needlessly convoluted story together after many seasons of different characters, themes, and bits and pieces of lore. Epic Games has teased a number of secrets like these facilities, but has rarely followed through in actually using them. Here’s hoping that Season 5 is different.