Getting Started in Fortnite: A Beginner's Guide

Don't take a fortnight to get started in Fortnite. Learn the basics in our beginner's guide.

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Finding success in Epic Games' Fortnite requires you to master a number of skills: forage for supplies, check off mission objectives, aid in the construction of your base, and fend off waves of enemy husks that exist just to slow your progress. Fear not: our beginner's guide to Fortnite covers essential rules and dispenses basic tips to help you find your footing.

How to Find Supplies

Your base isn't going to build itself. To erect a veritable fortress able to withstand attacks from husks, you and your allies must scavenge for the supplies you need to survive and thrive. Wood, stone, and metal are critical materials. You'll need them to lay floors and raise floor. Rule of thumb: if you don't have at least a few of these materials on you at all times, drop what you're doing and scavenge.

Wood can be harvested from obvious sources such as logs and trees, as well as not-so-obvious ones such as buildings carved from wood. For metal, break down cars, poles, and pipes, or go spelunking through caves in forests to recover deposits of ore. Take on missions set in forest locations if you want to explore caves.

To harvest stone, you'll need a pickaxe. Simply wield it against rocks to break them down. Rocks are found in great numbers in the forest, but you can also locate some on outskirts of cities.

Building, Breaking, and Managing Weapons

Weapons are crucial to survival in Fortnite, but don't get too attached to any one particular tool. Each weapon has durability. When a weapon's durability expires, the weapon shatters. Monitor durability by checking the line on a weapon's icon on the game screen. That line diminishes as you put your weapon to use in combat. Some powerful weapons such as rocket launchers have very low durability, but give you unlimited ammo in exchange.  

After breaking a weapon, you'll automatically arm yourself with another from your inventory, provided you've crafted one. Keep an eye open for toolboxes, which you use to build weapons based on schematics you find as you play. On that note, remember that inventory space is limited in Fortnite. Stock up on weapons, but leave some space free for materials and other items you find as you play.

Schematics: How to Upgrade

As you play missions, you'll come across treasure chests that contain schematics. These blueprints add weapons for you to craft, and can be upgraded to increase the potency of your weapons. You can also unlock schematics by using Llamas in the Loot tab of your main menu.

Upgrading your schematic increases a weapon's damage, but also increases the amount of crafting materials you need for upgrades. Be careful not to upgrade schematics too far: At higher levels, many schematics call for crafting materials you can't find until much later in your Fortnite adventures. Wait to upgrade until your weapons seem to be less effective than they were earlier on.

Looking for more tips and strategies? Consult our Fortnite guide for info on scavenging materials and much more. 

Long Reads Editor

David L. Craddock writes fiction, nonfiction, and grocery lists. He is the author of the Stay Awhile and Listen series, and the Gairden Chronicles series of fantasy novels for young adults. Outside of writing, he enjoys playing Mario, Zelda, and Dark Souls games, and will be happy to discuss at length the myriad reasons why Dark Souls 2 is the best in the series. Follow him online at davidlcraddock.com and @davidlcraddock.