Fortnite Battle Royale is an absolute phenomenon. At the last count, the sandbox smash had over 200 million players game across PS4, Xbox One, PC, Nintendo Switch, and mobile devices. To put that number into context, the population of Australia is 26 million. That is a lot of Fortniters.
Today, we’re going to give you an introduction to the immensely popular mode. We’ll let you know some tips and tricks for going from mid-table to the top dog, as well as some other things to know about the this nerve shredding tense mix of forts and firearms.
The aim of the game
Simple. Don’t die before anyone else. Each game starts with you and 99 other players soaring over the map in an implausibly airborne bus, and it’s up to you when you’ll skydive out of it.
Once you’re down on the ground, you need to be wary of other players, but resist the urge to spend the entire match quivering in a ditch, because you also have the Eye of the Storm to worry about. This meteorological mishap is a purple forcefield that restricts the playspace over the course of a round, so take care to keep moving as the available map space contracts. You’ll be able to grab weapons or shield potions to help you fight others and protect yourself.
However, Fortnite’s special sauce is your ability to build structures with the materials you mine from the map, giving you the chance to construct your own cover on the fly. Knowing when to fight, when to build, and when to build is your key to nabbing the top spot.
Where to land
So, you’re flying down towards the island o’ pain. Now what? You should find somewhere to land on Fortnite’s alliterative named locations on the map. The Greasy Grove and Tilted Towers have high loot drops, but get congested. Loot Lake and the Dusty Divot are roughly in the centre of the map, which makes them popular as well.
Meanwhile, the Snobby Shores and Lonely Lodge can be quiet with decent loot, but are on the west and east edges of the map respectively. If the Eye of the Storm is on the other side of them, you’ll have a long trek ahead of you.
We reckon it’s best to pick an area and learn where loot tends to drop in it. You might not find a Legendary sniper rifle every time, but your odds of stumbling on a powerful piece of kit are that much greater.
However, the map changes all the dang time. Across the last 6 seasons, the map has been remade and tweaked, so don’t get too attached and explore other options if you’re favourite drop starts getting congested.
On the lookout for loot
When you first start a round, you’ll have nothing but the clothes on your back and a handy pickaxe for mining materials. Your first thought once your toes reach terra firma should be to find that sweet loot, which will either be on the ground or in loot chests dotted across the map.
There’s a range of stuff you’ll want to get your hands on. Weapons and ammo will let you rain hot lead down on other players, potions and med kits will keep your shield and health bars topped up should you find yourself on the wrong end of an enemy salvo , and materials will help you build.
When it comes to weapons, there are five different colour levels of rarity: Grey (most common), Green, Blue, Purple, and Orange (Legendary). You only have a finite amount of space, though, so aim to prioritise the best weapons and drink any shield potions you find immediately.
Be smart about collecting materials
When it comes to mining materials, you best bet is to grab your pickaxe and start swinging. There are three you can collect: wood, brick, and metal. If you have enough of a resource, you can quickly build walls, floors, and ramps for a number of purposes. However, you need to be careful when mining for resources. Not only will it cost you time which you might need to get into the Eye of the Storm, but it’s loud and can alert other players to your position.
You’ll need these building materials though, so we recommend you pay close attention to the reticule that pops up when you’re harvesting these literal building blocks. If you aim for the centre of this little onscreen marker you’ll harvest your materials extra fast. . Also, be confident no-one is around when gathering materials. There’s nothing sadder than taking a shotgun blast when you’re hacking at a tree.
Listen out for telltale sounds
Sound is your key to victory in Fortnite. If you keep your ears open (and have a lovely set of headphones over them), you’ll be able to hear the sound of telltale footstep, rivals changing their guns, and, any nearby shoot-outs. As we stated above, resource gathering is a noisy business, so try to keep your ears open for that as well.
Using this aural advantage, you can sneak around other opponents or lure them to you with a few crafty shots. Of course, all this means you need to keep things down to a minimum as much as possible. Crouch whenever possible, as this muffles sound, and only fire when you absolutely have to.
When to build
In the early stages of matches, you should only build when necessary, such as crafting a ramp to get to a higher area or putting up a wall to block incoming fire. Building too much can tip your rivals off that you’re nearby and that only ends in tears.
However, as you get closer to the end, you should start thinking of where to build a tall structure to give you a vantage point. Although you’ll become noticeable on the map, a high vantage point is a literal life saver when the eye of the storm becomes tiny in a round’s dying stages.
Add a touch of style
So you’ve played a few games and now want to show the world that you’ve got a certain je ne sais quoi? Well, you should head on over to the Item Shop in the menu screen, where you can purchase different items to spruce up your battler with the in-game currency.
Not only can you buy themed outfits, but you can also improve your pickaxe, glider, and emotes. They might only be cosmetic, but the personal touch is often the best one. Don’t hang around though, items are only in the store for a limited time!
Upgrade to a Battle Pass?
Once you’ve logged a few hours into the game, you might want to consider getting a Battle Pass for extra unlocks as you level up.
Each new season gets its own Battle Pass which gives you access to extra items, challenges, and in-game currency. While you should pay attention to how long is left to run on a season, it’s a worthwhile investment if you catch the Fortnite bug. After all, 200 million people can’t be wrong.