Our Fortnite Battle Royale guide contains beginner tips and tricks, map strategies, drop zone advice, weapons details, resources and crafting information.
Battle Royale is the new spin-off game based on Epic's co-op sandbox game Fortnite. It's already storming up the Twitch charts, having already surpassed its clear inspiration Player Unknown's Battlegrounds (PUBG), and has proved itself to be a pretty big deal in pretty short order.
If you're familiar with PUBG, then you should find transitioning to Battle Royale a pretty simple affair, although there are a few important distinctions that even the most battle-hardened survivalist will need to brush up on: resources can be gathered to build defensive structures, for example, and traps can be laid to give the unwary a very nasty shock.
Whether you're a beginner or a veteran of this kind of game, we've put together a comprehensive and essential guide to Fortnite Battle Royale that contains everything you could possibly need to know about getting started, and it's packed with tips and strategy advice. We expect to add to this article regularly over time, breaking off into greater detail on individual subjects.
If there's anything in particular you'd like to see us cover in this guide, please let us know in the comments and we'll do our best to oblige as quickly as we can!
UPDATE #1 - As many people trying out Fortnite Battle Royale will have had their interest piqued from playing Player Unknown Battlegrounds, we've added a section to our guide which outlines the fundamental differences between the two games. If there's anything else you'd like to see us add to our guide, just let us know in the comments!
Use the following links to quickly navigate to the section of the guide you're most interested in right now!
Before we go onto the main thrust of our guide, we thought it would be useful to give a quick overview of what the game actually is, and what its win-conditions are. If you're just after our beginner's guide then skip to the next section, but if you want to know what all the fuss is about, here's the lowdown:
- Battle Royale is a new game mode built on the foundations of Fortnite, a co-op survival sandbox game from Epic.
- It is being provided as a standalone, free to play game. Anyone who purchased the game in its original form will be refunded.
- It throws 100 players into a single map, and the challenge is to survive long enough to emerge as the last-man-standing.
- You can play solo or in a squad with a group of friends.
- Players begin with nothing, but can loot resources, weapons and ammos in the game world. These can also be taken from dead characters as well.
- There is a crafting component, which allows players to use their gathered resources in order to build defensive structures, or stairs to traverse steep surfaces. Certain materials provide better protection than others.
- To stop players hiding away from combat, a mechanic called The Storm Eye shrinks the circular playable area over time. Players who do not move into the new playable zone will take damage and quickly die.
That's the basics, now onto the guide itself!
Take a look at this awesome video from rhinocrunch, which goes into detail about some general tactics that you should look to employ when playing Fortnite Battle Royale. If you find it useful, be sure to give the video a thumbs-up and consider subscribing to the creator's channel.
Here's a quick snapshot of the key points:
In the opening stages of a match, go for as much loot as you can physically get your hands on. You want weapon options and building resources - lots of building resources.
Most importantly of all in terms of weapons, get a shotgun and a sniper rifle. Specifically you want to have a bolt-action sniper rifle by the end of the game, as this will put you in great shape for the final showdown(s).
Here are the items you should try to get your hands on in order of priority.
Everything else is luxury and will help you win the game, but these are the core fundamentals of a winning strategy. A note here on RPGs, which can be very useful for taking out late-game bases - again though, these are lower down the shopping list.
Movement and environment
If you're a PUBG player, then you need to start retraining your brain to think about movement. Don't forget that you can build stairs and get up sloped areas quickly that way. It's a new meta to learn, and you need to start doing so immediately.
Don't forget that you can place walls anywhere, which is very useful if you're taking heavy fire and want to gain the upper hand. Always be thinking about your vulnerabilities - and your escape points - and how you can swing the tide of battle in your favour.
You are at a huge disadvantage whenever you push into a building. The person inside is going to know where you're coming from, and while they can hear you coming, you can't see their exact location. Wait for them to come out of the building and catch them by surprise instead, rather than stalking them inside
Alternatively, wait for the Storm Eye to flush them out, and take them out as from extreme range (you got that sniper rifle by now, right?) as they attempt to flee!
There are two winning map strategies that rhinocrunch recommends players pursue.
The first is a big kill strategy. Play the edge of the map, waiting for players, rotating with the circle and pick off players as they race towards the next playable area. It takes a lot of skill and a little bit of luck to pull this off, but it's definitely viable.
A more reliable strategy has you rushing the centre of each new circle immediately, and just trying to stay ahead of every other player. Once you're in position, you can start taking advantage of your early knowledge of terrain, and plan out your vantage points.
This strategy ensures you avoid entering the new circle from a bad angle where you can get picked off pretty cleanly. If you just rush the centre, you get to see the whole playing field: what's a good spot, what's a bad spot? You'll have time to set up a base before the enemy arrives as well.
