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Things only experts know you can do in Fortnite

Since its release in July 2017, Fortnite has grown into an entertainment phenomenon. An industry source reported to TechCrunch that Epic Games, the creator of Fortnite, grossed $3 billion in profit in 2018. The game itself out-grossed even blockbuster films such as Wonder Woman during the previous year, bringing in a record $323 million in MayFortnite ended its sixth season with over 125 million players and, as the game continues to dominate the entertainment world, that number will likely increase. 

Despite this popularity, Fortnite has a distinct learning curve. It's packed full of mechanics and equipment, an ever-changing lineup thanks to Epic's frequent updates. Faced with this constant evolution, even the most experienced players sometimes have trouble adjusting. Between inventory limitations, map awareness, and building strategies, there's a lot to keep in mind. Every season brings new challenges, features, and hidden details to discover. The variety of options, locations, and storylines is part of the game's appeal, but can also be its greatest source of frustration.

With new competitors entering the fray each day, you'll need every advantage you can find to secure victory. Whether you're a seasoned regular or just dipping your toes in the water, here are some expert tips to help you rise through the ranks and get the most out of your experience.

Loot with your pickaxe equipped to avoid swapping weapons

During your Fortnite journey, you've no doubt run into one of the key challenges of the inventory system. In Battle Royale, you're limited to five item slots, making proper item utilization crucial for a winning strategy. Having the right items on hand, supported by a steady supply of ammo, can mean the difference between victory and defeat. Unfortunately, the looting system seems designed to work against you. Picking up an item with a full inventory causes you to drop your current weapon. This feature can lead to frustrating and even lethal mistakes for the inexperienced player.

It's not all doom and gloom, however. By equipping your pickaxe before looting, you can gather ammo without losing your weapon to an unwanted item. This clever workaround takes advantage of the unique nature of the pickaxe within the game: it does not occupy one of your five item slots and thus cannot be swapped for another weapon. With your pickaxe in hand, you can loot ammo, traps, and stackable items to your heart's content — a simple trick that can give you an important edge over your opponents. In Fortnite, every advantage, no matter how small, counts.

Hitch a ride on supply drops

Some of the best items in the game come from loot drops, but chasing this advantage often proves a double-edged sword. To reach the crate first requires abandoning your position and crossing open terrain, leaving you vulnerable to attack. With several opponents pursuing these drops at once, loot-chasing may prove a fast track to an early defeat.

Experienced players know how to make the most of this perilous pursuit. If you've got the height advantage and spot a loot drop descending from the sky, hop on and ride it to the ground. You can reach the drop using a launch pad, umbrella, glider redeploy, or even balloons.

This trick has a couple key advantages. First, it ensures you'll get first pick of the loot upon landing without having to wait out in the open. You still must make a tactical retreat, but you'll have a much better chance of reaching safety with items in-hand. Riding a loot drop also gives you the chance to catch unwary opponents by surprise. When laser-focused on the dangers lurking around the next corner, players often forget to keep an eye out for threats from above. You can use this carelessness against them, scoring loot and a kill or two in the process.

Rocket-ride to victory

The ability to rocket-ride emerged during Fortnite's first Halloween event in 2017. With a friend, a Jack-O-Launcher, and a well-timed jump, players could soar across the map, much to the delight of those skilled enough to pull it off. Bolstered by the popularity of this feature, Epic added the same capability to the standard rocket launcher, making rocket-riding possible year-round. 

This tactic is all about teamwork and timing. Face the direction you want to go, jump, then have your buddy fire a Rocket Launcher from behind you. To hitch a ride, they must unleash the rocket as you reach the peak of your jump. You can also go for a solo ride using the Guided Missile, though Epic re-vaulted this special item with Patch 6.21. As of that update, it is only available in Playground Mode. 

The Guided Missile works on a similar principle. Fire it away from you, then loop the missile back around, detach, and hop on. This maneuver works best on an open platform and is easier to pull off with a partner in crime. Using the Rocket Launcher and Guided Missile to full effect requires practice, but with a little dedication, you'll be rocket-riding like the pros.

Pull off the perfect ambush using the trees In Retail Row

Taking cover in the treetops is a useful tactic in Battle Royale, especially if you're looking for a refuge from the line of fire. Utilizing these protective heights is no simple feat, however, as you often have to build structures tall enough to reach the branches. This process costs precious seconds and resources, and may reveal your position to opponents lurking nearby. 

