Building is one of the key features that sets Fortnite: Battle Royale apart from its closest competition, PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds.
The ability to construct walls, ramps, and complex structures in mere seconds makes it possible to quickly hide from enemy fire or gain a height advantage over your opponents. It’s a hugely important skill if you want to master the game, but with no official tutorial, it’s one you’ll have to learn for yourself.
With that in mind, here’s a basic fort-building guide for Battle Royale, along with a few advanced moves and some general tips.
Before you can build anything, you’ll need to collect some materials. Thankfully, pretty much anything you see in Fortnite Battle Royale can be mined for building blocks using the pickaxe you get at the beginning of each game. Try chopping up trees or sheds for wood, which is the quickest to build with but breaks easily. You can also mine bricks from buildings and metal from the cars scattered across the map, both of which are more durable materials but slower for building.
One important thing to note is that mining materials (and building forts) is very loud and can give away your location. So make sure to stop what you’re doing occasionally and listen for incoming enemies in case someone tries to sneak up on you.
Once you’re ready to build, launch the mode with the click of a button (Circle on PS4, B on Xbox One, and the G key on PC/Mac). From this menu, you can cycle through different building pieces (walls, ramps, platforms), rotate each piece, and use the right joystick (or mouse on PC) to look around and find the right spot to place them. Once you’re ready, build your structure by pressing R2 on PS4, RT on Xbox One, or clicking the left mouse button on PC/Mac.
While in building mode, you can still jump and move around with the regular controls. You can also build any traps you found (Square on on PS4, X on Xbox One, T on Mac/PC), or hold down the Building Mode button again to edit your structure if you want to add something like a door. That all sounds like a lot, but with a bit of practice you’ll be throwing up buildings in no time.
If you’re playing with a mouse and keypad, you can speed up the building process even more by using keybind to link certain keys to specific structure types so you don’t have to cycle through the options. To set this up, open the main menu and click on the menu icon in the top right corner (it looks like three lines). Then click on the Settings cog icon and head to the Input tab. From there you can set up whatever shortcuts you want. Metabomb suggests setting walls as Q or E, platforms as F or V, and ramps as F or V, but you should do whatever feels best for you.
For future reference, here’s the building controls for Fortnite on PS4:
And Xbox One:
And you can find the PC/Mac controls right here.
Once you have a basic sense of how to build, it’s time to start making forts. In this section we’ll cover what’s commonly referred to as “panic building.” Basically, if someone starts shooting at you this is the type of structure you can quickly erect to protect yourself.
The first thing you’ll want to do is build four walls around you so the enemy can’t target you directly. To do this, start by launch building mode, select the wall, and hit the build button repeatedly while you spin around.
With that done, you may want to build a ramp so you can gain a height advantage over your enemy. Cycle to the ramp and aim it at your feet. Then jump up while at the same time hitting confirm so you land on the new structure. Now you can shoot at your opponent from higher up, and you still have walls on all sides to protect you.
For a slightly more advanced maneuver, try building a rectangular box around you (it should be the size of two square boxes placed side-by-side. Then put two ramps in the box facing each other so they meet at to form a triangle. This gives you even more room to move around within your protected area.
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The Battle Royale map shrinks as each game continues, forcing all the players to converge at a central point. So there’s no reason to build more complex structures earlier on, but once you near the end of each match you’ll want to create a full-on fort.
The easiest option is to go straight up and build a tower. Start by building the basic ramp-in-a-box detailed in the last section. To top it off, add a platform on top of the box, jumping as you construct it so you land on top.
From there all you need to do is the process, adding a second story of walls and another ramp and platform. Keep doing the same thing until you reach the height you want. At that point, you can build out some sort of platform and set yourself up to snipe at enemies.
For an even more advanced structure, try building a funnel fort instead. Basically, this means creating a raised structure with ramps pointing outward from all sides to create a funnel-shaped platform. This is a great defense tactic, since you can hide in the center of the funnel or shoot at your enemies from any direction by climbing up the sides of the funnel.
Miscellaneous Tips and Tricks
Finally, here are a few other things to keep in mind now that you have a general mastery of building in Battle Royale.
- First of all, don’t bother building more advanced structures early in the game. Chances are you’ll have to relocate anyway as the map shrinks, so you’ll just end up wasting time and resources.
- Once you’re ready to build a serious fort, it’s also important to make the base using a more durable material like brick or metal. Otherwise, your opponents could bring the entire structure crashing down.
- If you want to destroy someone else’s fort all you need to do is shoot at it. Aim at the base, and once it’s destroyed the entire structure will topple. The minigun is particularly good for this, and you can find that weapon in chests and supply drops in Battle Royale.
- You can also use your building skills for other purposes besides making a fort. The ramp is particularly useful for climbing up to raised structures and mountains in the game. You can even flip the ramp around and use it to carefully climb down cliffs.
- The platform is a useful tool for navigating the map as well. You can string together platforms to create a bridge off the edge of a cliff. You can also use the same tactic to make an elevated pathway between two towers, creating a mega-fort that you can easily traverse.
Credit: Epic Games