If you haven't played Fortnite yet you probably know someone who has. The free battle royale-style game is pretty much unavoidable in 2018. Kids can't stop playing it. Even rappers and NBA players are getting in on the action.
Graphic: Visual Hunt
The basic premise behind Fortnite Battle Royale (compete with 99 other people to be the last man standing) might seem simple, but there's actually a lot to it. Here are few things to know before you dive in for your first match.
How to Start Playing
Part of Fortnite's success comes from the fact that you can play it on almost any platform. It's available on PS4 and Xbox One, along with PC and Mac. You can even play on your iPhone, but it isn't available on Android - at least not yet.
Once the game is installed you still have a few choices to make. First, be sure to select "Battle Royale", which is the free game everyone is obsessed with, rather than the paid "Save the World" mode.
Finally, you'll have to pick from a few different Battle Royale modes. "Solo" is the standard every player for themselves game, while "Duos" pairs you with one other player and "Squad" allows for teams of up to four. There's also a temporary "50 v 50" mode - which is pretty much exactly what it sounds like
How to Land
The beginning of every Fornite match begins the same way: You jump from a flying bus and plummet towards an island, eventually deploying a paraglider to reach the ground. Where you land plays a huge factor in how the rest of the game plays out, so think twice before you leap from that bus.
If you're playing one of the regular game modes, you'll probably want to land somewhere relatively secluded. That way you can spend the first part of the game gathering weapons and resources without needing to fight off a bunch of enemies. You'll want to avoid more developed parts of the map and look for grassy areas instead. It's also usually a good idea to stay on the bus until the last possible minute; most people will jump off early, so you'll end up secluded on the far side of the map.
How to Build
One of the things that sets Fortnite apart from the competition is the ability to build. Using resources (wood, brick and steel), you can create walls, ramps, floors and ceilings. Combine them to make structures that can protect you from enemy fire or help you traverse the map.
The first thing you'll need to do is find materials. Luckily, you start each game with a pickaxe. So start swinging at pretty much anything to break it down into materials. Once you have a decent stockpile, switch into building mode (circle on PS4, B on Xbox One, and the G key on PC or Mac). From there you can switch between structure types and materials, and even edit the things you build to add windows and doors.
If you're under attack, building is your first line of defence. Build four walls around you to block any gun fire. Then, place a ramp in the middle and climb up it to peek over the walls and get the higher ground on your enemies. Congrats! You just build your first fort.
How to Use Weapons
Building forts is great, but you'll need some weapons if you want to take out all your enemies and win the match. Thankfully, the map is full of them. Just head into any house or building and you should find some sort of gun, though the best items are often hidden in golden treasure chests.
You can carry up to five weapons at once, so the trick is to keep a mix of close, mid and far range options. Shotguns are great at close range, but they take a while to reload, while the sniper rifle is great for scoping out enemies from far away. Rocket launchers are a lot of fun too, just make sure you always have at least one weapon on-hand for close combat or you may run into trouble.
Weapons in Fortnite are also divided up by rarity, with the rarest ones packing the strongest punch. Grey is common, green is uncommon, blue is rare, purple is epic, and orange is legendary. So keep that mind when your building out your arsenal.
Armour and Health
If you want to stay alive you'll need to keep an eye on your armour and health, displayed in blue and green (respectively) at the bottom centre of the screen. If you take damage, you can use a first aid kit to heal the wounds. So if you find one hold onto it for later.
As for your armour, it starts at zero but you can build it up by drinking blue potions scattered across the map. Use one as soon as you find it to free up the space in your inventory, and hold onto as many extras as you can just in case you need them later.
With these tips you should be able to jump into your first match without too much trouble - but don't be too disappointed if you lose. Your next game is just a click away.