SIDEBAR ONE: A brief word on why I like Fortnite so much

There are a 100 people on this island and it’s a big island. If you’ve done a good job of avoiding people on the landing then you have plenty of time to look around, build up your arsenal, and Fortnite Leaks for your inevitable doom.
Fortnite is a game about situational awareness. If you want to survive, you have to be intimately aware of your surroundings. There is no radar which shows the direction of enemies, you must use your ears and listen for footsteps and you must use your eyes to constantly looking for movement. This is a third person shooter where you will be rewarded by how well you pay attention to the world around you. You must listen for the sound of footsteps. They sound different on different surfaces. You must examine the space around for signs of prior inhabitants.Walking in wide open spaces is almost always a bad idea.
On the ground now.
You have two goals that are equally important: stay alive and find a weapon that is better than your axe. Your axe is a weapon, but is melee which means anyone with any kind of gun is going to wax you quickly. Look around. See if there are humans about and if you see them RUN THE OTHER DIRECTION — you are effectively unarmed.
A word about situational awareness. Since there is no radar, players rely mostly on sound to figure out what is going on around them. You walking around – however slowly – makes sound. Changing weapons makes sound. If you shoot your gun for no particular reason someone might hear that and if they are feeling well-armed they will head your direction. Quiet is your friend.
Once you are satisfied that you are comfortably alone, you are looking to gear up. Run to that nearby house or cave and see what gear is there. Most covert places have some type of gear, ammo, traps, shields, bandages, etc. Collect this loot.
Weapons briefly. They have a color associated with them with equates to the strength of their stats. The colors of increasing power are: grey, green, blue, purple, and orange. The better the color the less likely you’ll find one. There are hand cannons, autos, machine guns, rocket launchers, shot guns, sniper rifles, grenade launchers, rail guns, and others.There are also specialized models of some of these guns.
What weapons do you need? First, you need just one. Quickly. Doesn’t matter which. Anything in your hands to encourage a fair fight with the other 99 humans running around the island looking to kill you. After that first gun, I’m not really happy until I have some type of auto-rifle (for medium to long fights) and a shotgun (for close range fights). I am also eagerly looking for a sniper rifle because the scope is super handy for examining wide open spaces. Cross-bows are garbage. Leave them. Finally, for end game, I need a grenade or rocket launcher to do serious splash damage to structures. More on this in a bit.
Shields come as a drinks. There are small (25 shields, maximum of 50) and large versions of them (50 shields, maximum of 100). I drink a shield drink as soon as I find it. You can have a max of 100 shields.
Health comes in bandages (15 health, maximum of 75) and first aid kits (100 health). There is also a drink called Slurp Juice, which regenerates one point each of health and shields per second for 25 seconds, and can get you back up to full health. There is an legendary consumable called a Chug Jug which gives you maximum health and shield. After any successful battle, it behooves you to get back to full health as quickly as possible. You can have a max of 100 health.
There are chests which have higher than average drops. They are often hidden, but emit an obvious humming sound. Listening is your friend. If you’re in a building and can’t find the golden chest start whacking on walls with your axe, but if you destroy the floor below a chest, you destroy the chest. More on this in a moment under “Wait? It’s Minecraft?
There are other items that you can gather such as traps, jump pads, and fires. Players that are better than I can explain the value of these magic little devices.
I am armed to the teeth and I am not dead. Now what?
Fortnite “encourages” players to gather together through a mechanic they called storms. Every few minutes, the playable area is reduced significantly by a “storm”. You can look at the map and see the next smaller circular playing area. There are tons of warnings about the impending storm and the map handily shows you the direction you need to run to get to a safe area. If you get caught in the storm, you will slowly die over time. For shame.
My strategy is to stay out storms and to attempt to win battles where I have an obvious advantage such as: clear shot via a sniper, successfully snuck into close range without detection, or the middle of a fire fight between other players. I attempt to shoot these players with a range appropriate weapon and not die. At medium to close range, shot guns are the way to go.
When you kill a player all of their loot drops. You will notice the longer that your survive that better loot drops from players.
Totally still alive:
Congratulations. Not dying rules, right? Take a look at the right of the screen and you’ll be able to see you newly registered kill as well as how many players are left. If you’ve followed the strategy above, you are probably in the final 50. I am regularly in the final 20 using this hang back strategy with one or two kills. I’ve won the whole sha-bang once. I would be a boring streamer.
Keep with that situational awareness. Heal and replenish shields after a fight. Keep looking for more and better loot. Don’t die.
SIDEBAR TWO: Wait, it’s Minecraft?
Not really, but you can build stuff. I didn’t want to distract you early on, but when you walking on items you’ll notice that you can get materials: wood, bricks, or metal, depending on what you wack. You can use these materials to build walls, floors, stairs, and roofs. You will need to learn to quickly build because it’s effectively another shield plus you can build structures to give you vast strategic advantages.
I like to have 100 of at least one material so that I can quickly throw up walls when someone starts shooting me out of nowhere. Free shields. yo. Wood is the weakest of the materials, but the most plentiful. Use your axe to hack on large trees for lots of wood.
Building takes practice. I recommend thinking of it like combos in fighting games. You need to make the act of building instinctual. This takes practice, but fortunately for you there is YouTube. You’re welcome.

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