No Build Mode in Fortnite Guide: Will It Be Permanent?

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Fortnite is one of the most iconic video games of all time. Having gone mainstream and demanding the attention of pop culture on an unforeseen level, there is a lot that has helped it get there. This includes the overwhelming cosmetics, the insane crossovers, and more. Of course, this also consists of the game’s signature building aspect. So much so that it is crazy that we can now make a no-build mode in the Fortnite guide.

The building is such an integral part of Fortnite that it is wild to think you could go without it. Whether or not you favor it, we have gone nearly 20 seasons with it. But now that the no-build mode in Fortnite guide is here, this could be changing. The craziest part is that this was not just for a fun limited-time event, either. Epic Games has made this a permanent change.

Bottom Line Up Front

The building is one of the defining features of Fortnite battle royale. Without it, gameplay-wise, there is little that differentiates it from the competition. So much of the game is built around the building, from materials to the pickaxe. That said, many fans like myself do not like building structures. The no-build mode introduced in Chapter 3, Season 2, is a massively welcome (but overdue) addition. It was only going to happen for a limited time, though, of about nine days. However, as expected, Epic Games has changed its mind and made this a permanent mode, in addition to standard battle royale with building included as always. This is not surprising since we saw similar moments in the past with modes like Team Rumble and Party Royale that became long-term options for players to enjoy.

Fortnite’s Building Is One of Its Defining Features


When you think of Fortnite battle royale, what are the first thoughts that come to mind? While I cannot speak for you in this little thought experiment, I can speak for myself. When I first think of Fortnite, I think of battle royale, battle pass, seasons, building, skins, and crossovers. These are some of the primary buzzwords that I think surround the game.

After all, the entire basis of Fortnite is built on those tentpole foundations. Without seasons, the cosmetics system and battle pass would not work or possibly exist. Without the game being a battle royale or having crossovers, likely, Fortnite would not have the success that it has enjoyed for years now.

And indeed, without building, Fortnite would not be the unique experience that it has been for some time. I mean, come on, it is even in the name of the actual game. Without building your forts, Fortnite is just nite. You literally cannot have this game exist without building.

So, let me preface this by saying that anyone concerned about the building never coming back, worry not. There is almost no future in which Epic Games makes this permanent without the option to pick between building and not. The building is part of Fortnite’s core, which is never changing.

This is an undeniable fact. There are so many different little systems built for the sole purpose of assisting in making or even just because of it. Take the materials and the pickaxe, for example. Without building, mats are useless in the game.

Without gathering mats, the pickaxe almost becomes useless, too. Sure, you can hit your opponents with the pickaxe and still bash down walls to reach a treasure chest but are those that important? Could they also cease to exist if the building is not around?

You see, the building is why they are in the game in the first place, and it remains that way. I mean, Fortnite was started based on this fact. Way back in the day, when the game was first announced as a cooperative survival experience, the building was a central part of it.

It was seen as a mix between Minecraft and Gears of War’s Horde mode, the latter of which was Epic Games’ previous franchise. This is exactly what Fortnite became, too, in the Save the World game mode. Battle Royale came just a bit later and took that building idea and applied it to the competitive survival experience from PUBG. With other unique features like the battle pass and seasons, Fortnite rose to the billion-dollar success that it is now.

Many Fortnite Fans Do Not Like Building

That all said, there is no doubting that building is one of the more controversial parts of the game, even if it is also the reason for the game even existing in the first place. For a very long time and many seasons, there were fans like myself clamoring for Epic to offer a separate game mode with no building.

I think that a vast majority of Chapter 1 was me hoping that Epic Games would give me the chance to turn off the building. I’ll be straightforward with you and let you know that I am the worst when it comes to building. I can throw down a couple of walls, 90s, and the like when I have to, but, indeed, I wouldn’t say I like it.

And, honestly, I’m not the best at it, either. This is partly due to not trying hard enough with building and just because I do not like building. I’m a traditional shooter fan, coming from Epic Games’ other games like Gears of War and Unreal Tournament, so I prefer that type of experience.

While I knew that building was a significant part of the gameplay, I hoped that Fortnite would offer more choice for a long time. I thought that the start of Chapter 2 was the chance for this to happen. It was a fresh start with the game, with a new island to explore and more mechanics. It seemed like the perfect time to introduce a no-build mode.

