Fortnite, Epic Games’ free-to-play battle royale titan, hides a deceptively high skill ceiling beyond its veneer of seeming simplicity. Not only does this beast of a battle royale host a great many weapons, items, and locations with which you must familiarise yourself, but also a whole heap of interlocking mechanics such as health and shields, building and editing, escaping the Storm, piloting vehicles, and much more.
So we’ve put together the below Fortnite guides series, packed with all the most up-to-date information on how to get set up, how to build properly, weapon stats, best locations to drop, in-depth explanations of items and weekly challenges… All with the ultimate goal of equipping you with the knowledge to improve your game ten times over.
Fortnite Season 7 guide
We’ve been hard at work expanding this series of guides with tips and tricks, explanations and strategies, beginner’s guides and advanced tricks employed by popular streamers and pro players. Below you can peruse all our other pages and learn how to get the upper hand in any situation, from Battle Bus to Victory Royale. Further below, we’ve explained some of the core concepts of Fortnite that you ought to understand when you first start playing, as well as some useful pointers which might surprise even the more seasoned of Fortnite veterans. All these pages are up to date as of v7.10, so look no further than here for the most hot-off-the-press news and discoveries!
Fortnite guides list
- [cms-block] – top tips on how to complete all of Season 7’s weekly and Battle Pass challenges
- [cms-block] – weapon stats, best weapons for Season 7, including new Suppressed Sniper Rifle, Heavy Assault Rifle, Dynamite, and more
- [cms-block] – winning build battles, advanced editing, 1x1s, 90s, and more
- [cms-block] – Storm Circle stages, stats and strategies for Season 7
- [cms-block] – how to land quickly
- [cms-block] – how to heal yourself, healing item tips
- [cms-block] – Season 7 vehicle locations, X-4 Stormwing locations, best vehicles, stats and strategies
- [cms-block] – where to land in Season 7 Fortnite map, best loot, chest map
- [cms-block] – best loadouts, weapon combinations, item synergies
- [cms-block] – useful keybinds, pro and streamer settings, control options
Main guide contents
- How to play: a general overview of Fortnite Battle Royale
- Things to consider when starting a match
- Weapon types and rarities
- Materials and building
- The Fortnite Battle Royale Season 7 map
- The Storm
- Health and Shields
- Managing your inventory
- Fortnite tips and tricks to improve your game
If you’ve somehow not yet touched Fortnite’s Battle Royale mode, here’s what you need to know. Fortnite Battle Royale is a free-to-play PvP third-person shooter game mode which began as a spin-off of Fortnite: Save the World, which was a purely PvE experience. You can play Fortnite Battle Royale alone, or team up with up to three friends and battle it out together against other teams. You won’t find Fortnite on Steam, so you’ll need to head over to the Epic Games site and download the Epic Games Launcher, after which you can install and play Fortnite at your leisure.
The essentials of the game are as follows: in each match of Fortnite Battle Royale up to 100 players drop down onto the same massive island, and, starting with no equipment of any kind, must scavenge guns, gear, and resources in order to survive in a brutal free-for-all where only one player out of the hundred can be crowned the winner. It’s a survival of the fittest, like all other Battle Royales; but Fortnite differs from any of its rivals by giving players the ability to build structures out of the resources they harvest, to provide cover against enemy fire, or to help reach less accessible places.
That’s just the tip of the iceberg – building is actually every bit as integral to a successful game of Fortnite as learning how to use its arsenal of weapons. The worst thing you can do when you’re under fire is just stay still and try to shoot back. So, are you ready for rule number one of Fortnite? Here it is: the moment you are shot at, start building. Build four walls around you, put a ramp beneath your feet, and then look for your assailant.
There! That was your first Fortnite lesson, and you’re already off to a roaring start. There are plenty more mechanics that make up a game of Fortnite, of course, such as the Storm, which begins to close around the island shortly after each match begins. You must try to stay in the Eye of the Storm as it shrinks, because the Storm will damage anyone caught inside. As with other Battle Royale games such as Playerunknown’s Battlegrounds, this results in players slowly being pushed closer together and forced to fight one another for survival.
