What is Fortnite?
Fortnite is a shooter/building game in which players are tasked with saving the world after 98% of the population was wiped out by a mysterious force. The game is designed for co-operative play for up to four players per game.
There are a few key elements to the game, resource collecting, exploration, shooting, building, and improving heroes and weapons.
The game is split into numerous story missions which make up zones on a much larger map. As missions are completed, more of the world map is revealed. During each mission, players will have to repel the enemy, zombie-like creatures called Husks. These enemies come in a variety of forms and become increasingly harder as the game progresses.
In September 2017, Epic also released a free to play Battle Royale mode (see Battle Royale section below).
The game comes with an excellent tutorial to get players started and it’s a great introduction to the gameplay.
Last updated 4 April 2018.
Understanding the Fortnite Basics
Fortnite Resources are split into a few main categories, wood, metal, bricks and BluGlo. All these resources, apart from BluGlo, are collected by using an axe/harvesting tool to destroy objects in the game world. BlueGlo is simply found floating around on the map.
When resource collecting, it’s important to hit the weak spots on the object which are highlighted by a blue target. Strike that target and it will be quicker to destroy the object and it also gives more resources once it’s destroyed.
- Wood is collected by using the axe to chop down trees
- Brick is collected by using the axe and destroying stones or brick structures
- Metal is collected by using the axe and destroying metal objects such as vehicles or lockers. Anything that would realistically be made of metal.
All resources collected are visible in the top left of the screen.
Resources can also be found by looting objects such as chests and other items in the world which have a press (E) to loot indicator. Do not destroy these objects or they cannot be looted.
In order to maximise on all resources and loot available on each mission map. Players should explore every corner of the map to find hidden chests and other valuable resource items before initiating an attack wave. Rare objects such as chests can be well hidden in areas not necessarily accessible without destroying a wall or roof. Hidden caves can also bring rewards so look around very carefully. Find the treasure chests if you can, there’s sometimes more than one on a map.
On some maps, there are side missions to discover so watch out for those when exploring the maps.
Players will have to build fortifications to repel incoming waves of Husks determined to destroy the mission’s main target. Building involves piecing together panels or deploying traps to create structures and defenses.
Construction is carried out by using collected resources and then activating the build menu (Q). Once the build menu is activated in the bottom right of the screen, numerous panel categories are visible. These include:
- Walls (F1)
- Floors (F2)
- Stairs (F3)
- Barricades (F4)
- Traps (F5)
Walls, floors, barricades, and stairs can be constructed from the three resources of wood, metal, and brick. To switch between each type, click the right mouse button (RMB) and the resource type will change in the top left of the build menu.
When a wall panel is placed, it can also be edited to create a different shape such as an arch, a low barricade, or a door inserted. The panel is edited by using (G) key and square sections can be added/removed from that panel to create the new shape.
Each building material has different strengths. Wood panels are less durable than brick or metal so keep that in mind when building fortifications.
Early in the game, keep the building to a minimum and reserve resources for subsequent missions.
If a player joins your game in a party, they may not be able to build, you need to allow them to build and that’s done via the main objectives terminal inside the Permissions option.
When starting there are basic traps such as floor spikes available to players but fancier traps become available as you play and discover more schematics.
Traps can be accessed from the build menu (Q) and then selected through (F5).
Traps come in different forms and have to be placed on a constructed object such as a wall, ceiling or floor. For example, floor traps can only be placed on the ground if there is a floor panel to place it on. It’s important to think about trap placement and direction from which the Husk attack wave will come from.
Players can improve what is known at F.O.R.T (Fortitude, Offense, Resistance, Tech) via the Research Tier trees inside the skill panels. By accruing research points, stats can be boosted by placing points in these trees and even add improvements such as in increased backpack size early in the game. It’s worthwhile making sure the research trees are continually progressing.
Research points are gained over time. You can see how quickly they are gained by the X/hr indicator inside the research trees.
Crafting is essential in Fortnite. Collecting resources to craft new weapons, ammunition and more complex resources.
Initially, crafting can only be done from inside an active game zone. Epic will eventually be enabling crafting to be carried out outside of the game and players will be able to access the crafting menu from the main menu.
These are blueprints which can be used to craft new weapons and ammo at any time with the right resources. Schematics can be upgraded like almost everything else in the game but make sure you have enough resources to craft the weapon. Schematics are also found in Llama rewards.
A player can only hold a maximum on 250 schematics. Place duplicates in the Collection book to free up inventory.
Schematics can also be given to other players.
Each hero comes with his/her own abilities and start with different stats. Heroes can be unlocked by playing and earning them as rewards.
Heroes level up and as they do so gain access to more skills by utilising the upgrades in the Skills Panel. Skill points are earned as heroes play and level up. These can then be placed in the Skill Tier tree.
Players can switch to a new hero at any time between missions, you are never locked into one hero.
Heroes have to be leveled up manually via the Heroes Panel in the top menu. Heroes can only be leveled up by spending experienced earned while playing the game which comes as XP rewards at the end of the game.
There are four classes of heroes:
- Constructor – Adept builder.
- Ninja – Speedy and agile.
- Solider – good all-rounder.
- Outlander- Skilled at treasure discovery and resource collecting.