But, lo and behold, it arrived with the building still intact and no option otherwise. At that point, I gave up on not having built-in Fortnite, and I think there are others like myself. This actually started a trend of a downward appreciation for the game, with myself slowly going further and further away from Fortnite, except for Seasons 5 and 6 when family members got into it quite a bit.

fortnite no zone

Despite Chapter 3, Season 1 being the start of something new and the long-awaited arrival of Spider-Man, it is sadly one of my most minor played seasons in the game’s history. It definitely felt at the time like Epic Games had finally started to lose me for good even.

Not all of this is due to the building in the game but a large part of it comes down to that. I will be honest that I could not count the number of matches that I got second place in and would have won had I either actually started building or the feature did not exist in the game.

And, sadly, I never let those losses motivate me to care about the feature more; that is just how much I dislike it. There are a myriad reasons why someone might dislike building and here are some of the ones that I think are the most prominent.

For one, it is just way too complicated for some players. You have four standard building items that you can use, which does not sound too bad, but then it gets crazy from there. You have to think lightning-fast of what combination of the four is right for this moment and which order to go in.

Then you have the edits that you can do on the walls, floors, and the like to give you a vantage point on the enemy or shut them off from chasing you. And then there are parts like making sure to cover underneath you so that someone is not able to make you fall and all that.

That is all before considering that learning to build in Fortnite today is a lot harder than it used to be, even if you do like it. Many dedicated players are masters of building and reaching that point is difficult when you can get killed long before you have the chance to practice in battle. All in all, it makes building one of the most complicated and still problematic modes today. And I’m sure I’m not the only one who lost interest in the game to other similar titles because of this aspect.

Fortnite Chapter 3, Season 2 Brought Us No Build Mode

Chapter 3

Thankfully, this all changed with the arrival of Fortnite Chapter 3, Season 2. For some odd reason, Epic Games did not opt to do this in the previous season when it made a little bit more sense but the developer finally gave us a no build mode in Fortnite.

The launch of Season 2 saw the release of a few new mechanics, weapons, and items. Above all else, though, is the most important one of them all: no building at all. Or, well, no building at the beginning of the season at least. That’s right, outside of certain game modes, there is no building at the start of Season 2.

You can jump right in and start playing matches, and you do not have to worry about building in the slightest. There are no mats to collect, no crazy building standoffs at the end of the match, and so on. You just go into the game, pick up the best weapons you can find, and have a shootout.

It fundamentally changed the way the game is played and it does not feel broken at the same time. You are able to hide if you want in battle but this means running into a building or hiding around a corner. It actually makes most fights this terrifying cat-and-mouse chase at times.

The goal is to get the drop on someone first as it has always been but even more important than ever before. Before, you could build away if someone attacked you. Now, it is essentially spelling your doom if someone snipes you from far away.

I have had moments where I run out of ammo and slide around a corner to reload real fast so that I can take them out when they come around after me. Or moments where the new tanks are suddenly massively overpowered and all I can do is hide from them.

Believe it or not, I think these scenarios are exhilarating and much more fun to deal with than someone sniping from atop their endless fortress. But it also imbalances the game quite a bit, which is why Epic Games had to introduce other mechanics to help with this.

How No Build Mode Compensates for Lack of Building

For starters, there is the overshield that now exists in the game and would have been the biggest new feature any other season. The overshield is basically an extra 50 points on top of the 100 health and 100 shields that you can already have in the game.

That means, at max everything, you can have 250 points of protection in a match. The reasoning behind this is the fact that removing building removes the level of protection that some players had. They would get hit by a shot and immediately start building to keep themselves safe while they plan their next move.

The overshield is the substitute for this, allowing the player to stay alive a little bit longer than usual like they would with building. This is seen also in the fact that the overshield regenerates over time when not being hit, unlike the normal health and shields that you have.

Beyond this, there is also the ability to start sprinting in the game now. Epic Games started playing around with movement in the game recently with the popular slide mechanic and now you can full-on sprint, too. There are some downsides to this feature that balance it out, though.

For one, there is stamina that you have to worry about so you cannot sprint forever. There is also the slightest delay between sprinting and switching back to your weapon that you might need to worry about. Overall, though, I think that the slide mixed with this new sprinting makes for a much different Fortnite feel.

Of course, there is also mantling now, too. For people like me who do not like the build, ramps are still crucial to reaching hard-to-get locations and nabbing treasure chests and the like. Without it, you are now without verticality. Mantling does help some with this but it is one of the least beneficial options added to offset the lack of building. Mantling honestly should have just been in the game to begin with.

For the most part, these new features do add up to compensate for the lack of building and make the game a lot more fluid and fun. With this being the case, though, I would argue that there are other ways that the game can make up for the lack of its former feature. Here’s hoping that some of them come out soon.

