How to Get Better at Fortnite: 12 Unique Tips For a Competitive Edge
How amazing was the Fortnite World Cup!?
Better still, how cool does Fortnite Season X look!
Well, if you’re one of the 200 million currently playing Epic Games’ brilliantly addictive online shoot-em-up, you might find yourself in a bit of a paradox. To get to the next Fortnite World Cup – or just improve, you’ll need play a lot. But the more you play, the more it might come at a cost.
I’m not talking about the V-bucks needed to purchase the Fortnite Season X Battle Pass or the never-ending stream of creative Fortnite skins and accessories.
I’m talking about your physical and mental health.
Let’s face it, Fortnite is as unique as it is entertaining. Yet you’re still prone to the stereotypical ravages of online gaming. The long sedentary hours on the grind, constant exposure to highly stressful situations, sleep deprivation etc. There’s the potential for stiff necks, sore backs, headaches, repetitive strain injuries and uncontrolled stress as far as a heavy sniper can see.
And it’s important to understand these qualities can “push back” and limit the boundaries of your physical and mental performance in-game.
Yes, you may already dominate most 1v1’s but how good should you actually be?
Consider the best round or moment you’ve ever had playing Fortnite Battle Royale. Why aren’t you that good all the time? Why aren’t you better than that?Consider the best round or moment you’ve ever had playing Fortnite Battle Royale. Why aren’t you that good all the time?Click To Tweet
Where are the unnecessary handbrakes to consistent peak Fortnite gameplay?
It’s Not Just the Fortnite Professionals Who Play a Lot
Professional gaming is big business these days. The pros can earn millions of dollars a year from prize money and endorsements, but they have to put in the hours.
The first ever Fortnite World Cup Champion – 16 year old Kyle ‘Bugha’ Giersdorf, took home a cool $3,000,000 for his dominance on the day. All he had to do was outperform 40,000,000 competitors online. Simple, right?
One of the world’s most recognizable Fortnite players – Ninja, or Tyler Blevins to his mum, streams his gameplay online for others to watch a “minimum” of 12 hours a day.
But he’s not alone. As consumers, a recent report entitled “The State Of Online Gaming 2018” noted that those who play recreationally average more than 7 hours of gameplay a week. Interestingly, a survey of Fortnite gameplay found 50% of it’s participants played between 6-15 hours a week.
Ultimately, we just love to play Fortnite.
So whether Fortnite pays your bills, you’re competing to qualify for the next Fortnite World Cup, or you just love to box-trap kill your mates on the weekend, it’s important to understand the mental and physical consequences attached. Consequences that may in-turn effect your Fortnite gameplay.
So let’s work on conquering these and gain a competitive advantage on the rest of the lobby.
How to Get Better at Fortnite Battle Royale – Beyond Playing
Now this may sound strange, but if you’re a Fortnite professional, Twitch streamer, YouTube content creator, hardcore amateur, or recreational player – consider yourself an athlete. Or at least begin to think like one.If you’re a Fortnite professional, Twitch streamer, YouTube content creator, hardcore amateur or recreational player - consider yourself an athlete.Click To Tweet
Perhaps not in the traditional sense of running fast or lifting heavy, but you’re still leveraging the function of your body to achieve your goals. Talk to any competitive athlete and you’ll appreciate the need to do more than monotonously practice your skills. There’s a need to prioritize the overall health, wellness and function of your body so that you can best express yourself when needed.
If you saw the Fortnite World Cup you’ll have seen some elite gameplay. Quick edits, offensive and defensive builds, precision tracking and shooting, split-second decision-making and on the fly strategy all highlights some truly elite mental and physical output.
With this in mind, the following are competitive tips to not only help you better withstand the physical and mental rigours of Fortnite Battle Royale, Fortnite Creative and the next Fortnite World Cup Qualifiers, but help you explore the upper echelon of your athletic gaming potential.
Let’s try to expose and eliminate some of those hidden handbrakes and get better at Fortnite.
Make Your Fortnite Setup Ergonomically Sound
This won’t be groundbreaking but it needs constant reinforcement.
Whether you play Fortnite on Xbox, Playstation, Nintendo Switch, PC or mobile (good luck with that), you must make sure you’re in the best position possible. Otherwise you’ll unnecessarily be at risk of a whole bunch of musculoskeletal stiffness, aches and pains.
