I discovered how unique Fortnite’s building mechanics are back in early 2020. The pandemic had just started, and I needed a new game to pour countless hours into. Some of my friends had recently gotten into Fortnite and were looking for some gamer friends to play with.
Now, at the time, I was more of an RPG or sports gamer, but I wanted to see what all the fuss was about with this Fortnite game. I had some experience with FPS titles like F.E.A.R. and Call of Duty but had never gotten into Battle Royales. If I recall correctly when I started playing the game, the Agency season had just wrapped up, and the map became flooded entirely.
Drowning out the solid land could have lost many players’ interest, especially for newbies such as myself. But, in my opinion, adding the mechanic of water forced me to adapt my gameplay and quickly hone in on my building skills. Materials became a trusted friend in the barren water-waste and provided sure footing during build battles.
Of course, at the time, I was no expert in building (and I’m still improving to this day!), but I like to think I have some familiarity with materials and how to use them. Two years and over 800 hours of gameplay later, I believe knowing the ins and outs of ‘mats’ (commonly used short form for ‘materials’) will improve your gameplay and lead to more sweet, sweet Victory Royales.
So, much like in the water season, I propose we take a “deep dive” into mats and how we can strategically implement them into our play-style.
Materials are an essential item in Fortnite used to build structures such as ramps, floors, walls, and cones. Builds are vital to being successful in Battle Royale as they allow for a diverse array of strategic offensive and defensive plays.
The three materials you can build with are wood, stone, and metal. Materials can be harvested from common objects throughout the map, such as trees, rocks, cars, etc. The best and most versatile material to use is stone as it has medium build strength, medium build speed and is not flammable.
On the other hand, wood is faster to build with but can be quickly burned or broken down. Metal is the most challenging material to find but can be helpful if you plan to hide or play defensively.
What are the Materials?
- Material: Wood
- HP: 150
- Harvested From: Trees, Bushes, Houses, Furniture (also found in loot chests, supply drops, and llamas)
- Max Stack: 999 (500 in Arena)
- Pros: Most abundant material on the map, finishes building fast, default building material
- Cons: Weakest material, lots of holes, flammable
- Material: Stone
- HP: 300
- Harvested From: Rocks (also found in loot chests, supply drops, and llamas)
- Max Stack: 999 (500 in Arena)
- Pros: Medium strength material, not flammable, fewer holes than wood
- Cons: Takes longer to finish building than wood
- Material: Metal
- HP: 500
- Harvested From: Cars, shipping containers, metal furniture, poles (also found in loot chests, supply drops, and llamas)
- Max Stack: 999 (500 in Arena)
- Pros: Strongest material, no holes (cannot be seen through the build)
- Cons: Takes longest to fully build, more challenging to find
What can I build with the materials?
While this is not a building guide, I find it’s helpful to understand what you can build with the materials. Firstly, you should know that to create one build, you will need to stack ten materials of any type, so get to harvesting as early in a match as you can!
Once you have acquired enough materials, it’s time to build (I would recommend a minimum of 100 mats of each type, easiest to stack up on wood). Whether you build offensively to pressure an opponent or defensively to protect yourself, it is up to you.
There are four basic build types:
- Best for getting height advantage on an opponent
- It can also be rotated to go downhill (especially fun to slide while building downhill ramps from height)
- Commonly edited into half ramps
- Best for boxing up or turtling yourself defensively to avoid enemy fire and/or heal
- Common edits include triangles, doors, and windows
- Best for creating a base for yourself or to connect different build types laterally
- Commonly edited into half or ¾th floors
- Best for protecting yourself from above or creating an obstacle between you and an enemy. Great for piece control during box fights
- You can crouch and hide inside a cone build. This can be useful for healing, but you run the risk of getting shot out in the small space
- Commonly edited into ramps and corner ramps
Which material should I use?
Now that you’re more familiar with the materials and what you may build with them, let’s go even further and decide which scenarios warrant using one material over another.
