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Fans now think that Fortnite's mysterious meteor is the work of aliens

UPDATE: Emergency broadcast system now activated. Impact imminent?

Update 24/04/2018, 11pm: As if UFOs popping up all over the place yesterday wasn't enough to convince everyone that an earth-rending conclusion to Fortnite's long-teased meteor disaster is imminent, emergency broadcast systems have now been activated in-game.

It all started on the official Fortnite twitter feed earlier today but, soon after, players discovered that the same test card now appeared on TV screens throughout the Battle Royale map.

Interestingly, the ever-ready-for-action Fortnite community has already done a deep dive into the game's innards, and found a number of sound files that correspond with the new TV emergency broadcasts. One of these, it transpires, is an incomplete message delivered in morse code that translates to "They don't want us to k...".

Players have also uncovered some seriously spoiler-y new audio additions (which you can hear over on Fortnite Intel) that appear to be primed and ready for playback at the actual moment of impact. Will that moment finally herald the destruction of Tilted Towers, as many have speculated, or does Epic have an even more explosive denouement in store?

Whatever's about to happen, it's pretty clear that Fortnite's long-tease is now hurtling toward its big reveal. And while all this meteor malarky might ultimately be nothing more than a crafty marketing ploy, there's absolutely no doubt that it's been a lot of fun speculating about Epic's end-game, and that it's helped to breathe enormous life into Fortnite's world.

Original story: Remember the giant meteor that Fortnite fans are convinced is poised and ready to smash Battle Royale mode's unloved Tilted Towers region to smithereens? Well, there's been a development, and the community is starting to believe that the meteor might actually be the work of aliens.

This latest theory is gaining in popularity as a result of subtle and not-so-subtle changes made in Epic Games' newly released Fortnite 3.6 update. Among other things, the patch adds a nifty sticky-grenade-like exploding plunger, called the Clinger, to all modes, and introduces the heavy energy weapon Noble Launcher to Save the World.

That, along with the new Self-Service Cosmetic Returns feature, which you can read about in the 3.6 patch notes, is great and all, but fans are far more excited about the update's considerably more enigmatic additions: the unusual, UFO-shaped stars hovering near the meteor.

A strange, UFO-shaped star, as snapped by Reddit user Segovo2.

You can view these peculiar objects for yourself in a short video captured by Reddit user Niels_Kooloos, and decide whether they're UFOs or simply odd-looking constellations. Fans appear to be leaning toward the latter - in part because it would tie in nicely with the space theme running throughout Fortnite's ongoing Battle Pass Season 3.

Adding fuel to the fire is a new mission in Fortnite's Save the World mode that sees players dismantling telescopes around the map to build a larger array. All this occurs under the guidance of Lars, who reveals that his friend Carlos "was always tracking something in the night sky" and "saw something that really shook him up" - something that was apparently communicating with Save the World's zombie-like Husks. Late in the mission, Lars finds a message from Carlos and exclaims, "Wherever he is, we're about to have some company".

Cover image for YouTube videoSHOOTING STARS SPOTTED IN FORTNITE! (Fortnite Battle Royale)

Some fans now believe that Fortnite's curious meteor might, in fact, be an alien mothership, heading to Earth for a bit of a hello. As for the smaller, faster meteors that have recently been spotted (see above), they could be anything from scout ships to extraterrestrial space debris.

Alongside the new sky activity, update 3.6 has also added an array of placards to the rooftops of Tilted Towers, seeming left by a handful of enthusiastic city residents.

Have Tilted Towers residents formed an alien welcoming committee? (Compiled by Reddit user mateybob).

These have been interpreted as bit of a cheeky wink aimed at Fortnite's meteor-obsessed conspiracy theorists, with one sign proudly exclaiming "TODAY", hastily scrawled out and replaced with "TOMORROW" - likely a reference to the community's constantly shifting attempts to pin a date on a possible Tilted Towers destruction day.

There's also a placard showing the meteor, a city in a heart, and what's either a jaunty safari hat, or, more likely given recent developments, a classic-shaped UFO.

Since all this meteor malarky began, the majority of Fortnite fans have been convinced that Epic's lengthy teasing will finally reach a crescendo - possibly a large, city-destroying crescendo - when Battle Pass Season 3 reaches its conclusion. That happens next week, on April 30th, so it's likely we'll know where all this is leading soon.