When it comes to battle royale and online multiplayer video games, there is perhaps no game that has dominated the last few years of pop culture as much as Fortnite. That is why a Fortnite gameplay guide is so important for newcomers to the game.
Invading society with its immense crossover events and inclusion of seemingly countless iconic characters from across movies, TV shows, other games, and more, Fortnite is a force to be reckoned with and one of the most popular games on the planet.
And, yet, at its core, Fortnite is a relatively simple battle royale experience that is all about surviving the ever-encroaching storm while eliminating opponents. Here is what you need to know about the basics of Fortnite, using our Fortnite gameplay guide.
What is Fortnite?
Developed by Epic Games, the makers of renowned series like Gears of War and Unreal Tournament, this team has a pedigree of creating shooter games that are meant for competitive experiences.
What is unique about Fortnite is that it dove into a relatively new genre (at the time) of battle royale games, taking the foundation built by PUBG and throwing some twists into the mix.
Originally, though, Fortnite was a very different game as it was announced to be a third-person action title that centered around gathering materials and building up a base to defend against zombie hordes.
This is still somewhat seen in the Save the World experience, which is a PvE (player versus environment) mode that is all about teaming up with other players, rather than competing against them.
While Save the World is a great experience on its own, it was the battle royale side of Fortnite that lit the game on fire as well as the entire genre of games. Known for not only taking battle royale titles to a whole new level in terms of popularity and success, but it also ushered in other waves of trends in the games industry.
Fortnite is the game that made the battle pass system what it is today, while also creating the crossover trend with other media properties with Disney, DC Comics, and the like. It also helped to create the Twitch phenomenon that is still going today, with streamers and content creators building their entire careers on games like Fortnite.
What is a Battle Royale Game?
Before you can master the Fortnite gameplay guide, it is important to know what exactly a battle royale game is. While it is possible to categorize Fortnite as a third-person shooter, there is more to it than just using guns to take out opponents.
A battle royale experience is all about being the last player (or team) standing at the end of the match. You generally have only one life in a match and it must be used wisely to take out everyone that you encounter so that you obtain the victory royale in the end.
Another element of a battle royale game is not just the other players you have to survive against, but even the map itself.
On the island of Fortnite, there is a storm that is always approaching and there are safe circles that players must reach to avoid taking damage. The map grows smaller over the course of the match, forcing engagements between players until there is only one left.
Fortnite Gameplay Guide: Overview
With the battle royale nature of Fortnite, there are two main sections of gameplay that you need to know about: the general shooting mechanics as well as the survival ones. This is where the game is a bit more complicated than typical Team Deathmatch-style shooter video games.
For starters, there is the shooting that is fairly typical and will not be too different for players who have played similar games before. The gameplay is third-person, with the camera behind the character’s back but not with the character in the center of the screen.
Instead, it is an offset camera with the player character more on the left side of the screen at all times. However, the typical reticle found in shooter games is in the middle of the screen to help you find where to aim at the enemies and shoot them down using various weapons.
These weapons are not given to the player at the start of the match but have to be found throughout your time on the island. This is where the second part of the gameplay comes into play as there are various survival mechanics that players have to contend with in Fortnite.
At the start of the match, you will pick a location on the map and land there. You will have nothing in your possession, except the pickaxe that can deal minor damage in close-range or be used to destroy objects to gather one of the three material types.
How to Survive in Fortnite
To survive in Fortnite, players must first gather resources to aid them in their journey to reach the elusive victory royale. This requires visiting locations and entering buildings to find the loot that is available there.
Loot includes the guns that are used to take out other players as well as explosive items and other more tactical equipment. Not everything is meant for damaging enemies as some might freeze them for a moment, render their buildings useless, and so on.
Still, other items are designed for healing yourself, such as the always important shield potions, or ensuring that you can get around the island with ease. There are different types of loot in the game, and it all comes down to the method in which you find them.
Players can simply walk around an area and find floor loot for them to pick up, but this is usually the most limited and least powerful gear around. Better items are found in the treasure chests that players can open, which give off a distinct sound effect when near.
