Fortnite Beginner's Guide 2021: Tips and Tricks You Need To Know When Starting Out

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Fortnite, at its heart, is a Battle Royale game where the goal is the be the last player standing. Initially, the game can be overwhelming to new players, especially with so much history behind the game.

Moreover, the mechanics in the game do take some time getting used to.

This guide aims to break down Fortnite into its most fundamental elements.

Fortnite is currently in Fortnite Chapter 3, Season 1, a new and exciting refresh of the game.

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The Fortnite HUD: What's Onscreen

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These symbols, numbers, and values all provide you with bits and pieces of information about the game.

  1. In the bottom left you will see two bars, Green for Health and Blue for Shields. You will typically spawn with 100 Health and 0 Shields. However, items like chug splashes, and shield pots will help you fill this bar. Taking damage from enemies will start by depleting your Shields bar and then your Health Bar. Though watch out! Damage from falling and the Storm will ignore your Shields and reduce your Health straight away!
  2. At the top right corner of your screen, you will see a Minimap. This will show you where you are on the map at any given point of time. You can use it to quickly check you are moving in the right direction.
  3. Below the Minimap you will see some symbols and numbers. From Left to right we’ll explain what those are. The Ffrst will be a timer next to a symbol of a Grey Stopwatch or a Purple Stormcloud. These icons will give you details about how long before the Storm Circle changes. The Grey Stopwatch means a new circle has formed and you have this long before the Storm moves. The Purple cloud means you have this long left until the Storm closes in on the new circle. Beside that you have a person shape and a number. This tells you how many total players are alive! The number includes you and your teammates as well. So take that amount away to work out how many other players are left in your way. Finally, you have the crosshairs. On the left are your eliminations and on the right are your assists. Eliminations are players you have defeated and removed from the game, Assists are eliminations you have helped in (even if you didn’t get the final blow).
  4. Finally in the bottom right you have your Inventory. Here you can see a snapshot of the items you are carrying. Apart from Gold Bars, which you earn and keep across many matches, your inventory is emptied at the end of every match. Along the top row, you have your Materials, Wood, Brick and Metal. You gather these by hitting objects in the world with your Harvesting Tool. Below this you have your Structures Bar, this shows you the type of structure you are placing, either a Vertical Wall, Horizontal Wall, Ramp or Pyramid. Building each of these reduces one of your material amounts by 10. Below that you also have the hotkeys that are associated with each of these building slots. Lastly, you have your Loadout. You can carry Six items or weapons at a time. One Slot is always filled by your Harvesting tool, the other five are filled with objects you find in-game! This can be Guns, Shield Potions, Medkits, the list goes on and on. If you have multiple of an item you can see how many you have, and you can see how much ammo you are carrying for each weapon!
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The Map, The Storm And Where To Land

 The Chapter 3 Season 1 Map looks like this:

Fortnite Chapter3, Season 1 Map
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Credit: Epic Games

During the match, the top right corner of your minimap should tell you which button to press to be able to see the full thing!

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When you load into a match you’ll spawn in a Battle Bus and be asked to jump out. 

Fortnite doesn’t really have better/worse locations so to speak so it’s hard to say where you should go, but if you want to avoid a fight landing somewhere unnamed and away from the Battle Pass’s flight path should be a good bet! Do the opposite of this if you want some action early on.

Though wherever you land, you will almost certainly have to keep on the move to stay inside the Storm. 

Every so often a White Circle will appear on the map and signal where the next Zone will be.

If you are inside that circle, stay in it, you’ll all safe! If you are not, get inside it quick! A white line should appear on your map and minimap showing you the quickest route into the safe area.

After some time, the Storm will begin moving, shrinking the size of playable space on the island.

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If you enter the Storm you’ll begin to take damage, starting at 1 Health/Tick at the start of the match and getting up to 10 Health/Tick at the end.

If you end up inside the Storm, a blue line will appear on your map telling you the quickest route to outside it!

If a new safe zone has been set up, you'll be able to see a white line as well. This line will guide you into the safe zone via the shortest route.

