Tis' the season of pumpkins, overpriced costumes, and Fortnite Patch v6.00! With the new patch in full swing, I have compiled a list of 30 Things We Wish We Knew Before Playing Competitive Fortnite. It’s a hefty list, but hopefully, I manage to offer you some new insight into the way too serious world of try-hard Fortnite players.
I'm doing this because I care about you, okay?
As a more casual/social player myself, I had to get some help from the pros. I asked a friend of mine, 6o20m1o4 (Max), who has competed in Fortnite for a while now.
The guy has 1,170 wins and over 20k eliminations, so the proof is in the pudding.
I'm giving credit where credit is due, so thanks Max! Also, thanks to the super patient Alliance Vapeur team for always letting me queue with them regardless of how often I go AFK to save my screenshots. This article is aimed for more casual players who are wanting to get into the serious gaming lifestyle, but it also just helps out anyone who wants to get better at the game.
30 Everyone’s A Try Hard
This isn’t even an exaggeration. So many people are trying really hard to get good at the game, either because they stream, want to impress their friends, or get their first “W” in Solos. Even people with default skins are deceiving nowadays.
You’re better off assuming your opponent is better at the game than you, or at least evenly matched.
There are still newbies out there, but never judge a book by its cover, or you’ll get baited… I speak from experience. Just play your best at all times.
29 Perfect Where You Drop
Get good at dropping in one location that works for you. Learn the layout like the back of your hand, then get used to getting to chests or materials quickly and efficiently.
Make sure the location you pick is rich in materials too.
There is nothing worse than dropping somewhere you aren’t used to, not finding anything, and getting eliminated by the guy next to you with a shotgun and full shield. If you get to the loot first, then you have a better chance at winning in those fights.
28 Learn The Different Weapons And When To Use Them
Try to learn how and when to use different weapons in their optimal situations, their range, damage, reload speeds, everything. The more you know your weapon, the more you know your play style with them. From there all you have to do is get lucky and find them in game. (But they're useless if you don't know how to use them!)
27 Try To Survive Past The Beginning
Those “make it to top 25 in solo” challenges are there to help you. It is really important to learn how to survive the early game, because that first circle tends to trim the players down from 99 to 50, or even less.
If you don’t make it past the first few storm closures, then you won’t ever learn how to play in the late-game situations – not to mention you won’t win either.
26 Aim For The Best Materials and Weapons
This is pretty self-explanatory. If you don’t naturally do this without me having to tell you, then this entire article might not make sense.
Regardless of where you are in the match, or how many people are left, you should always try to have the best loot.
The only case where you shouldn’t go for those golden rays would be if doing so would make you lose the match. For example, don’t go running into the storm that hits for 5 ticks just to get a gold AR.
25 Don’t Use Vehicles Unless You Have To
I know, vehicles were long awaited thing to be introduced into Fortnite, and worth the hype. The golf carts and shopping carts are both very creative but messing around on them could cost you the match.
They make a lot of noise when you use them, so other players can hear you coming from far away.
It takes away the element of surprise, even though it allows you to travel faster. They do have some uses like outrunning the storm… just use your best judgment with this one.
24 Learn To Rotate Between Weapons Quickly
This is tough because it is so important in a fight. You probably don’t have the time to reload your weapon, so you really must be able to switch to a different one. This is easier to do with better key binds, which I will be discussing later.
One of the iconic weapons that you need to switch after the first shot is the shotgun.
Chances are that you don’t have the time to get that second shot in (unless your opponent isn’t switching either), so you need to have an SMG handy to get that rapid damage out afterwards.
23 Be Ready For When Shadow Stones Return
These were in the game for a very short time, until the developers noticed that they were glitching and some players were able to still shoot while invisible. I really hope they bring them back, because the mobility they grant you in a match is tremendously helpful.
It’s the best way to transport yourself, because you don’t make any noise, you have no fall damage, and you can fly so long as you spam the phase ability.
In a fight, however, they aren’t very useful.
22 Vertical Audio Improvements
IT’S FINALLY HERE, FOLKS. The long-awaited vertical audio (somewhat) that we have all been asking for.
With Season 6, Epic has added audio differences to help players differentiate from when someone is running below them, or above them.
This helps so much in scenarios where someone else lands in the same house as you, or in apartment-style buildings. All you have to do is learn the different sounds: player audio that is below will have a more echoey sound to it, as if it were coming from a basement.
21 Mobility Is An Asset – Use It
I have briefly eluded to this already, but it deserves its own entry. Mobility (the good kind) in this game is a huge step up on the competition.
