Players who are keen on winning have a lot of things to keep in mind if they want to succeed in Fortnite: Battle Royale. The game marries the last-player-standing multiplayer competition of the battle royale genre with resource-gathering and building mechanics, and knowing the ins and outs of both are the only way to win. Not only do you need to outsmart and outgun other players-- you need to effectively use your building capabilities to traverse the map, fortify your positions, and beat out the competition.
Players who've been around the block in Fortnite's single-player campaign have no doubt picked up a lot of tactics, strategies, and pieces of information that can help elevate them to multiplayer success. For everyone else, it can be tough to pick up on all of Fortnite's idiosyncrasies and hidden bits of information--especially since the free Battle Royale mode doesn't include a tutorial. Use these 10 tips to get an edge over the other 99 players in your Fortnite: Battle Royale match.
If you're new to Fornite: Battle Royale, make sure to read our beginner's tips guide, as well as our guide covering all the things we wish we knew before playing the game. You can also check out our video guide on how to build more effectively.
Fortnite: Battle Royale is available as a free download for PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC. The mode supports up to 100 players competing to be the last person (or team) standing as they hunt other players and avoid being killed themselves. For the differences between Fortnite: Battle Royale and PlayerUnknown's Battlegrounds, check out our in-depth feature discussing the two games and what sets them apart from one another. You can also check out more details on Fortnite's recently released Crossbow update.
It really is tough to overestimate how crucial sound is in Fortnite. You'll use it to catch people sneaking up on you, zero in on enemies who are shooting at you, and track players for ambushes. You're at a disadvantage listening to the game over your computer speakers, TV speakers, or even a sound system, when compared to players who are armed with a quality pair of surround sound headphones. Sound is possibly the best tool in your arsenal in Fortnite, so make sure you're able to use it as effectively as possible.
Speed Is Key Early On
As you get the hang of the map, you'll want to move as fast as you can to find good weapons early. That starts with your jump from the game's flying party bus at the beginning of each match: If you're confident in your fighting abilities, pick a spot with lots of buildings, and dive straight for it. Avoid falling over hills and other high-elevation areas, as these will cause your glider to auto-deploy sooner than if you dive toward lower-elevation spots like water or canyons. The idea is to fall to earth as fast as you can, so that you can beat other players to the guns--and take them down.
While it's good for new players to close doors behind them to protect themselves, once you're used to the flow of the game, you don't have to worry about hiding yourself nearly as much. Get into a building, find what's useful, and move on as fast as you can--the ol' "loot and scoot" approach. Acquiring high-quality guns early will set you up for success against players who have weaker gear than you, so get used to moving on to new locations quickly, and looting as much as you can as fast as you can. Just be cautious about it, so that you don't bumble into an ambush.
Don't Pick Up Everything
Among the best habits you can make as you advance your Fortnite career is to be discerning about what you pick up and what you leave behind. It's tempting to snatch up everything you come across--because you never know when you might want to switch between a pistol, a rifle, and a shotgun, right? In practice, though, you'll probably use one or two guns for most of a match, unless you've got the rarer and more useful ones like sniper rifles, miniguns, and rocket launchers. Having a handful of white or green pistols that you don't intend to use will just slow you down when it comes time to switch out for better loot. Instead, make quick decisions about what you need and what you don't, and act accordingly. Stopping to manage your inventory can leave you vulnerable, so grab only what you really need, and learn to ignore the less useful loot. Also: While you have to manually pick up weapons and items, ammo gets picked up automatically... so if you're looking at a pile of loot and all you want are the bullets, save time by just running over it to avoid accidentally picking up the wrong stuff.
Double Up Your Guns For Added Damage
While you're being discerning about what guns you pick up, remember that two of the same weapon can actually be pretty useful--particularly when it comes to the pump shotgun and the bolt-action sniper rifle. By having two of these guns in adjacent inventory slots, you can avoid the wait between shotgun pumps or sniper reloads, and instead just switch to your second version of the gun to fire a second shot immediately. The quick switch can be tough to get used to, but with the power that this move affords you, it's worth training yourself to switch rather than wait to reload. It's a great way to maximize your lethality against other players.
Chop Down Trees For More Wood
Where you get your materials matters. Especially early on, you want to grab as much wood as you can manage, as it's highly useful in battles and for protection. You can bash down buildings and break up boxes for wood with your pickaxe--but as it happens, these dispense less wood than trees. Pick the right tree, and you can gather up 40-plus units of wood from a single node, quickly filling up your materials and giving you plenty to use in a pinch. Pine trees whose green portions reach close to the ground tend to be the best, but it's worth experimenting as you play, to learn where on the map you can get the most materials fastest.
The same is true with other materials. Brick walls yield some brick, but piles of rocks out in the wilderness are even better. You can also get a decent haul of metal from destroying vehicles, but be wary: Sometimes, smashing up a car will set off its alarm, which can draw other players to your location.
