While those of us playing Fortnite were riveted to last weekend's black holes, the rest of the world looked at us to look at it in confusion and in some cases curiosity. Almost two days later, when the game finally came back online, many of my friends – and many of you, in the comments – asked if you would get into it. You also asked if you were destroyed by a ten year old. The answer to both questions is: yes.
Fortnite had a pretty massive review after the hole, into an era that developer Epic calls Chapter 2. Players are still honing the best landing sites and secrets in the game's new map and learning the new systems. These changes mean that it is a good time to go into things and learn together with everyone. Here's what you, a Fortnite newcomer, need to know.
So Fortnite is just a video game, right? It sounds like a bigger deal than that.
That's true. You've probably heard of it because of how popular it is, especially with young players. Its dances and slang in the game have been filtered out to the real world; my nieces and nephews, who don't play the game, still play a game called " Fortnite Tag" in gym class (I don't quite understand what it is, but it has " Fortnite " in The game and its players have also been in the news a lot, besides just video game publications. Celebrities such as musicians Drake and TV host Ellen DeGeneres have played it along with some of its best known streamers. Many artists, especially black artists, have sued developer Epic for claiming used dances they invented without compensating them, and a 1
Like everything, games can be bad when you make them too much. I have heard from friends about their children who were bullied in the game or that their ratings dropped because they played too much, but Fortnite is not much better or worse than other games when it comes to these types of issues. It is also a way for people to do something together or socialize when they are far apart. It's colorful, fun, and even though it has weapons in it, there's no blood or gore. So it doesn't ruin society, but many young people really like it, and it can fool adults.
Millions of people stared at a black screen for two days. What was it about it?
Fortnite is not just a screensaver, though you may think so after this week. Long story short: the game is split into seasons, which lasts about 10 weeks and usually culminate in a big game event. The hole was the end of season 10 . It started on Sunday afternoon when the whole map was sucked into a black hole after a rocket launch and a large explosion. To the players' surprise, all you saw when you loaded the game instead of the game going as it usually does was a black hole. The Internet went wild and tried to find out when the game would be played again. After about 37 hours, at 4 PM ET, the game came back online as Chapter 2 with many changes. It was pretty crazy with Epic to take the hugely popular game offline for so long, especially during a weekend in Canada and much of the US, so the stunt got a lot of attention.
What is Fortnite when it is not a hole?
The most famous version of Fortnite is its Battle Royale mode, which is free to play on computers, Xbox, PS4, Switch and mobile. It is not the only Fortnite mode available . Back in 2017, developer Epic hit the royale part from his less popular co-op story game, Fortnite: Save The World . Save The World is a paid game, while Battle Royale is free.
In Battle Royale, 100 players in solo, duos or teams of four jump from an airport bus to a map. When the phrase "Battle Royale" says, everyone tries to kill each other until there is only one player standing (or a team player, depending on the location). If you do not play solo, the game cooperates with strangers, or you can play with your friends. You start with just one pickaxe and have to find which weapons are around. Weapons have different colors, indicating how rare or powerful they are. You can also find drinks that give you shields, items that give you health and throwable items like grenades. During a match, a storm is also closed on the map. If you get stuck in it, you lose health and eventually die. This forces players to keep approaching each other.
Fortnite stands out from other combat royalties, such as PUBG and Apex Legends because you can destroy things in the environment and build with it. With your pickaxe you can chop up environmental pieces, such as trees, cars and stones, to build useful things like walls, floors and ramps. Building can be difficult to get hold of when you are new, but it is an important part of the game. Anyone shoot at you? Build a small hut to hide in. Do you need to get somewhere high? Build a ramp up to it. Learning the basics of building is quite simple, but knowing what to build, when and how to do it quickly is a little more difficult.
In addition to the 100 player main mode, there are other things you can do in Fortnite . There is a playground location where you or people you choose can explore the map and practice shooting or building without a touch. There is a creative mode where you can design your own areas and challenges. There are limited time modes with special rules, such as using only certain weapons or aircraft . One of them, called Team Rumble, is now permanent and it beats two teams of 50 against each other to compete for a certain number of deaths. There is also a competitive mode, if you want to be hardcore, but we will come to that later.
You said Fortnite was free, but my kids always ask me for money for it. Are they fooling me?
You might be raising Oliver Twist, but your kids probably want money for the optional items you can get in the game using the game's currency, V-Bucks. Some of these items come from a system called a Battle Pass, which gives you things in the game when you unlock the levels. Each season has a new battle pass. One version of the match pass is free and everyone gets it, while another has more rewards and costs about $ 10. The paid combat pass also has extra challenges in the game that you can complete for more experience. V-Bucks can be earned in the game, but mostly you buy them with real money.
In the current iteration of the game, you level out both match passes by collecting certain number of experience points. You get points for basically everything you do in the game: kill enemies, win matches, survive opponents, search the chest and more. Level rewards include items such as various characters, called " skins "; dances and other moves that your character can make; "Wraps" that make your weapons look different; charging screens; and music tracks. Sometimes the battle pass releases some V-Bucks. It is possible to buy next season's match passes only through the V-Bucks you earn by playing, but it requires a lot of work.
With the match pass you always know what rewards you will receive before doing so. task required, which is good. The popularity and openness of Fortnite's battle pass has encouraged lots of games to to switch to this system as opposed to eradicating random rewards, which can encourage unhealthy behavior and spending.  There are also clothes and other cosmetics for sale in the game shop. They are only available for purchase and rotate regularly. Everything is bought with V-Bucks.
