To win consistently in Fortnite, eventually you’ll have to get good at building. Winners build above their opponents, secure the high ground, and score headshots, which deal greater damage. To get better at building, you need to practice, even if it means losing a bunch of games in a row just to develop the muscle memory of placing walls and ramps.
But what if you’re bad at building and want to win now? It’s hard, but it’s not impossible. Here are three easy strategies for new players who want to win their first Victory Royale without building too much.
Strategy #1: Play it safe for as long as possible
You won’t win any medals for bravery playing this way, but one way to last until the final circles is by playing extremely cautiously. Simply avoiding enemies isn’t enough—you’ll also want to hug the outside of each circle, potentially even dipping into the storm to avoid fights if you have medkits on hand. Don’t do anything to draw attention to yourself; don’t shoot unless you’re sure you can make the kill, and be cognizant of leaving a trail of man-made structures or open doors behind you.
Once you’re in one of the final circles, find a hiding spot and get good at crouching. Enemies can hear your footsteps and your weapon switches, so keep movement to a minimum. Shift spots only when you have to, and if you need to run to avoid the storm, try to do it while opponents are fighting each other to muffle the sound of your footsteps.
You will eventually have to kill your last opponent, or, if you’ve maneuvered yourself into a position where it’s difficult to be shot, you’ll have to outlast your opponent in the storm. You can lengthen the amount of time you last after the storm moves in with meds and with fireplaces, but there’s a good chance that your opponent will rush and shoot you before they die of natural causes. For this final battle, make sure you pick up a shotgun at some point during the game, and prepare for close-quarters combat. Try jumping and aiming for the head.
Strategy #2: Disorient your opponents by destroying their structures
The point of this strategy is to keep your enemies flustered and perpetually on the defensive, which will make it a lot harder for them to take you out without building at their level.
For this strategy, you’ll need to play aggressively. After your initial looting, actively engage with enemies so that you can cycle your way through better loot. Try to gather a loadout that includes some form of explosives, a medium-range weapon (like an assault rifle), a shotgun, and a ton of ammo. Use the explosives and assault rifle in the endgame to take out the bottoms of enemies’ towers—dropping them to the ground—and then rush them with the shotgun. When enemies build up against you, don’t stop shooting their structures down. Try at all costs to keep enemies on your level or below, and don’t give them time to heal or reshield.
Strategy #3: Leech onto the best player in the game
If you thought strategy #1 was borderline cowardly, you’ll love strategy #3. It requires a rudimentary knowledge of building and a deep willingness to stand perfectly still for minutes at a time.
Follow strategy #1 until the endgame, and then identify the enemy with the best position in the game. They’ll likely have the high ground, have a sniper rifle or rocket launcher, and should be picking off the last few players one by one. Find a way to sneak into the same space as this enemy without being noticed—again, move during firefights if you can. Ideally, they are sitting atop a tower, in which case you try to move into a bottom floor of their structure, building new walls and ramps to conceal yourself if necessary. If they’re in a building, move onto the floor directly below them, adding a ramp above yourself so you aren’t directly in their field of vision if they blow out your roof.
Once you’re under your target, sit tight and wait for them to shoot out the rest of the players. When it finally comes down to just the two of you, don’t give them too much time to search around for your hiding spot. You don’t want to let them find you first. Instead, right after they take out the third-place enemy, move under their footsteps and blow out the floor they’re standing on. Switch to shotgun and try to blast them as they fall. This strategy relies on a lot of specific contingencies, but carrying you through to this stage of the game dramatically raises your chance of winning. Just try to get good at close-quarters headshots.