I’m new to Fortnite — I’ve played it on a friend’s PS4 a few times, but it wasn’t until it became available for the Nintendo Switch that I started to play it more often and learned more about the game and the strategies involved. I was horrible in the beginning, always aiming just to the left or right of my intended target and being one of the final 50 players remaining was an accomplishment in itself.
Running around the map carelessly, fodder for patient snipers – making tons of noise and avoiding anything resembling cover. I thought the map was huge – it is big in the grand scheme of things, and it’s possible to cover lots of ground if you build stairs and take the quickest route to the inside of the storm, but it’s not colossal. Running from Retail Row to Pleasant Park with the storm chasing you isn’t too difficult, but it is very intense if you’re short on time (make sure to pack some small potions before you go).
Building is still a foreign concept, one I have been improving on, but I can’t reliably construct an intricate fort with multiple rooms and 3.5 baths in a moment’s notice. Other players can, and they quickly gain the all-important high ground before blasting me with a grey tactical shotgun. I can do the typical wall-and-stairs scheme, but not very efficiently and usually only in preparation for a fight I know is bound to happen – you can hear those heavy footsteps coming closer and closer, but only rarely do they continue on without disturbing your safety.
In order to make it amongst the final 30 players, I’d have to find good hiding spots that were natural fixtures on the map; a stone hut with the door closed doesn’t seem too suspicious, but a stack of brick or metal 80 feet high isn’t what you’d call inconspicuous. There have been a few times where someone has approached the door I am sitting just behind only to run off — maybe they saw someone else or figured it was a waste of time. No, you’d probably kill me even when I have the element of surprise.
There I go, blasting away without any accuracy as you efficiently put two in my player’s head like a Cold War assassin turned dark long before the conflict ever began.
With embarrassingly terrible shooting skills and with only 13 wood for building, my only way to stay alive was to act like I didn’t exist. No, there aren’t 26 players left, only 25 — I’m not here.
Camping has been a strategy long-ridiculed by gamers on every platform, but you know what? Camping is cool.
Camping kept me alive. Camping got me into the top ten, where I could develop my shooting skills without having to get pelted by three people at once. Now, I could isolate myself and so did the other players, who I then could pick off one on one and take all of their shit. Orange silenced pistol? Yes, please! (This gun actually helped my accuracy a lot, as there is practically no kick and you can pull the trigger quickly, getting off a lot of shots. It’s utterly useless when your target is more than 50 feet away, but duels near the end of the match are usually close quarters, making it a useful tool.)
After securing some loot and finding a safe spot inside the eye of the storm (which gets smaller and smaller as the match goes on, forcing remaining players to cohabitate an increasingly tinier space) I could crouch somewhere and check social media on my phone; send out a tweet or refill my Kleen Kanteen (a fine local business); check a job listing or blocking everything Barstool-related on Twitter.
Camping is a productive strategy on Fortnite, and a highly underrated one. It isn’t trolling, it’s limiting my exposure to the guys who are paid to play, who want 15 kills each match and win 9 out of 10 times.
I’m here to get a couple kills when things start winding down and maximize my chances of winning. If I could run around and do that, I would, but until I’m the da Vinci of Fortnite, building magnificent structures in the blink of an eye, I’ll stay hidden and out of the way.
After waiting for most of the horde to jump off the Battle Bus, I find a secluded spot and collect some weapons and ammo. The unnamed area southeast of Tomato Town is a great spot with tons of weapons (usually) and the wooden pallets go for 50+ wood a pop. Harvest six of those and you’re ready to party.
Building your camping area isn’t the best strategy, as it screams “HEY OVER HERE! SHOOT ME!”
Find a little hut or find a spot that’s on the storm’s edge, or sit atop some high ground where you can scope out Ninja62738 rifling xXLilPumppXx from 52 meters away. Let them do your dirty work like a bunch of goons, you’re too busy taking a selfie.
Once the storm requires you to leave your encampment, get out your best weapon before quickly finding a fort that someone else built but long since abandoned. That can be an incredibly effective hideout, as other players might recognize it from when they sniped someone at the top of it. If their loot is still there, that’s just an added bonus.
You want to win in Fortnite (duh), and getting some kills along the way is fun, but incredibly risky. Engaging in a gunfight is just asking to get blasted with a rocket launcher or pelted with a pump shotgun from very close range. You’ll jump straight into their shot on occasion, but that’s how you get better, too.
Camping is a simple self-preservation tactic but it seems silly in a video game. It can be boring just sitting there while you hide in the middle of the storm’s eye, knowing that you’ll be safe even after it shrinks once or even 2-3 more times, but it’s assurance that you’re going to be among the final 15-20 people, or even the top 10.
Do you want to get three quick kills at Tilted Towers immediately before Tinyhands4teeFive shoots you from behind before the storm even forms, or get some nice weapons and chill for a while all on your own, knowing that you’ve drastically increased your chances of winning?
I’ll gladly camp and face a stray opponent or two before making my way into the fray, destroying my final opponent’s fort with a minigun I picked up from the attic I was hiding in.