In terms of positioning, high ground is always your friend. It provides you with a superior vantage point that's hard for your enemy to retaliate against, and it also allows you to flee the fight if you're not confident it's going to go your way.
Again, always remember that you can craft your way up sharp slopes extremely quickly if you need to get away, or want to establish a fantastic camping position.
While traversing the map, listen carefully your surroundings. There are loads of visual and audio cues to help you know where someone is. If you think someone is around you, then crouch because it'll muffle your footsteps. You can then use the positioning of the enemy's sound to pinpoint their location and prepare your devastating ambush.
Try to keep enough resources about you to be able to build an emergency wall. Don't get caught out in the open without enough resources in your backpack to build some emergency shelter if it's needed. In an ideal world, you should aim to have around 300 of each resource on you at any given time.
Save your stone and metal resources for the later stages of the game as they provide the greatest level of protection.
Differences between Battle Royale and Player Unknown's Battlegrounds
There are a few important differences between Fortnite Battle Royale and PUBG. If you're coming to the former from the latter, it's worth brushing up on them! You don't want to get shot in the back of the head while trying to climb inside a vehicle that's going nowhere, after all...
1. Movement in general makes much more noise in Fortnite Battle Royale, so use this to your advantage when trying to detect other players - and keep it down a bit yourself, eh? If you suspect a player is out in open ground and you have any way of hiding, get into position and keep your ears open for their probably location.
2. Although you can crouch in Fortnite Battle Royale, you cannot lie down and sneak your way to safety. That doesn't mean you should run around like a lunatic - crouching definitely does help reduce your profile and improve your aim - but be aware that it's a lot harder to sneak through terrain without being spotted.
3. Unlike in PUBG, any bullets you fire leave a trace element which lets your enemy spot their direction of origin much more easily. This of course also helps you pinpoint where a would-be assailant is attacking you from, which can help you seek refuge in a better direction of travel!
4. We've alluded to this in our introduction to this section, but we'll remind you again that you cannot - currently at least - make use of vehicles in Fortnite Battle Royale. Or at least, you can't drive them and flee to safety - you can certainly make use of them as environmental cover, and you're encouraged to do so in a firefight.
5. Although no-one in their right mind wants to spend any more time than is necessary in the restrictive storm, you have a much more generous window of opportunity to get out of it. As we've already mentioned elsewhere in this guide, many players actually use the storm perimeter as a strategy, following it inwards as it collapses and picking off targets from the edge.
6. While you can certainly find better versions of weapons that you currently have equipped, there are no actual attachment upgrades to be found. This makes it a little easier to quickly spot a pure upgrade (see the section on weapon rarity for more detail), although limits customisation at the same time.
Choosing your starting location
When it comes to choosing your starting location, there are a few things that you really need to consider, and they're touched on really neatly in the opening section of this video.
In very simple terms, if you land in a heavily populated area of a city, then you might have more opportunities to grab loot and weapons, but you also have a much higher chance of dying if one of your opponents gets a better weapon first.
Instead, you might consider dropping into a much quieter part of the map. This is still dangerous - and you'll have further to travel on foot with less looting opportunities along the way - but you do get more of an opportunity to set up your strategy in relative peace.
Regardless of the patch you choose, keep one ear out for the twinkling noises that are made by special Loot Chests. If you hear one, head to it as you'll likely get some high quality gear from it.
Note that the rarity of the items contained in these chests (see below) is not affected by location. You're just as likely to get a top-tier weapon from one of these chests out in the sticks as you are from a more densely populated area.
The video we've linked above also goes into solid detail about the weapon rarities that you'll discover in the game.
Check out our guide to gearing up quickly in Fortnite Battle Royale if you're after an amazing starting spot.
The video we've linked a little further up the page also goes into solid detail about the weapon rarities that you'll discover in the game.
There are five different rarities in total:
- Gray - Common
- Green - Uncommon
- Blue - Rare
- Purple - Epic
- Orange - Legendary
As any player familiar with this kind of tier system will know, the better the rarity the harder it is to come by. Legendaries are accordingly extremely rare, but are also exceptionally powerful as a result.
A few other notes on what you should look to loot and definitely keep hold of:
1. Anything with a scope is incredible in the game, as it allows you to damage from distance - an advantage in every single game of this kind. Most engagements take place at medium to far range, so a scope is just awesome.
2. Keep getting ammo wherever you can. Seriously, you do not want to run out of sniper bullets just as you've got the perfect kill in your sights.
3. If a higher rarity of your current weapon shows up, swap it out. This is a no-brainer and provides an instant upgrade on whatever you happen to be packing at the time.
Tips for managing The Storm Eye
To stop everyone simply holing up and avoiding combat until everyone dies of boredom, Fortnite Battle Royale makes use of something called The Storm Eye. This playable circle decreases all the time, and if you're not fighting inside of it you're going to take lethal damage extremely quickly.