Tips for Grabbing That Victory Crown Without Building

no building mode

For some players who are long-term fans, Fortnite having no building is a problem. They have spent seasons, if not years, perfecting their builds. This is how they play matches and suddenly removing that is an issue. While there are players who are happy to see building gone, a large portion of the Fortnite fans are conflicted.

To help with the loss from the lack of building, here are some general tips that I have for you now. First and foremost, the game rewards you for playing aggressively now. This might seem weird since you do not have protection but it means that getting the first hit is more important than ever before.

If you see someone on the battlefield, unless you are weak, you should get the drop on them first. And you want to make sure that you time it perfectly, too. Shooting at someone and missing can be detrimental since it gives away your position.

For me and my team, I like to be the flanker in the group. I will take a wide sweep around the area, letting my presence go unknown while my teammates start the fight. From there, I will either pick off the enemy unforeseen with a sniper or get up close behind and blast them with a shotgun or SMG.

The game really does emphasize this aggressive, in-your-face sort of gameplay these days. The sliding, mantling, and sprinting all contribute to this. I will honestly charge at some enemies full-on and destroy up close, running zig-zag along the way.

But if you are someone who is not aggressive, this is understandable. In this case, you need to make sure to take control of the map in a different way. The tanks are so powerful in Season 2 and allow you to set up a defensible position that is hard to take down. You do not need to take on every fight with the tank, either, as you can just play it safe around the perimeter of the circle. Then when the final rounds of the match start, you will be in a place to decimate the remaining foes.

Other Ways to Help With No Building

Fortnite is a game built on building so there are still more ways to make up for the lack of it. For one, I think that something needs to be done about gliding or the like. So many players would use ramps and gliding using a launchpad to get out of the storm.

You could argue that the sprinting is there for that but it only does so much. Allowing for redeploying of the glider again (perhaps even a limited number of times) would help with this. Or even just bringing back the Spider-Man web shooters would be nice with this.

Another part has to do with the pickaxe and materials. Mats are not there since building is not available but I think you can still have them in the game. Even if they are not for building, they could be a useful item for something else entirely.

In fact, I think the best option for the mats is to have them be there for upgrades and crafting in the game. It is high time for crafting to come back in Fortnite in a big and permanent way, and mats can be there for that. Since they are not necessary for building, you can use them to craft items.

Bring back the dedicated crafting menu in the inventory and have the three material types be the force behind changing and upgrading your weapons. Want something more mechanical? Be sure to have enough metal on hand to do so. Trying to just do a simple upgrade to a better rarity? Perhaps you only need some wood to do that.

This would allow for the materials to still have a purpose and the pickaxe for gathering them, too. I also think that powerful vehicles like the tank needs a bit of balancing without building. It is just too powerful and I think a mix of new weapons and nerfing will help to keep the meta in check.

Fortnite No Build Mode Was Only for a Limited Time

not parnament building

One of the most notable parts about the no build mode in Fortnite is that it was not officially permanent when it first came out. Though there were hints that we could see that change in the future (more on that in a bit), it was only for a limited time. In a way, you could have looked at it as a limited-time seasonal event.

To kick off the new season of Fortnite and introduce some new mechanics, building was disabled. While Epic did not officially given numbers on how long this will last in the game, there were leakers who are pointing to it being around nine days.

That would make it just over a week after the launch of the season, which is not a whole lot of time. At the same time, though, this is understandable since building is such a large part of the game. It was rather surprising that it was not revealed to be lasting for an entire season. After all, we have seen that happen before in the past.

We have seen this many times before like making superpowers rampant and easy to get like in Chapter 2, Season 4. Or the bow and crafting being such a major part of Chapter 2, Season 6. If you do not like those features, it’s all good since they will be gone from the game in a few months anyway.

To only have no building in the game for a little over a week was honestly a disastrous idea at first. It was almost like what’s the point of adding it if you are going to take it away so soon after. Thankfully, we do not have to worry about this issue anymore.

Fortnite Zero Build Is Here

Speaking of coming out surprisingly soon, Epic Games completely changed the circumstances of this guide. Originally, I had it written and ready to go just as the no building game mode was about to leave Chapter 3, Season 2. However, instead of it going away, Epic Games surprised us with Fortnite Zero Build.

As we expected, the developer saw the clamor and popularity of a no build mode in Fortnite and has made it permanent. Fortnite Zero Build is the new permanent game mode that will exist for seasons and likely years to come. It stands alongside the other permanent modes in the game.

It takes the idea of overshields, sprinting, mantling, and more that were in the prototype experience. Instead of using mats and building structures, this more aggressive mode is all about your combat skills. Of course, the best part is that Epic Games is giving you choice when it comes to all of this.

