Fortnite Battle Royale: Gaming’s New Juggernaut

These days, it is getting harder and harder to get on social media without seeing some mention of Fortnite Battle Royale. Much to the chagrin of significant others across the country, the game is not going away anytime soon. Fox News recently reported that Fortnite Battle Royale, referred to commonly as Fortnite, has set a record on YouTube for the most videos related to a video game uploaded to the site in a single month. A tournament held on Sunday collected more than 42 million views on its YouTube live stream, claiming 1.1 million concurrent viewers at one point.

Fortnite Battle Royale: A Spring Addiction

Fortnite became a cultural phenomenon almost overnight. Initially, fans were drawn to Epic Games‘ new juggernaut as a free-to-play alternative to PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds, but it quickly developed its own cult following. Fortnite Battle Royale marries battle and building in a seamless, addictive gaming experience.

Gameplay and Mechanics

Gameplay is simple. Up to 100 players airdrop onto an island armed with only a pickaxe. In the first few minutes of each match, players must scramble to mine wood, metal, or stone with their pickaxes and collect weapons with which to defend themselves. Players can use their mined materials to build vertical, horizontal, diagonal, and pyramidal surfaces to protect themselves from enemy players, obtain hard-to-reach resources, and navigate difficult terrain.

As the game progresses and the number of players on the map drops, players are forced into a centralized location by “The Storm,” a creeping wall that deals damage to any players unlucky enough to get caught inside.

The game also features cooperative game modes, allowing you to play alone, with a friend, or with a squad of four. Epic Games has also been introducing a revolving series of game modes that diverge from the traditional models, adding elements such as teams of up to 20 players or a map full of gold-tier weapons.

Rise to Popularity

The game’s creators announced that the game had reached 3.4 million concurrent players in early February, surpassing PUBG’s 3.2 million. The game’s popularity can be attributed to the battle royale play style. With up to 100 players per drop, the odds of obtaining a Victory Royale are slim, especially for new or unskilled players.

The major draw for new players is the level playing field. Weapons are graded in color-coded tiers based on their availability. A new player may find themselves armed with several blue- or purple-tier weapons due to the random generation of materials, while a veteran player may be stuck with a loadout of grey-tier guns. While it still takes some skill to dispatch a veteran player, the odds of survival have increased exponentially for the new player.

The size of the map also allows players to sneak into the top 25 or even the top 10, placements that feature on the game’s leaderboards. Oftentimes, players can avoid enemies by hiding and following the storm’s progress, letting the other competitors kill each other off until the remaining enemies reach a manageable number.

Last Word on Fortnite Battle Royale

Fortnite is available on PC, Xbox One, and PlayStation 4. The game download does include a pay-to-play story mode called Save the World, but most players opt for the free-to-play battle royale. Epic Games recently introduced cross-platform play, allowing PC gamers to squad up with their console friends.

Due to the game’s popularity, occasional server crashes are inevitable, disconnecting players mid-match or preventing them from logging in to the game at all. Rarely will players grumble about this, however, as Fortnite far exceeds expectations as a free-to-play game.

The appeal of this game is widespread. For the creative types, discovering new ways to use the building materials becomes an ongoing adventure. For the combat specialists, there is no shortage of action if one knows where to look. (Tilted Towers is the favorite drop location for action-hungry players) For the strategists, the Storm’s placement provides a new challenge with every drop. With attractive gameplay and an even more attractive price tag, there is no reason not to give Fortnite a chance this week.

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