guides • Jan 21, 2020
Basic Building Guide for Fortnite
Building is a unique game mechanic that started with Fortnite and is one of the key parts of the entire game. Once upon a time, how you could tell someone was good at building in Fortnite was how fast they could build a 1x1. Case in point (turn on sound):
Believe it or not, that was considered fast.
A year later, we can see that building has evolved quite dramatically:
Numerous building techniques were discovered when Fortnite’s popularity exploded, especially with the development of the game’s pro scene. Knowing how to build fight is a massive advantage in Fortnite over those who don’t, as it allows you to get to advantageous (high ground) positions within seconds and provides countless gameplay options that won’t be accessible otherwise.
Over the past year, the community has got so much better at building that it’s almost impossible for a new Fortnite player to get a Victory Royale. These days, the mark of a good builder is someone who knows exactly what to build and how to combine build patterns in every situation, and is able to cleanly execute the builds in game.
However, it’s not necessary for a beginner to get that good at Fortnite to have a fighting chance for that W. There’s a number of very basic building patterns that are fairly easy for a beginner to learn and use in their gameplay, in addition to just fundamental ideas that can really help them out. If you’re new to the game, or just new to building in general, this guide is for you!
Without further ado, let’s get started:
Get your keybinds and settings right
Make sure turbo build is on. It’ll let you build a lot more smoothly and make it so you won’t have to click like a maniac.
Next, make sure your keybinds are easy for you to hit quickly and comfortably. This applies mostly to PC players who have the most customizability, but console and mobile players should definitely have a look at their settings to see what feels most comfortable to them as well.
Since PC players rely on a keyboard and mouse, it’s important that they’re binding their building keys to buttons that are easy to reach. If you use the standard “WASD” for movement, it doesn’t make any sense to bind your ramp key to ‘;’ which is on the other end of the keyboard. Instead, try to bind your building buttons to keys that are nearby “WASD”. Any of the keys ‘Q’, ‘E’, ‘R’, ‘T’, ‘F’, ‘G’, ‘Z’, ‘X’, ‘C’, ‘V’, and ‘B’ are decent options. Here’s an image demonstrating:
If you have a gaming mouse (like a Logitech G Pro or something), you have the option of using some of your mouse buttons as well. In this case, you can bind keys that aren’t easily accessible such as ‘P’ or ‘;’ through the device manufacturer’s software. This can be useful if you want to save some of the keys listed above for other actions like weapon bindings.
Ideally, you just want your keys to be in spots where you feel comfortable pressing them over and over for hours on end. Play around in creative mode and practice some of the patterns listed in this guide to get a good feel for it!
If you’d like to read more on keybinds, visit our dedicated keybinds guide!
Pattern 1: Ramp Rush
Once you’ve got your keybinds settled, it’s time to learn some building patterns!
First up is the ramp rush, which is the primary build pattern to use if you’re running head on into an enemy. It’s one of the simplest patterns to execute, with different levels of difficulty.
A very basic ramp rush is the 2 layer ramp rush. This involves building a single ramp with a wall behind it, like this:
If you’re pushing someone head on, this ramp rush will give your ramp extra support so that the person you’re pushing doesn’t just shoot your ramp down and make you fall. Executing this is really easy, especially if you’re running forwards. You would push buttons in the following order:
- Select Ramp
- Place Build
- Select Wall
- Place Build
Here is a slow example:
Slightly more advanced is the 3 layer ramp rush, with a wall and a floor behind the ramp:
Generally, you would do a 3 layer ramp rush if you’re expecting someone to shoot at your ramp not just from in front, but from below as well. It’s a lot easier to mess up than the two layer as you’ll be turbo building, which often punishes any mistakes you make in mouse movement. This is how you would execute it:
- Select Ramp
- Click and hold
- Select Floor
- Select Wall
Here is a slow example:
Once you’ve mastered the single ramps, you can go into the double ramp rush - essentially, you would be building two ramps side by side. This can get fairly difficult when attempting a double 3 layer rush, but the double 2 layer rush is fairly doable with minimal practice:
In order to do a double ramp rush, it’s the same steps as building the single ramps, but you would place your mouse sort of in this bottom corner of the ramp and jiggle it side-to-side when you turbo build:
It’s the same idea with the 3 layer ramp, but just much more difficult to execute. The best players will be able to easily do it, but don’t sweat it if you’re a beginner. Work your way up from the basics!
