Epic Games, the creator and publisher of Fortnite,
Though the game is free, there's stuff in it that has a price. V-Bucks are the in-game currency used to buy outfits, also known as skins, along with dances, gliders and other cosmetics. Every 100 V-Bucks is approximately $1 in real money.
There's also a Battle Pass available each season. The pass costs 950 V-Bucks, or $9.50, and unlocks in-game content as you play and accomplish certain goals, known as challenges, over the course of the 10-week season.
Rules of the game
Before your first match, let's go over how the game works. Fortnite, as well as games like PUBG and Apex Legends, is known as a battle royale game because it shares the same basic idea as the Japanese manga and movie "Battle Royale": everyone fights until only one person is left standing.
Each Fortnite battle royale match has 100 competitors who are either playing solo, with a partner (known as duos) or as part of a four-person squad. Everyone has 100 health points that can be replenished with healing items found on the island. You can acquire 100 points in shields via potions and other consumables. Players who hit zero health points are eliminated, and the person or team that survives until the end of the match wins the Victory Royale.
Ready to drop
After selecting a character and mode -- singles, duos or teams -- players start each match at Spawn Island while Epic's system puts together 100 combatants. On this island, you can run around, do some dancing, harvest some items or just wait around, but whatever you do or gather here won't carry over into the match. When ready, all players are transported to the Battle Bus, a flying blue school bus that carries players to the island where actual gameplay happens.
The Battle Bus takes a different path across the island at the start of every match. You can decide when to jump off, or you'll be forced off once the bus has completed its trip across the map. After a short period of skydiving, everyone lands on the island. Once you're on the ground you'll need to acquire weapons, items and materials to outlast the other competitors.
But other players aren't the only thing to worry about. After five minutes, a storm begins to close in on the island. Those caught in the storm will be dealt damage each second. As the match goes on, the storm circle shrinks and deals more damage, making it important to avoid it as much as possible.
If you're eliminated, you can watch the rest of the match or head back to the lobby to start another game. If you outlast everyone else, you win the Victory Royale.
Learning how to pew pew
There are three control schemes available in Fortnite: video game controllers, touch controls on mobile devices, and mouse and keyboard. Of the three schemes, mouse and keyboard is generally considered the best option because a mouse offers better accuracy when shooting. There's also the option to use keybinds, which let you customize the function of a button on the keyboard or mouse. For example, the default key to shoot is the left mouse button, but some players change that button to build a wall instead. Spending time figuring out the ideal keybinds can save precious time during a match.
As a third-person perspective shooting game, which means you're viewing your avatar on screen rather than in first-person, the controls are on par with many other shooters. One hand is used to move the character, while the other aims. With a weapon equipped, it's best to aim down the sights (the button for this varies on each platform) before firing, to make the shot more accurate. Grenades and other throwable weapons will change the display on the screen from a firing reticle to a throwing arc, showing where your weapon will land.
If you've played any modern shooter, these controls will feel familiar. However, it's the next section that really makes Fortnite different from all other games.
Build, baby, build
In a match, players can build structures as a way to defend themselves, reach certain areas or get the upper hand on an opponent. It's as important, if not more important, than being able to shoot accurately.
Players are equipped with a pickax, or harvesting tool, by default at the start of every match. It does a minimal amount of damage to opponents, but it's important since it lets you acquire materials. Almost everything on the island can be destroyed with a harvesting tool, providing either wood, metal or stone, sometimes called brick. These three materials are used for building, and they range in sturdiness, with wood being the weakest and brick the strongest.
There are four basic structures available to build: walls, floors, stairs and roofs. Each requires 10 of any material to create and will take a few seconds to fully build. Once built, they can be removed entirely or partially via the edit button (more on that further down). Other players can destroy things you've built using various weapons, which is why it's important to decide what material to use. A stone wall will take more damage than a wood wall.
The most common approach to structures is to build a fort, as suggested by the name of the game. This offers some protection from bullets and can give you a better view of opponents. In most cases, you'll be building to defend yourself. Pro players, on the other hand, can build for both defense and offense. An example of offensive building is building a structure around other players in an attempt to trap them.
Building is vital to being a good Fortnite player. Practice regularly until you can do it seamlessly.
It's fishing time
One interesting addition in Fortnite Chapter 2 is fishing. Yes, in the middle of a match with bullets flying and the storm surging, players can spend their time catching fish and other stuff.
To start fishing, you'll need a fishing pole. They can be found on the ground, in chests and in barrels located in buildings near the water. It'll take a weapon slot once it's picked up, but don't expect to deal any damage with it. The pole can act as a kind of grappling hook that will attach to weapons, items and even other teammates, and it'll pull them toward you.
Now with the fighting pole equipped, it's time to fish. Any body of water on the island has the potential of containing one of three items: a fish, a weapon or just junk. Fish can improve a player's health like a medkit and can be found in groups in the water. Weapons found in the water tend to be common variants making them not worth the effort of finding. And junk, it's junk.
There is one exceptionally difficult item available only by fishing. It's called the