Explosives are on top of the world right now in Fortnite, with Rocket Launchers, Grenade Launchers, and Dynamite causing the deaths of uncountable thousands every day. And while the Bottle Rockets of V7.30 are a little hit-or-miss (literally), the V7.40 Patch Notes vaulted Grenades and brought back the venerable and beloved Clingers from the dusty shelves of the Fortnite Vault.
Our Fortnite Explosives guide is here to walk you through the different types of explosives you may encounter in a Fortnite match, along with useful and advanced tips and strategies both for using these weapons to secure kills, and to avoid dying to them yourself.
This page is just one small portion of our massive Fortnite guide series, which is packed with tonnes of useful information on everything from Fortnite weapons stats to Fortnite week 4 challenges walkthroughs; from Fortnite Season 8 details to the very best Fortnite locations. So take a look if you haven’t already!
Fortnite Explosives Guide Contents
|Fortnite Explosives Tips - Explosives Overview|
|Fortnite Explosives Tips and Tricks|
Fortnite’s roster of explosives can be sorted into two categories: Launchers (Rocket Launcher and Grenade Launcher) and Throwables (Clingers, Dynamite, Stink Bombs, and Bottle Rockets). Explosives deal large area-of-effect damage, which means they can be very difficult to avoid, particularly if the user is keeping up the pressure with multiple explosives in a short space of time. Most explosives deal lots of damage to anyone caught in the blast, and if you’re at medium range it requires little skill to use many explosives effectively, as long as you’re careful not to put yourself in harm’s way.
Explosive weapons are the only weapons in Fortnite capable of dealing direct damage to yourself if you’re caught in the explosion radius, so to avoid damage you need to learn when to use these weapons without hurting yourself. As a general rule of thumb, you should never use explosives when in close proimity to your target – although as we shall see there are some exceptions to this rule.
The good thing, though, is that your explosives will deal no damage to your teammates even if they are caught in the centre of the blast, due to Fortnite’s stringent “no friendly-fire” policy. This means if you’re in a duo, you can safely bombard the enemy with explosives while your teammate closes in and finishes them off.
With the recent vaulting of the Quad Launcher in the v7.20 Patch Notes, the Rocket Launcher and Grenade Launcher are left to fight it out against each other for the title of greatest Fortnite Launcher. Both weapons work in very different ways, so let’s go through both one at a time. For a full rundown of all the weapons’ stats, take a look at our Fortnite weapons guide.
The Rocket Launcher used to be on top of the Fortnite world until the v7.40 Patch Notes. This is now the only weapon in Fortnite that is available exclusively in Vending Machines and Supply Drops, so you’ll be lucky to come across one of these beastly Explosive weapons in a match.
The Rocket Launcher fires one rocket in a straight line across any distance. There’s no “bullet” drop, no arc to the rocket – it simply travels slowly along a line exactly where you aimed it, until it hits something and explodes, dealing massive area of effect damage to players and structures.
The downsides to the Rocket Launcher are its cumbersome nature – you need to spend plenty of time reloading between each shot – and its predictability. An enemy who sees the rocket coming ahead of time can easily wall up against it and take no damage. However, this predictability works both ways, allowing you to employ some unique and extremely powerful strategies, such as firing a rocket at an enemy’s wall, then swapping to a Hand Cannon or Heavy Sniper and taking out the wall just before the rocket impacts.
Grenade Launchers work very differently to Rocket Launchers. Available in Rare, Epic, and Legendary varieties, they sacrifice a bit of player damage (though not structure damage) in order to fire six times in quick succession before reloading. What’s more, each grenade travels in an arc, and does not explode on impact, instead acting like a grenade on a timer.
For this reason, Grenade Launchers have a shorter effective range than the straight-as-an-arrow Rocket Launcher, but their ability to spam grenades in a large area makes them much more difficult to defend against in most cases. The bouncing nature of the grenades also makes them much less predictable than the Rocket Launcher’s payload, which – again – is a double-edged sword. It makes the Grenade Launcher a little trickier to use, but it also makes it much harder to defend against because you never know exactly where the grenades are going to land before exploding.
If the Rocket Launcher weren’t so exploitable by combining it with the Hand Cannon or Heavy Sniper, then the Grenade Launcher would likely come out on top, simply because it is so much harder to defend against. Of course, you’ll have to be more careful about conserving your rockets, because you’ll run out much more quickly with a Grenade Launcher. But all-in-all, the choice of which Launcher to pick more or less comes down to whether you also have a Hand Cannon. If so, Rocket Launcher; if not, Grenade Launcher.
Fortnite Explosive Items
Now let’s take a look at all the Throwables, and see how each deals damage in their own way.
Bottle Rockets are… interesting. Introduced in the V7.30 Content Update for Fortnite, they’re Uncommon rarity weapons that are found in stacks of 2, and you can hold up to 6 at a time. You can throw them about as far as you can throw Dynamite (not that far), but you’re actually throwing the launcher, not the explosive. Once attached to the ground, the Bottle Rocket will fire a great many mini-rockets in an arc several metres away. The barrage lasts 9 seconds, and 45 mini-rockets are fired in that time, each dealing a small amount of player damage and a larger amount of structure damage.
We can see (and in fact have already seen) these Bottle Rockets being situationally useful for remotely tearing down an enemy’s 1×1, but the trouble is you need to be exactly the right distance away from your enemy in order to use it well – a drawback not shared by any other Explosive in Fortnite. Yes, it can deal a good amount of damage to enemies if they stay within the target area, but, as with Stink Bombs, most players will have the wherewithall to quickly move out of the area of effect. So it’s a useful method of flushing someone out of hiding, but nothing more than that.
