Fortnite Battle Royale: How to Get Started

Commonly described as Minecraft meets Left for Dead, Fortnite is a survival cooperative shooter from Epic Games. It’s been available in paid early access since June last year for the PS4, Xbox One, and PC, and will be free-to-play when it becomes a fully-fledged release this year. In the run up to this, Epic has released Fortnite Battle Royale — a free, standalone mode. As the name suggests, it borrows from others in the battle royale genre such as PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds (PUBG). However there are some features — such as its varied weapon rarity — that make Fortnite’s take on battle royale a different experience. Here’s what you need to know to get started in Fortnite Battle Royale.

Fortnite Battle Royale download size

Fortnite Battle Royale is roughly a 17.5GB download on the PC, 16.8GB download on the Xbox One, and a relatively modest 7.5GB on the PS4.

Fortnite Battle Royale locations — where to land
Much like PUBG, choosing where to parachute to on Fortnite Battle Royale’s map is of prime importance. Beginners would do best to avoid the most developed areas as its crucial to avoid getting shot as soon as you start playing. Locations like Pleasant Park, Retail Row, and Greasy Grove are where most experienced players start due to the sheer amount of loot available. If you can survive encounters there, you’ll walk away with a formidable arsenal. Choosing where to land is a high risk, high reward decision that gives emphasis to skill as much as it does to luck.

Fortnite Battle Royale — get gear fast
Due to Fortnite Battle Royale’s quicker pace of play versus other games in the genre, matches start and end faster. You don’t have the luxury of landing in an open field as you’ll have to run towards structures that may already have been looted by the time you get there. Your best bet is to grab a gun, and to do it fast. They’re usually found on rooftops. If you can’t find one there, run to the nearest building and get looting.

Fortnite Battle Royale weapons — what to use
Aiming at your opponents in Fortnite is a tad iffy, making it tough to get the perfect shot at any range. This makes the element of surprise all the more important to your survival, as well as knowing the range and strength of different weapon types. Shotguns are great up close and sniper rifles work well from a distance, with assault rifles being a decent option at medium range. What also matters is the rarity of the weapon you have on you. Similar to The Division, each weapon is colour coded to indicate its rarity as well as its damage output, and are as follows:

  • Grey: Common
  • Green: Uncommon
  • Blue: Rare
  • Purple: Epic
  • Orange: Legendary

Up close, even a common shotgun is fatal while the SCAR is an excellent assault rifle if you can find it. As for sniper rifles, the semi-auto is the best of the bunch thanks to not having to reload after every shot. Rocket launchers and grenade launchers are also present, but using them almost always gives away your position. In a game mode where survival is paramount, they’re best used as last resort options.

Fortnite Battle Royale shield potions explained
In addition to having a bar for health, Fortnite Battle Royale has one for the use of shields, rather, the use of a shield potion to be precise. Similar to the likes of Halo, shields take damage before health and if you want any chance of survival, you’d do well to consume shield potions the moment you find them — usually in treasure chests.

As you don’t start a match with a shield, and storing it occupies inventory space that’s limited, you’re best served with consuming your shield potions immediately. They come in two types — larger potions that give you 50 shield points and smaller potions that give you 25 shield points. Shields don’t prevent damage obtained from falling and that’s where bandaids and medkits come in. The former gives you 15 health while the latter heals you fully. Rare items like the purple bottled Slurp Juice regenerate your shields and grant you health over time while others like Chug Jugs fully restore your health and shield, but need 15 seconds to use.

Fortnite Battle Royale — spot player buildings
Towards the end of a round, players will usually build fortifications. And if you haven’t gathered enough wood to build your own, you should approach them with caution. Player structures usually stick out in the colourful world of Fortnite as drab and blank structures, making them easy to spot. You should keep your distance unless you have powerful weaponry such as the rocket launcher to level their tower and reduce their height and line of sight advantage. Pay attention to how these are constructed as you can collapse them by shooting at its stairs or supports to even the odds.

Are you playing Fortnite or is the realistic presentation of PUBG more to your liking? Let us know via the comments.