Our Fortnite Battle Royale guide contains beginner tips and tricks, map strategies, drop zone advice, weapons details, resources and crafting information.
Battle Royale was released late last year as spin-off mode of Epic's otherwise PVE co-op sandbox Fortnite. Pretty much the moment it hit launch it stormed its way up the Twitch charts, and from time to time it's even been known to overtake its very obvious inspiration Player Unknown's Battlegrounds (PUBG) in terms of player popularity. In very simple terms it's proved itself to be a very big deal, in very short order.
Assuming you've played at least a few matches of PUBG, then you should find it a pretty simple affair to acclimatise to Battle Royale. With that said there are some critical differences between the two that even the most battle-weary survivalist would do well to be aware of.
Not only are some of the core mechanics very different, you also need to become a master craftsman who can knock up defensive forts in no time whatsoever - a particularly crucial element of gameplay when the bold one hundred have been whittled down to the remaining ten or so. There's also a handful of devious traps to make use of - and some of them are capable of giving the enemy a very nasty shock indeed.
Whether you're a PUBG pro or a complete newcomers to this sort of game, we wanted to compiled a comprehensive and crucial guide to playing Fortnite: Battle Royale. Since the start of 2018 we've produced a gargantuan number of guides to just about every aspect of the game, and they're all linked from here, and sit alongside a lot of tips, tactics and general strategy advice. We're not done yet either, and will continue growing this guide - and our other Battle Royale content - over time.
If we haven't covered anything that you're struggling with, please drop us a line in the comments or get in touch via our contact form. We want to make this article the definitive resource for all players of the guide, but we can only achieve that with your help and feedback.
UPDATE #6 - It's been a little while since we gave this core guide a complete overhaul, so we've taken the opportunity to tighten up a few sections, and also add in a few new links to other articles which have proved extremely useful for the community so far. Stay tuned for a new update in the coming days.
Use the following links to quickly navigate to the section of the guide you're most interested in right now!
Before we head into the real meat of our Battle Royale guide, it's probably worth providing an overview of how the game actually works, and what its win-conditions are. If this is all a bit old-hat to you - and you're just after our main guide, skip to the next section. If you want to know what all the fuss is about though, here's the lowdown:
- Battle Royale is a new game mode built on the core 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, pre-release form will be refunded.
- Although it's entirely free to play, you can also choose to purchase premium editions of the game which grant you exclusive cosmetic items, EXP boosters and the like.
- Battle Royale 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, duo or in a squad with up to 3 other friends.
- Players begin with nothing, and everyone starts off in a flying bus that travels across a map. You choose when to parachute out, and once you've landed your immediate objective is to start looting materials, weapons, ammunition and shields in the game world. (Eliminating enemy players and pinching their stuff having done so is another great way of gearing up!)
- 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 are stronger, however, and so provide better protection than others.
- To prevent players from simply hiding away somewhere nice and obscure and dodging combat altogether, 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. The idea is that, over time, the remaining playerbase gets pushed into an increasingly claustrophobic play space.
That's the very broad overview of how Fortnite: Battle Royale actually plays. Now onto the guide!
Before you doing pretty much anything else, 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 that are outlined:
- In the opening stages of a match, it's vital that you try to grab as much loot as you can physically get your hands on. You want weapon options and building resources at this stage, and lots of the latter.
- When it comes to weapons, the most important items to target for your collection are a Shotgn, and Assault Rifle and a Sniper Rifle. These three fundamentals are an excellent starting point for your arsenal. These will set you up nicely for the rest of the game and are the perfect tools to cause some pain at any engagement range (expect them all!)
There are different kinds of Sniper Rifle, however, and so try to keep in mind that you'll ideally want to prioritise getting a Bolt-Action version of the weapon. Although these weapons can be less forgiving if you're unsteady with your aim, if you manage to land a shot with one you'll be laughing all the way to the next storm circle. These things pack an incredible punch!
Here are the items you should try to get your hands on in order of priority.
- Assault Rifle
Everything else is luxury and will help you win the game, but these are the core fundamentals of a winning strategy. We'll make a final note here though about Rocket Launchers. These can be very useful for taking out late-game bases in particular, but in the earlier stages of a match these should sit somewhere further down the shopping list.