Better still are the items that players can find in the llamas that are randomly distributed around the map or the crates that fall out of the sky within the confines of the latest circle.
This is all with the general goal of surviving in the match since players will need these items to fend off opponents until the very end. However, there is also the storm that players need to worry about. It is an unbeatable enemy that is always lurking on the island.
At the start of a match, the first safe zone circle will be revealed on the map and be quite large, sometimes taking up almost half of the island at times. It is randomly chosen and, as such, players typically have a few minutes to make it there before the storm reaches them.
There is a countdown once the next circle is revealed before the storm closes in to give players enough time to plan ahead and, hopefully, reach there before it overtakes them. That said, if the countdown finishes and you have not reached the next circle, not all hope is lost.
The countdown is only there to indicate when the storm will start to grow, so there is still time once this phase begins. The key part is to outrun the storm and make it to the safe zone before it finishes growing.
And even if you are caught up in the storm, it is not necessarily game over, though this is likely the case for many players. It will simply damage you every second that you are in the storm until you reach the next circle. It is actually possible to stay alive long enough in the storm to reach the next safe area through the use of healing items and transportation.
How to Build in Fortnite
Where Fortnite differs from a lot of other battle royale games is in the building mechanic that it has. This gameplay element sets Fortnite apart as it is not just about shooting every enemy that you see. The point of the pickaxe and the materials is to build forts or defenses with which to outsmart your enemies.
The three material types are wood, stone, and metal, with each one being stronger than the preceding one. Before you can build, you need to gather these materials and this is by destroying the various objects that you come across on the map.
For wood, you can gather this by destroying trees or wooden buildings that you find. For stone materials, you need to destroy stone or brick buildings or objects that are around the island. And for metal, you need to destroy metal objects, like bridges, metal doors, cars, and so on.
Players are able to hold up to 999 materials of each type in a battle royale match, while every object that you create using them costs around 10 materials each. By pressing the build button, it will switch from holding the weapons in your inventory to the main building objects that you can create.
There are a few basic building blocks to Fortnite that you can make and they are items like a ramp, wall, and floor. Using these together, you can create makeshift bases or forts to defend yourself against enemies.
Fortnite veterans can build in quick succession, creating an intricately designed base in mere seconds, but this is not necessary to win.
At the start of your Fortnite career, the goal is to simply build a basic foundation for surviving long enough to get the drop on your opponents. The very basic recommendation is to mash the walls button to build walls all around you to keep you safe.
From there, you can start to expand to building ramps to make a higher fort, floors below you to make sure that a player cannot shoot down your ramps and make you fall, and more walls to confuse the enemies to your location.
Over time, you can start to use the more complicated formats and building elements as you grow more comfortable with your techniques. More established players can start adding in features like editing walls to create a window, for instance, or setting traps to surprise enemies.
For those who find building to be a daunting task, it is one that I honestly think is truly only important for the final rounds of a match. For the majority of a battle royale match, building is not really necessary as many players will not even use it.
Building is only really important for those who wish to nab that victory royale at the end over and over or who want to engage in the competitive ranked modes like Arena or tournaments. It is absolutely possible to enjoy Fortnite and even win without being a building pro.
Best Places to Land in Matches
The Fortnite island is a massive place where players can explore the far reaches, finding the popular named locations as well as minor points of interests that are well hidden.
When it comes to winning a match of Fortnite, one of the most important parts is picking the best place to land. The island is so large that it really comes down to a number of factors, including your playstyle, preferences, and the route of the battle bus.
When a match starts, everyone is thrown onto the battle bus (don’t forget to thank the bus driver) and a route is randomly chosen across the island. From here, you have to quickly determine your landing spot since some areas will be difficult to reach due to the flight path.
In the current Chapter 3 of Fortnite, the island has flipped and there are plenty of new destinations to visit. For choosing which place to visit, it is important to know what kind of player you are.
If you are an aggressive player who likes to get into fights right from the start, there are a few great places for you to go. Some of the most popular destinations include Rocky Reels due to its more centrally located area and Chonker’s Speedway for its breadth of vehicles.
