The Beginner's Guide to Fortnite

The Beginner's Guide to Fortnite

Originally posted on September 13, 2021

While it seems like everyone and their cat is already a hardened Fortnite player, there’s plenty of other newbies out there. However, with our handy beginner’s guide to Fortnite, you’ll be landing on the island and having fun with your friends in no time.

Where to Start?

The first thing you’ll need to do is download and install the game. If you’re playing on a console, you’ll require access to multiplayer play through your console manufacturer, which usually costs a small amount per month. You’ll also need a steady internet connection. However, a PC connected to the internet is also an option, and then multiplayer Fortnite is completely free. 

Fortnite Battle Royale is free-to-play, as long as you have access to the internet; however, you will have to purchase Save the World. 

Game Modes

Booting Fortnite up for the first time can be overwhelming, especially with all the cool game modes. However, with a little bit of practice, you’ll be finding your way around all the options Fortnite has to offer in no time.

Battle Royale

Fortnite characters dropping in

Easily the most popular mode, Battle Royale is free-to-play and offers cross-platform play, so it won’t matter which console your friends use; you’ll still be able to play together. 

Battle Royale revolves around pitting yourself against 99 other Fortnite players on the island. You’ll drop down from the bus and find yourself unarmed, unequipped, and stranded. The aim of the game is to be the last one standing in a battle to the death. You can play solo or in teams of two, three, or four.

Once you’ve landed, you’ll want to stock up on weapons, ammo, and other essential kits like shields and medicine kits. I recommend hiding for a bit until some of your enemies get thinned out, at least until you’re more experienced at the game and better equipped to fight off enemies yourself. If you’re hiding, though, keep an eye on the storm. You’ll also have a poorer selection of loot to choose from if someone else has landed close to you.

The storm in Fortnite is deadly, and getting stuck in it for too long will get you killed. Other players may try to trap you in the storm, so you’ll want to get good at picking them off and building forts to survive this.

One of the oldest parts of the game is the building element. Fortnite offers wood, brick, and metal materials, which you can build forts, bridges, and stairs with. Stocking up on materials is essential, as you’ll need them to get around the island as well as soak up the bullets in a fight.

Creative Mode

An excellent place to start your Fortnite journey is with Creative Mode. With all the options available, you can spend some time experimenting with building and weapons and generally getting a feel for the place.

You can also visit other players’ islands and play their mini-games. Fortnite will sometimes run special events focusing on a few islands or games, and these events usually come with challenges, achievements, and cosmetic items to win as rewards.

Messing about on Creative Mode is a great way to get better at Fortnite without having to worry about enemies and getting knocked out in the first two seconds.

Party Mode

Another great place to explore and hang out with your friends without pressure is Party Mode or Party Royale. Party Royale doesn’t have weapons or building though, but it’s a fun way of experimenting with the controls if you’re new to gaming. You can also race vehicles and practice with boats and cars. 

Save the World

Zombies trying to attack a Fortnite Character

The only paid mode on Fortnite is Save the World. The adventure co-op is totally different though, as you’ll play against the computer and not against other players. You work together to defend something, a weapon, or maybe a survivors fort, from husks. You’ll need online multiplayer for this, but the storyline is excellent, and it’s well worth a go. Your locker items from Battle Royale carry over, too. 

How to Play?

Once your game is up and running, you can select a play option, such as Solos. You’ll then wait in the lobby until the game engine finds you a match. When your game starts, you’ll find yourself onboard the battlebus, and you can follow its progress over the map to determine where to jump off. While you wait for your avatar to drift down to earth, you get to steer and watch your slipstream cosmetic and then your glider. 

When you land, check your surroundings for weapons, ammo, chests or ammo boxes. You’ll want to grab a gun of some sort as quickly as possible. Once you’ve done that, you can hunt for ammo, shield potions, and medkits. Shielding gives you double the health points, and medkits restore lost health, so having a healthy supply of both can save your game. You’ll also need to gather some building materials so you can build forts, bridges, and shields. Use your pickaxe to destroy vehicles, buildings, furniture, trees and stones; this gives you materials to defend yourself with.

Fortnite is straightforward once you get the hang of it. To start off with, don’t dive straight into firefights; hide in a bush and wait out the initial fight. It also helps to land as far out as you can, then you have more freedom to explore and gather loot. Nevertheless, this puts you at greater risk of being caught in the storm, so pay attention to the map and the timer. Don’t stay for too long on the edge of the map. 

If you’ve kitted up and are remembering to stay out of the storm, all you’ll need to worry about is either hiding from or taking out your enemies. The best advice here would be to remember to dodge and defend yourself in between shots. You’ll also want to be mindful that your first shot is more accurate than any further shots you fire.

All you have to do now is watch the storm, dodge or kill enemies, and try to be the last man standing. You can almost win the game by hiding, but once you get down to the final two, you’re almost certainly going to have to fight.

What is the Battle Pass, and Do I Need One?

Fortnite is perfectly playable without the Battle Pass, but if you like collecting cosmetics or you enjoy extra challenges and achievements, you’ll want the Battle Pass. The great thing about it, though, is that if you buy it once, you can start earning V-Bucks. Save up enough of those, and it’ll buy you the next season’s pass without costing a penny of your real money. The Fortnite Battle Pass costs $7.99 and lasts around 10 - 12 weeks.

Despite its success, there is always something new to learn about Fortnite, so even hardened players will be on the same level as you sometimes. There’s nothing to fear about being a newbie; just give yourself some time to get better at it before expecting too much of yourself. Most of all, have fun.

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Written By

Melanie Jayne Ashford