Fortnite building tips: your guide to becoming a master builder

Build me up, buttercup

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Image credit: Epic Games

Fortnite, the battle royale that it feels like most of the gaming populace has some experience with by now, stands apart within its genre through unique presentation and its signature building mechanics. 

Being able to quickly fortify a position, construct a wall, or extend a tower into the heavens is what separates a good player from a top player. With that in mind, we’ve put together the following Fortnite building tips to help you earn your Victory Royale.

Hunter, gatherer

Fortnite

Building, as in reality, requires materials. Thankfully, Fortnite’s world is full of them and they come in three flavors - wood, brick and metal. As you can imagine, they increase in strength from one to the next, and you can find plenty while out in the world.

Using your pickaxe, break down trees for wood, walls for brick, and anything metal for, well, metal. Ripping down too many trees or huge buildings will give away your position, so it can be beneficial to extract as many resources from an area as you can whilst also leaving the structure intact. While swinging your pickaxe, you’ll be able to aim at highlighted points to earn double the materials - just remember it also deals double damage to the object or structure.

For reference, the standard “four walls and a ramp” staircase will use up 50 of any of the materials you have available - so it’s worth keeping as many on your person as possible. 

Also, while wood is the weakest material in Fortnite, it can be built more quickly than either Brick or Metal - so keep some in reserve if you can. 

What goes up...

While building your own cover is an integral part of surviving combat, a match of Fortnite is decided just as much by positioning. 

Your building blocks come in four shapes, but one of the most important is the ramp. This will allow you to scale some of the world’s trickier high points. Some may have untapped materials at the top, while others may simply be full of treasure. Of course, they also make for great sniping spots if you have the weapon for it.

With Fortnite’s construction not limited to real-world physics, it also means you can hop off of one of these high points and build a series of “steps” on your way down. With fall damage a major consideration as you approach the business end of a match, working your way down the side of a mountain quickly and with minimal damage can be a key part of flanking an opponent that has their sights set on the top of a mountain.

Know when to engage

If you see a fort or tower being constructed in the distance, don’t feel bad about not engaging the enemy. If the map is still large enough that you can circumnavigate them, trust in other players to spot the same fort and rush the opposition. 

On a similar note, if you are tempted to take them on, be prepared to knock out the base of whatever they’ve built. This will cause the structure to fall, often dealing a hefty chunk of falling damage if the opposition have made it up quite high. This can often net a kill or two as well!

Editing is king

A shot of the new season 7 of Fortnite

(Image: © Epic Games)

The fun doesn’t stop just because you’ve built a structure to the heavens. By editing pieces you’ve already placed, you can open up new combat and traversal opportunities to really catch an opponent unawares.

The best Fortnite players understand the power of tweaking what’s already built, like turning a wall into an arch or doorway to open up a new sightline. In fact, any of the game’s four basic building blocks can be tweaked in this way.

This means that if you end up above your opponent, you can edit a piece of the floor to open up a gap to shoot through.

Of course, this should be considered something to watch out for when navigating an opponent’s structure too. Nowhere is safe in Fortnite, and that’s doubly true when you’re ten storeys up while chasing an enemy!

Practice, practice, practice

While many players will form their own strategies, these things invariably take time. As the old adage goes, practice makes perfect - so try not to feel disheartened when someone cuts through your walls just as quickly as you can build them.

Building has a steep learning curve, but tools such as the Fortnite Building Simulator can work wonders for your skills and your confidence. This browser-based tool allows you to practice placing your walls, floors, ramps and roofs to your heart’s content, free from pesky distractions like bullets, enemies, or managing materials.

Its utility is tempered somewhat in that it’s only available on PC at present, but it allows you to try out control setups of popular Fortnite streamers to see which fits best for you.

Control your own destiny

On the subject of controls, Fortnite does offer some really unique tools for players looking to customize their setup - on PC or Console.

While PC players have plenty more keybindings to choose from, console players can change their layout to an option called ‘Builder Pro’ controls within the menu.

This essentially assigns a toggle between building and combat modes. While the combat side of things handles in a similar way to standard controls, toggling into build mode assigns each of Fortnite’s building blocks to a different shoulder button.

While it can take some adjusting (plus you’ll need to toggle your controls with a button press if you spot an enemy), this essentially allows you to build surprisingly diverse structures without having to navigate Fortnite’s admittedly pretty intuitive building menu.

(Image credit: Epic Games)