- In an ideal world, you would never use wood because of its apparent vulnerabilities: it is flammable and wooden builds are easiest to destroy with a pickaxe or bullets (only 150 HP per build). I think wood becomes even more dangerous to use in seasons where fire-based weapons or explosives are abundant. Firefly jars, flare guns, gas cans, and the dragon’s breath sniper are a few common flame-producing items in Chapter 3, Season 1. It’s not just that these items will burn the build on contact- much like in real life, the flames will scorch all nearby wood builds and spread for several seconds. Contacting the fire deals 10 HP worth of damage per second, and friendly fire (literally, the fire created by your friends) can also damage you.
- I stray away from using wood as much as possible, but I can see how it may be helpful for three reasons:
- Easy to find: wood is by far the most accessible mat to harvest since trees, bushes, and houses all provide wood and are scattered throughout the map
- Speed: the speed with which wooden builds can be constructed will come in handy in faster-paced build fights
- Visibility: the holes in a wooden build, particularly in walls, can be an advantage when trying to get a peek at where your enemy is. So the potential to make more strategic plays with wood builds is undoubtedly there
- Stone is my go-to mat because it reaches a nice middle-ground between build speed and build strength while not being easily compromised by fire (sorry wooden mat fanatics). The only fundamental flaw I see with stone is that it is harvested from rocks, and rocks are usually only found in open spaces on the map. This can expose you and make you vulnerable to being seen and shot at. This is especially true early game if someone lands nearby and finds a weapon before you. Despite this, I still think the stone is easier to find than metal, making it my ideal material.
- Metal is a tremendous defensive material to build with. You cannot see through entirely constructed metal builds, which may prove advantageous if you want to box up and wait it out in the zone. It becomes trickier to recommend metal for box fights. On the one hand, metal could provide a solid base if you are building for height (one metal build has 500 HP, compare that to 150 and 300 HP for wood and stone, respectively).
- This would make it harder for a low-ground enemy to chop you down. But the slow build speed will cause bullets to go right through a metal build for a few seconds after putting a piece down. This may cause you to take unnecessary damage or be spotted when you otherwise would have been hidden by wood or stone. It’s a real catch-22. Add to this the fact that metal is pretty hard to come by (although less so than in the past since cars are a plentiful metal source).
- I highly recommend only using metal defensively or building a foundation for height builds. Only use metal offensively or in combat if you run out of wood and metal.
To conclude, materials are a valuable resource in Fortnite Battle Royale, which can be the difference between having fun or being downright frustrated with the game. Materials can build ramps, floors, walls, and cones virtually anywhere on the sandbox-style map.
Additionally, materials allow for more strategic maneuvers during combat, both offensively and defensively. The default material selected when switching to build mode is wood. Wood is like a glass cannon in that it allows you to build extremely fast but can also be damaged quite easily by enemy fire.
You can harvest wood using your pickaxe to break down trees, bushes, houses, etc. These objects are abundant throughout the map, making wood an accessible resource to collect. Stone is the next material, and it is mainly harvested from rocks. Stone is, in my opinion, the most balanced material because it is not flammable, has medium build speed, medium build strength, and is relatively easy to find on the map.
I would recommend switching to stone as your primary building material early in a match. The third and final material is metal, and this is the most secure material as it can withstand the most damage before being destroyed and is difficult to see through.
The disadvantages of metal include being more challenging to find on the map (though the introduction of cars in Chapter 2 has made metal much easier to farm) and the lengthy build time.
Question: What are the materials in Fortnite?
Answer: The three materials you can use to build structures in Fortnite are wood, stone, and metal. You may use these materials to build ramps, walls, floors, and cones.
Question: How do I get materials in Fortnite?
Answer: Materials are obtained through harvesting items on the map with your pickaxe. Wood is commonly harvested from trees, stone is harvested from rocks, and metal is harvested from cars. Alternatively, you may find materials in loot chests, supply drops, or llamas.
Question: Which material is best in Fortnite?
Answer: Stone is the best all-around material as it has medium build speed and strength, is relatively easy to farm, and is not flammable. If you wish to build for speed or offense, wood is your best bet, but keep in mind that it is flammable and easily broken. Metal is the most difficult to find on the map but may offer an advantage if you want to play defensive and hide.