From a performance perspective, everything functions better in a good position. There’s a reason the best runners move the same, and the best lifters lift the same. You can still dominate the competition from a bad shape if you’re talented enough, but you’ll never be the best version of yourself at the same time. Poor postures and shapes ultimately put a hidden “cap” on your peak performance.You can still dominate the competition from a bad posture if you’re talented enough, but you’ll never be the best version of yourself at the same time.Click To Tweet
How To Find Your Best Position
Once you’ve adopted a good posture support yourself with pillows, rolled up towels or cushions to make it easier. Don’t be discouraged if it feels weird, persist until your body loosens and re-strengthens.
If you’re at your PC, everything needs to fit around this exact shape. Your screen should be at eye level and your elbows should be at your side and resting on the desk. Your mouse and keyboard should not drag your elbows away from your side. Have the chair as high or as low as you feel best supports this boring shape.
If on console be aware of how easy it can be to sit hunched forward and rest your elbows on your knees. Do what you can to establish a more upright, shoulders back shape. Consider rolling up another towel and placing it in your lower back for support.
The point here is that you need to consider moving heaven and earth to protect good shapes. Your body will function better in-game and it’ll also best protect you from a host of unnecessary aches and pains down the track. Better yet…
Stand Up to Play Fortnite
There’s a lot of information coming out about the benefits of standing over sitting. The reality is that standing trumps sitting in almost every conceivable way when talking optimal body function and overall wellness.
From a Physiotherapy standpoint (pun absolutely intended), sitting for long periods is a great way to accrue stiffness through lack of movement. The neck, upper back, shoulders, lower back, and hips are all at constant risk of stiffening.
Sitting increases your risk of heart disease, makes you more likely to adopt poor breathing patterns and be more stressed. So if needing to do something for a long period of time – try standing up.
The physical benefits of standing may not get you your next Fortnite Victory Royale, but the mental benefits might.
Clinically, standing has been shown to improve your ability to think and pay attention, make decisions, handle stress, battle mental fatigue, improve your mood, increase productivity and concentration among many others.
In short, your ability to think clearly and process information may improve as well as your ability to handle stress and mental fatigue.
Now does any of that sound useful for an online battle of life or death?
This works a treat for those on Xbox or Playstation as you have more natural freedom to move than PC, but a standing desk or tabletop converter may just be the ticket to improving your Fortnite gameplay.
Practice Deep Breathing
Despite breathing for your entire life, how much thought have you actually put in to it? It sounds insane but deep breathing is perhaps the single fastest and best way to enhance performance and overall health.
Constant sitting directs us to take more shallow, upper-chests breaths instead of the deeper diaphragmatic ones. The body associates upper chest breathing with highly stressed or fatigued states.
These effects compound when subjected to hight-stress gaming. Cizzorz deathrun anyone?
Clinically it can be used to great effect for things like managing regular and chronic pain, anger and helping the healing and recovery processes. More interestingly, this can be particularly useful for Fortnite gameplay.
We can use it to better tolerate and regulate stress, handle nervousness, improve focus and decision-making and improve sleep – things vital for consistent high-level Fortnite gameplay.
If you get that sudden rush of blood in a build-battle, you can breathe your way back to a more focused state. If you’re victorious, you can be instantly prepared for the next one.If you get a sudden rush of blood in a build-battle, you can breathe your way back to a more focused state.Click To Tweet
Not only is it brilliant for real-time Fortnite gameplay, but it can also work pre-round to better prepare you for that inevitable adrenaline spike in-game. It’s far better to go from a 2/10 to a 6/10 and maintain a more level head than to go from a six to 12 and panic or choke.
Two great techniques:
This pattern cues your body into regressing from the shallow, faster breathing associated with a heightened nervous system to a more mellow, relaxed, state. Tinker with the numbers but after a few cycles you should start to feel your body legitimately shift down a gear or two.
The Wim Hof Breathing Method:
The idea is to deep breathe a bunch to supercharge your body with oxygen and then fully exhale and hold it for as long as you can. It’s brilliant because once you’re brimming with oxygen you just focus on relaxing during the exhale hold. In no time you’ll feel at ease and out of that heightened physiological state. It won’t disappoint.
“Enjoy” A Cold Shower
Be like Season 7’s the Ice King, and become friends with the cold.
Cold exposure works best when combined with deep breathing, and also flows into better sleeping and stress-regulation. Furthermore it can strengthen your immune system which could be under threat if gaming compromises your diet, sleep and stress levels.
Thankfully, you don’t have to throw yourself straight into an icy shower in the middle of winter. The best way to acclimatize to them is as follows:
It may sound weird, but consider having one post-Fortnite before getting in bed. It’ll definitely re-invigorate you. Much like an athlete’s ice bath, cold showers are an effective way to “reset” your nervous system and prepare you for that all-important sleep.Consider having a cold shower post-Fortnite before getting in bed. It'll help you fall asleep ASAP.Click To Tweet
Give this a go for a few days and I challenge you to not feel better for it. Let me know in the comments below.
