‘Fortnite: Battle Royale’ tips and tricks
Fornite‘s Battle Royale game mode is the latest in the genre to garner massive buzz. It borrows heavily from PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds, but it differentiates itself in a few meaningful ways. It’s also free, and available on pretty much every gaming platform: PC, PS4, XBOX One, smartphones, and now the Nintendo Switch — heck, it’s one of the best free-to-play games online right now.
The objective is straightforward: Outlive 99 other players, all trapped on a battlefield that gets increasingly smaller. Naturally, that’s not easy. We don’t have the special ingredient that will lead you to win matches left and right — although we do recommend tweaking your PC for ultimate performance — but we do have some tips that should help you outlast the majority of your competitors on a consistent basis. Read on and make your foes weep.
Parachute quickly toward cover
Like PUBG, Fortnite: Battle Royale starts with a jump. Rather than out of a cargo plane, it’s a school bus attached to a hot air balloon. Once the doors open, it’s time to skydive toward the island. Technically, you have about 50 seconds to survey the ground below before hopping into the open air, but we recommend making your descent within the first 10 seconds or so. Not only will you get to the ground quicker, but you can still cover a lot of horizontal ground by deploying your glider early. This way you can freely navigate towards your intended target.
While some players like to immediately converge on urban areas with the most structures — Retail Row, Tilted Towers, Greasy Groves, Dusty Depot, Tomato Town — those tend to be the most dangerous and chaotic parts of the map in the early going. If you don’t see other gliders around you though, making a break for a commercialized zone can pay off thanks to the plethora of gear available in these spots. If you’re feeling bold, Retail Row, located southeast of the lake, always seems to have largest stockpile.
If you see more than a few players converging on these spots, shoot for areas with lone buildings or areas with lots of natural cover. We’ve found success gliding down just outside of structural hubs. From there, you can scope things out and see if you can make a break for buildings once the coast is clear.
Grab a gun
It may be obvious, but you won’t last very long in a gun fight if you just have your starting pickaxe. Your main objective when you first hit the ground should be securing a deadlier weapon. All gear in Fortnite glows so you can spot it from a distance. Any firearm gives you a fighting chance, but not all weapon classes are created equal.
- Pistols: The least effective weapon class, but they are easy to use and get the job done in close-range combat.
- SMGs: More effective than pistols, but not as easy to use.
- Assault Rifles: An all-around solid weapon class that excels in close/mid-range combat. If you grab one with a scope, assault rifles also work well in long-range combat.
- Shotguns: When camping, the shotgun is your best friend for close-quarters combat.
- Snipers: Hard to find, but snipers will make you one of the deadliest players on the map if you are a good shot.
- Explosives: Rocket and grenade launchers can penetrate your opponent’s structures with devastating force, but make sure you have a contingency plan, since they elicit a lot of attention. Frag grenades can accomplish the same job in close-range situations, but make sure you have a capable weapon before giving away your position.
You can determine the rarity of a weapon on its color: gray (common), green (uncommon), blue (rare), purple (epic), orange (legendary). Generally, the higher up the rarity scale, the more useful it will be throughout the match.
Camp, but don’t fall asleep
All that matters is being the last person standing. You can win a round of Fortnite simply by outlasting the competition. You have no obligation to hunt down and take out other users. Since it’s all about survival, camping — the act of hiding inconspicuously — is highly encouraged. That being said, when in cover, you always have to be on alert, swiveling the barrel of your gun across all potential threat areas on loop. It’s helpful to always be in the mindset that someone can see you even when it’s clear that you are in good position. You cannot go prone in Fortnite but you can crouch. Always crouch when stationary.
Listen closely (and wear a headset)
Your ears are as important as your eyes. From listening to gunfire to hearing footsteps approaching, you can gauge a lot of what’s going on near you by listening closely. Playing with a headset, preferably over-the-ear headphones is basically a must if you want to survive.