Here are RPS’s top points to consider when starting a new match in Fortnite. These tips should give you a bit of an edge against other players who come up against you in the first minutes of Fortnite match.
- Before the match begins, you’ll be placed on the Spawn Island, where you can freely practice moving, building, and shooting with the weapons on the ground without fear of dying. You can also use this moment to bring up your map and view the flight path of the Battle Bus, because this an effect on where might be a good place to land.
- When deciding where to land, you should be aware of the risk-reward nature of the various locations across the map. Large towns like Tilted Towers, Pleasant Park, Retail Row, and Paradise Palms all contain lots of loot, but they’re also very popular and often you’ll have to contend with a dozen or more players for said loot. You should also bear in mind that the closer a location to the Battle Bus’s flight path, the more popular it is likely to be.
- As soon as you leave the Battle Bus, you’ll start to freefall. You can direct yourself while in the air, and maneuver yourself as you see fit. Once you hit a certain distance above the ground, your parachute will deploy – though you can deploy your parachute at any time before this point too. While parachuting, you can also use “WASD” to move around and pinpoint your landing.
- Once you’ve deployed your parachute and you’re waiting to land, have a quick look around to see if anyone else is landing near you. This will give you a decent idea of how quickly you’ll need to find a weapon and other equipment, and be ready for a fight.
- The first thing to do once you land is to loot up, because you’ll need at least a single weapon – and preferably several – to defend yourself from nearby enemies. Try to land on the roof of a house or a building and dig through the building from top-to-bottom.
- In particular, keep an eye and ear out for chests to open, because these will always contain a weapon. When you’re near a chest, you will get an audio cue, like some sort of wonderful angelic humming, which will tell you where exactly the chest is hidden. There are hundreds of chest locations scattered across the map which you can learn with time and experience, though be aware that chests will not always spawn in every one of these locations.
- Nearly as important as weapons are shield potions, which you can find on the ground or in chests, like weapons. You start the game with 100 health, but you also have a shield bar above your health bar, which can be filled up using shield potions. More on Shields and potions below.
- Once you’ve got weapons, ammo, shields, and other items, you should concentrate on chopping down trees, walls, fences, and other objects in order to gain some materials so you can throw up some walls if someone starts shooting at you. Remember, building in Fortnite is absolutely essential for success, so teach yourself to build the moment you come under fire.
The myriad weapons of Fortnite’s Battle Royale mode can be organised into six or seven categories, as follows: Assault Rifles, Shotguns, SMGs (& LMGs), Sniper Rifles, Pistols, and Explosives. Within each of these categories you’ll find several different weapon types, and each of those will have different available rarities, all colour-coded and named:
- Common (Grey)
- Uncommon (Green)
- Rare (Blue)
- Epic (Purple)
- Legendary (Gold)
These rarities are important to understand properly when it comes to choosing which weapons to keep and which to discard over the course of a match. Simply put, a high rarity weapon will always be objectively better than the same weapon in a lower rarity. So you should always, for example, choose a Gold Assault Rifle over a Grey Assault Rifle. But equally important is this: if you’re looking at two completely different weapons, don’t just go for the higher rarity weapon. A Green Pump Shotgun is much more essential than a Gold Minigun.
It’s also worth taking into account the type of ammunition which a gun takes. There are five types of ammo in the game: Light Bullets, Medium Bullets, Heavy Bullets, Shells ‘n’ Slugs, and Rockets. Broadly speaking, they are reserved for SMGs, Assault Rifles, Sniper Rifles, Shotguns, and Explosives, respectively – but there are a number of exceptions to this, and so you should take care to check if you have enough ammo to justify taking one weapon over another.
For an in-depth and up-to-date explanation of every single weapon in Fortnite Battle Royale, head over to our [cms-block] guide, complete with weapon stats, pros, cons, and opinions on when and how to use each weapon.
