There are a growing number of battle royale-style games on the market, and Epic's free-to-play Fortnite Battle Royale is second in popularity only to PlayerUnknown's Battlegrounds. Both games feature a survival death match among 100 players on a map with a shrinking play zone and collectable equipment. But even if you're a PUBG vet, you shouldn't expect to play Fortnite without facing any learning curve.
Whether you're new to Fortnite Battle Royale or just hoping to up your game, you'll want to check out these tips to help you survive longer and keep the edge in a firefight.
Credit: Epic Games
Just like in PUBG, there's no training mode in which to learn the game's mechanics, and the pre-match lobby lasts only a short while. You'll need to do most of your learning during a live match. To start, try landing in secluded areas, where you can get comfortable with the controls before facing a fight. If you're itching for an early combat encounter, go ahead and land at Tilted Towers.
If you're playing on a PC, rebind a few keys (take your inventory off of the "I" key, for example) and get familiar with the crafting mechanics. This will also ensure that you don't run into someone and get sent back to the lobby in the first minute of the match.
During freefall, try to keep your character oriented at a slight angle downward rather than straight down, and wait until your glider deploys automatically. The goal is to come at your landing zone from a shallow angle, rather than straight at it. There should be a good distance between you and your desired location once your glider is open, so that you drift horizontally toward it. If you try to descend downward with your glider instead, you'll slow to a crawl and let faster players get to the guns before you.
The absolute quickest way to the ground, however, is to jump out over the ocean. Your glider deploys much later and much closer to the ground if you keep your character just next to the island while over the water. You can then go from glider to the ground in a couple of seconds once you get the hang of it, but you'll be on the edge of the map and potentially far outside of the safe zone.
Alternatively, you can take a moment to glide above a location and determine how many other players are landing there. If you're trying to avoid an early fight, this strategy will keep you from being sent back to the lobby prematurely. You may just get lucky and land in a dense town that no one else picked;opening your glider a little early will make it easy to determine that. You can always close it and open it again later if you want to land somewhere else.
Unlike in some other games in the genre, there's a definitive way to get the best items in Fortnite. Guns and equipment are scattered inside buildings, but the real prizes are the treasure chests often located in buildings' basements or attics. You'll know one of these containers is nearby if you hear a faint angelic-choir sound. That's when you need to take the pickax you landed with and bust down walls to find the loot.
Chests will drop weapons and items in groups of about three or four, which is better than finding things one at a time and increases your odds of locating higher-quality weapons.
The weapons in Fortnite Battle Royale are color-coded by quality level. The scale, from worst to best, goes in the order of grey, green, blue, purple and golden. Each tier increases the damage stat of the weapon by a differing amount depending on the weapon. Sniper rifles see the biggest damage increase, at 10 points from tier to tier, but other guns, like pistols, will gain as little as 1 point. Magazine size and firing rates do not change between loot tiers.
It can be tempting to just pick up every gun you come across, but the last thing you want to do during a busy firefight is stumble through a clogged inventory of guns that have no ammo left and no traps you want to use. Keep two or three loaded guns of the highest quality you can find, a trap if you have one and one slot for healing items. And unless your shield is already completely full, you should never hang on to any shield potions. Drink 'em up!
Take time to familiarize yourself with the crafting system, because you'll need to place walls or ramps in a hurry and sometimes while taking fire. Pressing Q on PC (B on Xbox, Circle on PS4) opens the crafting menu and shows an outline in front of you of what you can build. You can make walls, windowed walls, walls with doorways, ramps and ceilings. The scroll wheel cycles through the structures you can build and right-click lets you select from the materials you have (wood, brick or metal).
Collect resources from just about any freestanding object in the game, be it a tree or a rock, a brick wall, or a parked car. Then, when stuff gets crazy, try dropping a wall or a ramp right in front of you to block bullets. Stronger materials last longer before breaking.