Mind the storm
Throughout the match, a clock in the upper right corner of the screen counts down until the next instance of the storm. Your map shows the safe area from the storm’s effect. The circle will shrink as the match wanes on. Think of the storm as a secondary opponent. You must respect that it can and will kill you if you don’t get out of its wake in time, but don’t panic because even if the safe area is on the opposite end of the map, you have time to reach it. As the safe area shrinks, we recommend holing up just outside of the circle until the storm touches down. We’ve found that many players concentrate their scopes inside of the circle to pick off incoming players. If you give off the appearance that you are a straggler, you can sometimes avoid an all-out firefight. Still, you should look in all directions and listen closely when the storm touches down, especially when the safe area is small. You’re much more likely to encounter other players when the habitable area has been vastly reduced.
If you see life, think first
As mentioned earlier, the name of the game is survival. That means you don’t need to shoot at everyone you see. Sometimes you are better off letting them go on their merry way (hopefully to get picked off by another player or disintegrated by the storm). Don’t get trigger-happy if you see another player, especially if they are going in the opposite direction or if you aren’t in the best hiding spot. Bullets leave tracers in the air so it’s not too hard for someone — and not necessarily the person you were aiming for — to see where the shots came from. Only reveal yourself to the world if you know that you will come out victorious in the firefight. Unless you have a sniper rifle, it’s better to wait for other players to come near you, that way you can limit the range of the crossfire, and hopefully, retain your cover. Remember, the goal is to stay alive, not to rack up kills.
Look before looting
Whether you’re looting a body or picking up gear in a building, you should always take a quick peek at your surroundings before doing so. After you take out an opponent, you have to be mindful that another player could have been watching the exchange. On more than a few occasions, we were overexcited to collect our new gear and ended up giving up our own to a savvy player who capitalized on our overzealousness. So wait, take a gander at the world around you, and then pick up your new goodies. The same goes for when you come across gear around the map. We learned this the hard way, as some players use gear as bait.
Move with purpose
The most nerve-wracking part of Fortnite comes into play when you absolutely have to move. Maybe you’re getting shot at and you just can’t seem to figure out where it’s coming from. Or perhaps you need to cover some serious ground before the storm touches down. In these cases, you should always sprint, but with purpose. If the area ahead doesn’t have many opportunities for cover, may we suggest running in an unconventional manner? Zigzagging through an open field may still get you killed, but you have a better chance at staying alive than if you move in a straight line. Ideally, though, you should plan significant movements across the map. Sprint and take cover behind a tree. Look around, reassess the situation, and then move onto the next viable cover option.
Save your building resources
The major difference between Fortnite‘s Battle Royale and PUBG is building. You can build your own cover with three materials: wood, metal, and brick. These resources can be picked up like gear or acquired by breaking down anything in Fortnite — almost everything is destructible. Here is the thing, though: While a custom building can provide makeshift cover, it stands out compared to pre-built structures. You’re much better off finding cover that is already in place, when possible.
On top of that, it’s smart to stockpile resources for the latter half of the match, when the player count dwindles and the circle is shrinking. Building a fortified, four-wall structure in the early portion of a match isn’t the way to go since you will have to abandon it when the storm comes anyway.
If you’re in a pinch, however, with no natural cover nearby, quickly throwing together a wall while you contemplate your next move is advisable.
Tires: If you find a stack of tires, you can run into them to get airborne to reach rooftops. Verticality gives you a better vantage point.
Shield potions: Although rare, shield potions should be consumed immediately. The blue potion found in chests gives you a 50 percent buff and you can stack two of them for double health throughout the whole match. There are three types of rare health items: Regular shield potions, small shield potions, and slurp juice. Regular shield potions add 50 shield points, small shield potions add 25, and slurp juice restores 25 health and gives you 25 shield points.
Bandages: Restore 15 health points apiece. You can use up to five bandages.
Close doors: Get in the habit of closing doors behind you when you enter buildings to remain as inconspicuous as possible. Of course, you can also purposely leave doors open to draw other players in on your location and ambush them. But generally, closing doors is a good policy to keep.
Inventory management: You can only hold five gear items (weapons, potions) at a time. You will likely have to make some executive decisions when it comes to weapons. Be wise, don’t keep two of the same class of weapon. Diversify your options.
Be wary of traps: Mind the ground below you, especially when entering buildings or approaching loot. Although uncommon, damage traps can kill you instantly if you haven’t consumed any shield potions. They resemble spikes on the ground. Likewise, if you come across one of these useful items, place it in a spot that helps keep your hunkered position secure.
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