Fortnite is a game that’s easy to start and play, but hard to master. I’ve seen my son have a great time with it for weeks before he gets frustrated with the game and starts looking around for something else to do.
If you’re thinking about getting into Fortnite with your kid, or if you already are and you need some pointers on how to keep them from getting discouraged, this post is for you!
When I first got into Fortnite with my son, I was immediately drawn in by its ease of use. It has a simple interface with just one button you press to jump. You can move left or right with the arrow keys. You shoot with spacebar. That’s it. There’s no “shooters stance” or “aim mode” or anything like that. The game isn’t complicated, it’s just fun.
But when my son started playing, things changed quickly. He quickly learned what the different weapons did, where to go for items (and how to get them), and how to build his character and survive.
He also learned how to make a trap, which is useful because every Fortnite battle royale map has at least one tunnel that leads directly to the battle bus. If you know the layout of the map well enough, you can find the battle bus pretty easily, and it gives you an unfair advantage once you’ve killed all the other players.
The problem is, you don’t always know the layouts of maps as well as you think you do. And once you’re caught inside a tunnel? Well, you’re dead.
Here’s a list of tips to help you play the game with your child without frustrating them.
1. Don’t let them kill anyone
This one seems obvious, but it’s important, so bear with me. When you start playing Fortnite, you’ll see people being shot down. They fall over, sometimes out of their seat, and they die. Sometimes you can even hear them scream for help. This makes them feel bad, especially if they were trying to help someone who was being attacked. But the reality is that you shouldn’t be helping them too much. You should only be saving yourself or others who are close to death.
The best thing you can do is not to save anyone unless you have a gun or another weapon that would allow you to kill them. Just let them die, because killing them might make them mad and they won’t want to play with you anymore. At least until they understand that the game isn’t real life.
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2. Teach them to aim
In most games, you learn how to shoot by aiming. But in Fortnite, you actually don’t have to aim. Most of the time, you can just point at someone and hit them. Some weapons, like the crossbow, require more precision than that. But for those that don’t, you usually don’t need to aim at all.
So the first thing you should do in Fortnite is teach your child to aim correctly. Pointing at someone and hitting them is good, but they don’t have to aim exactly where you point — just aim somewhere near that spot. In other words, don’t tell them to aim at their feet or something like that. Tell them to aim where the person is.
3. Teach them to use traps
Traps are super-useful in Fortnite. They slow enemies down, give you a chance to escape safely, and they’re often the difference between winning and losing a match. So the next thing you should teach your child is how to set up a trap.
You start off by building a wall of dirt or whatever material you have lying around. Then, you dig underneath it and place a trap there. Then you fill the rest of the area with dirt so the enemy doesn’t notice it. Next, you put a sign above the trap saying “beware!”
Then, you wait for the enemy to come along. As soon as they walk through the trap, you spring it, and they get stuck under the ground. Hopefully they’ll realize there’s danger and run away. If they don’t, then they might try to dig themselves out and end up dying.
There are lots of different trap designs, depending on what kind of traps you can build. For example, you can build a sticky trap, which is good against someone that might walk right over it. Or you can build a trip mine, which will cause your opponent to land on it and explode.
Once your child knows how to set up a trap, they can start using them to win matches. They might not be able to defeat an experienced player with traps alone, but they can slow them down enough that your team wins anyway.
4. Teach them about the HUD
The HUD, or Heads Up Display, is the main part of the screen that shows information about your character and the game. By default, the HUD is visible whenever you’re standing still. You can turn it off by pressing the Pause Button, which is located in the bottom-right corner of the screen. Pressing the pause button while moving will cause the HUD to disappear completely.
Your child probably won’t even notice the HUD when they first start playing. But as they play longer, they’ll learn that the HUD is helpful for knowing where they are, where they need to go, and how to attack. Eventually, they’ll get annoyed that the HUD is always there, and they’ll look for ways to turn it off.
5. Teach them about the map
One of the coolest things about Fortnite is that you can fly around everywhere on the map. The downside is that you can’t see where you’re going very well, since the whole world looks the same from above. So the next thing you should teach your child is how to navigate the map.
For starters, you can use the compass in your top-left corner to figure out which direction is north. When you’re flying around, you’ll see little blue arrows pointing in the various directions that you can fly towards. Each arrow represents a certain amount of distance. A blue arrow that points toward a particular location is how far it is from that location.
You can also fly into buildings to get into different areas. Buildings are marked on the map by a big yellow circle surrounding them, and inside the circle is another smaller yellow circle. To enter a building, you simply fly into it. Be careful though, because if you aren’t careful, you could crash into the roof and break the camera.
As your child becomes better at navigating the map, they’ll start learning how to avoid getting lost. In fact, you may even find that they prefer to stay in one place because they know where everything is. Either way, teaching them navigation skills will help them enjoy Fortnite more.