If you are just getting started with Fortnite, we feel your frustration! Saying it can take quite a while to get your bearings in an understatement. The bold graphics and kaleidoscopic colors belie what a tough game it really is. In this ultimate guide, we’ll lay out the basics and take you through ten strategies, tips and tricks that will help you dominate the competition.
- What do I need to start playing?
- Fortnite’s Battle Royal Explained
- Strategy #1: Getting to grips with your pickaxe
- Strategy #2: Hone your building skills
- Strategy #3: Master your inventory
- Beginner’s Strategy #4: Learning where to land; Rural or urban?
- Beginner’s Strategy #5. Finding the best places to loot
- Beginner’s Strategy #6. Mine heavily in the early stages of the round
- Beginner’s Strategy #7. Not shooting is better than shooting and missing
- Beginner’s Strategy #8. Build extensions of existing buildings, not Fort Knox
- Beginner’s Strategy #9. Learn to use the camera to stay stealthy
- Strategy #10. Actually, the storm is your friend
What do I need to start playing?
Fortnite is available on Playstation 4, Xbox One or Windows PC. The minimum PC specs required are:
- Windows 7/8/10 64-bit
- Core i5 2.8 GHz
- 8 GB RAM
- Nvidia GTX 660 or AMD Radeon HD 7870 equivalent DX11 GPU
- 2 GB VRAM
Fortnite’s Battle Royal Explained
The main playing mode in Fortnite is the Battle Royale mode, inspired by PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds (PUBG). From here on, when we refer to Fortnite, this is the mode we’re talking about.
When you join a game of Battle Royale, you have some free time in the lobby, where you can run around with other players, destroy things, build things, shoot weapons and even have a dance-off. As everyone is invincible, this is a consequence-free environment, although you can’t keep anything that you find or create.
As soon as 100 players have joined the lobby, the game will cut to a scene of the battle bus flying toward the island. You can choose at which point you leave the bus and skydive down to the island below. You can press ‘up’ to fall faster and guide yourself to the point on the map you want to land on.
Although the map is huge, the playable area known as the eye of the storm keeps on closing in. This means that all players are pushed closer together as the round progresses. The aim of the game is to gain weapons and resources, build defenses and eliminate other players. The last player standing is the winner.
Strategy #1: Getting to grips with your pickaxe
The first thing you’ll notice in the lobby screen is that your character is holding a giant pickaxe. If you hit things such as walls, floors or roofs with your pickaxe, they start rippling and then shatter. This gives you materials such as wood, bricks or metal that you can use to build things.
Use your free time in the lobby to hone your pickaxing skills. These will come in handy when you reach the island, as you can destroy obstacles or even the other structures created by enemy players.
Strategy #2: Hone your building skills
Being able to build is a major difference between Fortnite and PUBG. In Fortnite, you can build walls to stop bullets or inclined ramps to reach high places. This means that you don’t have to search the map to find the perfect building; you can simply build whatever you need. However, as all players have pickaxes, enemies can easily destroy whatever you build.
Although many newcomers to Fortnite see it as a shooting game, building skills are equally as important. The fastest builder will often win. When you start building, you’ll notice that your character pulls out a map but doesn’t actually do the building. You simply initiate the building process and then you can leave. This allows you to build a number of walls, floors or ramps in quick succession.
Build walls for defense
When you land on the island and come under first from another player, you can quickly build walls to give yourself protection. In the lobby section, practice quickly building two or three walls in rapid succession.
Build ramps to reach chests and for protection
Chests containing the best weapons and items are usually located in the attics of houses on the Fortnite map. Ramps are the best way to reach these areas. You should practice building a series of ramps in quick succession. These ramps will also help you survive on the island. A good strategy is to build a ramp to reach a high place and then destroy the ramp. If an enemy tries to reach your position, the sound of them building will alert you.
Strategy #3: Master your inventory
Each player has five slots in their inventory, meaning that they can pick up five items. If you find a backpack on the island, you can carry more. When you land on the island, you can find items such as weapons, ammo, med kits or potions lying around, usually inside buildings. The best weapons are found inside chests. These chests typically provide a weapon, ammo, grenades, bandages or med kits. When you kill another player, they will drop their items and you can select the best things to pick up.
Why are weapons color coded?