Though most players are familiar with Retail Row, the true potential of the location's landscape is not as well known. Shorter trees and well-positioned houses make the neighborhood a camper's paradise. Unlike other areas, you can jump into some of the smaller trees in Retail Row from the ground; no building required. Proper positioning renders you invisible, allowing you to hop in and out to kill opponents as needed without leaving location-revealing structures in your wake. 

This tactic works even better during squad play, as there is enough cover to hide yourself and multiple allies. You can then prey upon any unsuspecting opponents who wander into the area, netting you kills and items with little risk. Now that's teamwork.

Trap portals for easy kills and combat control

In November 2018, Fortnite players discovered a teleportation junction in the bunker beneath Wailing Woods. Equipped with four portals, the junction connects to four cabins positioned within the surrounding area. Though many players jumped at the chance to move instantly around the map, some pros have used the feature to add a deadly new tactic to their arsenals. With the right resources and planning, you can create the same advantage in your own matches.

Start by staking out one of the four cabins connected to the junction. Once you've secured the area, set up damaging traps on that side of the portal, then enter the junction. As other players arrive in the area, you can bait them into chasing you through the portal to certain death. After exiting the portal, throw up a quick wall behind you to ensure they can't follow, then watch as your traps do their work. 

The beauty of this tactic is that you can use it again and again, as long as your traps have a chance to reload. With the growing awareness of the junction, you can dominate any match if you reach the area first with a sufficient supply of traps in your inventory.

Use balloons to take the high ground fast and surprise your enemies

Balloons have had a mixed reception since their introduction in Patch 6.21. Players were critical of the inability to use weapons while in the air, so Patch 7.10 brought the option to float and fire at the same time, greatly expanding the utility of this Epic item.

A great way to cushion an unexpected drop, using a single balloon will slow your descent and prevent falling damage. While this is a valuable benefit on its own, you can also use these stackables to seize the high ground quickly. Simply inflate two balloons, leap into the sky, then build as you float upward. Like riding loot drops, balloons are a fantastic way to surprise unwary opponents on the ground. Savvy players can sail across the map, sniping multiple targets before gliding out of range.

A word of caution: make sure you don't float too long at max build height or the balloons will break. If this happens, you will still take damage when you hit the ground. Due to their bright color, balloons also make you easy to track once someone has sighted you. It's often best to move away or find cover if you don't eliminate your opponent when you first open fire.

Juggle up to five extra items while sprinting

The five-item limit in Battle Royale can prove a real challenge. This is especially true when you find yourself in a high-stakes situation, such as a shootout with another player or facing down the approaching Storm. Heart racing, blood pumping, you have little time to think, let alone decide whether to swap an item in your inventory for some new loot.

That's where juggling comes in. This trick involves picking up and dropping items while moving, letting you exceed the normal allotment for brief bursts of time. A simple enough concept, yet difficult to master. 

In September 2018, streamer and Redditor ImSpeedyGonzalez shared his method for consistently juggling four items at once. By remapping his "use" button to his mouse wheel, he could continuously issue pickup commands by scrolling down. This advanced trick is all about hitting the right angles to keep the items in sight. ImSpeedyGonzalez reported juggling five items at a time while sprinting, though that number was unreliable to maintain.

Because of the required precision, you may wish to practice in Playground Mode before attempting this trick in a PvP match. As the method in question uses the scroll wheel, console users will likely have a harder time mastering this technique. Still, juggling multiple items may be possible if you get the angles down.

Cross Loot Lake using fewer materials

Loot Lake, as the name suggestions, boasts several valuable resources, and visiting the area can set you up for an early lead. While it's simple enough to land here at the start of the game, you'll be hard pressed to make it out intact. The layout of the area has changed significantly throughout Fortnite's lifespan, but one hazard remains constant: the deeper areas of water slow you down, and building across the surface costs precious resources while leaving you exposed to enemy fire. 

Some savvy players have put together alternative methods for minimizing the cost of travelling through this area, making the rewards more worth the inherent risk. According to The Gamer Couple, using a combination of ramps and jumps will allow you to make the cross for half the typical material cost. This method also lets you to maintain the same pace you would have if you built consistently to the opposing shore. 

Though a less common scenario, a Redditor shared their method for crossing Loot Lake at a diagonal angle. Instead of throwing down wood panels, you can build pyramids to cover the distance for a fraction of cost. 