Collecting materials and building your way into and out of trouble is an absolutely imperative tool in Fortnite. If you head into a game of Fortnite with the mindset of a PUBG player, you’re not going to get very far. The player with the ability to conjure cover out of thin air in front of them is going to beat the player who just focuses on shooting.
There are three different types of materials you can collect by breaking walls, trees, and other objects throughout Fortnite: wood, stone, and metal. In a standard game you can carry up to 999 of each type, and the amount you carry will always be displayed above your weapon hotbar on the right-hand side of the screen. With each of these materials you can build four different base structures: walls, floors, ramps, and roofs.
The moment you place a structure, it spawns with only a specific portion of its maximum health, and over the next few seconds it steadily increases to 100% health. So the longer a structure has been around, the stronger it will be. Wood is the flimsiest material for building, but it is the most easily accessible as you can get lots of wood be chopping down trees. Stone is stronger but more difficult to obtain, and metal is the strongest but takes the longest time to find and harvest.
You can also hit your Edit key while facing one of your structures, and the Edit overlay will appear, allowing you to alter these four base structures in many different ways. You can use this to great effect in a multitude of situations, but the most important and frequent use is to box yourself in when you’re in danger, then edit your way back out quickly. Learning to edit properly will up your game as much as learning to build while under fire does.
The best advice I can give you is to take full advantage of Fortnite’s Creative Mode. You can hop into your own personal spawn island, give yourself unlimited materials, and just practice building. Practice walling up around yourself, editing your way out, exploring all the different possible editing combinations, testing the differences in material strengths, and so on. With great practice comes great build-ability.
There’s just the one Fortnite map, and it’s the same map it has always been. Except that’s not true at all, really. As the seasons have passed and time has gone on, Epic Games has made some pretty monumental changes to their one massive island, most recently with the advent of Season 7, where an entire third of the map was covered in ice and several new named locations were added, such as Frosty Flights, Polar Peak, and Happy Hamlet. The Fortnite map is constantly changing, and even if it were not, it’s still large and detailed enough that even after many hundreds of hours’ play, you’ll still occasionally find something that surprises you.
Click on the Fortnite map below to see a full-resolution image of the map as it currently stands; and, as a special treat, here’s a link to one of the most useful sites I’ve found for learning the spawn locations of chests across the map.
The Storm is one of the imperative features of Battle Royales, because it is an elegant way of preventing players from camping, forcing them closer together and ending the game within a certain amount of time. Shortly after the Battle Bus has finished its flight path across the map, you’ll start to receive periodic notifications on the Storm’s slow . You can keep track of where the Storm Circle is in relation to you using the minimap or the full map. If at any time you’re outside of the next Storm Circle, a white line will appear on the minimap, stretching away from where you are and leading you towards the Storm Circle, so that you can always keep track of it. You’ll have to be extra careful of this later on in the game, because the amount of Health which the Storm strips from you every second is increased in later circles, so even a full-health player may only last a few seconds outside of the Circle.
Different game types and limited time modes (LTMs) have been known to alter how exactly the Storm works over the course of a match, and Epic Games has been known to alter the Storm’s inner workings in various updates. But for the most up-to-date information of all the Storm’s different stages and stats throughout the course of a match, take a look at our focused guide page on the [cms-block], complete with stats and explanations of each phase the Storm and Safe Zone go through during a match.
Health and Shields essentially do the same thing – determine the amount of damage you can take before you die – but they interact with other Fortnite systems in differing ways that it is important to keep in mind. For example, all weapon damage will deplete Shields first, and then Health; but the Storm, fall damage, and certain other causes of damage will only affect Health, even if you have Shields active. And if your Health is brought down to zero, it doesn’t matter how full your Shield bar is: you’ll die.
Fortunately there are a variety of useful consumable items that you can find in chests, on the ground, and in special loot caches such as Llamas or Supply Drops, which allow you to replenish your Health bar or Shield bar (or both at once). So it’s always a good idea to try to have at least one slot on your hotbar dedicated to carrying a healing item of some sort. As for what each of them do, and which it is better to take under different circumstances, take a look at our [cms-block] guide for the latest info and accepted tactics.
