Fortnite guide (V9.00) - Fortnite tips, beginner's guide, advanced tips and strategies
The Pen is mightier than the SCAR
Fortnite's Season 9 has struck, introducing a variety of map changes, weapon roster changes, and renewed interest into Epic Games' beast of a battle royale. Now more than ever, there's a lot to learn if you're just jumping into Fortnite now - not just a great deal of weapons and locations with which to familiarise yourself, but a whole host of interlocking systems from building and editing to the Fortnite Storm, and much more besides.
We've spent a lot of time assembling this Fortnite guides series, packing it with all the most up-to-date information on how to get set up, how to build and edit like a professional, weapon stats, best locations to drop, in-depth explanations of weapon classes and weekly challenges... All with the ultimate goal of equipping you with the knowledge to improve your game ten times over. We've also got tonnes of advanced, high-level and little-known strategies for experienced players to learn and master, so even if you've a hundred wins under your belt, take a look at our guides and see if you find out a few things you never knew before!
Below you can peruse every page in our Fortnite guides series, and learn how to get the upper hand in any situation. Further below, we've explained the core concepts of Fortnite that you ought to understand while playing, as well as a variety of useful tips and strats which might surprise even the most seasoned of Fortnite veterans.
Fortnite guide (V9.00)
|Fortnite Patch Notes||All the latest Fortnite updates and patch notes detailed|
|Fortnite Season 9||Season 9 map changes, skins, battle pass|
|Fortnite week 6 challenges||Tips on all of Season 9's weekly and Battle Pass challenges|
|Fortnite locations||All the best locations across Fortnite's Season 9 map|
|Fortnite weapons||Weapon stats and opinions, best guns in Fortnite|
|Fortnite Exploits||Little-known Fortnite Exploits, Rocket Launcher bug, Bloom Reset, Bunny Hop|
|Fortnite Duos||Fortnite Duo guide, how to win Duo fights|
|Fortnite Shotgun tips||How to win Shotgun fights, Shotgun battle guide|
|Fortnite Sniper tips||How to land headshots, best Sniper Rifle in Fortnite|
|Fortnite Assault Rifle tips||Assault Rifles guide, SCAR vs Heavy AR, tips and tricks|
|Fortnite SMG tips||best SMG, Shotgun vs SMG, close-range fighting tips|
|Fortnite Explosives tips||Explosives guide, Rocket Launcher vs Grenade Launcher|
|Fortnite Pistol tips||Pistols guide including Hand Cannon & Flint-Knock Pistol|
|Fortnite Scoped Revolver||Tips, stats, locations, comparisons to other weapons|
|Fortnite loadouts||Best loadouts, weapon combinations, item synergies|
|Fortnite building and editing||Winning build battles, advanced editing, 1x1s, 90s|
|Fortnite Storm||Storm Circle stages, stats and strategies|
|Fortnite landing||How to land quickly|
|Fortnite healing items||How to heal yourself, healing item tips|
|Fortnite vehicles||Vehicle locations, best vehicles|
|Fortnite Limited Time Modes (LTM)||Summaries of the Limited Time Modes in Fortnite|
|Fortnite replay mode||Replay Mode screenshots, how to watch replays|
|Fortnite settings and controls||Best keybinds for PC, pro and streamer settings|
|Fortnite vaulted items||Complete list of vaulted items and why they were vaulted|
|Fortnite Creative Mode||Creative Mode controls, how to enter The Block|
|Fortnite Architect Pop Up Cup||How to win Pop Up Cups, Fortnite tournament tips|
|Fortnite Mobility Items guide||All mobility items, best method of travel in Fortnite|
|Fortnite Season 8||Season 8 map changes, skins, battle pass|
Fortnite guide - contents
- Fortnite tips and tricks - how to play, how to improve, how to win
- Fortnite Beginner's Guide - how to play Fortnite: Battle Royale
- Starting a Fortnite match - things to think about
- Weapon types and rarities
- Materials and building
- The Fortnite map (Season 9)
- The Storm
- Health and Shields
- Managing your inventory
Fortnite tips and tricks - how to play, how to improve, how to win
Here are some general tips and tricks which we've found to be particularly effective at helping you fulfil your Fortnite potential. 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.
