Fortnite Battle Royale is the game of the moment. The bedrooms and living rooms of homes up and down the country are resonating with the sound of automatic weapon fire, the clanks and thwops of crafting and teenage exclamations at suddenly dying.

While the game is built around the need to hone your skills and reaction times, there are a few things I wish I’d known before I started playing.  

Gear up

Fortnite Battle Royale matches start with a bang. It’s really important to get a good range of gear as fast as you can. Aim to land near buildings that you can search for loot before other players get to them.

Then, as you progress be sure to manage your guns, ammunition and medkits. You need to hoard as many of these as you can. But you also need to know when you are running low on bullets so you can change up.

Terrain is critical

Although you can, of course, build your own cover, it’s essential to use your natural surroundings in Fortnite to get cover and out-manoeuvre enemies. Always be aware of vantage points that can be used to snipe you. Maintaining a better line of site to other players will give you the upper hand.

At the same time, be aware of where the storm is currently and how the circle is moving. This not only ensures you aren’t forced out of your hiding place, but you can be ready to pick off other players who have been caught out.

Show some flex

One of the joys of Fortnite is that no two games are the same. You will no doubt have favourite weapons and locations in the game, but don’t get too wedded to one style of play. You need to be able to adjust your tactics to the situation you find yourself in.

This means that keep a varied inventory of weapons, potions and medkits is important. You never know what you will stumble upon around the next corner, so having a wide-ranging kit of tools to draw from will stand you in good stead.

Dirty tactics

Fortnite is a game about outwitting the other players. You might do this by sniping someone from higher ground, but there are many other less reputable ways to win. Laying traps is a great way to do away with an unsuspecting player. Using loot to lure players into traps is a nice trick.

Building can also help you outsmart other players. If you are being targeted, building is a great first response. But as soon as you do you give your position away though. A good tip is to build a big structure and them move away from it and wait for the other player to come and investigate. Once they are in your sights, you can take them down.

The right environment

Playing Fortnite to win means paying attention to your surroundings in the real world as much as in the game. It’s essentially that you don’t get interrupted or distracted by younger siblings or parents telling you it’s tea time. Make sure you have enough time to play the game for a good stretch so you can get into your groove.

Having a good headset will also help you communicate with teammates as well as hear what’s going on around you in the game. Clearly hearing footsteps of another player can make the difference between life and death.

If you are on a losing streak, don’t just belligerently keep at it, getting more and more irate. Take a break; play something else; go outside, maybe. When you return you’ll be fresh and ready to go.

Shut that door

If you have looted or entered a house and leave the door open it’s a clear sign to other players that you are in there. Because of this it’s advisable to close the door behind you once you’ve gone in.

Doors can also be used, if left open, to lure other players into a structure. Some teams also agree a door protocol where they leave doors open to indicated that they’ve looted the house and save teammates time.

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Mind your language

When playing in teams it’s important that you can communicate quickly and efficiently. Therefore, make sure you know the names of the main locations on the map, and discuss rally points as you parachute down.

Players also develop words to quickly indicate the state of nearby enemies. “Knocked” can indicate when a player has been hit to the ground. “Push” is a helpful shorthand to advance. “Potato aim” is one you can use to identify an easy enemy. “Team left/right” can tell your teammates where other players are coming from. You can also use the compass to identify enemy positions.

Weapon hierarchy

Understanding the different weapons in Fortnite is, again, critical to doing well. Not only are there different varieties but the colour indicates how rare and powerful they are. Gray is the most common, then green, blue, purple and orange.

At each of these levels the weapon's Damage Per Second value increases. Having a rare gun can make all the difference in those final showdowns where every bit of health matters.

Now why not check out What parents need to know about Fortnite