Sometimes the White and Blue Lines line up, sometimes they won’t, depending on if a new Safe Zone has been set up or not.

Weapons and Items

Weapons and Items are the best way to give yourself an edge in Fortnite, so here’s what some of them are and what they do!

Weapons

Fortnite switches up its weapons fairly often. The most important aspect of each is its range:

Medium-Range:

  • Assault Rifles
  • Pistols
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Short-Medium Range:

  • SMGs

Short Range:

  • Shotguns
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Long Range:

  • Sniper Rifles
  • Rocket Launchers

These different ranges tell you roughly how far you want to be from an opponent for the weapons to be most effective. Though they are only guides, if you find a way to use a weapon that works for you, then do that!

Healing Items

You can also find useful items, the most important of which are :

  • Bandages
  • Medkits
  • Small Shield Potions
  • Shield Potions
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These items will help you keep your Health and Shields Bars up.

Bandages will heal you from 15 Health up to 75 Health. Medkits will heal your Health back up to full. Small Shield Potions will give you 25 Shields up to 50. Shield Potions will give you 50 Shields.

This seems confusing but means that if you want 100 Shields and 100 Health you can’t just rely on Small Shield Potions and Bandages!

Not all weapons are good in every situation. Moreover, not all weapons are fit to be used to begin with. Here's a tier list of all the weapons that are currently present in Fortnite.

Where to Find Weapons and Items

You can find these Items, Weapons, and others in Chests or just on the ground!

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Chests glow and make a sound to let you know they're nearby!

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You will also need ammo for your Weapons which you can find lying on the ground, loaded into dropped weapons, and in Ammo crates which come in two Varieties.

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A Regular Ammo Crate

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Building

Building is one of Fortnite’s Core Mechanics so it’s important you know what you are doing. 

The Pros know how to build and fight at the same time, but that takes a lot of practice, to start off with we’ll just give you a few simple structures that will help you out in matches!

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1. A Hut

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This simple box hut can give you a bit of cover to be able to heal up after a tough fight. Place four walls, a roof and a ceiling to make it and you should have some protection while you catch your breath.

If you're on even ground, you don't necessarily need a floor. However, if you don't have an even ground, a floor will come in handy.

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For extra protection, couch underneath a pyramid placed under the floor to give yourself a little bit of extra protection if an enemy comes along!

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2. A Vantage Point

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This can be built at any height, but the premise is a two-wide ramp surrounded by walls. The walls give you protection from all angles, while the two ramps let you easily peak over.

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Having it double wide also makes it harder for enemy players to guess where your head will pop out!

But make sure not to take this structure too high. You might end up falling to your death if someone shoots and breaks the base of the structure.

You could also build 90s but it's too resource heavy, so we wouldn't recommend building such a structure, especially when you're just starting out.

Movement

Fortnite sliding
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Fortnite has several different methods to traverse the Island besides just running around. Introduced in Chapter 3, players can slide down inclines for a boost of speed down inclines or to slip under certain builders and obstacles.

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Other movement resources, such as zip lines, bounce pads, and various vehicles add to the mayhem and allow for players to introduce different tactics into their matches.

And if that wasn't enough, you can always use a chicken to glide.

Game Modes

Finally, we have different Fortnite Modes!

It isn’t all just the same Battle Royale over and over! At least for some modes.

Solo, Duos, Trios, and Squads are just Battle Royales, where roughly 100 players drop onto the Island and fight to be the last alive. In Duos, Trios, and Squads you will have to work in a team of Two, Three, or Four players respectively.

Additionally, you also have Team Rumble. This 20v20 game mode lets you keep your inventory when you get eliminated and gives you infinite respawns. The first team to reach the required number of total eliminations, or has the most when time runs out, wins!

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You may also find Limited Time Modes or LTMs. These game types can get all weird and have their own objectives, though the game will explain how they work when you load in!

We hope this Beginner's guide help you out, be sure to read our other Fortnite stories to keep up to date with all the latest!

READ MORE: Tips and Tricks, How To Get Better At Fortnite - Weapon Rarities, Best Landing Spots, Building, and More