If you're not sure what I'm talking about here, don't worry! Look further below and we've got beginner-friendly explanations of everything that goes on in Fortnite.
- Learn to build and edit! I cannot stress this enough. It takes 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 Creative 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 to evade enemy sniper bullets.
- 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 never build higher than you need to.
- 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.
- Some fights are worth avoiding. 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.
- 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. 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 battles 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 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 consistency will 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 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 weaknesses.
- 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.
- Watch streamers, spectate games, analyse replays. If you die to a skilled player, consider watching them play for a while, and assessing how they make decisions, and what they do differently. Keep an eye out also 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).
Fortnite Beginner's Guide - How to play Fortnite: Battle Royale
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. You can play alone or team up with up to three friends and battle it out together in a lobby of up to 100 players until there is just one team or player left standing.
It's a survival of the fittest, like all other battle royales; but Fortnite differs from its rivals by giving players the ability to build structures on the fly out of the resources they harvest, to provide cover against enemy fire or get a good vantage point on an opponent. Building and editing is as integral to a successful game of Fortnite as learning how to use its arsenal of weapons. So you should definitely take a look at our Fortnite building and editing guide if you haven't already!
There are many more mechanics that make up a game of Fortnite, of course, such as the Fortnite Storm, which begins to close around the island shortly after each match begins. You must try to stay in the Safe Zone 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.
Starting a Fortnite match - things to think about
Here's a general rundown of what happens in the first moments of a Fortnite match, so you can know what to expect and also what your priorities should be at this early stage.
- Before the match begins, you'll be placed on the Spawn Island, where you can freely practice building and shooting, and also view the map and Battle Bus flight path ahead of time.
- The closer a location to the Battle Bus's flight path, the more popular it's likely to be. Large towns like Tilted Towers and Paradise Palms all contain lots of loot, but they're also very popular and therefore dangerous.
- As soon as you leave the Battle Bus, you'll start to freefall. You can direct yourself while in the air, and 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 use "WASD" to move around and pinpoint your landing.
- As you're landing, 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.
- The first thing to do once you land is to loot up, because you'll need at least a single weapon. 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. Nearby chests have an audio cue, which will tell you where exactly the chest is hidden. There are hundreds of chest locations scattered across the map, 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 and other loot caches. 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.
- Once you've got weapons, ammo, and shields, 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)
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 Blue Combat 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. 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 Fortnite weapons guide.
Fortnite Building and Materials
Collecting materials and building your way into and out of trouble is an absolutely imperative tool in Fortnite. There are three different types of materials you can collect by breaking 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. With each of these materials you can build four different base structures: walls, floors, ramps, and roofs.
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 the four base structures into many different shapes. 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.
The best advice I can give you is to take full advantage of the Fortnite Creative Mode. You can hop into your own personal spawn island with unlimited materials, and just practice building and editing until you're familiar with the key concepts.
The Fortnite map (Season 9)
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 and violently with the destruction (and subsequent rebuilding) of Tilted Towers and Retail Row as Neo Tilted and Mega Mall, respectively, amid various other map changes that coincided with the start of Season 9.
For a complete list of locations across the map and our opinions on each of them, take a look at our Fortnite locations guide. 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 - though be aware that the site is not yet updated to V9.00.
The Fortnite Storm
The Storm is one of the imperative features of Battle Royales, damaging those caught outside the Storm Eye, forcing players 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 encroachment across the map. You can keep track of where the Storm Circle is in relation to you using the minimap or the full map.
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 Fortnite Storm, complete with stats and explanations of each phase the Storm and Safe Zone go through during a match.
Health and Shields
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 different ways. 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's 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 or Shields (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. For more information on healing and potions in Fortnite, take a look at our Fortnite healing items guide.
Your Fortnite inventory
You can use your inventory to swap around items in your hotbar 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, you can either select the item in question and hit "X", or a quicker solution is to drag the item outside of the inventory window. Both options 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 - however bear in mind that certain information, particularly those relating to a weapon's accuracy, are not shown here, so your best bet is to take a look at our Fortnite weapons guide.
Your inventory is also useful for keeping track of your "trap" items and for seeing how much of each ammo type and material type you have. With the latter, 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! For more useful tips specific to playing in Duos, check out our new Fortnite Duos guide!
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.