Fortnite Competitive Guide
So you want to become a Fortnite Competitive player? Well this guide will give you an overview of everything you need to consider before getting into the esports scene, including tips for practising, the type of hardware you need and other resources that you'll find useful for becoming a professional Fortnite player.
- Introduction to Fortnite Competitive
- How To Enter Fortnite Competitive Events
- Fortnite Competitive Hardware
- Fortnite Competitive Players
- Notable Fortnite Competitions
- Preparing For Fortnite Competitive
Introduction To Fortnite Competitive
With millions of dollars in prize money given out for Fortnite competitions, the competitive scene has become one of the most lucrative and competitive Esports in the world. In 2019, Fortnite committed $100,000,000 in prize money to it's Fortnite competitions, including the Fortnite World Cup which gave $3,000,000 to a single player (Bugha!). The fact that the prize money is so high, and that Fortnite is one of the hottest games on the planet, the Fortnite Competitive scene has never been more popular. Fortnite players from all over the world can compete too- there are very few barriers to entry to play competitively; you don't need to be part of a gaming organisation, you don't need to pay to enter and a lot of tournaments are played online- meaning no travel costs.
Esports have been a growing market for the last decade. With improvements to online networking, it has allowed competitive matches to take place over the internet much more reliably. Last year, Fortnite held hundreds of online tournaments that give out millions of dollars in prize money. In fact, Fortnite usually has a weekly Fortnite competition that anyone can enter (providing they meet the entry requirements and have a high enough rank in Arena modes). Tournaments being so regular have allowed players to make Fortnite a way of earning a decent income whilst playing video games.
The dreaded sentence of: Can I make Fortnite my career? is one most parents will not want to hear from their fourteen year old. It is incredibly hard to make a lot of money from playing Esports and with Fortnite being one of the most popular, they are very competitive. Of course, it is possible for players to earn big bucks from the competitive scene; whether that's through tournament earnings, sponsorships or even streaming the game. But these players are extremely talented and rare. There are a lot of different factors that go into their success. If you're dreaming of making it big, you need to start slow and be sensible with how you approach the competitive scene.
It can take hundreds of hours a week practising to be able to compete and dedicating that amount of time can cause other issues in your life; neglecting school, friends and family can all be affected by spending too long playing video games. The chances of Fortnite being around in the next ten years as the most popular game is very low; the money will almost certainly dry up and those who have dedicated their lives to it will have to move on to other things. If you drop out of school or have poor grades because you decided Fortnite Competitive scene was what you wanted to do, you might be left in a bit of a bind. You need to find a good balance between all aspects of your life (as with anything).
How To Enter Fortnite Competitive Events
Fortnite Competitions are very regular. There is usually one a month and sometimes they even have weekly events. The schedule does change very often; so it's not the most reliable of formats to predict. All competitive news is posted on their website, which includes upcoming tournaments you can prepare for.
Each tournament will usually have requirements needed before you can enter. Some don't, but the big ones will require you to have at least shown some level of skill in the game before being allowed to enter. This usually comes in the format of getting a high score in Arena mode, which is a competitive mode that gives players "hype" for how well they place across games. For example, in the Fortnite World Cup last year you needed to reach Division 6 in Arena Mode to enter round 1 of qualifiers. Then after that, there were two more qualifier rounds. However, the Winter Cup allowed anyone to enter without any requirements.
Most Fortnite Competitive events are cross-platform. The World Cup could be entered on via PC or Console, however, not a single console player qualified for the World Cup. This is usually down to the hardware limits of consoles; with a PC you can max out your settings and give yourself a huge advantage over console players who are limited to hardware that came out in 2010.
There are some Fortnite competitive events which are platform restricted. There have been a few console-only tournaments and even a mobile/switch only tournament. These are few and far between though, so trying to be a consistent player on these platforms is quite difficult.