Wood Trumps Metal (In Certain Cases)
Materials in Fortnite have a few little quirks. Generally, wood is the weakest material, while brick is a little stronger, and metal is the strongest. In practice, this means that wood structures can take the least amount of damage before they break altogether, brick structures have more health than wood, and metal structures have the most health. Heavier materials come with drawbacks, though. Brick structures take longer to build (and reach full health) than wood structures do, and metal takes the longest.
Wood really shines when it comes to quickly dropping walls in the middle of a firefight. The thing is, a freshly spawned, incomplete wood wall starts with more health than a freshly spawned, incomplete brick or metal wall (100 health points for the wood, 70 for the brick or metal). That means a wood wall can save you from more shots when you're building in the heat of battle than the other two materials. The easiest way to think about it is this: A fresh wood wall will collapse after two close-range shotgun blasts when you first drop it; a brick or metal wall will collapse after only one shotgun blast. Use wood for firefights, and save your brick and metal for stronger fortifications closer to the end of a match.
Take (Or Build) The High Ground
High ground will win you fights in Fortnite, and that doesn't just mean high hills or cliffs--although these offer better vantage points in general. In firefights, practice quickly building upward as you fight enemies. You can drop walls and then ramps to protect yourself as you climb, and shooting down on other players nets you more headshots and damage, while offering you better protection. Quickly making a ramp surrounded by walls means that you can jump up and take potshots at enemies below while also making yourself extremely tough to hit. When you can, build up for the advantage... and if the other player is trying to get above you, try to get higher or force them to change locations, to take their advantage away. Just make sure to quickly pop wood walls in front of your ramps, lest the other player blast them out from under you. Hitting the bottom of a ramp will collapse it, and the damage you take from falling could cost you the fight (and the match).
Watch For (And Mark) Supply Drops
Every so often, the flying bus will drop a supply crate. The crates' drop positions are marked by blue smoke grenades on the ground, and they float down on balloons once they're dropped. These crates contain some of the best loot in the game, including the minigun and rocket launcher, so they're definitely worth your attention--but they're likely to attract other players, too.
Supply drops are great places for an ambush, and one way to pin down where the drop will be is to "mark" it. Like just about everything in Fortnite, supply drops are destructible, and you can damage their balloons from afar with your gun. Doing so causes the crate's health bar to pop up, which stays on your screen even if structures or other things obstruct your line of sight to the crate itself. Marking crates means that you can more easily get to them when they hit the ground, but be ready to fight anyone else with the same idea.
Use The Storm To Your Advantage
The ever-advancing storm--the circle that constantly contracts to make the play area smaller and smaller--is a danger that you constantly need to avoid in Fortnite. It also affords some benefits, however. While the storm damages you when you're in it, for much of any given match, that damage is not immediately deadly. You can sometimes use this tactically; the edge of the storm is a great place to catch desperate players as they scramble to get to safety. Conversely, you might be able to duck through the tough-to-see-through edge early in the match to lose anyone in the eye of the storm who's battling you (although that's a tough gamble, and not for everyone).
Especially in a match's endgame, the storm can be a tool as much as it is a danger. It lets you ensure that you won't be attacked from behind when you keep close to its edge. If you're more centrally located and can take up a good position, the shrinking circle can help you as it forces players to either take storm damage, or move toward you and open themselves up to attack. It's important to always stay aware of the circle--but as the match draws toward its end, keep thinking about where you can set yourself up to use the storm as a weapon against your enemies.
Complete Daily Challenges To Earn V-Bucks
V-Bucks are Fortnite's premium currency, which can be used to purchase cosmetic items to make your character wear cooler clothes or deploy more fun emotes. The best way to get an effective amount of V-Bucks is to buy them with real money. If you're willing to put in the time, it's also possible to earn a few just by playing the game--but it'll take you a while.
Playing Fortnite earns you experience points based on your performance in a match, and each time you earn enough, you level up, which earns you one "Battle Star." After grabbing 10 Battle Stars, you advance to a new "tier," and at certain tiers, you unlock new emotes and other items. It's possible to earn tiers faster by completing Daily Challenges, which are listed on the Lobby screen when you log into Fortnite. Challenges require you to complete special actions, like killing a set number of players with a specific gun. Challenges give you a bunch of experience points and five Battle Stars for completing them, which can help you earn tiers a lot quicker. If you're playing for free, you can earn 100 V-Bucks roughly every 14 tiers (which isn't very much).
Your return on investment is slightly better if you pony up the money to purchase the V-Bucks for a "Battle Pass," which will run you 950 V-Bucks--or a little less than $10 ($9.99 buys you 1,000 V-Bucks). The Battle Pass puts you on a different, much more rewarding tier track, allowing you to earn a lot more cosmetic gear as you level up. The Battle Pass track also includes V-Bucks, dishing out 100 V-Bucks once about every seven tiers, but it also comes with experience point boosts that can get you there quicker.