When is Fortnite Winterfest 2020? Operation Snowdown possible start date, how to get Snowmando skin, challenges and map changes

This year, winter looks a little different in the world of Fortnite.

While previous years have given us Winterfest (formerly known as 14 Days of Fortnite), this year it seems creators Epic Games are taking a slightly different approach.

This year’s festive themed event has been revealed as Operation: Snowdown, and though it’s similar to Winterfest in the way it is likely to give players daily challenges, other aspects of Winterfest aren’t carrying across quite as exactly.

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Two new in-game outfits are available as part of the event (Image: Epic Games)
Two new in-game outfits are available as part of the event (Image: Epic Games)

That means that there is still room for Winterfest to exist alongside Operation: Snowdown as its own separate entity this year, although this has not yet been confirmed either way by Epic Games.

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It’s all a bit confusing in that way that Fortnite is wont to be to those not au fait with the workings of the popular Battle Royale.

Here is everything you need to know:

What is Operation: Snowdown?

Operation: Snowdown appears to be the name of this year’s festive in-game event.

“Winter is coming this week,” reads the unofficIal update 15.10 patch notes. “Join Snowmando for new quests, chilling items added to the island, and new fan-favourite LTMs you don’t wanna miss.

“Snowdown Quests and earn a ton of free snowy cosmetics, including two exclusive outfits.”

How to get the Snowmando outfit?

It replaces Mando’s trademark helmet with a snowman’s head to make a character that – according to the game’s description – is “holly”, “jolly” and “ready to rumble.”

To claim the skin, you’ll need to complete nine out of the 16 free Operation: Snowdown challenges.

The other exclusive outfit on offer is the Frost Squad skin, a brand new Rare outfit unlocked by completing 12 out of 16 of the new, free challenges.

What are the Operation: Snowdown quests?

The full list of free, Operation: Snowdown quests are is as follows:

Visit different Snowmando outposts (1) 10,000 XP
Deal damage with Lever Action Rifle (100) 10,000 XP
Dance at Different Holiday trees (5) 10,000 XP
Search chests at Snowmando outposts (5) 10,000 XP
Place Top 10 with friends in Squads (3) 20,000 XP
Destroy Nutcracker statues (5) 10,000 XP
Travel 5,000 meters in X-4 Stormwings (5000) 10,000 XP
Shoot down opponent structures with X-4 Stormwings (10) 20,000 XP
Collect Gold Bars (100) 10,000 XP
Catch a Snowy Flopper (1) 10,000 XP
Revive a player in different matches (3) 20,000 XP
Hide inside a Sneaky Snowmando in different matches (3) 10,000 XP
Play Duos or Squads with friends (5) 20,000 XP
Stoke a Campfire (2) 10,000 XP
Deal damage at Snowmando outposts (25) 10,000 XP
Use a Chiller Launcher to apply icy feet to opponents (10) 20,000 XP

No major changes have been made to Fortnite’s map with update 15.10.

Having said that, players logging on having updated their game to the latest version will see a definite difference in how the island looks.

That’s because – in keeping with the festive theme – the whole thing has received a wintry dusting of snow.

Alongside Operation: Snowdown, the latest update also delivers new items like the Cowboy Repeater Rifle and the fiery Dragon’s Breath Sniper, and players on PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X|S can enjoy the new 120 frames-per-second mode, which should make for a super-smooth gameplay experience.

There’s also the new Spy Within LTM – which appears to play suspiciously like current gaming smash hit, Among Us – in which a team of spies must hunt down the team of Agents as they complete objectives.

When does Operation: Snowdown begin?

Update 15.10 went live around 9am UK time, and is available to download and play now.

However, the Operation: Snowdown festivities within it are not yet live.

Epic Games have not announced when these will be available, but it wouldn’t be surprising to see them going live today (17 December).

The event is likely to last right through until early January.

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