Skip to main content

How to win the Fortnite Close Encounters limited time mode

Close Encounters is among Fortnite's most difficult events. Here's how to win

Fortnite Close Encounters has triumphantly returned as a limited time mode in Battle Royale. This mode will only be available for a few short days so you won’t want to miss out on the fun. If you missed this mode when it first came around a few months back, Close Encounters is a twist on the typical Battle Royale formula with the addition of jetpacks and the removal of almost every weapon around.

This can be one of the trickiest and hardest limited time modes to win, perhaps even more so than the recent Getaway High Stakes event that just ended. This is because the mode limits what you can and can’t do. There aren’t too many strategies that you can utilize in this mode to win, but that certainly doesn’t mean it’s impossible. Here’s what you can do to win.

Fortnite Close Encounters limited time mode explained

Fortnite Close Encounters
Image used with permission by copyright holder

If you are wondering how to access the Close Encounters limited time mode, simply head to the Battle Royale lobby and select the game modes. From there, you can find this limited one right there and select it. Note that, as of right now, the mode is only for squads. Though you can choose to not fill your team out and play by yourself or with one person, you do limit what you will be able to accomplish if you do that.

However, as you’ll see below, it’s not impossible to win by yourself as I was able to do it without my team for nearly the whole match. Regardless, your chances are much better if you have an entire team with you, especially if you know and communicate with them directly during the match.

Close Encounters, for those who don’t know, is your typical Battle Royale mode with a few major changes. Every weapon type – assault rifle, pistol, sniper rifle – are removed from this limited time mode except shotguns and grenades. No rocket launchers, no machine guns, and so on. Normally, everyone having just shotguns would lead to a pretty weird and dull mode, but there’s a twist.


This latest version of the Fortnite Close Encounters mode from several months back comes with a few extras, as well. You have access to the new Port-a-Fortress, grappler, and the latest shotguns like the Heavy Shotgun and Double Barrel Shotgun. Overall, this is a much more balanced version of the limited time mode. Here are some tips to get the most out of everything.

How to win Fortnite Close Encounters

Fortnite Close Encounters
Image used with permission by copyright holder

Winning in this limited time mode is one of the hardest yet. This is especially true if you aren’t someone who likes to use shotguns or close-range fights. That’s why it’s recommended that you tackle this mode with a full team, preferably one where everyone knows each other’s preferences, strengths, and weaknesses. This will allow you to complement and make up for each other.

Picking your landing spot

Fortnite Close Encounters
Image used with permission by copyright holder

Everything rises and falls on your first move in Fortnite Close Encounters. Where you land will determine how the majority of your match will go. If your team is one that is confident in your fighting skills with shotguns, then this is one of the few modes that actually caters to that at the start. Some of the hotspots that have a ton of jetpacks, shield potions, and good shotguns are Tilted Towers and the Viking-inspired mountain.

Both locations are the ones that we suggest for landing, but only if you are confident in your fighting skills. Landing here requires you to be able to be fast enough to get a shotgun first and aggressively take out any enemies. However, if you aren’t as confident in your abilities, you are going to want to head to unnamed towns or warehouses.

You can also head to Snobby Shores, as that is a spot that isn’t too popular but does have a good amount of jetpacks and treasure chests. If all else fails, grab yourself a golf cart for quick mobility. From here, it’s all about planning what to do for the rest of the match.

How to best use the jetpack and grappler

Fortnite Close Encounters
Image used with permission by copyright holder

The jetpack and grappler are going to be your best friend. The storm spawns and moves slightly faster than normal in Fortnite Close Encounters, so you need to act accordingly. Both the jetpack and grappler have a limited number of uses, too, so use them sparingly.

You will want to save them for fights, retreating, and running away when the storm is too close. Otherwise, stick to using shopping carts and golf carts. When it comes to fighting, the jetpack is great for blasting away and dodging attacks from enemies. It can also help you to line up shots and get the high ground.

The grappler can be best used for either getting the drop on enemies or running away for a quick recovery. Note that it does have a limited range, but it is possible to shoot it towards mountains and big trees to reach higher locations. If you happen to overshoot the spot you were aiming for, make sure to also have the jetpack so you don’t take any fall damage.

Building isn’t recommended

Fortnite Close Encounters
Image used with permission by copyright holder

This may sound surprising, but building forts isn’t recommended in Fortnite Close Encounters. This is mainly because you stand out way too much. Even if you are playing aggressively, you don’t want to make it towards the end of the match and have all 10 remaining people converge on your location. That can be nearly impossible to handle for even the best players.