Movement and environment
If you're a PUBG player, then you're going to need to start retraining your brain when it comes to thinking about traversal. Don't forget, after all, that you can now build stairs and get up sloped areas quickly that way. It's a new meta to learn, and you need to start getting used to these mechanics mmediately.
Don't forget that you can place walls anywhere, something that can be 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 back in your favour when you find yourself under pressure.
Remember too that you are at a huge disadvantage whenever you push into a building. The person inside (if there is one) is going to know where you're coming from, and although they can hear you coming, you can't see their exact location. If you know someone's inside, wait for them to come out of the building instead and catch them by surprise, rather than stalking them through the interior.
Alternatively, use those building materials you've gathered and create a structure that wraps around the building they're in. At that point, you can stake them out from above and effectively turns the tables on them, without putting yourself in a particularly vulnerable position.
There are two winning map strategies that rhinocrunch recommends every player pursues in Fortnite: Battle Royale.
The first is built around the concept a big kill strategy. In this approach, you play the edge of the map, waiting for players, rotating with the circle and pick off enemies as they race towards the next playable area. It takes a lot of skill and a little bit of luck to pull this strategy off, but it's definitely viable.
A more reliable strategy has you rushing the centre of each new circle immediately, and from there just try 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 accordingly.
This strategy ensures you avoid entering the new circle from a bad angle, where you can get picked off pretty cleanly by a savvy opponent. Instead, and 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 you want to establish a fantastic camping position.
While traversing the map, listen carefully to your surroundings. There are loads of visual and audio cues to help you gain crucial intel about 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.
For more strategy tips, make sure you check out our Solo, Duo and Squad strategy guides as they'll give you a better idea of how to navigate the map and gain an advantage when playing in this separate game modes.
Try to keep enough resources about you at all times so that you can at least build an emergency wall. Don't get caught out in the open without enough resources in your backpack to build an 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.
We can't stress the importance of resource gathering enough! It's easy to focus all your attention on chasing kills and bagging the strongest weaponry in the game, but building materials are invaluable, and only become increasingly precious as each match wears on.
You don't want to be in a position where you can't build a structure under pressure. Whether you need to quickly create a set of ramps to flank an opponent, or panic-construct some walls to take cover behind, if you don't have the resources to do so, you're putting yourself at a major disadvantage.
As a general rule of thumb, wood is great for quick builds, but stone and metal are brilliant for building a sturdy late-game fort.
If you're aiming to build quickly and efficiently, our how to build quickly guide will definitely help you out.
It goes without saying that it's incredibly important that you can lay your hands on what you need without even thinking about it. Those who have to fumble around for weapon slots are unlikely to grab that elusive number one spot. That means mastering the controls so that muscle-memory alone gets you what you need, when you need it.
Exact control schemes differ between platforms, so have a look at our Fortnite: Battle Royale Controls page. You'll find every last detail for the PlayStation 4, Xbox One and PC platforms over at that page. We've also got a teardown of the best Battle Royale keybinds for those of you playing on PC.
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.
7. Perhaps the biggest difference between the two - you can build stuff. Duels between opponents often encompass more than shooting each other from behind cover and winners are determined by quick, smart building.
8. In PUBG you can go into iron sights with every weapon. Fortnite only allows you to aim from the hip with every weapon except snipers and scoped assault rifles.
9. The map in Fortnite is currently far more compact than those found in PUBG. There are many points of interest crammed into a smaller space, meaning matches are generally faster and more frenetic no matter where you land. Don't expect to run for long stretches without bumping into someone!
10. PUBG's inventory is fairly complex when you put it side by side with Fortnite's. In PUBG you've really got to manage your weaponry, attachments and many other goodies. You carry a tonne of equipment in your backpack and micro-manage what you're currently using throughout each match by occasionally dipping your hands in. Fortnite simplifies the looting experience so decisions boil down to what weapons and meds you want in certain slots.
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, seek them out 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 the best landing spots in Fortnite Battle Royale if you're after an amazing starting spot, and our how to land faster page will help you bag all the goods before everyone else can!
There are five different rarities in total:
- Grey - 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.
4. Don't always drop a weapon if you find another that's rarer. Sometimes it's worth keeping hold of a common assault rifle over a blue SMG. Take into account your own playstyle before making a decision.
