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Fortnite Battle Royale beginner’s guide

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Learn the art of survival through wall building

Epic Games

Fortnite Battle Royale takes the battle royale concept — unleash 100 people on an island until one person or team is left standing — and expands it with building mechanics. In this guide, we’ll teach you what you need to know to win, including choosing the best place to start, planning your character’s progression, gathering resources as well as building to survive and collect loot.

Know where to drop

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Unlike similar games, Fortnite is especially great at scattering good loot around the map. You’re still going to find a larger quantity of items in more densely packed areas, but various hilltops are also hotspots for treasure chests — valuable boxes that you can open to reap multiple rewards.

Fortnite Battle Royale’s vivid art style allows you to easily identify what locations are going to be hotspots, so be wary of anything on the map with a proper name. For example, dropping in Tomato Town would allow you to quickly find lots of loot, but it may also result in more skirmishes with competitors who are doing the same thing.

Zoom in on the map to find remote hilltops to land on. Most of them will provide you with a good enough starter kit to fight back in the early minutes of each match.

Plan your progression early

Loot is randomized, so you can’t always get what you want. But over time, you can keep what you need.

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Plan for endgame right away. Eventually, you’ll be doing battle with players who have health packs, shield potions, advanced weaponry and plenty of resources to build with (more on that in a moment). You’ll need some combination of these items if you want to get by once the herd is thinned.

Remember: This is a battle royale game predicated on survival, so you don’t need to go out and get a ton of kills to claim victory, and camping will only get you so far. Having a small arsenal ready to go when someone is shooting rockets to destroy your base or sniping you from a mile away is common-sense.

After you’ve scoped the situation out, enter buildings and ensure that no one is around. One great way to accomplish this is to poke your head in to see if some items have already been looted (which clues you in that they’ve left the scraps) or if there are opened treasure chests. Locales that are closer to the shrinking purple ring are also likely going to be light on players as they attempt to make their way toward the center. Even if you’re grabbing the scrapped leftovers from someone with better items, they could be helpful upgrades.

Getting to know all of the weapon types (and there are many) is also a good idea. If something you just picked up and haven’t seen before fires in bursts you try to hold down the trigger like it’s a fully automatic weapon, you’re going to have a bad time.

By the time the game enters its final moments, having a long-range weapon like a scoped assault rifle or sniper rifle, a shotgun, a rocket launcher and at least one medkit will help you fend off most of your foes and will serve as an ideal loadout. Again, you’re going to get most of this from treasure chests or buildings, so you’re going to need to visit them at some point in your playthrough.

Gather resources

Fortnite Battle Royale’s comprehensive building aspect sets it apart from its competition. Derived from the core Save the World mode, you can use resources like wood, brick and metal to craft walls, floors, ceilings, roofs and staircases to create basic structures or complex fortifications.

If you want to ever see the top 10 endgame consistently, you need to get good at building.

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The first principle of building is having the resources to actually make a structure. The most common resource is wood, which you can mine from the default harvesting tool that every player starts with. Whack a wood-based object with a melee attack, and the appropriate resource will automatically appear in your inventory. Just note that gathering makes noise and causes a scene, so players can easily find you if they’re close.

Because wood is so commonly found scattered across Fortnite in small shacks, wooden buildings, outposts and myriad trees, you’re going to come across a lot of it. Big trees are the easiest to mine as they’ll reap huge rewards for little effort. Alternatively, massive buildings like hangars can also grant huge returns for higher-end resources like brick and metal.

Early game gathering is key as players typically don’t have access to long range weaponry, allowing you to roam unfettered.

Survival through wall building

Building takes resources, and the hardier the resource, the more of a beating your structures can take. Each piece (again, walls, floors, ceilings, roofs and staircases) takes 10 resources to build.

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A wall is the first structure you should practice building on a whim. It’s imperative that, at any given time, whether you’re in a building or out in the open, you can quickly press the wall button (F1 on PC) and throw up some cover. For this reason alone, you’ll want to have at least 10 resources on hand to throw up an instant wall.

Start to think of building as a reflex as soon as you hear gunfire. It’s going to take time until you’re able to rapidly build staircases to the heavens like your favorite pro streamer, but for now, practicing the art of survival through wall building is going to get you farther each match.

If you’re in a pinch and need to seal yourself in, you can edit a wall to create a window or a door. Editing one piece will create a hole while editing two adjacent pieces will automatically craft a door.

Build to reach new heights and loot

Sometimes you may just want to build a staircase to reach new heights and loot. Get used to building as an offensive tool, not just as a way to create bunkers and hunker down.

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Traversal is an important facet of earning loot. If you hear a faint noise that sounds like twinkling stars, you’ve come across a chest somewhere in your vicinity. You can use a hot or cold mentality with the sound effect to figure out if you’re getting closer to your loot reward.

Most of the time, you’ll either need to build up or down to get to loot. Fortnite Battle Royale’s developers typically randomize loot locations in tricky spots.

Building staircases to ascend to mountaintops or simply access a level of a building that has broken stairs are common uses of practical building. After you’ve airdropped into a safe spot and scoped out a larger cityscape, try going indoors to practice building in close quarters to access different heights.

Building buildings

Of course, in some cases you’ll want to hunker down — especially when the game nears its end. Sniper perches and tall structures help to ensure that no one is creeping up behind you with a close range weapon like a shotgun, one of the more popular finishing tools in Fortnite.

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Quickly segmenting bases with floor tiles and stairs that ascend is one of the easiest ways to start the skeleton of a fortification. You might want to cap off some sections with a ceiling, but for the most part players forgo them in favor of creating tall structures in high areas like mountains.

Serving as a sort of automatic sentry, remote mountaintops protect you from stealthy players who might sneak into a base of operations that’s located directly on the ground. Be aware that crafting a huge building also serves as a big red flag that someone is in there. Be vigilant about looking for oncoming fire, whether it’s a sniper sight aimed at your head or an incoming rocket that will bust up your walls.

Conversely, don’t waste ammo trying to see if someone is in a structure without confirming their presence first. It may be abandoned and every rocket or high-end bullet counts.