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Fortnite tips and tricks for beginners

If you’re here, you’ve probably at least dipped your toes into Fortnite before. You might’ve noticed, however, that despite being accessible to a broad audience, it’s tough to earn a victory royale. Sure, you can get lucky and get paired up with a team of skilled players who can carry you through the match, but where’s the fun in that? For consistent wins, you’ll need to learn the intricacies of Fortnite — and you can start by first figuring out the basics.

In this guide, we’ll highlight many of the basic things you should know when starting out. These tips will get you started off right, giving you a solid foundation that you can then use to build upon. Keep in mind that we won’t be including advanced tips here — instead, this will be for players who are just starting out. That said, here’s our list of tips and tricks for beginner Fortnite players.

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Turn on visualize sound effects

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Before even jumping into a game, you should first make sure your settings are to your liking. For the most part, the settings you go with are purely personal preference, but some are more useful than others. One we highly recommend to enable is Visualize Sound Effects, which is found within the Audio portion in the Settings menu. After turning it on, the game will give you a visual representation of key in-game events that tie to their sound.

For example, chests will appear on-screen if you’re close, as well as enemy gunfire, footsteps, and vehicles. As long as they’re audible, the game will not only notify you of the proximity but will also tell you which direction the sound is coming from. This will give you a huge leg up against the competition, as you’ll always have an idea of where your enemies are as long as they’re making noise. Turn this setting on, and you’ll gain an advantage right away.

Learn where chests spawn

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When you have Visualize Sound Effects turned on, it will certainly make finding chests easier. But knowing the general locations of chests will help point you in the right direction to ensure you’re stocked up for the match. The nice thing is that chests spawn in the same spot each match (at least as of season 4, week 9). With Fortnite being a live service game, chest locations could shift around from season to season, but they typically remain static for months at a time.

There are hundreds of chests around the map, so you probably can’t memorize the locations of all of them. But at the very least, knowing their general locations will help tremendously, especially as you make your way to the center of the storm. Knowing where chests spawn can be the difference between being eliminated early and earning a victory royale, so do your best to become acquainted.

For the most part, you’ll find chests in buildings around the main hubs across the maps. They also spawn in more open areas and are even tucked away where you wouldn’t expect, though. Remember, iceboxes are treated as chests as well, so be sure to check them while you scavenge for goodies.

Don’t forget to periodically check the storm on your map

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One thing beginners (or even intermediate players) tend to do is to ignore the storm until it’s too late. Unless you’ve got a major head start, outrunning the storm on foot is not possible, so do yourself a favor and always be aware of its location. We recommend that you periodically open up the map to see the storm’s path — allowing you to plan accordingly. It’s easy to get caught up in finding good gear or taking out enemies, but don’t make the mistake of forgetting about the storm.

As a general rule of thumb, as soon as the next circle is shown, you should start to make your way in that direction. If you start heading there early, you’ll be in a much better spot even if you get pinned down temporarily. Point is, the storm will eat you up, so pay attention to it at all times.

The burst assault rifle should not be ignored

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It can be challenging to figure out how to use all the weapons in Fortnite, but we recommend that you become acquainted with the burst assault rifle. If you’ve played other shooters, you might know this weapon as the FAMAS, and it can easily be identified by its large hand guard at the top. The great thing about this weapon is that it’s extremely accurate due to its semi-auto, triple-burst firing style. It also features a high rate of fire, meaning you can easily take enemies out quickly and accurately.

The thing you might not know is that you can hold down the trigger to continue firing, even though it’s a semi-automatic weapon. In most other shooters that feature the FAMAS, you’re required to continue pulling the trigger with each burst — but not in Fortnite. Though it excels at medium to long range, you can win firefights with it up close, even if your opponent has a shotgun or SMG. Players tend to overlook the burst assault rifle since it isn’t fully automatic, but its high accuracy, rate of fire, and damage make it one of the best weapons in the game, especially if it’s rare or better.

In the clip above, you can see just how effective this weapon is at long range. We were using an epic version of the burst assault rifle (which is detailed below), allowing us to eliminate our opponent while they were jumping in and out of the water. In just a few bursts, we were able to secure the elimination. This would have been much harder to pull off with any other weapon — even a sniper — as there’s less room for error. In short, the burst rifle rules.

Be familiar with weapons rarity

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Speaking of weapon rarity, you should be familiar with what each color represents so you know which weapons to get rid of and which ones to keep. The rarity list is as follows:

  • Common — Gray
  • Uncommon — Green
  • Rare — Blue
  • Epic — Purple
  • Legendary — Orange

The higher the rarity, the more effective a weapon is. Rarer weapons will include higher damage, better accuracy, and faster reload times. For the most part, the difference between two sequential rarities isn’t much, but you should always opt to grab the weapon with the best rarity, if possible. To give an example, a common assault rifle features 165 damage per second (DPS). While the uncommon version deals 170.5 DPS, that extra five-point boost could be enough to secure an elimination you’d otherwise miss out on. Remember, DPS isn’t the only factor to consider with weapon rarity, but it certainly is one of the most important.

