Take every bit of help you can get. You’re going to need it.
Fortnite is an easy game to get into and appears to be a much simpler affair than something like PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds at first glance. What you’ll find with time, though, is that this game is deep in strategy and requires a strong mastery of mechanics to find consistent success.
Constant practice is the best way to get better at something, but these 17 Fortnite pro tips should help get you on the road to your first Victory Royale.
Pick your fights carefully
Anyone watching YouTube footage or a live stream of serious Fortnite players will see them engaging with any enemy they can find and they often go looking for that trouble. We’re here to tell you that this is counterproductive to a winning strategy.
One of the biggest things you’ll need to learn right away is that it’s OK to not engage or to run away after an engagement has gone sour. Remember, your objective is to survive, not rack up a ridiculous kill/death ratio as if you’re playing Call of Duty.
Do NOT get caught in the storm
The other first rule of Fortnite: do not mess with The Storm. It’s a beast of a thing that can’t be controlled. It is your biggest enemy, even scarier than the 99 others standing between you and Victory Royale.
This is especially true as you get closer to the top 10, as the safe zone gets smaller and the storm hits much harder. Run away from it, always.
Shoot first, loot later
As you’re out there looking for the items and tools to help you to victory, don’t forget that those tools won’t do you any good if you’re dead. When you’re coming to a new area, take time to scope it out and see if anyone is lingering around before you start putting your head inside loot crates.
Don’t be one dimensional
You know how you’re never supposed to bring a knife to a gunfight? Well, the same thing is sort of true in Fortnite: you never want to go into battle without a balanced loadout that will help you adapt to changing conditions. Just as you wouldn’t want to use a sniper in close quarters, you wouldn’t want a shotgun up against someone who can land accurate shots from hundreds of meters out.
An example of a well-balanced loadout is a shotgun, an assault rifle, and a sniper rifle, with the other 2 slots of your inventory taking up healing items. You don’t always have to go this route (in fact, as you play more you’ll find that this is harder to achieve than you think), but the idea is to be able to protect yourself the most you can from any distance.
Use your surroundings to track enemy players
If you picked up some tracking skills in the Boy or Girl Scouts, it’s time to put them to use here. Due to the nature of how people build in Fortnite, you will come across structures abandoned in the world for one reason or another. These structures may be one ramp or a mile-high fortress, but either way, you’ll want to take note of where they are and how certain elements are positioned.
For instance, if you see a ramp leading up a mountain, you can probably bet (or you should at least assume) that enemies have taken a position up there. Whether you use that information to find a fight or take a flight, well, that’s up to you.
High ground is key
In any shooter, high ground tends to be the most favorable position against your enemies because you can scout and see more, which also means you can shoot at more areas that they try to hide in.
The first rule of Fortnite: do not mess with The Storm.
That concept holds true for Fortnite, but the wrinkle that the building system brings in makes it even more crucial to your success.
Being able to build a multi-tiered structure over your opponent’s head while they’re struggling to dodge your shots can make them panic, and your ability to dictate the pace of the engagement by making them build up to you almost always tips the scales in your favor.
You can get to hard-to-reach places by jumping on tires
If you see a stack of tires in the game, jump on them. Not only is it extremely fun, but it lets you jump much higher than the game’s already-ridiculous height cap allows. This is especially useful if you want to get on top of a building but don’t have (or want to use) materials to get up there.
Pro tips for winning in Fortnite
Seasoned a little and looking for an edge to take you closer to the top 10 or even toward your first victory? These advanced tips will go a long way toward your improvement.
You can knock bases down in one hit
While some bases in Fortnite can seem insurmountable, they do have a weakness: their base. Like any structure, if you take out its foundation it’ll come toppling to the ground.
You don’t even have to run up and hack away with your pickaxe: pour enough bullets into a ramp or a wall and it’ll fall to pieces. Completely separate the building from the ground and watch the whole thing come crashing down. Oh, and if you’re lucky enough to find grenades or rocket launchers, they make the job ten times easier.
Know when to disengage
One of the skills you’ll need to pick up on right away is gauging the war of attrition. We tend to speak of ammunition in that regard, but it’s impossible to know how much they’re carrying.
Instead, use the health prompts to figure out whether you can win a fight. When you shoot an enemy, you’ll see numbers appear above their head indicating how much damage you’ve dealt. If the numbers are blue and then begin turning white or yellow, it means they had a shield potion and you’ve completely exposed their health bar.
If your shots aren’t showing blue and you still have some of your shield, you’re winning. If not, you’d better look into your options for retreating fast (or be one insanely skilled marksman).
Supply drops are extremely rewarding death traps
As the late game draws near, you’ll have more opportunities to find supply drops. These drops contain the rarest guns in the game — legendary SCAR-L rifles, rocket launchers, sniper rifles, you name it. They’re highly contested.