If you're after a comprehensive breakdown of all the weapon rarities in the game, including stat comparisons and more, make sure you check out our weapons tier list article - it's got all the information you could possibly need.
Did you know there's a secret weapon in the game that was so powerful it had to be removed from the client? Check out our Zapatron page - it might be coming back to the game one day...
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 leave 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 heal you to maximum health - only to 75. 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.
- Mini Shield Potions: These are thin, blue tubes of juice that'll grant you 25 armour each. As they're smaller you can horde quite a number of them too, so make sure you keep a few in your inventory to top yourself up here and there.
- Large 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.
- Slurp Juice: These are epic rarity equivalents of 1 Mini Shield Potion + 1 Bandage, except they restore 25 armour and health over a period of 25 seconds. Great for chugging just before a fight!
- Chug-jug: These enormous kegs of juice take 15 seconds to down but restore both your health and shields to maximum.
For some tips on patching yourself up under pressure, check out our how to heal yourself page! Our item list also has a breakdown of all the consumables you can take advantage of to get an edge in battle.
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 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.
You're able to craft a number of structures with the materials you've built. The best players use building to get the drop on their opponents quickly, setup defenses in a pinch or create towers to survey the area.
It can be a difficult, finicky mechanic to learn at first but it's essential that you practice at every available opportunity. Once you've got the hang of it, you'll be climbing the ranks in no time.
How to build
Firstly, we highly recommend rebinding your building options. The ability to build ramps and platforms are all tied to the function keys which don't make building on the fly all that easy.
We'd recommend setting building options 2 and 3 to keys close to WASD so you can craft quicker and start ingraining these new methods into your muscle memory.
Need some help with building controls and rebinds? Reading our keybind and keyboard controls guide will do the trick.
- Q is automatically bound to building walls and you'll see a blue template where the wall (or any other structure you select) will be placed. Press the corresponding function or rebound keys for platforms, ramps and roofs - think of this as bringing up your building menu.
- Simply click to place a structure.
- Ramps, platforms and more can also be attached to other structures you've built. Again, you'll see the blue template before building so you can be confident in where you're placing new attachments.
- If you cannot place a structure, the template will turn red.
- All of these structures cost materials to build and you'll see these icons on the right of your screen. You cannot build without the necessary amount of materials.
- Click the right mouse button to swap between which building material you're using.
- Pressing G while facing an existing structure will enable you to edit it. You can add doorways and windows or even just delete things entirely.
For more in-depth advice on what you should be building, check out our base building design tips and ideas guide!
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. Upgrade 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 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 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.
7. If you can play using headphones, then do so.
If you've got a decent set of headphones lying around the place, plug 'em in and make good use out of them. Early awareness of enemy player activity can provide such a huge advantage that being able to gain that first advantage can often determine the outcome of a fight before a single shot's been fired. Even using cheap cans can give you an advantage, and certainly don't play with music blaring in the background!
8. Don't wait to use a Shield Potion
We've mentioned this elsewhere in our guide, but Shield Potions really are quite stupendously overpowered in this game. As soon as you get one, chug it as you'll receive a 50% buff for the remainder of the match. Just keep in mind that these will not protect you from any falling damage you take, so don't get too cocky. You can apply up to two of these potions - assuming you're lucky enough to bag a pair, that is.
9. A good defense is a good offense
Because this is a last-man standing affair, you don't necessarily have to worry about how many people you take down. The only target that matters is the last one standing between you and victory. Focus on your own survival first and foremost and let the rest of the pack fight amongst themselves. Why should you put yourself at risk when someone else can get the job done?
10. Surviving the end-game
So you've made it down to the final few and have built a structure in the final zone. Good for you. Just remember that all types of cover are destructible by one means or another, and in this final stage it is absolutely vital that you have a Plan B (hell, and a Plan C) at every moment. Always know where you're going to head to if it all goes south, and how you're going to use alternative environmental scenery to aid your survival and - eventually - your victory!
To wrap things up, here are a few of our other favourite video guides to playing Fortnite Battle Royale. Keep in mind that some of these videos might contain somewhat spicy language, so you might want to watch them on headphones if you're in a sensitive location for that sort of thing!
If you have any favourite videos of your own, let us know about them in the comments so we can take a look at them for ourselves!
That's the end of the sixth 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.