There is also Greasy Grove for the nostalgic nature of this point of interest and Sanctuary for the NPC (non-player character) enemies and overwhelming loot that is available there. Lastly, there is The Daily Bugle, which is great for its crossover nature with Spider-Man and the loot you can find there.
For players who are on the opposite end and like to gather weapons and items safely at the start of the match, the outer, less popular regions are where you will want to head. Some of our favorites are Camp Cuddle, for being in the middle of nowhere, and Logjam Lumberyard for its less-visited nature.
The Joneses is another great spot that has easy access to the Sanctuary for when you have enough gear and are ready for some intense fights ahead.
Best Weapons for Defeating Opponents
Speaking of fights, with so many different weapons and types that are available to players, it is also important that players figure out which guns they prefer to use in battle. There are various kinds, including pistols, assault rifles, sniper rifles, SMGs, and more.
For the best weapons in Fortnite, it is subjective in some cases, depending on your playstyle, but there are some that are objectively worse than others. For instance, pistols are only best used (for the most part) as last resort guns or a starter weapon at the beginning of the match.
Most pistols are very bad and not worth using, outside of a couple of exceptions like revolvers. Other than that, it really comes down to your preferences. In general, though, it is best to have at least one close-range gun as well as a longer-range one for different types of engagements.
A close-range gun can be an SMG or a shotgun, while the longer-range ones should be a sniper rifle or assault rifle. It is fine to have multiples of these; just keep in mind the rarities of these weapons.
There are five main rarities in the game: common (gray), uncommon (green), rare (blue), epic (purple), and legendary (orange). Commons and uncommons are fine at the beginning of a match, but you should strive to find better versions as time goes on since they will have better stats.
There are a couple of ways that you can find better weapons in the game, starting with simply discovering them in loot. Treasure chests and crates typically have the higher varieties of weapons, while you can also take them off of the opponents that you defeat.
There are more surefire ways of this, though, like upgrading the weapons at an upgrade station or finding a better variant at a vending machine. These are scattered throughout the map, but heading to main named locations are usually the best ways to find one.
Also at those locations, you can find NPCs that you can talk with that are not going to attack you on sight. Noted by their chat bubble icon above their heads, you can interact with them to buy unique weapons that they offer or even upgrade an existing one.
This requires gold bars, though, which is an in-match currency that persists across all of your unranked battle royale matches in a season. Gold bars are earned by eliminating players, opening up treasure chests, and completing missions.
In Chapter 3, once you have found the best weapons that suit your playstyle, there is a new feature that you can use to more easily access them. Tents are new to Fortnite in this season and allow you to store weapons to then use them again in a future match.
This is great for finding your favorite guns, storing them, and then reusing them for as long as you keep them in the tent. This ensures that you can gear up with your best weapons with ease.
How to Quickly Move Around the Map
Weapons are not the only piece of your arsenal that you need to be concerned about, though, as there are vehicles for getting around the map, too. Part of surviving the storm is making sure that you can reach the next circle safely and within a limited amount of time.
To best do this, you are going to want to use one of the many transportation means on the map. Vehicles are the main one, allowing the player to hop into a car, quadcrasher, truck, and more to zip around the island in a fast manner.
This requires gas, though, which is a finite resource for most vehicles. To refuel a car that you are driving, you need to visit a gas station on the island or use one of the gas canisters that you can find as loot.
However, vehicles are not the only means of getting around the island quickly. There are ziplines, too, that are found in a few places that allow you to go from a high peak to a lower region, or even cross massive ravines.
Certain seasons introduce their own unique means of transportation, like the Spider-Man web shooters in Season 1. With these, the player is able to swing around with webs similar to Spidey himself to basically fly through the map.
Even still, there are some items that can boost your movement, like the beloved launch pad. Placed on objects that you build, the launch pad can send players flying through the air to another part of the island.
Tips for Getting a Victory Royale
At the end of the day, a player’s goal is to get the victory royale in Fortnite, or the match win for being the last person or team standing in the match. This is not easy in a game where there are up to 100 players at any given time in a lobby.