Things like grapplers, jump pads, and shockwave grenades help you with your maneuverability both in and out of fights.
With the impulse grenades and bouncers vaulted from the game, the new shadow stones will be very important in terms of making up for that loss in potential mobility. Just be careful when using any sort of mobility item (including vehicles), because some make unwanted noise that will give away your position.
20 Don’t Rage Quit
This one is a given, but still hard to accomplish at times. Rage quitting is a very common practice in RNG driven games.
The amount of thirsting or BMs in a match can really rub salt into the wound for players that are trying to take the game seriously.
The best advice I can offer is to try not to get upset when you get eliminated – unless of course, the other player was cheating. Breathe, refocus your energy, stay positive [+] and requeue for another match.
19 Build A Reliable Team
This is easier said than done. It is always a huge gamble when you queue for squads fill, but it’s also sometimes necessary. I have made friends on squads fill that I talk to regularly and always enjoy playing Fortnite with. When it comes to playing the game seriously, you need to make sure that you build a good team that has good synergy.
This also goes for duo teams as well. You need communication, and positive reinforcement to get better at the game together.
18 Try Playing Money Matches
These are also known as wager matches and can be found online through multiple sites. The idea is that you wager money and compete against another person or duo to see who gets the most eliminations across a series of rounds. The winner(s) take all. This really helps with your skill when going up against other squads, because you are usually two against four in fights. This also forces you to seek out more encounters for the sake of getting a higher elimination count – instead of trying to play it safe for an easy W.
17 Play Scrims For Serious Competition
Scrims are a whole new world. They are organized via a discord server called Fortnite Player League. It’s pretty much considered the Pre-Competitive, competitive Fortnite. This is a doorway (more like a long, uphill hallway) into real competitive Fortnite and is a great way to test your skills as a team. It isn’t easy, and it takes a lot of dedication to build up points, but it is a boundless experience for those who think they have what it takes. Just make sure you have a solid team and understand the rules first.
16 Practice Building And Study Locations In The Playground
As the title says, you need to spend some serious time messing around with things in the playground.
Learn how to build 1 by 1 towers as quickly as you can, then from there you can branch out and learn all sorts of different building strategies (like the 1 by 1 maze).
Each building strategy has its different pros and cons, and only situational experience can help you figure out when to build each one. You should also study the different locations in the playground, so you never go into those places blindly during a real match.
15 Stack Up The Gameplay Hours
Play as much as you can. If you want to get good, you need to put in the hours. Serious sports players dedicate their lives to their craft, so why shouldn’t you do the same? That being said, school is in session so I wouldn’t recommend sacrificing your education for a game. If you don’t “have the time” outside of your schedule, make time… but in a healthy way.
14 Watch Even More Fortnite Than You Play
This is a good solution to balancing Fortnite with other things in your life.
Time spent doing things like eating, cooking, cleaning, or even brushing your teeth is potential time that you could be watching competitive Fortnite players.
That being said, as fun as it is to watch the “content creators” of Fortnite, try to mostly watch the players that are more skilled than they are interesting. This way you can learn as much as you can from the real professionals and fill in the gaps where you can’t play Fortnite yourself.
13 Rotate Into The Zone Quickly
After you drop at your location, get your mats, and get your guns (and win some fights), it is time to get out. You need to rotate into the zone and win over any new locations that you cross through in order to manage your time efficiently.
Rotation is very important in competitive Fortnite and is something that you can easily learn by watching the pros themselves.
I usually am in a squad where someone else picks the next location, so I am unable to provide too much explanation on this one.
12 Season 6 Changed The Storm Times (Learn Them)
The Season 6 patch came with some changes in the storm times. Epic has shortened the time spent stationary and increased the time when the storm shrinks during mid-late game.
This means that the storm will shrink sooner, but also slower.
This means that players will be spending less time immobile or camping, and more time in movement or fighting other teams. The exact time changes are listed on the patch notes, so I encourage you to memorize them. You don’t want to be caught off guard when the storm comes in sooner than you’re used to.
11 Don’t Bother Fighting If You Are Trying To Outrun The Storm
Apparently, this is a bit of an unspoken rule in more competitive matches. If you are running from the storm and you see someone else, don’t stop to fight.
You are better off running into the circle, building a quick base, and fighting from there.
Otherwise, you will just get both yourself and your opponent eliminated or end up in the circle with 15 health and no time to recover. Just because you see another player doesn’t mean you have to go and fight them. Choose your battles wisely.