If you do not want to play Fortnite Zero Build, you don’t have to. The normal battle royale is back, complete with all of the ramps, walls, floors, and more that you can dream of. Nothing has changed on that front and you can continue to play the game that way. However, if you prefer the no build option, that is also there for you now.

Fortnite Zero Build will continue to be the game mode that you should play if you prefer the pure combat in Fortnite alone. It is also where you will see me playing in the game for the future. It has reinvigorated my love for Fortnite and it is now one of my go-to games again.

Issues With Fortnite Zero Build Explained


There are a couple of issues with this, starting with the possible split audience. We could see situations where there are more bots in matches now and parties will have a hard time deciding which mode to do if they are split.

In the case of my family, I already know that this is going to cause some issues. If I have not made it clear enough already, I prefer not having building in Fortnite and I play better without it. However, that is not the case for my family members and friends who love it.

In the event that you are in a similar situation to mine, there are some suggestions that I have for you. I recommend getting your friends and family to agree to take turns picking game modes. Maybe one round, you guys will play the normal battle royale with building enabled and then Zero Build in the next one.

Besides splitting up family and friends, there is another issue that is worth mentioning. Fortnite was built on the literal fact that it is all about building as mentioned earlier in this guide. With a Zero Build mode now permanent, it brings about a lot of questions and possible issues in the future.

If it does split the audience or, worse, most people are playing Zero Build, we could see a change in the game. Though I doubt it will go to this extreme, we could see a scenario where it is hard to find other players in the normal battle royale matches; just bots.

The game does lose some of its heart in this way and then there is the matter of Arena. Ranked modes and tournaments are based around building. What will Epic Games do with this now? Will these tournaments and events continue to only be based around the build version of the game?

That would seem odd since there are possibly some streamers and even pros who would prefer to play this version of the game. But it would not really make sense to shift and then make the game have no building-only tournaments and events at the same time.

The middle ground would be to have both building and Zero Build competitive events. However, that is troublesome in its own right. It is probably the best scenario for now but we will have to wait and see. There is also the matter of challenges that have to do with building. Epic Games will have to be careful from now on to avoid missions that are all about gathering materials, destroying structures, or building them. Otherwise, this would alienate the Zero Build players trying to progress through the battle pass, too.

Overall, though, it is absolutely worth it for the choice that players now have. There is no denying that these are issues that we will see now and ones that will likely populate social media quite a bit but they are worth it in the end.


Question: How do you toggle building mode in Fortnite?

Answer: Well, ironically, while this is a common question these days, there is no way to toggle building in a match while it is disabled. You will simply see the little icon that it is unavailable. That said, in a scenario where the building feature is back in the game, here’s how you do it.
It comes down to the platform of choice that you are on. For example on consoles, you can press the B/circle button on controller to open up the building menu. It is as simple as that. Pressing the button again will switch you back to normal fighting and inventory options.
As for how to toggle on building mode in the future when we might have both the build and no build game modes, that is a different story. More than likely, there will be set modes that you can pick in the lobby that have build and no build names for them. You pick the one that you prefer and then hop into that mode.

Question: Is building coming back to Fortnite?

Answer: Absolutely. While Epic has technically not said anything regarding building at the time of writing this, there is no doubt that the feature will return. It is just too much a massive part of the game so there is no way that the developer will get rid of it for good now.
As for when that is, we will have to wait and see but I presume sooner rather than later and likely before the end of the season. In fact, building still remains in some game modes like Creative and the like. So if you prefer to build in the game, you can certainly continue to do just that.

Question: How long is a Fortnite season? 

Answer: If you were concerned that the building would be obsolete for the entire Season 2, that is understandable. While that did not end up being the case, a season typically lasts for around 12 to 15 weeks these days. They used to be no more than 10 or 11 weeks but that has shifted more towards the three to four-month mark these days. Barring, of course, any extraneous issues that cause a massive season extension.


While it could be argued that Fortnite is not itself without mats and 90s, I think that the world is all the better with as much choice as possible. And Epic Games has proven in the past that it loves to give players the choice to do whatever they want in Fortnite. As such, it was only a matter of time until a no-build mode was offered in the game.

Zero Build is finally here and players have the opportunity to enjoy a permanent no-build game mode for the foreseeable future. But if you do not want it, no problem, as the building will continue to be just as important as ever before. That is why you should be sure to take a look at my guide to the overall gameplay of Fortnite to get an idea of how building works in the battle royale game in case you do want to stick to that original battle royale experience.

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