Most people will say if you're serious about being a Fortnite competitive player, you need to move to PC. PC will allow you to boost your framerate to 240FPS, have uncapped refresh-rate on your monitor and run the game on the latest graphics cards. These advantages are very obvious when you play against someone on console. You can still use a controller on PC if that is your preferred method of input device; in fact, in 2020 many players are switching to controller due to the powerful aim-assist features that come with it.
To take a look at any upcoming Fortnite Events, you can check in game also. This will also be how you enter tournaments; it is as simple as queuing up for a solo game. Competitive tournaments usually have a point-based system that are awarded to you based on your placement and the number of eliminations you get. There are also tournaments which can involve Duos, Trios and Squads.
Fortnite Competitive Hardware
Having the best hardware for playing Fortnite is one of the things you can do to give you a competitive advantage over other players. Unfortunately, that does mean investing a fair bit of cash into it. You obviously don't have to have the most expensive bit of kit ever, most players will slowly upgrade over time. But for those with disposable income, they can dive right in and get some of the best hardware right away. We also have guides on the best laptops for Fortnite and best computers for Fortnite if you're not into building your own machines. Below is a small snippet of top gear you can consider:
A 240HZ monitor is one of best things you can do to improve your Fortnite Competitive game. The average gaming monitor has a refresh rate of around 60hz (Don't be confused with FPS). Refresh rate is how fast your screen updates the image; 240HZ means it will refresh 240 times per second. This is a clear advantage over 60Hz; players will tell you that there is a night and day difference between a 240Hz monitor and a 60HZ monitor. The ASUS Rog Switch supports Full HD 1080p 240hz gameplay; you won't need 4K for playing Fortnite Competitively.
A gaming mouse is obviously going to be down to whether you plan on playing Fornite using Keyboard & Mouse inputs or controller. This Logitech G Pro Wireless Gaming Mouse has been designed for Esports, offering up to 16,000 DPI for accurate reaction times and precision aiming when playing competitive games like Fortnite. It's also ultra lightweight which allows you to move and turn around with ease. Great for long gaming sessions.
Gaming Keyboards offer a surprisingly different experience than regular keyboards do; they are usually built with mechanicle keys and responsive switches so that playing competitive games feels more responsive than normal keyboards. They also are usually very durable, so that they can be played for many hours at a time. We've chosen the Varmilo Keyboard due to it's sleek design and silent mx switches.
Every couple of years there are new graphics cards released that offer better performance when playing games. The RTX 2080TI is currently one of the best on the market and is capable of running the biggest games at the highest settings without any issues. It's also future-proofed, with ray-tracing performance available for when developers want to take advantage of it. That being said, the card will get outdated in a couple of years with a new more powerful version coming out. This card should last you an incredibly long time though before you need to upgrade.
The CPU is the core of your computer and is what is used to manage your applications, including Fortnite. The Intel i9-9900k comes with a total of 8 cores and 16 threads, perfect for multi-tasking like streaming and playing games at the same time. The i9 is one of the best desktop CPUs available. Other worthy mentions are the i7 series, which should all be capable of running Fortnite at the highest settings.
RAM is consumed by applications you have currently open and is used to load application data into fast-acting memory for performance. With Fortnite, 16GB of RAM should be more than enough, but if you tend on streaming and doing other types of work, most people will opt for 32GB. The Corsair Vengeance RAM has a fast read-time of 3200MHz, although you can also buy versions up to 4000Mhz range.
Being able to hear your opponents movements and enemy fire is an important part of Fortnite and so you're definitely want to get yourself a pair of headphones to make sure you're aware of your surroundings. The Sennheiser HD 800 are true audiophile headphones and will give you a premium sound. They are very expensive for headphones however, so you may want to take a look at our best headphones for Fortnite guide.
Fortnite Competitive Players
We have done profiles on some of Fortnite's competitive players that you can check out below. If you've got a favourite, let us know and we'll try to add them below!