After the initial surge of players trying them out to see what they make of them, we certainly don’t imagine we’ll see many players picking up Bottle Rockets in favour of Clingers or Dynamite, let alone a Grenade Launcher or Rocket Launcher.
Clingers were reintroduced in the V7.40 Patch Notes, replacing the bogstandard Grenades – and for good reason, because they open up more possibilities than Grenades ever did. These sticky bombs can be latched onto terrain, player-built structures, enemies, or even teammates (a useful strategy since your teammates aren’t damaged by your explosions), and will explode after a short delay. They can be thrown very far – about as far as you can launch with a Grenade Launcher – and since they are fairly common and you can carry up to 10 in a single hotbar slot, they have a great deal of spam potential.
Throwing a Clinger at the wall behind which an enemy is hiding is an excellent strategy when combined with a quickfire weapon such as a Heavy Sniper Rifle or Hand Cannon. If you time your shots right, you can sneak in a devastating blow just as the explosion occurs. Clingers are by far the most useful and versatile throwable Explosive weapon currently in Fortnite.
Dropping in stacks of 3 with a maximum stack size of 10 once more, Dynamite has a long fuse time and you can’t throw them nearly as far as a Clinger, but the explosion radius is much larger and specially suited for taking out structures. While it deals a respectable 70 damage to players caught in the blast, nearby structures take a staggering 800 damage, enough to one-shot even fully built metal.
Interestingly, the explosion area of Dynamite is not a sphere but a wide, stumpy cylinder. This makes it much easier to escape vertically than horizontally, so a common defence against Dynamite is to build a couple of storeys higher than where it will explode, so you’ll take no damage and fall relatively safely to the ground.
The other big feature of Dynamite (which not many players know, it seems!) is that if you’re near enough to some thrown Dynamite, you can pick it up and automatically throw it somewhere else! You can do this even if it’s not your Dynamite, and you should bear in mind that it will immediately throw for you after you pick it up, no left-clicking required – so make sure you aim quickly. Of course, you’ll need to quickly decide whether to escape the radius or throw it back, because indecision will quickly result in death in these situations.
Stink Bombs work rather differently to other explosives, exploding on impact and creating a noxious cloud that damages those caught inside every second, rather than dealing lots of damage all at once. For this reason it’s much more frequently seen in the early game, before players replace them with more powerful explosive weapons.
That’s not to say Stink Bombs aren’t useful. In fact, they’re the bane of many players’ Fortnite existence, with their incredibly annoying ability to force a player to move away from their current location. When thrown in quick succession, Stink Bombs can strip a player of their health in a very short space of time, and if thrown accurately they can leave a player with no choice but to vacate their defences.
These awful creations spawn in stacks of 3 but you can only hold a maximum of 6. But as previously mentioned, it’s best to replace these with more useful explosives later on, because players that have the wherewithall to move immediately when up against Stink Bombs will generally escape relatively unscathed.
Now let’s go over some practical and advanced strategies, tips and tricks on how to make good use of whatever explosives that have found their way onto your Fortnite hotbar.
- Combine Rocket Launcher with Hand Cannon for a deadly combo. We’ve already touched on this, but it’s worth repeating: while no longer the most powerful weapon combination in Fortnite, Rocket Deagle can still be used to great effect, and if you’re lucky enough to come across it and use it properly, not much can stop you. Shoot a rocket at an enemy’s wall, then switch to your Hand Cannon and take out the wall just before the rocket detonates. It’s easy to pull off even at fairly close range, and very difficult to defend against.
- Exploit: you can safely rocket the roof you’re standing on. This exploit has been around for a while and Epic haven’t fixed it yet. Until they do, this is a very unexpected and powerful way of countering “Turtling” players who have walled themselves up in a box. Place a roof atop their box, stand on one of the four sides, then shoot a rocket on one of the other sides of the roof. You will take absolutely no damage despite your proximity to the explosion, and all surrounding structures will immediately be destroyed, allowing you to quickly switch to your shotgun and deliver the final blow to the enemy.
- The counter to Explosives spam is to stay on the move and keep building. Explosives are extremely powerful in the current state of Fortnite, and their effects are hard to predict. The best way to deal with explosives spam is to just keep moving. Walling up simply won’t work against a player with a Grenade Launcher or a stack of Dynamite. You must learn to build and edit on the fly, and look for the opportunity to turn the tables on the enemy while they’re reloading or after they’re out of explosives.
- Don’t fall into a predictable routine while peeking. Particularly in the late game when each player has their own 1×1 structure, it’s common practice to peek and shoot rockets or throw Clingers at enemies in much the same way as you would with a sniper rifle. And just like with a sniper rifle, you need to be careful that you don’t become predictable while peeking to take these shots, or you’re likely to be sniped by an enemy player, ending what could have been a game-winning run in the space of a second.
- Be wary when using a Rocket Launcher on a nearby enemy. The roof exploit detailed above is more or less the only time you should feel safe using an explosive weapon at close range. Particularly with Rocket Launchers, because they explode thee moment they impact on something, you should refrain from using them against an enemy that is only one tile away from you, because they can very easily place a wall between the two of you just as you fire a rocket, which will result in the rocket damaging only yourself.
- Learn by heart the range of whatever you’re using. Not just the weapon’s range, but the explosion radius. Each weapon has different associated ranges, and it’s important to learn them all if you want to use any explosive weapon effectively. Spend time in Playground or Creative Mode practicing with all the weapons on this list until you know by heart what to do with them and how far away you need to be to avoid damage.
That’s everything we currently have to offer on improving your Fortnite Explosives skills, but be sure to check back every so often as adjustments take place to any of these items, as we’ll be making sure this page is fully up to date with the latest Fortnite updates. Now get ‘sploding!