Here’s a chart of all the weapon types, their rarities, and how much damage they deal (per second). Do note that some weapons only come in higher-tier rarities:

Weapon Rarity DPS
Assault rifle Common, uncommon, rare, epic, legendary 165, 170.5, 181.5, 192.5, 198
Burst assault rifle Common, uncommon, rare, epic, legendary 122.45, 126.4, 134.3, 142.2, 146.15
Scoped assault rifle Epic, legendary 72, 74
Light machine gun Rare, epic 200, 208
Stark Industries energy rifle Rare, epic, legendary 162.8, 171.6, 180.4
Combat shotgun Rare, epic, legendary 96.9, 102, 107.1
Charge shotgun Common, uncommon, rare, epic, legendary 68, 72.25, 75.65, 79.9, 83.3
Pump shotgun Common, uncommon, rare, epic, legendary 49, 56, 63, 70, 77
Tactical submachine gun Uncommon, rare, epic, legendary 162, 171, 180, 189
Suppressed submachine gun Common, rare, epic 156, 163.8, 171.6
Pistol Common, rare, epic 162, 168.75, 175.5
Revolver Epic, legendary 94.5, 99
Bolt-action sniper rifle Rare, epic, legendary 34.65, 36.3, 38.28
Harpoon gun Rare 75
Rocket launcher Common, uncommon, rare, epic 52.5, 63.75, 75, 86.25

Coordinate and plan with your team

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This is a bit more of a basic tip, but it’s essential for coming out on top. The downfall of many teams during a battle royale match is that they fail to communicate with one another right out of the gate. You’ll want to make sure your whole team lands in the same spot, followed by traveling together and making call-outs if you spot an enemy team or useful items. It’s also important to say something if you’re in need of ammo, health, or healing supplies. You can request items by pressing Right on the D-pad to select from a list if you aren’t using voice chat.

Always let your team know where you’re headed so you don’t get caught in a situation by yourself. Oftentimes, teams will accidentally separate, which leads to being outnumbered. You’ll have a higher chance of success if your team stays together, moves together, and makes effective call-outs. Also, don’t forget to ping enemies (or items) by pressing Left on the D-pad.

Don’t enter firefights without full health

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One of the most common errors made by new players is to engage in firefights without full health. Don’t do this. It’s true, sometimes you can’t heal in time, or maybe you’re having trouble finding healing items. But if you have them on you, be sure to always stock up on health and shields to the best of your ability. After you take damage, whether it’s from the environment, from falling, or from an enemy, always heal up as long as the coast is clear.

If you’ve got Visualize Sound Effects enabled, it should be easy to tell if the area around you is clear. The bigger (and more effective) the healing item, the longer it takes to use, so don’t get caught during the animation. Build a wall around you when healing or take cover inside a building. However you do it, prioritize keeping your character to as close as full health as possible.

Learn how to build quickly

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Building in Fortnite is tough to learn — so much so that we have a dedicated building guide here. The main thing you want to get used to is building during a firefight. Skilled players will integrate building into their routine, along with moving and shooting. Typically, your goal should be to build upwards to get higher ground, making it easier to secure the elimination. If an enemy surprises you, quickly build a wall in front of you that can serve as a temporary shield so you can get your bearings.

To start, simply practice building while you’re secluded from other enemies. Work on doing it quickly so the button presses become ingrained into your muscle memory. Then practice doing so when you’re in the middle of a firefight. Toward the final stages of a match, you’ll notice players will heavily rely on building small fortresses around themselves to always have the upper hand.

Knowing where to land can set you up to succeed

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As with building, knowing where to land can get complicated, so be sure to check out our in-depth guide on the best places to land here. In general, you’ll want to land in a spot where you know you’ll be able to find loot and where you’re sure you won’t get taken out right away. With that in mind, if you’ve got a spot picked out but see that a ton of enemy players are also heading there, you should consider changing your plans. Skilled players will likely embrace the challenge of facing numerous enemies right off the bat, but for newcomers, it’s best to try to stay away from enemies at the start to ensure you don’t get eliminated right from the start.

Each week, Fortnite features new challenges, many of which are tied to specific hubs across the map. For example, one could require you to collect a certain number of chests at The Authority. When this happens, those areas tend to become more populated, so always be aware of the hotspots in conjunction with the current challenges. The other thing to consider is that areas will evolve with the game. For example, Doom’s Domain has remained one of the busiest areas throughout this season — and its previous iteration, Pleasant Park, was much calmer beforehand. Because of that, your “go-to” spots might change as the game gets updated.

