Whether a life-saving bunker or skyward sniper tower, it’s not Fortnite unless you’re hopelessly smashing buttons, trying to build something. Equal parts frustrating and brilliant, good building in a Fortnite match is often the difference between a victory or loss.
When you aren’t a good builder in Fortnite, it shows. By the time you put up a single wall, some 9-year-old has engineered a wooden metropolis over your head to rain hell down on you from above. With the following tips, sound strategy, and some practice, you too can learn to build with the best of them.
10/10 Getting Materials
Getting building materials into your inventory is the first and most important step. Materials (or “mats” in-game) come in three types: wood, stone, and metal, and can be obtained in three different ways. You can swing your pickaxe at in-game objects like houses and trees.
You can simply loot piles of materials off the ground, just like weapons and items. Finally, you can steal an eliminated player’s collection of materials.
9/10 When To Build
Knowing when to build is one of the first skills to master and the same goes for farming materials; timing is key. For example, if you’re low on health and trying to evade an enemy, it’s not a good time to start pickaxing the walls. They will hear you. They will find you.
Building structures with low health and shields, for example, is the time to recuperate and seal yourself off from the world. It’s not time for a stairway to heaven. Generally, your structure-building approach should adapt around the status of your health/shields, weapons, and the number of remaining enemies.
Topped off with legendary weapons? Get aggressive. Use your structures to box enemies in or shoot them down from an elevated angle. Be careful though. Choosing when to flip the switch is key. New construction gives away player locations by being highlighted and easily seen across the map, especially through a sniper scope. Overall, learning Fortnite’s building mechanic is really about risk vs. reward.
At first, building structures may seem like the best choice every time you encounter an enemy since building can be dangerous. Construction always comes with a certain amount of risk that other enemy players might notice. For example, the simple act of pickaxing materials is loud and invites bullets from all directions.
Building too tall, for instance, means that enemies can see and shoot your structure down and get you with fall damage. Wooden structures are susceptible to fire. An early strategy might be to eliminate players to steal their building materials, but starting fights with a building-materials disadvantage is usually not smart.
There can be a big payoff to using your structures strategically. Sprinting at someone, 30 feet high on an expanding sky-bridge, can be a game changer. Keep in mind, building doesn’t always have to be aggressive for a payoff. A defensive approach might let an enemy shoot down a few of your walls until they reload and give you an opportunity for attack.
You can even use walls and stairs to as moving cover in order to get close with a shotgun. As a whole, the best way is to use your building strategy to be adaptable to the situation.
The best use of building in Fortnite is for defense. Most of the time, building structures will keep you from being picked off from a distance or being flanked unexpectedly. Defense is the most often used form of building as players learn to instantly wall up when shot from any direction.
Also, defensive-building is great for right after winning a fight. You never know who might have heard those gunshots and is coming, like a vulture, to pick off the remainders.
In Fortnite, the general idea of using structures at all is about cover. Cover means you have a barrier that you can use to avoid being shot at and is the most important resource after health, weapons, and materials. Fighting out in the open is the surest way to get quickly eliminated.
Creating your own cover becomes especially important in the late game. A smaller circle is less likely to have good cover, so it’s important that players have enough materials to create their own. Also, rather than letting the whole map know where you are based on your builds, sometimes it’s more strategic to use existing cover like houses, mountains, and rocks.
Building offensively can give big advantages when used well. Structures can be used to sneak up on covered enemies, scale stuff like mountains and large buildings, and give an advantage in a firefight by blocking damage and opponents. In teams, another way to offensively build is to have one or more teammates entrench and provide cover fire while others flank or rush an enemy location.
Understanding how and when to get offensive is important to improving your in-game building skills. It’s smart to react and respond to enemies’ building styles. A super-aggressive enemy builder might rush you only to waste entire clips trying to penetrate your self-made base. A good offense can also be a strong defense, it’s all about learning the contexts and the right time to give yourself the best chance to strike, recuperate, or strategize.
3/10 High Ground
Do try it. Having the high ground is always an advantage when shooting, and mastering structure-building to establish a viewpoint is a strong approach. As a tactic that should constantly be considered, retaining the high ground on your enemies always gives more cover for you and less for them.
Having the low ground also puts enemies at a disadvantage under you. Many items and weapons prevent a player from falling to their death, so the higher-positioned player is usually the most likely to win.
2/10 Editing Strategy
Editing is one of the more difficult parts of building in Fortnite, but it’s also the most strategic. Editing involves changing previously-made structures. You can only edit self-made structures and enemy structures can’t be edited, except by them. A flat wall could be edited into one with a door or window to sniper by.
Anyone that’s seen Fortnite competitions knows that editing strategically is the highest level of play. But for normal players, it’s a great area to practice as fast editing really utilizes the building mechanic to its greatest potential.
1/10 Practice Makes Perfect
Practice is the only way to get better. Because building structures with materials and editing them is a mechanic native to Fortnite, it’s one of those skill sets that is difficult to improve elsewhere. Playing FPS games usually makes a player better at other FPS games, but in Fortnite, the only place to get better is in the game, especially concerning the building mechanic.
But if practicing your builds during the battle royale seems intimidating, there are lots of options in Creative Mode where you can train and peacefully smash those buttons.
NEXT: Fortnite Zero Build: Best Weapons
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