10 Try To Take Control Of The Zone
This can be taken in a lot of different manners. What I am trying to say here is that you should never feel out-of-control in a zone, or like you are struggling to maintain your rotation, map awareness, etc.
Try to always be aware of what is always around you, and don’t let someone take you off guard.
Win over all locations you go through and try not to run from a fight (runners never learn anything) unless it is completely one-sided/ you need a better vantage point.
9 Avoid The Middle And Edges Of The Circle (For Safety)
This is also a bit of a judgment call and very situational, but in general terms: avoiding the exact middle and edges of the zone is a safe bet.
People who are eager to find action tend to get into the middle of the zone, because the middle of an area is considered the most “surrounded” or “centered” in the fray.
Also try to avoid the edges, because chances are that you will encounter other teams running into the circle or playing the storm to avoid players themselves.
8 Your Monitor Probably Isn’t Good Enough
Let’s be honest, PC builds are never ever good enough. By the time you build the best possible desktop out there, something better comes out. Regardless, there is a minimum for what we consider “good enough” … and that is a 144hz monitor, and VERY high fps.
This is achievable without a heavy-duty desktop, so long as you’re willing to sacrifice the texture quality and other graphics to get the high fps.
I have my settings on low for Fortnite, and even though it looks like trash, at least it’s smooth.
7 Change Up Your Key Binds Until They’re Perfect
Most competitive streamers will have their bindings up for people to try out. Another place to find different bindings would probably be reddit or google in general. Try out different ones and see which works best with your own keyboard, mouse, and hand comfort.
Never settle for one binding, take the time to explore and master multiple layouts.
CDNthe3rd has the familiar joke, “new key binds,” whenever he messes up (even outside of Fortnite, like The Walking Dead). Be warned, when you change up your key binds try to memorize them asap.
6 Find The Optimal Mouse Sensitivity
I asked one of the pro players that I like to watch for this one, HighDistortion. Here is his advice:
“[In] this game people usually play with a little bit of higher sensitivity than in something like Counter-Strike and all that because it helps you build faster… but it just comes down to what you’re comfortable with.”
The trick is to do what makes you comfortable but try to stick to a medium sensitivity. If you can build all around yourself in a pinch, while still being precise when you aim, you should be golden!
5 Bigger Is Better (When It Comes To Your Mousepad)
To successfully achieve the perfect sensitivity, you need to have a spacious enough mousepad, so you don’t limit yourself. If you only have a 15 by 15cm area to move your mouse, you will, therefore, need a higher sensitivity to make up for the lost real estate. Taking the time to pick up your mouse, and re drag across the pad could very well cost you the match. Another thing to keep in mind is not to move your mouse with your wrist, but with your arm. This will give you more movement, even though it is less comfortable.
Your mom and every teacher to try and tell you this is right. Getting the right amount of sleep can help with so many things – including your performance while playing games. It helps you focus better and gives your eyes a proper break from the strain. Sleep also relieves stress, which we know can be a big thing when playing Fortnite at times.
Give yourself some much-needed rest, even if you don’t fall asleep.
Just laying down in a dark room with your eyes closed can begin to revive your tired gamer soul.
3 Build Up Your Situational Experience
This is related to the amount of hours you put into the game, but also speaks to how you need to learn from every different situation you encounter. If you lose a match, take the time to ask yourself what went wrong, and how it could have been avoided.
Don’t always boil a loss down to “he was cheating” or blame something else (#itwasthelag).
Try to own up to those mistakes, whether it was RNG based or not – and then prepare yourself for the next time you are in that situation again.
2 Understand The Difference Between Game Modes
There are different match types relating to the number of people in your team, as well as LTMs (limited time matches) that have more casual, entertainment value. Solos tend to be very serious, because you don’t have the revival opportunities like with Duos or Squads.
Duos are only two players per team, which is a fun way to learn what it’s like to play solo, without being by yourself.
If you are newer to the game and want to learn, play squads and try your best to learn from your teammates. Be nice and you may find some solid squad-mates.
1 Just Aim And Build!
I know all of this can sound really foreboding, so I want to break some of the high expectations and motivate you in a more positive way. The base idea of Fortnite is simple, and therefore it is simple to learn and reach a skill set that may not be top notch, but good enough. Focus on your aim and building – that’s it.
No high theory strategies, or daily try-hard regimes to make you want to hide under your desk and cry.
The point of playing a game is to have fun, so do just that.