One spot that has remained useful is the house by the Sentinel Graveyard, which is found south of The Authority. There are a couple of chests to grab here, and it’s usually far enough away from the action but close enough to jump into a fight quickly if need be. In general, there isn’t a right or wrong place to land, but some spots are certainly better than others, especially when you consider how the storm is forming and where your opponents are headed.

Crouch to reduce noise

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If you know an enemy is nearby (again, enabling Visualize Sound Effects will help with this), you should crouch to avoid making noise. This will give you an advantage, as the opponent will likely be running around, making tons of noise. You can then sneak up on them before they even know what hit them! Remember, you move more slowly when crouched, but it will improve your aim by making the reticle much smaller. Plus, when you’re crouched, less of you is exposed, so you’ll be a smaller target for your enemy to hit.

How reviving and respawning works

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Getting downed and eliminated is inevitable in Fortnite, but knowing how to revive your teammates or bring them back to life is key to securing a win. For starters, you should stick by your teammates so you can revive them if they get downed (or eliminated). If they’re across the map on their own, they’re as good as dead for the rest of the match. When going for a revive, get behind cover and be sure there are no enemies nearby.

This isn’t always feasible, but do your best to not revive when out in the open. Likewise, if your teammate is reviving someone, help them out by placing cover around them. Reviving takes a while and leaves you vulnerable while doing so, but you can take precautions to ensure you’re as safe as possible. Once a teammate is revived, drop a health pack if you can spare one, or ping the closest one, as their health will be low.

In terms of bringing back a dead teammate, you’ll need to grab their reboot card, which is dropped after they get eliminated. You’ll have 90 seconds to pick it up before they’re gone for good. Once you’ve got it, head to one of the many reboot vans around the map to bring them back. Again, this process takes a while, so be sure you’ve got some cover around you while you work on rebooting a teammate at a van. If possible, drop your newly rebooted teammate a decent weapon, as they’ll only spawn with a common pistol — which won’t get them far.

All buyable items are cosmetic

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Within moments of your first match, you might start noticing the fancy costumes, weapon skins, pickaxes, and emotes other players have. For the most part, many of these cosmetic items can be purchased using Fortnite’s currency known as V-bucks. You can earn V-bucks by leveling up your battle pass or by purchasing them with real money. Some skins and cosmetics can be earned by completing challenges. The point is that while all of these items look cool, they’re purely for cosmetic purposes.

This means you won’t have to worry about other players having an advantage when utilizing items they’ve purchased. Many beginner players tend to get caught up in the game’s economy and how to get new cosmetics. Just know that none of these items are necessary for becoming a good player. Many games are criticized for featuring “pay-to-win” mechanics, but Fortnite is not one of them.

Tips for the final circle

Let’s round out our list here with some quick, rapid-fire tips for the final stages of a match — when the circle is really small. It will do you no good to perform well for the majority of the match only to choke at the end, so be sure you’re well prepared for the final circles.

  • Be aware of how many players (and teams) are left by checking the numbers beneath the map in the top-right. This will help you keep track of your progress and let you know how close you are to victory.
  • Try to get the high ground, as this will give you a much better vantage point around you.
  • Utilize your building skills to create a large structure when need be. Oftentimes, the circle will end up in a vast, open field with barely any cover, so make your own.
  • Since creating massive fortresses isn’t always possible, as a backup, always be aware of the cover around you, such as rocks, trees, or buildings.
  • Avoid running out in the open, if possible.
  • Don’t fire unless you’re sure you can pull off the shot. Firing a shot will notify your enemy of your location, so if you’re going to shoot, make sure you do damage.
  • Try to plan for the final stages well in advance. If you “stumble upon” the final circle without being familiar with the area, you’ll likely lose.
  • Grab your enemy’s loot, if possible. Don’t put yourself in harm’s way to do so, but if it’s on the way, don’t hesitate to stock up.
  • Pay attention to the kill feed on the left side of the screen. This will update as enemies are eliminated.
  • Survey the area from behind cover. This is a benefit of third-person view — you can look around your character without moving them outside of cover.
  • Have an exit plan. Sometimes, even if you play to the best of your ability, you can still get caught in a bad spot. Before getting into these situations, be sure you can exit if the situation calls for it. This means having the right amount of building materials to create an exit ramp or being aware of the map’s geometry so you don’t get stuck in the storm.
  • In the clip above, you can see how we utilize cover effectively. Pop out, get a few shots off, then get behind cover again to heal and communicate with your team. Then, pop out again to finish off your enemies — prioritizing those who are not downed.
  • Speaking of downed enemies, you can sometimes use them as a way to catch your opponents off guard. If you know you just downed someone, your enemy will likely try to revive them if they’re behind cover. Take this as an opportunity to rush them during the revive animation. Toss a Boogie Bomb or grenade in their direction or simply charge in guns blazing.

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Joseph Yaden
Joseph Yaden is a freelance journalist who covers Nintendo, shooters, and horror games. He mostly covers game guides for…
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