While Fortnite generally does a pretty great job of displaying all the really important information on the screen at all times, you will also need to learn how to properly use and manage your inventory. And you’ll need to do it quickly, too, because when your character stands still while you’re in your inventory, making you easy pickings for enemy snipers.
The most common reason to go into your inventory is to swap around items in your hotbar, which you can do by dragging and dropping the items where you want them to go. If you want to discard a weapon or item and free up a slot in your hotbar for something else, you can either select the item in question and hit “X” to drop the item, or a quicker solution is to drag the item to the left, outside of the inventory, which will drop the item at your feet.
You can also click on any of the items in your hotbar to bring up some information on the item. If it’s a weapon, this includes stats such as damage, clip size, and rate of fire, which it is useful to know – however bear in mind that certain other stats, particularly those relating to a weapon’s accuracy, are not shown here, so your best bet is to take a look at our [cms-block] guide, which is packed with stats and useful information on every single weapon in Fortnite.
Your inventory is also useful for keeping track of your “trap” items (these include not just Damage Traps, but other placeable items such as Campfires and Turrets), and also for seeing how much of each ammo type and material type you have. With these later items, a useful trick for when you’re playing in duos or squads is that you can double-click on a material or ammo type in order to drop them in increments for the other player, or select the material/ammo in question and hit “Z” to drop half your current amount.
This is particularly useful in duos, because if you want to make sure you both have equal numbers of mats, all you have to do is stand slightly apart from each other, drop half of each of your three materials, and then go round and pick up the other player’s dropped stacks. Et voila!
Finally, here are some general tips and tricks which we’ve found to be particularly effective at helping you to reach your potential and up your kill and win rates. Some may be obvious, but they’re still worth mentioning just in case; and others will be more advanced tactics and strategies to employ once you’ve got some practice in and are looking to take your game to the next level.
- Learn to build and edit! I cannot stress this enough. There are two widely accepted indicators that a player is new to Fortnite: they’re using the default skin; and they don’t build while fighting. It takes some time to get used to building and editing under pressure, but it’s necessary if you want to play well. Even if you have the most fantastic aim in the world, you’ll still always come off worse against the player with decent aim and a solid grasp of building, so spend time in Playground Mode learning to quickly throw up walls, ramps, roofs and floors, and edit your way out of them.
- Always be on the move. Fortnite is a game that rewards movement and punishes predictability. You don’t have to be as stealthy as in games such as PUBG, because in Fortnite you have the ability to build around you the moment you come into danger. When you’re running to a nearby house or sprinting towards the next Storm Circle, make sure you’re unpredictable in your movements. Jump every couple of seconds, and add some wiggle to your path. If you’re just running in a straight line, you’re an easy target for enemy snipers.
- The high ground is your frienemy. Fortnite is famous for its so-called “build-battles”, where players will build higher and higher in an elaborate dance, each attempting to occupy the high ground where they have the advantage. And it’s true that the high ground is almost always safer than the low ground in 1v1 situations. But Fortnite is not a 1v1 game, it is a free-for-all with a hundred players all around you, and it’s the easiest thing in the world for a third party to happen across your build while you’re fighting another player and shoot the whole thing down. So always be aware of this possibility, and don’t build up so high that you’ll die to a third party.
- Play Fortnite with headphones if you can. Fortnite’s audio plays an enormous part in spatial navigation and the locating of enemies. It’s very easy to lose track of your enemy during a build-battle unless you keep an ear out for their footsteps, or the sound of them reloading or drinking a shield potion. Headphones help you to pinpoint the location of the enemy, and good headphones will help even more. But bear in mind that even with decent headphones, it can be tricky to determine whether an enemy is above you or below you.