If you’re in a position to safely snag one of these yourself, build a dome around you and crack it open like a pinata. But know that others may be in the area looking to get it for themselves and they may be leaving it as bait, waiting to shoot you the moment you step toward it. Feel free to take that tactic yourself for some easy kills.
Ain’t no mountain high enough to climb
Whether you need to get away from the storm, hole up atop a mountain, or close the distance between you and your opponents, building is a great way to cut down your travel time. Can’t make it around the mountain? Go above it. That lake too risky to swim across? Run across it — no, not with superpowers, but with your wooden planks!
Wood is your most important material
You may go into this game thinking that the strongest building material is metal, followed by brick, and then wood. And from a pure health and strength standpoint, you’d be right. But what the game doesn’t tell you is that wood may often be your best form of cover.
This is because of the way the game initializes each building piece’s health. They load up with a fixed percentage of their maximum health, scaling top-down from wood to metal.
Wood coincidentally starts with more HP and is the fastest to get its HP fully built up, so it’d take 2 shots from a shotgun to knock down a freshly erected wooden wall compared to one shot for metal or brick. This makes it the go-to choice for those high octane engagements where you just need to lay down constant walls of wood to save your butt.
Have a little time and safety on your hands? Build a sturdier long-term base with the other materials.
Switch controls for easier building
As building is important, you’ll want to know that there’s a build-centric control scheme built into the game. Called Builder Pro, this scheme places your build buttons as shoulder buttons, with the left and right trigger offering access to stairs and walls, respectively. This control scheme allows you to build without having to take your finger off of other buttons, making it not only faster to do, but far safer.
Get health boosts by eating nature’s bounty
Often in Fortnite, you’ll come across consumable items that are scattered throughout an area. Some areas will have a bunch of Apples which restore a small portion of your health, while the material left behind by the big meteor crash seems to have introduced some shield-generating space tofu. Find them — especially the shield food — and never worry about health again.
Tips for Fortnite Duos and Squads
Teaming in Fortnite can be a much different experience compared to playing it solo. If that’s the route you’re going then you’ll want to keep these things in mind.
Focus on the ones with guns
Anyone who has ever made the jump from solo to duos or squads knows how jarring it can be to see players get a second wind when you shoot them. They’ll fall to their knees for a chance to get revived by nearby teammates.
But before you go dumping the rest of your bullets into the downed enemy, take time to clear your surroundings and make sure their friends aren’t right around the corner. Remember, the ones on the ground can’t shoot you. The others can. (Also, you can use the downed enemies as bait to draw their teammates in, so let them live a little!)
Sometimes, you have to let them die
On the flipside, if your teammates are downed then you’ll also want to exercise patience and caution. See if you can eliminate the threat or if your teammate can get to a safe spot where neither you or him will get shot. If you can’t get him, then chalk it up to the will of the game, because it’s always better for one person to survive than none at all.
Don’t be a loot goblin
While greed may get you far in life, it won’t fly in Fortnite. If your teammate is carrying a smoke bomb and you have 2 shotguns, a pistol, and an SMG, drop a couple of them. If someone needs ammo and you have over 300 rounds, you can spare a little. If your teammate has 2HP and you have all the medkits, drop them.
Having 3 able-bodied teammates will make things easier for you, so try and think of it as an investment for your success if you’re having trouble with this.
Communication is your greatest weapon
What’s the first thing you should do when you spot an enemy? On your own, it may be to take a shot and pray for the best, but when you’re in a squad it’s worth relaying everything you learn about your enemies and their position to your teammates before you decide to make a move.
You should also get on the squawk box to talk about items you find, the location of the storm and the safe zone, whether you have ammo, or need to heal or reload. Some of this info may seem small in a vacuum, but together it will dictate your strategy in every single phase of the match.
Don’t get ahead of yourself
While greed may get you far in life, it won’t fly in Fortnite.
One of the worst feelings in Fortnite is getting caught out on your own and being too far from your teammates to be helped. When you drop from the bus, try to drop in the same general vicinity.
You don’t have to follow each other from house to house. Trust us, there’s not enough loot to go around for that, much less space. But try to stay close enough so that you can get to a fight in under 15 seconds.
Rocket Ride for the LULZ
Let’s end off with a fun one, a gameplay mechanic you can only pull off in duos and squads. Take a rocket and have a teammate jump in front of it just before you let off a round under their feet. No, you won’t both be blown to smithereens if you do this right.
What you’ll find is that you just gave your partner a thrilling one-way ride to wherever it is you aimed (and they almost certainly will die once they get there).
Have any other tips?
There are many more little things you could mention about Fortnite that could help you in success, but it’s impossible to list them all. Give a holler in the comments section if you have a pro tip of your own that you want to share!
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Updated August 2018: Updated this guide to reflect Season 5.
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