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Tips for Starting Out

Michael Bitton Posted:
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Early Access for Epic Games’ shooting/base-building/tower defense RPG, Fortnite, began this week and we definitely think it’s a game you should try. But if you’ve already jumped in, or you’re considering doing so, we want to make sure you start off on the right foot. Read on for our tips on starting out in Fortnite.

Play what you want, but try and keep an Outlander as a side-class

We don’t recommend playing an Outlander as your main class right now; they need considerable TLC from the developers. However, Outlanders (particularly the Pathfinder type) are great for farming loot and resources. The Pathfinder Jess gets traits that allow her to mine considerably faster than the rest of the cast, see loot through walls at considerable distance, and teleport/run quickly around the map. Outlanders don’t bring a whole lot when it comes to taking out baddies or building a fort, but it’s a good idea to keep one leveled up on your roster when you need to just jump into a map to farm some resources.

Recycle, Collect, and Transform

Both your backpack and vault have limited storage, so you’re likely to spend considerable time managing it. Personally, I recycle anything I don’t need or have schematics for, and this especially includes traps. Traps aren’t super useful (particularly early on), so you can feel safe in recycling any you lack schematics for. Another important tip for recycling is that you should recycle any items you can before they break. You’ll get the same amount of materials back for recycling a gun at 100% condition as you would at 1% condition, so there’s no reason to ever let anything outright break. Also, don't recycle schematics. Placing them in your collections or transforming them will yield much better returns.

Not too long after you start playing Fortnite, you’ll unlock the Collection book in your armory. This book will allow you to browse through all the various items and characters you can find in the game (even if you don’t have them yet), but it’s also where you permanently slot these items to receive rewards.  As you find new items and characters, you’ll want to start filling in your book as a long term goal. The rewards are definitely worth it. I tend to wait until I have duplicates of something before I slot it in, because once slotted the item/character is removed permanently. If you don’t have a duplicate, you’ll need to find the item/schematic or character again, so keep that in mind. One other tip: you can level up things in your collection even if you no longer have access to them and doing this will grant additional experience towards your book.

Transforming is something you will unlock through the skill tree a bit later, but it’s another key way to manage your inventory. Simply put, the feature allows you to combine multiple items of a given quality to receive items of higher quality. You can do this as much as you like up to Rare quality, but if you want to go higher than that, you’ll need to acquire specific consumable Transform keys through your adventures.

Don’t worry about traps early on

Fortnite is pretty easy early in the game and it’s even easier with other players. You may feel tempted to go nuts with your base, setting up elaborate traps or doing the same in mission areas, but this isn’t really necessary, particularly in the first zone of Stonewood. If you enjoy putting together these elaborate setups like a friend of mine does, go for it, but you will easily be able to get by all of the Storm Shield defenses and Stonewood maps just using your guns (or swords) and abilities.

Try not to waste skill points

Once you unlock the skill tree, you’ll be railroaded down a linear path for a bit, but things will begin to open up and eventually you’ll fill out everything you want for your main class in tier 1. It’s a good idea to look around for other useful bonuses in the tree, such as building upgrades or defender/survivor slots, but once you’ve nailed down the essentials, don’t be tempted to just start wasting points filling out the rest of the tree. Once you move on to tier 2, you’ll notice each node will cost more than the single point it does in tier 1, so it will take considerably more points as you move through the tiers to get the things you want. You can eventually get the points to unlock everything in the entire tree, but it’s best not to spread yourself too thin so you can make sure you always have enough points to keep unlocking skills that benefit your primary style of play before you start filling in the rest.

Do you have your own tips for starting out in Fortnite? Share ‘em with us in the comments below!


Michael Bitton

Michael Bitton / Michael began his career at the WarCry Network in 2005 as the site manager for several different WarCry fansite portals. In 2008, Michael worked for the startup magazine Massive Gamer as a columnist and online news editor. In June of 2009, Michael joined MMORPG.com as the site's Community Manager. Follow him on Twitter @eMikeB