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Unspoken rules in Fortnite you should never break

As with almost all online multiplayer games, those who play Fortnite: Battle Royale had to learn on the fly. It's not as though Epic Games developed Fortnite and showed everyone how to play it afterward. They simply made the game and put it out into the world. Players figure out what works and what doesn't. Players use the guns and distinguish the gems from the garbage. And players come up with strategies for approaching each match.

And along the way, norms are created, "unspoken rules," of sorts, that regular Fortnite players learn to follow as they play.

These rules aren't published in any official handbook. There's no section on the Epic Games website where you'll see these rules laid out. Rather, they become ingrained over time. The more you play Fortnite, the more these rules become second nature. And the more you'll be bothered when you see other people not following them.

But perhaps you're new to the game. Perhaps you don't know the rules. That's why we're publishing them here for your benefit.

Your Fortnite education begins today. These are the unspoken rules in Fortnite you should never break.

Rock thy body before the match

Fortnite's starting island is a throwback to the pre-game lobbies we used to see in games like Halo. It's a way to see both the players you'll be teaming up with as well as the opponents you'll be facing off against. And it allows you to pick up a gun and pour magazine after magazine into both your teammates and your enemies. Everyone is immune on the starting island, so you can't kill anyone. But you can still grab a nearby shotgun and empty a slug or two into a stranger's face.

But honestly, why do that when you can dance instead?

Fortnite's emotes are, aside from its skins, some of the game's most sought-after rewards. But Fortnite doesn't really present you with many places you can use them in front of opponents. Should you enter enemy territory and bust out Orange Justice, the odds are pretty good that you're going to be gunned down. But on the pre-match island, where everyone in the game is present and no one can hurt you, emotes are both safe to use and highly entertaining.

Before the Battle Buses take flight, take advantage of the downtime. Dance your little heart out.

When with randoms, mute thy mic

Battle royale games are all about survival, and Fortnite is no different. You have to be aware of your surroundings in order to stay alive and earn that delicious Victory Royale. And that means you need to keep your eyes open and your ears to the ground. Because hearing some nearby footsteps can alert you to danger and give you the upper hand in the gunfight that's about to happen.

Well — unless someone is utterly ruining the voice channel. Then you won't be taking advantage of any audio cues in the game. Instead, you'll be hearing a whole bunch of nonsense.

Show a little kindness to your teammates and don't let that voice chat monster be you. If you're matched up with a random squad, the odds are pretty good that they don't want to hear from you. And they almost certainly don't want to hear the music you have on in the background, the fan you have blowing on you, or your mother yelling into your bedroom that it's time for bed. Show your squad some courtesy and mute your mic. It'll help keep the audio channels clear, because just like the movie theater, silence is golden.

Drop thy body in an empty place

There are numerous steps you can take to ensure you're competitive in a match of Fortnite, but one of the easiest things can be done at the very beginning of a game. You can count a bunch of people gliding down into loot-rich areas like Tilted Towers. You could follow all of those people to those highly populated areas, but if you do that, you're just making yourself easier to kill.

Avoid the crowds. Drop down into an empty, secluded location at the start of a match.

There are a number of benefits to this approach. First, you don't have to compete with other people for loot. You'll almost certainly have your pick of any homes or buildings in the area. You'll also be less likely to run into an opposing player as you scavenge for resources. And if you drop near the outer edges of the map, you can keep the coast to your back and feel reasonably certain that no one's going to sneak up behind you and kill you.

Sure, you might have to travel a bit more to reach the safe zone. But at least you'll be alive.

Get thine own loot

This rule is not unlike some of the unspoken rules we encounter in everyday life. For instance, if you see a car idling in a parking lot while another car is backing out of a spot, you can assume the first car is waiting to take that spot. If you see a quarter on an arcade cabinet while someone is playing, it probably means that someone has called dibs on the next game.

And in Fortnite, if you see a teammate chopping away in a certain section of a house or building, there's a pretty good chance they're looking for loot. And should they locate a loot chest, that chest belongs to them.

Believe it or not, that golden glow is not an invitation for you to run over and swipe whatever loot happens to be in the chest. There are plenty of loot locations on the map, and chances are, you'll probably swap your inventory around a few times before you land on a loadout you want to stick with. Running over and stealing loot from a chest a teammate found isn't just rude — it's not even worth your time to do.

Go find your own loot.

Share thy blessings

Now, just because you're showing some respect to teammates by not stealing their loot doesn't mean those teammates shouldn't share their goodies. And you should also be willing to share. Looting will undoubtedly leave you with some things you don't need, and excess amounts of useful items that might be helpful to other people.

If you wind up with more first aid kits, bandages, or slurp juices than you think you'll use during a match, drop them out of your inventory and let other players know that you're sharing them.

