Fortnite – The Old Person’s Guide to Fortnite
My partner and I played Fortnite Season 3 obsessively in 2018. We went on every day, completed most of our battle passes, and never touched it again. Until now.
We recently got back into the game as an activity to share with another couple in our DnD group, since we can’t meet up all that much due to the lockdowns.
Things have changed!
If you are over 30 (or you have ever uttered the phrase ‘the young people of today’), and wondering if you should give Fortnite a try (or get back into it), here are a few things to know.
1. It’s Much Easier to Get Some Killz
See the quirky ‘z’ I added? Is this still what the kids consider ‘cool’? All jokes aside, with the addition of bots to the player base, even the most arthritic player should still be able to get the occasional elimination. A purist could argue that this is ‘just not the same’, but killing a bot provides XP, serotonin, and loot. And who knows – perhaps it wasn’t a bot, but just a really crappy player!
If you are worried about constantly being matched with low-level bots and getting an overinflated ego, don’t be – you are matched with other players based on your performance. So you will probably notice a lot of Victory Royales when you start playing, but after a while, you might not even make Top 10 anymore (until the game downgrades you to playing with fellow lame-o’s again).
2. Not Getting Those Kills? No Worries!
If you leave the bus at the first possible moment, land in the most spicy part of the map, and walk out victorious after slaughtering your enemies with nothing but a pickaxe or a white-tier pistol, good for you! But perhaps you prefer to circle the map like a discarded piece of food going down the drain with the dirty dishwater, constantly crouching behind a tree. Or perhaps you take the shots, but just can’t seem to finish them off before they kill you.
Either way, there are many other ways to earn XP apart from getting eliminations. There are daily and weekly quests, as well as a whole bunch of objectives (running, swimming, killing wildlife, eating mushrooms) that all grant XP when you reach certain points.
There is also a whole bunch of interesting technology, constantly changing: recon scanners, inflatable cows to jump around in, flying saucers, player bounties, fishing, modding cars, etc. Most of these provide extra XP, and they are also a lot of fun.
3. The Battle Pass is Worth It
On the point of XP: get the battle pass. There are loads of fun cosmetic items that give you something to spend your XP stars on and give you bragging rights. It’s also pretty easy to earn back the VBucks you spent on the pass, making your next season’s battle pass essentially free. You even earn back a little extra if you complete the pass, leaving some room to purchase an item in the shop if you want. The battle pass is around R100, which is really affordable, especially since Fortnite is free-to-play. So support them!
4. Convince Your Friends to Join
As with all battle royale / multiplayer games, it’s always more fun when you can communicate with your team. Getting even one friend to join allows you to play Duos, and of course if you have a 4-player team, one person can res a downed teammate while the other two take revenge on the opposing team. It also really increases your chances of survival if the entire team lands at the same spot and shoots at the same people.
Tell your gamer friends that it’s free, and they might as well try it with you. It’s also a pretty kid-friendly game with the cartoony art style and over-the-top outfits, so they can play while their kids are around. Fortnite is also a great game to get your reluctant partner into gaming, since the controls are straightforward and matches are over quickly.
5. Bob the Builder
Now, let’s take a moment to discuss my nemesis: the builder, sarcastically known as Bob in our house. I am talking about the kind of player who creates a 5-storey fort, spanning 3 towers with ramps between them, edits in a window, shoots you through said window, and then entombs your dying body in brick walls so that your teammates cannot get to you in time. I myself can barely manage building a few ramps up a hill. I don’t know if this is a generational thing, but I have noticed some streamers in their 30s also complaining about not being able to match the building speed of the young’uns.
So prepare to take an L now and then while marveling at some complex architecture. Or, you know, git gud I guess?
6. The Kids are Alright
Now that I’ve said my piece about the young builders, please do note that some of the younger players actually make great teammates. I don’t often play with randoms, but I have noticed that some of the 18-24s are way more toxic, aggressive and insulting online. So don’t despair if you switch on your microphone and hear a pre-pubescent voice telling his mom that he’s busy. That kid might just carry you to victory!
7. Don’t Break Your Controller
Finally, remember that it’s just a game. If you’re not having fun, take a break, or play something else. If you decide to go aggro and break a screen or controller, remember that you will be paying for the replacement yourself, haha. We are old enough to set the example now!
Last Updated: July 26, 2021