Many players like to hover around the edge of the circle, moving with the perimeter as it shrinks, but this is not going to lead you into a winning position by the time the end-game rolls around. At this stage, you really need to build as solid a base as you can manage, using the strongest materials that you've managed to scavenge along the way.
If you use weaker materials, you simply run the risk of having your current opponent blow it to smithereens using explosives, and leav you desperately under-defended in the process. This problem is only confounded of course if they've made their base out of sturdier stuff themselves.
Back to The Storm Eye for a moment though. You must maintain continual awareness of where you are relative to this circle, and be ready to move at a moment's notice. You do not want to end up in a firefight while the walls are closing in around you, and it's going to take practise to make this situational awareness second nature.
How to recover health
It's possible to recover health - or prevent taking damage in the first place - by making use of three different mechanics in the game:
- Bandage: These drop in stacks of five and restore 15 points of health each. Try to have a few of these on you at all times, but bear in mind that these cannot overheal you beyond your maximum health. Be careful not to waste these precious resources, but at the same time don't play too loose with your precious health if a fight is imminent!
- Medkit: These suckers heal you up for 100 health. Note that you can only have three of these on you at any given time.
- Shield Potions: These are arguably the most important pick-ups in the game. These add a 50-point shield to your health bar. There's no damage-mitigation effect here, just an extra buffer to your standard health.
There are two ways of gathering resources in Battle Royale. You'll either find them lying around on the ground, or they'll be hidden away in chests which you need to open up. Alternatively you can smash the resources by hitting trees and rocks with your pickaxe.
Unfortunately - or fortunately, for your enemies - gathering items in this way will make a certain amount of noise, leaving your vulnerable to a quick clean kill while you were aimlessly gathering scraps. Scope the area, listen carefully for the sounds of combat in the nearby vicinity, and wait until you're confident you're alone before digging up these items.
Although it's tempting to skip out on gathering this stuff for fear of exposing yourself, you absolutely need to build yourself a defensive structure or two in the late stages of the game when the stakes are really high. Just stay alert at all times, and make sure you're filling up on resources at every opportunity.
The crafting section of our guide is currently a work in progress and will be updated very shortly. Check back very soon for updates!
We found the following video incredibly helpful when starting out with the game. If you find it as useful as we did, make sure you give the video a thumbs up, and consider subscribing to the channel as well for more Fortnite Battle Royale updates.
We've also added some tried and tested community tips to this section of our guide as well. We'll continue adding to this section over time, so keep us bookmarked and check back for regular updates.
1. Be very wary of open doors
Open doors are usually a very bad omen, and there are two scenarios to be wary of in particular here. Either someone is inside and is busy looting the place, which means you need to be ready to take down a target, or it's already been looted clean and going inside is a waste of time.
Assume danger lies inside if you must go in. Even better, close the door behind you, as this means you'll be able to hear if anyone is trying to sneak up on you undetected! When you're both inside, you have the advantage as you can find a good spot to attack them from.
While you are exploring buildings and digging out loot, always - and we mean always - move cautiously and take the chance to peek around corners before entering a new room. The best way to learn this is to experience a few reckless deaths - eventually you'll learn to take things more carefully!
2. Crouch whenever possible
Always crouch unless you absolutely have to run. You have less recoil on your weapons and you make less noise while you're in this stance. You are a little bit smaller when crouching too, so it increaes your chance of winning the gunfight in question. Move around in a crouch when you can.
3. Upgrading weapons into higher rarity versions
When presented with multiple weapon options, take the highest rarity. The highest rarity version of that weapon does more damage and has less recoil.
4. Traps can provide very easy kills
Use traps in high traffic areas. Entrnces to a house, back entrances, or anywhere players are likely to rush in to take something from a particular area are great targets. Even if it doesn't kill them they will take plenty of damage which makes it easier to finish them off.
5. Choose your fights extremely carefully
Never engage in a gunfight unless you absolutely have to or are confident you'll kill them fast. Don't shoot from a distance unless you're sure you can kill them quickly, as if you miss or lack the firepower to eliminate them quickly, you'll simply alert them to your presence - not to mention anyone else who might be lurking around nearby.
6. Stick together when you're playing with your friends
If you're playing in a squad with friends, make sure you stick together at all times, and don't get drawn off into solo fights. If you get taken out by someone else, one of your allies can assist in getting you healed back up, but only if they're actually nearby. Getting buildings cleared asap is vital as well, and a team of friends can clean a house out of loot much more quickly than a single player can.
That's the end of the first edition of our Fortnite Battle Royale guide! If you have any tips of your own, do share them in the comments. We'll be back with a major update to this article once we've spent even more time with the game.