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The story behind the Battle Royale studio; and our favourite winners’ strategies

Epic Games has been getting it right for a very long time.

Established as Potomac Computer Systems in 1991 when founder Tim Sweeny ran the business out of his parents’ house, the studio has made some of the most influential games of all time; Unreal, Gears of War, Jazz Jackrabbitand many others. The studio is also behind the Unreal Engine; one of the most prolific technologies used for making both triple-A and indie titles today. Even if you only play a handful of titles, chances are Epic’s engine powers at least one of them.

So the team should be familiar with acclaim, adulation and commercial success. Still, when they made their PVE co-op sandbox game Fortnite – built in collaboration with Polish outfit People Can Fly – available in early access, the studio was to enter a new era of prevalence in the minds of modern gamers. Because when Epic published free-to-play spin-off Fortnite: Battle Royale – also still in early access at the time of writing – they found themselves with a phenomenon on their hands. And that’s no over exaggeration; in Februrary 2018 alone 83.3 million hours were spent watching Fortnite content across Twitch and YouTube Gaming.

As the name suggests, Battle Royale blends survival and scavenging gameplay with a ‘last man standing’ competitive shooter element, all set in a gameworld with a continually shirking safe-zone that forces players together. And, of course, Battle Royaleinherits much of the freestyle building seen in the original Fortnite.
Quickly, it has become an icon of competitive gaming. With Battle Royaleyet to be released in full, it has already made the same kind of impact as Minecraft and Candy Crush Saga on mainstream culture. In Februrary 2018, 16.3% of PC core gamers globally played the game, and there are streamers out there earning $500,000 a month from covering Fortnite. Meanwhile, the game’s infamous dance has become a hit in playgrounds and even international sporting events across the globe.

That considered, we thought we’d share with you our three favourite strategies for winning big in Fortnite: Battle Royale.

The ‘Stairway to Heaven’
This strategy for surviving to win a game of Fortnite: Battle Royale is far from conventional; but then the game is anything but a conventional shooter. Fortnite: Battle Royale rewards players that think outside the box. And this approach can win you a game without firing a shot. How? By employing the game’s building abilities. With a little practice it’s really quite simple. Drop in to a nicely wooded area, gather some basic weapons, items and resources (especially brick and wood) and hotfoot it over to the edge of the safe zone. Starting there will assure your tower is constantly obscured by the storm as it moves in. Next, juststart building. It doesn’t have to be pretty or tidy – it must just go up and up, and be climbable. You really want to end up high, high in the sky, where you may be able to lurk unnoticed until the end of the game, when either those down below destroy themselves, or you are faced with a single player left for you to off with a sole shot from the skies. Of course, once you’ve achieved height you’ll want to keep building towards the centre of the safe zone. There are downsides. For one, as this ‘Stairway to Heaven’ approach becomes more popular, you might find the skies of Fortnite: Battle Royal getting as busy as the island.And if your platforms are spotted from the ground, they can often be shot away. That means it’s a good idea to build big and wide, just so you aren’t left with nowhere to go. For more detail, YouTuber PeteThePikachu has a great guide to this approach.

• A Balanced Landing (Site)
Looking for a more fundamental strategy? Here’s what we’ve learned about picking the best starting spot in Fortnite: Battle Royale – which is one of the most important thing to get right in the game, beyond making sure your aim is true. The basics here are simple – a busier area like a well-populated city will mean a bounty of weapons and loot, but also much higher chances of getting downed quickly. Quiet areas, meanwhile, bring less risk and less reward. Which you go with will ultimately depend on your play-style and skill level. But there’s much you can do to try and get the best of both. At the time of writing, dropping to the area with an oversized wooden chair between Shifty Shafts and Flush Factory lets you begin in a quieter area that still has just enough loot to start you off on the right foot. There’s other spots – like the motel close to Anarchy Acres – that offer a great balance of plentiful loot and relative quiet. But the best areas to go for change over time. With trial and error, though, you can always zero in on the current location that offers plentiful resources without being overcrowded. There’s also an army of YouTubers out ther providing up-to-date guides to the latest perfect landing zones. However, it’s equall about how you land. As you descend, don’t just scan your immediate destination; glance over as much as you can to where you’ll head after you’ve landed. Knowing what you’re about to face in terms of players and environment is essential to letting you charge from your landing spot to the battle prepared to win. Ultimately, you just need to rember this: ‘plan your landings, scan the world as you glide in, and carefully plot your route through the battle’.

• The Rarity Delusion
There’s a common misconception in Fortnite: Battle Royale that we’ve seen undermine otherwise skilled players. Just because a loot item is rare, does not mean it is especially effective. Of course, hunting down Legendary weapons will give you an arsenal with beefed up stats; but the most powerful weapon isn’t always the most appropriate. It’s much better to go with a lesser sniper rifle in a long-range situation that a Rare shotgun. And a Legendary rocket launcher is no good when the stealth a Rare crossbow enables is needed. Ultimately, pick the weapon that best suits your play-style or the current situation. Storming the map with an ill-suited Legendary weapon is too often the end of an otherwise talented player. It’s also worth noting that no weapon is perfect for every situation; even the Rare assault rifle variant – which is a fantastic all rounder – will let you down at times. Pick your arsenal wisely, and be prepared to adapt your firepower to the situation at hand.

There’s lots more advice on playing the perfect Fortnite: Battle Royale game, and we may well bring you more. For now, the best way to improve is to get playing.

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