Each of the four classes comes with special abilities which can be utilised to help complete missions.
- Debilitating shots – Increase the amount of damage you can take and stacks up to three times.
- Make it Rain – Headshot increases rate of fire
- Grenades – Lob a grenade
- Proximity Mines – Craft and deploy proximity mines.
- B.A.S.E – Construct holographic cube to reduce the cost of resources of anything built inside the cube.
- Pre-Planning – Creates stronger structures
- Containment Unit – Deals damage to enemies within the B.A.S.E zone.
- Plasma Pulse – AOE grenades.
- Mantis Leap – Double jump leap which helps traverse the map
- Assassination – Double Damage with every consecutive strike with max stack of seven.
- Throwing Star – Throw the stars
- Smoke Bomb – Stun enemies in a smoke cloud
- Shadow Stance – On enemy kill, turns the player into a shadow reducing damage taken
- Dragon Slash – Dashing forward strike dealing a large amount of damage to the target.
- Gathering – Improves resource collection
- Improvisation – Enhances Oultander abilities
- Focused Acquisition – Increase loot finding chance by 20%. Increases impact weapon damage by 10%. Base health reduction by 20
- In the Zone – Harvesting weapon damage increased after five hits.
- Dimensional Fragment – Activate the equipped Fragment, gain special effects.
- Last Resort – Improves pistol combat and survivability
Skill points are required to upgrade hero’s skills in the game via the Skill Tier screens. Players will be able to collect enough skill points over time to unlock everything in the skills menus. Traversing the skill tree and leveling up the heroes will unlock new abilities or even increase backpack size. Look for upgrades that are meaningful and head for those, they can be well hidden in the over-complicated latter Skill Tiers.
While out in the field, players can listen out for Survivors and rescue them to gain additional XP. Survivors can also be collected from the loot llama rewards to buff your Squad, think of them as armour buffs. Finally, there are Defenders which can be summoned to help in missions (see Squads below).
The Survivor system is convoluted and over-complicated and we wouldn’t be surprised if this was changed in the future.
Fortnite features a vast array of weaponry of varying qualities. Weapons can be crafted from schematics assuming you have the schematic and resources to make it. Weapons also require ammunition which can be crafted. Ammunition can be crafted instantly for the weapon you are using in-game by hitting the (R) reload key while inside a mission but you need to have enough resources available in your inventory to make the correct type of ammunition for that weapon.
Weapons can be given to other players in-game and schematics for new weapons can also be passed to other players.
Weapons have durability and will break. Recycle them before they break to gain resources.
In Fortnite there are multiple types of Squads
- Survivor Squads which increase F.O.R.T stats (Fortitude, Offense, Resistance, Tech) and do nothing more. The Survivor Squad screen also allows you to create Squad groups which provide the different stat boosts depending on what you think you’ll need.
- Defender Squads which can be deployed as AI while in missions and are added in Hero selection screen. How useful these guys are is debatable
- Expedition Squads which can be sent on expeditions to seek loot and bring it back if they find any.
Check the Squads option in the menu to assign characters to Squads. Squads have to be unlocked trough the Skill Tier tree and it’s recommended to unlock these as fast as possible.
It’s a bit convoluted and confusing but tinker with it and see what works for you.
Rewards are core to the whole Fortnite experience. Players can earn the following rewards:
- V-Bucks – Purchased with real cash
- Llamas – Purchased with V-Bucks and earned by playing. As you progress these become less frequent.
- Chests – Awarded at the end of a mission
- Gold – Rewards for completing missions
- Ore – Deconstruct objects or also found when harvesting metal
- BlueGlo – Found around the map while on missions. Also gained from Siphons.
- XP – Gained from mission completion or inside llamas
- Crew Members – Used to increase base stats.
Epic added a free to play Battle Royale mode where 100 players drop onto an island and the victor is the last man standing. All the standard Fortnite building and game mechanics are the same as the main game and to win players have to be the last man standing.
There are different modes available in Battle Royale. Players can go solo or work as a Squad. Epic also adds limited timed events such as 20 vs 20 or 50 vs 50.
When dropping in from the Battle Bus at the start of the game choose a landing location carefully. Each location on the map offers something a little different such as more cover, increased chance of decent loot, and also where other players are likely to head for.
This mode is completely free to play, you do not need to purchase the game and it can be downloaded from the Fortnite website.
The Battle Royale map has been iterated on since launch and the latest map is as follows:
In patch v3.4, Vending Machines were added and players can purchase items from these machines for materials. The Vending Machines are dotted around the map and each item type will cost a certain amount of materials. Each vending machine also randomly selects a rarity and the costs are as follows.
- Items found in a Common (white) version will cost 100 materials.
- Items found in a Uncommon (green) version will cost 200 materials.
- Items found in a Rare (blue) version will cost 300 materials.
- Items found in a Epic (purple) version will cost 400 materials.
- Items found in a Legendary (gold) version will cost 500 materials.
To find all the machines, view the following map.
Prior to launch, Fortnite is in Early Access.
This page is a work in progress and will be updated regularly so if you have any further information you want to see added, feel free to let us know in the comments.Related to this article
Founder and Editor of PC Invasion. Veteran PC gamer of over 22 years.