- Be very wary of Damage Traps. Damage Traps deal a whopping 150 damage to any enemy of the player who places it, and can be placed on a wall, floor, or ceiling. They also persist forever until destroyed, so even if you’re sure that enormous build is long since abandoned, you still should exercise caution. Be aware also that many players are very adept at trapping you in a box during a build-battle and placing Damage Traps around you. You can avoid a Damage Trap by hugging the opposite wall, but it’s best not to get yourself into this situation in the first place.
- Roofs are extremely powerful and underutilized structures. It’s a shame that most people learn how to use walls, floors, and ramps, and then completely neglect the roofs, which serve to phenomenally augment your building toolkit in many situations. But then that’s not such a shame really, because it means you’ll have an advantage over the rest when you learn to use them! Roofs serve as an extra layer of protection against a player with the high ground; they can be held in edit mode to peak through without exposing yourself; they can be placed on the floor in buildings and used to get good shots through windows; and if you work them into your build-battle odds are it will throw off your opponent just that little bit more.
- Crouch in moderation. Crouching is useful during fights as it reduces the bloom and tightens the spread of your gunfire, which is crucial for landing those mid- to long-range headshots. But your mobility is impaired while you crouch, so you must pick your moments, and I’d advise you steer clear of crouching altogether if you find yourself in a sniper duel, as you can aim just fine while standing and you’ll need all the mobility you can get to avoid being headshot into extinction.
- Learn one place, and learn it well. The key to improving at Fortnite, at least at first, is consistency. And the way to improve your consistency is to do the same things over and over until you are utterly comfortable with the routine. Most players will land at the same one or two locations 70-80% of the time, and they’ll know those places inside out – not just where the chests and vending machines are, but how much competition to expect, the path to run while gathering resources, which location to rotate to next, and so on. So stick to one place for a couple of weeks, and just continue to drop there, even if you find yourself dying constantly there. With each failed run, your game will imperceptibly improve.
- Confront your weaknesses. The key to improving your game is to analyse where your shortcomings lie. Are you unable to land those long-range snipes? Do you die every time to grenade spammers? Do you hate using the Tactical Shotgun, or the Thermal Scoped Assault Rifle, or the Hand Cannon? Whatever your shortcoming is, over the next dozen or more games make it your goal to put yourself back in those same situations, and learn to overcome your weakness. It seems obvious, but putting it into practice is the key thing here, and it’s what every top player has done many times to get to the next level of skill and consistency.
- Share ammo and materials with your teammates. Nobody likes a metal hogger. Share your resources with your teammates, and communicate when you need something else that they have. It’s so simple, but often neglected and leads to the death of your squad, all because of a simple lack of communication. Try to make a point of asking every so often how many materials your teammates have, and whether they or you have any deficits.
- Some fights are worth avoiding. I get that diving into each and every fight you see is a great way to learn, but once you get past that stage and want to improve your win rate, you’ll find that not every fight will leave you in the best position. The truth is that Fortnite is a game that rewards the third party, because if you can take advantage of two players fighting, sneak up, and kill them both without taking damage, you’ll be left in a much better position than if you’d been the one to initiate. So take your time, assess whether your position is one of strength or weakness, and always be on the lookout for third party opportunities.
- Watch streamers, spectate games, analyse replays. If you find yourself completely outmatched in a game and die to a player who looks like they know what they’re doing, then consider watching them play for a while, and assessing how they make decisions, and what they do differently. Same with watching streamers – many of the top Fortnite streamers play for hours on end every day, and they’re exceptionally skilled at the game. Keep an eye out in particular for streamers and players who commentate on and analyse their own games for the benefit of the viewers (shoutout in particular to SypherPK, a pro player and streamer whose live educational commentaries series is one of the best resources out there for players looking to improve every aspect of their game).
That’s just about everything we have for now on Fortnite, and hopefully the tips and tactics outlined above will help you on your way to Victory Royale greatness. As we mentioned, Fortnite is a constantly evolving game, and we’ll be working hard to make sure all the information here is as up to date as possible, so go ahead and bookmark this page so you can always refer back to the latest news and guides on Fortnite Battle Royale.