The cheapest and most entertaining method for crossing the lake requires a shopping cart, a mini-gun, and a healthy supply of ammo. Simply hop into the shopping cart and use the recoil of the mini-gun to propel yourself backward. It's not subtle, but you'll make it to the other side in no time, leaving your opponents to wonder what they just witnessed.

Use double and triple 90s to win build fights

At some point during your Fortnite experience, you're bound to end up in a build-off with another player. To survive these in-your-face, sudden-death encounters, securing the high-ground is crucial. The most effective competitors have mastered the art of building as high as possible as quickly as possible. These pioneers helped establish the 90-Degree Turn as the building standard, with the front-runners pushing to new heights. Enter the Double 90 and Triple 90.

As the name implies, the Double 90 involves making two 90-degree turns while building upward in a successive pattern. Timing your jumps is key as you race towards the sky via multiple levels of stairs, floors, and walls. The Triple 90 is similar in concept and requires making three 90-degree turns, building stairs, three walls, and a floor on each rotation. These builds use an arcing pattern followed by a well-timed jump as you transition into the next level, all while maintaining a breakneck pace.

To master these advanced techniques, you'll need a strong grasp of the game controls and building mechanics. Remember, Playground Mode is your friend. Use this safe space to hone your skills before butting heads with other players. 

Reverse planes up any incline

Planes arrived alongside Fortnite's seventh season, joining a growing lineup of vehicles. This marked a new chapter in the game's evolution, granting combat an intense, unpredictable quality that fans of the Battlefield franchise might appreciate.

Seating up to four passengers and a pilot, the X-4 Stormwing casts a terrifying shadow. With responsive controls, a mounted turret, and the ability to eject before crashing into enemy targets, the aircraft is a game-changer. Heated dogfights have taken center stage during matches as players race to become master pilots.

Though the plane has taken the Fortnite community by storm, some more enterprising players have uncovered a peculiar design choice. When grounded, the plane can reverse up any incline, allowing you to scale the highest points on the map. Faced with the craft's bizarre superpower, some Redditors have dubbed it the "spider-plane" and "Skyrim horse plane," a jab at Bethesda and Epic's shared disregard for the laws of physics.

Beyond helping you take the high ground, this feature is useful should you overshoot your desired landing spot. If you have some friends to team up with, this could also be an effective ambush method. While opponents might be on the lookout for an air attack, the sudden appearance of a well-armed plane from the mountainside is bound to catch a few people off guard.

Bait opponents into deadly, pre-built trap towers

Much like balloons, traps remain a controversial topic among Fortnite players. This is especially true of the Damage Trap featured in Battle Royale, which, according to complaints, cycles between being useless and overpowered with each update. Whatever your opinion, pro players continue to think up new ways to use traps to their advantage. The trap tower, popularized by SypherPK at the start of 2018, has proven one of the most effective trap-based strategies.

As the name suggests, you construct a tower filled with deadly traps, then bait opponents into launching inside after you. Ideally, you'll build the tower near or within the final circle. You can then go about your business, returning when the Storm forces the remaining combatants to retreat into the area. This advanced technique requires forethought, map awareness, and resource gathering to pull off. When it works, though, it can make a huge impact, especially in your late game. 

Trap towers capitalize on the drive to win, which can lead to poor decision-making in the final minutes of a match. With only two or three players left, the urge to kill or be killed takes over. Even the most conservative player may throw caution to the wind in pursuit of the Victory Royale, never suspecting the world of pain they're about to launch into.

Maintain speed and shoot while opening doors

In Battle Royale, every second counts. A moment's hesitation can cost you the win, a detail that makes doors a frustrating gamble. How can something so simple be so dangerous? Normally, opening a door triggers an animation which, until complete, prevents you from passing or shooting through it. You lose your momentum, leaving you vulnerable to attack… unless you happen to know the workarounds. 

To avoid this issue, you have two options. First, you can cancel the animation by swapping weapons as you pass through the door. This will allow you to shoot immediately while maintaining your running speed. The second option is a little harder to master, as success depends on the right timing. To cancel the animation, aim down sight at the same moment you open the door. If your actions are in sync, you will can then fire early without swapping weapons.

By mastering this tactic, you can get the jump on hidden enemies. Depending on what the situation calls for, you can also use it to achieve a quick escape and make entering and exiting buildings less dangerous overall.