Fortnite’s construction system is one of the game’s strongest aspects. Each player goes into battle with an ax (or similar tool) that he or she uses to chop down and collect objects. Most of the environment is destructible, and hacking down everything from houses to vehicles to trees and rocks is endlessly satisfying. You don’t ever run out stamina while scavenging, which is great, as is the fact that the game automatically adds the material to your inventory once you break them down. It’s a very quick and effective system. Another small detail I appreciate is the sound design; you hear an increasingly higher-pitched tone with each ax swing as you get closer to destroying an object.

Objects break down into three main materials: wood, bricks, and metal. You have five slots for building objects, including a fence, square floor, pyramid, campfire, and stairs. You can construct items with any of the materials (with the exception of the campfire). Metal is the strongest material, followed by brick, and then wood.

Keep in mind that the stronger the material, the longer it takes to build. So, if you are in a tight spot and need immediate cover, building wooden barriers is your best bet. It’s surprisingly simple to construct a building or makeshift shelter. Everything snaps together nicely, and it’s easy to customize individual components should you need to add a window or door. You can also break down or move barriers if you accidentally start building in the wrong location.

Construction is one of the keys to advancing far into a match. Foremost, you can build ramps and steps to access areas you couldn’t before. For example, if you see a weapon or health pack on top of a roof, this mechanic lets you reach it. If you are under fire, you can immediately build a shelter and try to wait out the threat. During later parts of the match, you can create a lookout post and watch for enemy movements. In team modes, constructing is even more important. If you are skilled enough to reach the center of the map with most of your team intact, building massive, protective shelters can greatly increase your chance of survival.

As with the rest of the environment, however, anything you construct can be destroyed by combatants with any sort of weapon. Take caution when another player fires a rocket or throws a grenade towards your base; either can cause everything to come tumbling down.



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