We’ve seen this happen several times during Fortnite Close Encounters matches. It usually isn’t a problem to draw attention in normal matches, but when you don’t have any long-range capabilities, large fortresses can become a death trap. Instead, you will want to sneak up on other players who build forts and jetpack or grapple your way to the top and give them a nice surprise attack.

Of course, you should still build walls and the like to defend yourself if someone comes upon you. Massive forts, however, aren’t good for much in Fortnite Close Encounters except for creating a nice battlefield for the remaining players. However, if you do have a full team and still want to build forts, there are a couple of things to remember.

You are going to want to gather up traps or remote explosives first. These are great for setting up near the base and top of your fort so that sneaky little players won’t be able to successfully assassinate you and your team. It’s also good to have a grappler that can make for a quick escape if, for some reason, someone does get the drop on you.

The best weapons for winning

Fortnite Close Encounters
Image used with permission by copyright holder

There are a few different weapons that are the best to use in order to win Fortnite Close Encounters. Though you are limited to only certain explosives and, of course, shotguns, that’s actually a good bit of variety. While the normal tactical and pump shotguns are fine at the start, you will want to quickly upgrade.

Depending on your preference, you will want to find either a Heavy Shotgun, Double Barrel Shotgun, or both. The double barrel is extremely powerful and can wipe enemies in one well-placed close-range shot but it can be tough to use due to its extremely limited range. If you’re an accurate shooter, then go for this one.

Digital Trend's Complete Fortnite Coverage

If you prefer a weapon that has more shots to fire and a little more range, go for the Heavy Shotgun. This weapon can act as a mid-range alternative in Fortnite Close Encounters and give you the advantage over enemies who don’t have it. You are going to want to look for treasure chests and supply drops in order to get these useful shotguns. You should also make sure to pick up some explosives in addition to the shotgun of your choice.

For explosives, you are going to want the remote explosives if you plan on building as we mentioned earlier. Some other solid grenades are the impulse grenades and the glorious boogie bomb.

The impulse grenade can create an opening between you and enemies if you need a chance to reload and such. The boogie bomb, on the other hand, can turn unsuspecting enemies into poor defenseless dancers. If you time it correctly and use it not too close to the enemy, you can wipe out an entire squad with a single boogie bomb and your shotgun. Due to its importance for Fortnite Close Encounters, we recommend saving the boogie bomb for near the end of the match, or as a last resort.

Editors' Recommendations

Cody Perez
Former Digital Trends Contributor
Cody is that stereotypical nerdy otaku guy. He loves everything Japanese from niche visual novels like 999 and Kara no Shoujo…
Warzone 2.0’s ranked mode fixes my biggest battle royale pet peeve
Characters from Warzone 2.0 in the ranked mode.

As part of the Call of Duty: Warzone 2.0 Season 3 Reloaded update, Activision finally added a long-awaited Ranked mode. While the mode plays almost exactly like standard battle royale on Al Mazrah, it has a number of minor differences that give it an edge. Though there's one feature in particular that stands out, as it fixes one of my biggest pet peeves in the battle royale genre.

In Ranked, players are discouraged from quitting partway through a match, giving squads a better chance of coming out on top. Placement is key in the mode, and you aren't going to place high if your squad leaves you partway through. To support that idea, players are heavily penalized for quitting a match early. The whole premise of the mode is to climb the ranks, so it's not worth losing Skill Rating (SR) points for quitting before the match is over.

Read more
Call of Duty: Warzone 2.0’s overpowered new DMZ bundle ignites pay-to-win fears
Character calling in killstreak in Warzone 2.0.

Call of Duty: Warzone 2.0 has struggled to retain players due to odd gameplay decisions and controversial mechanics that have divided the community. A new feature, though, has players especially up in arms.

Recently, publisher Activision released an in-game store bundle that some players consider a "pay-to-win" option, stirring up criticism once again. The paid bundle, "Roze and Thorn," gives DMZ players a free unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) that temporarily reveals the locations of enemy players at the start of a match, immediately offering an advantage.

Read more
How to mark enemies in Fortnite
Character jumping while holding Epic weapon in Fortnite.

Marking enemies is a challenge that has popped repeatedly when a new Fortnite season or limited-time quest list drops and it always seems to give players a little trouble. On top of it being a challenge, marking enemies is a useful mechanic when you're playing with friends.

So how do you complete this challenge? Here's how to mark enemies easily in Fortnite.
How to mark enemies

Read more