You do not have to take out everyone in a match to win, but you need to be able to defend yourself and take out the final players in order to be the first place team. Doing so will ultimately depend on your playstyle preferences.
If you are someone who is not the best at eliminations or do not like to engage in too many fights, it is going to be about defeating the right players at the right times.
If this is you, your best bet is to land at places that are out of the way and safer to gear up at your leisure. Once you have a lot of gear, head into the next circle and head for areas that are not main named locations that most players will not be going to.
Try to survive by avoiding players for as long as possible and you will find that you likely have the gear and shields advantage over the other teams that are weakened by the end of the match. You can then take advantage of those final players to finish them off and win the match.
Alternatively, if you are someone who prefers the action and getting as many eliminations as possible, this is best done by heading to the hotspots on the map at the start.
Find plenty of weapons, take opponents along the way, take their gear, and keep this cycle up, growing stronger as you move to the next circle. Keep this up while having plenty of items and ammo on you at all times.
The key here is to heal up whenever you can so that you do not find yourself at the end of the match in the weakened state where a less risky team can take you out.
If you are able to stay healed up, you will likely find that you are better suited for battle than the less aggressive teams and can get the drop on them to win the match. What you need to watch out for, though, are third parties, or teams that wait for two teams to fight another to swoop in and take both of them out.
Lastly, teamwork is key in squad-based modes. Always communicate with your teammates and work together as splitting up and doing your own objectives will likely end in you missing out on the victory royale.
Frequently Asked Questions
Question: Is Fortnite bad for a 7 year old? (Or any kids for that matter)
Answer: Fortnite is a game that is rated T for Teens. What this essentially means is that the subject matter, content, and gameplay of the battle royale title is designed for 13 year olds and up. That said, it does not mean that it cannot be for children younger than 13.
It really depends on the family dynamic and what works for each parent out there. For some, the idea of this competitive experience built around eliminating other players online might not work for their younger children, in addition to the online communication with strangers around the world.
That said, the game is developed in a way where there is no blood, no foul language, and other suggestive content, for the most part.
As such, it is a lot more kid-friendly than other games in the genre and could be appropriate for some families and 7 year olds out there. It is suggested that you sit down and play with your child, or at least observe their online experiences firsthand, and determine if it works for your family.
If you do not wish for your child to communicate with strangers online or hear what they are saying, which can include foul language at times, there are settings options for turning off the audio of teammates and the like.
Question: How Can I Improve My Fortnite Gameplay?
Answer: When it comes to improving Fortnite gameplay, the gist of it is practice, practice, practice. Like other online games, Fortnite is one that is intended for players to master and get better at over time. Using the tips and guide that we built above, that is the foundation that you can use to improve your gameplay.
Once you have the basics down, the crucial part is honing it. There are a number of ways that you are able to do this, such as watching streamers and pros who know what they are doing. Imitating their fast and reactive skills can be an asset online.
It is also recommended that you find similarly skilled players to party up with online. This can ensure that you are matched up with enemies that are around your skill level and help you to gradually improve over time as you learn how to fight opponents around you same skill level.
Question: How Do You Get Good at Fortnite for Beginners?
Answer: For beginners, the first step is mastering the basic steps and elements of the Fortnite gameplay mentioned above. The key is to play as many matches online as possible and get a feel for how the different weapons feel, the locations that you like to visit, and escaping the ever-present storm.
Once you have these basic elements down, from here is where you will sharpen those skills and prepare for the grind to “get good.” Like previously mentioned, teaming up with players who are also beginners will be a great start as you can learn together, enhance each other’s strengths, and make up for your weaknesses.
For instance, one person might be better at building while another is a great sniper. The builder can focus on defending the group quickly with fast builds, while the sniper can scout for enemies and take them out from afar.
Because of this, solo battle royale modes are not necessarily great for beginners as it can be frustrating and tough to learn on your own without teammates to help you out.
If you like Fortnite, be sure to check out the list of the best anime video games of all time over on Animelisty, which includes Naruto, the first anime and manga character to be featured in Fortnite battle royale as a crossover skin.