You don't have to spend any money to play or win, but adapting your character and getting the latest shine or dance is a big part of the game's appeal. You get lots of fun stuff with the free card, but I can see why anyone might want to drop some money on V-Bucks for the paid pass or things in the store. Personally, I don't really buy things in the store even though I pay for the battle pass. I've definitely been playing longer than I thought I could to get some combat pass reward. It is not the healthiest choice, but it is my call as an adult. Set healthy boundaries for yourself or your children, and that should be good.
I googled “Fortnite” and now I keep getting offers for free V-Bucks. Have I discovered a loophole?
There are a lot of out there who claim to offer free V-Bucks but really just want to steal your passwords or personal information. Make sure you buy legitimate V-Bucks from Epic.
I want to be part of the zeitgeist. Am I too old?
Fortnite's brand is very kid-friendly and child-friendly but anyone can play. If you are worried about voice chat with minors, you can turn off voice and never have to hear anyone talk. As an added bonus, in my experience of playing Fortnite I make you really cool for kids, as well as for their parents, because you can answer all the parents' questions.
Do I need to know the story?
No. Fortnite tells its story strange: Every season has a plot, but it is told mainly through changes in the game's landscape, descriptions of character shells, through hidden messages in its charging screens and through player speculation. This background story culminates in each season's grand closing event, which sets the tone for the next season. One season, had a cube that moved around the map and created runes. Season 10's black holes were precipitated by time slides caused by a background character from a previous season and a rocket in the game and … a whole bunch of other stuff. An event at the end of the season, like the Black Hole, may not make sense to you if you don't mind deciphering the story for yourself during a season (which may mean reading subreddits and wikis). Still, the larger scaffolding of these stories will probably be dramatic and fun, even if you don't understand all the details.
Part of the game's fun, to me, is trying to find out what's going on. Fans are especially active online for discovering hidden secrets and creating theories. Sometimes these stories are filtered into the game. For example, if you did not follow the story of the cube, you might not know the player nicknamed "Kevin", and that can be confusing. But the new map means that some of the earlier stories can't be lost, so if you like fans and guesses you would enter the ground floor if you start playing now.
Is it difficult to learn to play?
Fortnite is now much more accessible to newcomers. The Black Hole stunt got a lot of attention for the game, which Epic seems to have planned for with Chapter 2. So many things have been streamlined or facilitated. Hit stars that you used to level up your hit pass are gone now; you do everything through XP. XP is only earned by playing the game. With the new medal system you get even more XP to do things you would regularly do. At least in the early stages, I feel that I'm making progress quickly.
Last season, Epic also changed how the game determines who's in a game with you. Now you should be matched with players who are more at your skill level. This reduces the likelihood of you being thrown into a match with experts who will immediately decimate you, which for many newcomers is the biggest stumbling block in many battle royale games.
Epic also seems to have added computer controlled characters this season. The developer said that these bots would come to the game but have not released patch patches, so we may not know 100% that they are in, but they seem to be. Many other players and I have encountered characters that do not move or act like human players do. While this may seem like the cheap experience, it has also been a great way for me to practice keeping cool when I encounter an enemy. Killing bots makes me feel good, even though there is a false sense of satisfaction, which means the game feels more rewarding to play.
Fortnite feels less scary days, which is good if you're new. If you haven't played in a while, the basics are still the same, and there are plenty of new things to explore.
What happens if I'm not good enough?
There are many ways to have fun in Fortnite if you are not a World Cup challenger, and there are also many ways to get better. You can find many tips for fighting and building on YouTube and Reddit. Team Rumble is a great place to train because you join the game again when you die, and the chaos means there are plenty of players to fight. You can also go to playground mode alone or with friends and choose a country to land. There you can explore the map or practice your building, which you need to become comfortable with to really succeed in the battle royale mode.
You can also just play the game with your friends and have a good time. While you don't want to degrade the game by tricking others, it's perfectly okay to play the game as a way to unwind or do silly stunts instead of being hell bent on a win.
I'm too good.
I've never had this problem, but congratulations! If the usual games feel too easy for you, you can play in the ranked mode, Arena. It is for competing players and does not have bots. You will play against others at your skill level and Epic regularly runs tournaments where players compete for money. The Christmas Fortnite World Cup was one such tournament, with a huge $ 30 million prize pool. There is plenty of competition for you out there.
Can I or my child get rich playing Fortnite ?
Maybe! Esports are a viable career, and there are many teams that may be willing to hire you if you are good enough. While World Cup solo winner Bugha got very notorious for his big money win, it didn't come out of nowhere, and it required a lot of hard work. So you probably won't get rich quick.
You might also think of famous streamers like Ninja, who made their careers on the game. While I can't say that the life of a streamer or esports pro is the life of me, it may be for you. Make a Twitch channel and see what happens! However, do not expect instant wealth or many riches at all.
I am a celebrity / politician / CEO. Will playing Fortnite make me more famous?
Maybe, but it will also make you rough because you are taking advantage of a trend for your personal gain . If you really don't want to play Fortnite for fun . It is okay. Do it.
You have convinced me.
I have a whole weekend ahead of me and I'm ready to play. Any last words of wisdom?
Be a good team player: be respectful of your teammates and other players, turn off your microphone when not talking and be a good winner or loser. Very few of my friends play the game, but I would recommend finding some other newcomers to team up with. Fortnite is much more fun with friends.