One of the most popular Fortnite competitive players, Tfue regularly streams his competitive gameplay on Twitch for everyone to watch. He qualified for the World Cup twice, but ultimately finished in 67th place
Whilst not the most successful Fortnite Competitive player, Ninja is probably the most popular. He did not manage to qualify for the World Cup, but has won numerous other events before the competitive scene became popular.
The winner of the Fortnite World Cup, Bugha is regularly featured in the top 10 of Fortnite Competitive tournaments. He won a cool $3 million for the Fortnite World Cup.
Notable Fortnite Competitions
Check out these notable Fortnite competitions to wet your appetite for the Fortnite competitive scene.
- Fortnite World Cup - Final Standings
- Fortnite Trios Cash Cup
- Fortnite FNCS Finals
- Winter Royale
- Fortnite Celebration Cup (PS4 Only)
Preparing For Fortnite Competitive
Fortnite Creative Mode
One of the best ways to practise your Fortnite skills is to play in creative mode. This mode allows you to have unlimited number of materials so you can practise building, editing and other mechanics to get better at Fortnite. Back when Creative and Playground weren't a thing, the only way players could practise was queuing up into real matches and finding a quiet corner of the map. Those days are long gone and we now have a powerful Creative mode that offers more than just building practise.
Players have been creating what they call "Warm-up courses". These are designed to practise your Fortnite skills, including fast edits, building, aiming, box fighting and more. These creative maps can be added to your own game simply by using special creative codes. You can play solo or with friends and practise until you become a better player. You'll often here players will have practise in creative mode for hours every day, making sure they master their technique. If you want to be one of the best players, you're going to have to get used to lots of hours in this game mode.
When you've entered a few tournaments or had a few competitive games in Arena, you want to start reviewing your gameplay using the Replay system. You can dive into your games and see what you did wrong and what your opponent did right. It's one of the most useful tools to help you learn and get better. It does take up a lot of time to use, because the Replay system isn't instantaneously and takes a while to load up. Your best bet is to have a schedule for reviewing your own games and making notes whenever you can to work on. The replay system will store up to ten different games, so you will want to review certain important games before the replays expire.
Competiting in Cash Cups
Cash Cups are weekly tournaments held by Fortnite that you can compete in for real money. The fact that they are a regular occurence means you can have consistent tournament experience against other players and see how much you're progressing. Playing against solos in public matches (and even sometimes Arena) isn't a true reflection of your skill because some competitive players only participate when there is money on the line. The more money that a tournament has to offer, the more stacked the playing field will usually be. Cash Cups may not always be available however, as Fortnite's competitive schedule may change. If you get the chance to play in them though, they are great practise.
Time Required For Being a Fortnite Pro
If you want to be the best at anything in life, it's going to require a lot of dedication and time. It's going to take hundreds, if not thousands, of practise hours and gameplay to be a professional player at Fortnite. Not everyone can do this however; people have jobs, people have school and people have their own families that require them to spend time with them. As young players, the choice of playing Fortnite for hours and hours every day may not be in their hands as parents will not allow their children to play video games all day. Older players who have jobs and need to pay the bills may also struggle.
The type of player that will make Fortnite their job usually already has experience with Esports. They may already be a professional player in another game and have shown they are capable of competiting. Everyone's situation will be different and so you will have to figure out how you're going to practise regularly to keep up with the best.
Keeping Up With The Changing Meta
Fortnite is a game that is constantly changing and evolving. New guns, vehicles and items are constantly being added to the game and Epic Games loves to throw spanners into the mix to change up the playstyle. As a competitive Fortnite player, you're going to have to get used to this. One season in Fortnite you might really love- but the next you might hate. Any competitive Fortnite player will tell you that being able to adjust to different metas is going to be a huge advantage for you going forward. With Fortnite Chapter 2 Season 1, we've probably had the least disturbed Fortnite game for a while, with the same set of weapons and items for mostly the entire duration. There hasn't been too many new additions either- so it may be a changing of how Fortnite is planning to keep their competitive game mode alive.