The gray weapons are the most common but pack the least power. Other colors, in order of power and rarity, are green, blue, purple and orange as follows:
- Gray – Common
- Green – Uncommon
- Blue – Rare
- Purple – Epic
- Orange – Legendary
For example, if you have a purple shotgun, you will find yourself outgunned by someone with an orange shotgun. As you progress through the game, you’ll want to replace your weapons with better versions. If you hear magical musical while walking around or near a building, it means that there is a chest with an epic or legendary weapon nearby.
During your free time in the lobby and when you arrive on the island, practice swapping weapons in your inventory. Learn how to identify the best weapons such as the assault rifle (SCAR), the automatic shotgun and the sniper rifle.
Beginner’s Strategy #4: Learning where to land; Rural or urban?
You get a 30-second window of opportunity to skydive out of the battle bus. Should you jump early or late? Where should you land? There are no hard and fast rules; it depends on your playing style.
If you jump quickly, you’ll notice a number of other players gliding down around you. This increases the chances of being shot, as other players might quickly pick up weapons to use against you.
If you jump later, you may find yourself landing alone but in a more rural area with fewer weapons and places to loot.
Beginner’s Strategy #5. Finding the best places to loot
If you decide to jump into an urban area with many houses or buildings, it’s best to land on a roof away from other players. You can use your pickaxe to break through the roof, giving you resources to build with later on. You’ll often find that attics are the best places to find chests containing two or more useful items.
If you land in a rural setting, head for isolated houses, as these are often the best locations to loot in the opening stage of any round. You may find two or even three chests containing weapons, med kits or armor potions inside these buildings.
Beginner’s Strategy #6. Mine heavily in the early stages of the round
Try to spend the first five minutes of any round picking up resources and planning your defenses. Make sure you mine metal, brick and wood in the early stages so that you don’t have to expose yourself later on. Anything on the map from vehicles to walls and roofs can be harvested. It’s better to do this early when it doesn’t matter so much if you make noise. As the storm’s eye closes in, the sound from mining later on will be more likely to attract attention in a smaller playing area.
Beginner’s Strategy #7. Not shooting is better than shooting and missing
The sniper rifle and assault rifle (SCAR) are the only weapons with good long range accuracy, so it’s better to stalk your enemies from a distance and pounce when the time is right. It’s better to pass up a shot than make a mistake and leave yourself exposed.
For example, if you try a long shot and miss, the enemy may quickly build four walls for defense and then snipe you from cover, leaving you out in the open with nowhere to run. Make sure you are reasonably close to enemies before taking a shot.
Beginner’s Strategy #8. Build extensions of existing buildings, not Fort Knox
As your building resources are limited, it’s better to build extensions of buildings already on the map than try to create completely new ones. For instance, you can build a ramp to reach the top corner of a warehouse and then build a floor and two walls to fully protect yourself. This gives you a good vantage point. If you destroy the ramp leading up to your ‘sniper’s nest’, you’ll be alerted to any enemy if they start to build their way up to your position. This strategy means that you don’t use too many resources and can easily decamp when the storm’s eye closes in.
Beginner’s Strategy #9. Learn to use the camera to stay stealthy
Dashing and sprinting on Fortnite kicks up dust and makes plenty of sound. When moving across open areas, always crouch-dash or sprint and find natural cover to hide your silhouette. If you can find a bush camouflage, this will give you added protection.
However, in Fortnite, even rotating on the spot creates noise, something that gives away the position of many beginner players. As the game is a third-person shooter, you can always rotate the camera to see around the corner of a building or rock without exposing your character to fire. Learning how to effectively control the camera is one of the best ways to stay hidden and survive for longer.
Strategy #10. Actually, the storm is your friend
The circular safe-zone on the map is the ever-closing eye of the storm. A common beginner’s misconception is that getting caught in the storm ends the round. In fact, it only causes your HP to drop at a rate of 1HP per second. This means that you can survive a short dash if you are just outside the circle and make up the difference with a med kit or bandage. Staying near the edge of the storm or slightly outside it until the last second is a great tactic. You will be less likely to walk into enemy territory and it can buy you time.
Follow these 10 tips and you’ll easily make your way toward the final 20 with a little practice. With dedication, you may even crack the top ten. Overall, our advice for any beginner is to focus on improving their building skills – may the best builder win.