There are all kinds of benefits to sharing your looted items with other people. First aid kits and bandages, for instance, can help your teammates heal themselves if they're in a pinch. And slurp juices can help those same teammates add some shields so they're a bit more resilient in battle. The tougher your teammates are, and the longer they're able to stay alive, the more likely your team is to win the match.

And in the end, that's all that matters, right?

Heal thy neighbor

Unless you're a Fortnite lord like Ninja, you're going to be shot down by opponents from time to time. That's the name of the game, and it's not anything you should worry about. It happens. All you have to do is wait for a friendly teammate to come along and revive you so you can continue the fight.

Except sometimes, teammates don't revive you. And nothing will frustrate you more than watching a teammate run by you while you're crawling on the ground, praying for someone to save you. Or worse, sometimes your teammates will stand right next to you and wait for you to die so they can steal your loot. They could revive you, but they choose not to. They just watch your health tick away to zero.

Don't be that Fortnite player. Your team is always going to be stronger with more players and more guns. If you see a player on your team down, make sure the area is clear and you aren't putting yourself in danger. And then revive them. Once they're up, drop some extra shields and bandages if you have them, too. And then get back in there and battle alongside them.

Kill thine enemy quickly

Your time in Fortnite is not guaranteed. There are a whole bunch of things waiting to do you in, whether an enemy comes along to strike you down or you die a humiliating death that is entirely your fault. It's something you always need to keep in mind while playing: that you're always seconds away from death, so you should take whatever you can get while you're still alive.

And yes, we know it may be tempting to dance over the body of someone you've knocked down. It may bring you endless amounts of joy to build them into a little prison and slowly watch the life drain out of them. But if you do that, you're playing stupid.

Just kill the other player, already.

There's no need to gloat when you kill someone, because you haven't won the match yet. And when you emote in the middle of the battlefield or goof off in some other way, you're tempting fate. That opponent you took out could have a buddy around the corner, and you could soon find yourself going to Fortnite heaven right along with the guy or gal you killed.

Take care of business. Finish off the elimination, grab that player's loot, and keep moving.

Hold for thy backup

Let's clear one thing up right now: chances are, you aren't William Munny from Unforgiven. The odds of you gunning down a whole group of people who seem too terrified to shoot at you are slim to none. It might seem tempting to try and live out that fantasy in Fortnite, but the scenario will likely play out a lot differently. You'll get a shot or two off on one person, and then the rest will send you back to the start menu so fast your head will spin.

You may think that you're pretty good at Fortnite. But for the love of all that is good and holy, please don't charge at a bunch of enemies without help.

Working with your teammates has benefits. Even two of you can flank the sides of an enemy encampment, drawing fire to one side while shooting down opponents from the other. Add a few more buddies to the mix and you can really clean the clocks of those you've stumbled upon. If you work together, you'll accomplish a lot more. If you try to be a hero, you're probably going to wind up killing no one and leaving your team with one less person.

Don't be selfish. Bring some backup.

Respect thy teammate

We've played a bunch of Fortnite matches since the game launched in 2017, and there's a startling trend that doesn't seem to pop up in other team-based shooters. There seems to be a lack of respect shown from players on a squad to those they're teamed up with. Sometimes you'll play a match and someone will actively try to get you killed by shooting platforms out from under you. Other times they'll just try to be a nuisance by constructing a building around you, forcing you to waste time breaking out when you could be moving toward safety or engaging opponents.

Everyone plays Fortnite to have fun. If you aren't respectful of the time your teammates are putting into the game, you're ruining the experience for them.

Resist the urge to be a troll and try to be a good teammate. It may seem funny to try and get one of your teammates killed. You might get a good YouTube video clip out of building a makeshift prison for someone who's just trying to beat the storm. But know that you're not helping your team when you do that. Not only that, you're being unsportsmanlike. So if you get reported and Epic decides you need a little timeout, you've totally earned it.

Emote thy character victoriously

Fortnite's emotes aren't cheap. You either have to spend significant amounts of time grinding up the free Battle Pass tiers to get anything good, or you have to buy the paid Battle Pass and grind. You could even purchase them out-of-pocket, if you so desire. Emotes cost time, or money, or both. And we know you're dying to use them, but as we said, you should definitely not do it during a match.

When is it appropriate to bust out an emote, then? After you've won.

There's nothing more satisfying than pulling out a Victory Royale with your team and activating that "Take the L" emote. Is it a tiny bit classless? Sure. But you just won, so for the briefest of periods, you've earned the right to celebrate a little bit. Winning means you managed to obey all of the other rules set forth above. You were a good teammate. You played in a way that helped in your victory. You shared. And you fought the urge to be a giant troll.

So dance your heart out. You deserve it.