When practicing, just take it slow, until you can comfortably get the motions correct, then try to take it a bit quicker! Ramp rushing is something you can definitely nail with a couple of hours of practice.
Pattern 2: 90s
If you’ve been paying attention to Fortnite for the past several months, you’ll likely have heard of 90s. 90s are a building pattern that allows a player to change direction while building without missing a beat. There’s a million ways to do 90s, and Myth covers a few different ways in a building guide he made earlier this year.
With that being said, if you want a quick version explaining this, here’s a (slightly sloppy) example of what a basic 90 looks like:
The steps to this are simple:
- Run to the top of the ramp
- Build a wall at the top of the ramp and one next to it in the direction you’re turning
- Place a ramp to catch you
Here’s an example of one being done slowly:
You can place a floor between steps 3 and 4 as well. This adds a layer of stability and safety, but it makes executing the 90 a lot more difficult.
Knowing how to do 90s is really important when build fighting - you usually have no other option to change directions while building quickly, so if you don’t want to immediately get stuck, make sure you have these practiced. Some extra things to know about 90s:
- When you get very good at cranking 90s, you should know that you won’t be able to execute more than 4 in a row due to jump lag.
- You probably don’t want to do too many 90s in a row because they’re quite flimsy and can be shot down easily
- 90s are meant to be used in combination with other building patterns - you need to
- There’s so many ways of doing 90s. Some are safer, some are faster, some are easier to execute. Unless you’re planning on going pro, you don’t need to know every single way. Just be practiced at doing fast ones and safe ones.
Pattern 3: 180s
180s are the same idea as 90s, but like the name suggests, instead of turning left or right, you’re turning around. Here’s an example and how you do it:
- Run to the top of a ramp
- Turn around, build two walls
- Build a ramp
Simple stuff. Like 90s, it’s meant to be combined with other patterns. You can build walls to the side of your ramp to protect yourself from enemy fire as well.
Pattern 4: Turtling/Boxing
The last pattern we’ll cover in this guide is the Turtle/Box. This is probably the most useful pattern a player can learn as it’ll help save you in most situations. Here’s an example of it:
Essentially, turtling is just building a box around yourself. For beginners, this is something you should get in the habit of doing any time someone shoots at you. It’ll help you pinpoint where you’re being shot from, and it’ll either force the enemy to keep shooting at you or come closer. This buys you precious time to either escape or plan your counterattack.
To turtle, you simply do the following:
- Select Wall
- Click, and spin 360 degrees
- Select Floor
- Build a ceiling
- Select Cone
- Build above your box and in your box
Once you’re in your box, make sure you’re reinforcing your walls by just holding your turbo build on whichever sides are being destroyed. When you stop being shot at, it’s easy to just edit out of your box and try to find a more advantageous position - either to run away or to attack the person shooting at you. For more information on what to do in a turtle situation, try out this video.
Every building pattern has a rhythm to it
When you practice these building patterns, you’ll realize that there’s a sort of beat or rhythm to them. For example, in the 3 layer ramp rush, you’ll realize that there’s a beat behind each click and button press.
The click moment for building in Fortnite is when those rhythms feel as natural to you as singing a favourite song of yours. The rhythm will play through your head, and you’ll always hit the buttons and move your mouse in the correct way when executing each build.
Combo the building patterns!
As mentioned in the section on 90s and 180s, building patterns are meant to be used in combination with each other. You can’t really get by with using just one pattern - you’ll have to use multiple patterns every build fight, mix and match, and adapt to the situation. It’s a little bit like chess where you might have the same opening play, but the game will play out differently after the first several moves.
Some examples of what you can do are:
- Turtle, edit a wall, and ramp rush outwards, and 90/180 towards the enemy
- Ramp rush into 90/180, turtle if something goes wrong
- Build side-by-side boxes and edit through them (also known as snaking)
The best builders in the game don’t only know every pattern and practiced them 1000 times, they know exactly how each pattern can transition into each other, how to edit a pattern to take advantage of their situation, how to adjust a pattern to use fewer mats when they’re low.
If you’re looking to learn more about building, check out our YouTube channel. We’ve got loads of videos directed at beginners looking to learn more about the game!