Equip A Blue-Light Filter
Our reliance on technology has many hidden consequences, one of which has to do with blue-light. Emitted by the screens of our PCs, TVs, laptops and phones, it can be disastrous for our sleep.
Our body relies in-part on changes to outside light, Circadian Rhythm and the chemical Melatonin to regulate our sleep. Blue-light plays havoc with this.
By staring at your screen past sundown, you are effectively telling your body it’s still day-time. To then immediately try and drift off to sleep can be hard. This is why a blue-light filter is so important to consider.
It’s important to mention that a blue-light filter won’t immediately improve your chances of getting yet another Victory Royale. Probably the opposite actually.
Filtering the light will effect Fortnite’s brilliant colour scheme and make identifying enemies, editing and recording a little trickier. But 100% prioritize this on any device you use outside of Fortnite.
Unless you play solely on mobile (again, oof), you’d be silly not to test this out for yourself. It’s an easy boost to your sleep quality.
Protect Your Sleep
Despite its importance sleep is still so criminally underrated.
We spend approximately one-third of our lives asleep, yet how often do you consider your sleep habits? How much do you value them?
The consequences of poor sleep are generally well-known. You can’t expect to be at your best if you’re not sleeping the best. Your Fortnite gameplay can’t be on-point if your sleep isn’t.
Obviously longer and better quality sleep will instantly improve your gameplay but how can you make that happen when peak gaming often plays out during those hours?
Consider pairing your shiny new blue-light filter with some black-out curtains and a sexy Fortnite eye-mask (it’s a thing).
There’s evidence that any light source can trick your body into thinking it’s time to be more awake. An eye-mask is an obvious fix, but did you know that your skin is one of the body’s most light-sensitive organs?
You may have your eyes closed, but your skin may still detect that hallway or alarm clock light. Ever had an amazing nights sleep when staying in a hotel? There’s a good chance they had some heavy duty blackout curtains. Try your best to replicate it at home.
Pair these tips with a cold shower and some deep breathing for a good quality sleep. This will also help optimize the next day’s Fortnite gameplay as well.
Eat Real Food
This sounds obvious, but sometimes it just needs to be said – eat real food.
The human body is a machine fueled by actual food. If it’s processed it’s likely not the optimal fuel for long hours of solo squadding.
If your car takes unleaded fuel, don’t keep forcing it to guzzle down diesel and expect it to perform. Make no mistake, the body does a great job buffering poor food choices. But you can’t be the best version of yourself mentally or physically if the basics aren’t there.
No athlete can function at their inherent best if their diet is poor and neither can you.
Generally, if it doesn’t rot or comes in a package it’s probably compromised.
Obviously do your research and go speak to a professional before making any drastic changes. But work out what you can do to optimize the foods you’re eating to better fuel the machine you play Fortnite with.
It’s obvious too, right? Similar to good food and posture, sometimes we just need a reminder.
In this instance, the body needs basic fluids to function best. Are you getting your 8 glasses a day?
The tricky thing here is that most don’t drink to re-hydrate, we drink for taste and “energy”. Sure a coffee has its performance benefits. But if you need one each morning to help you recover from all that restful sleep, then what’s really going on?
Perhaps reconsider any reliance on energy drinks, sports drinks and soft drinks (soda) for fuel. Again you may drink them for a specific reason, but what are you compensating for? Would they still exist with improved sleep and better nutrition?
In terms of dehydration, we know it can suck the life out of your mental and physical function completely unnecessarily. Even mild dehydration has been linked with poorer cognition, fatigue and greater stress.
I go on about this a lot, but the brilliant Stacy Simms of Osmo Nutrition recommends adding a pinch of good quality rock salt to your water to aid in absorption. It’s a little known fact that just pounding down the water alone doesn’t necessarily mean your body’s absorbing it.
Proper hydration can be a simple way to keep your mind and reflexes sharp long into the umpteenth final circle of the evening.Proper nutrition and hydration can be a simple way to keep your mind and reflexes sharp long into the umpteenth final circle.Click To Tweet
Much like real food and water, we don’t have to overthink this one either do we?
The benefits are obvious but think of it this way – the body is wired for movement. It’s designed to be used in its entirety. If not used regularly it can become rusty and sloppy.
Fortnite gameplay exercises a lot of higher mental function and hand movement, but the rest of your body needs some love as well.
Clearly it’s hard to exercise while playing so this is another tip to help “future you”.
If you play Fortnite Battle Royale a lot, try and strike a healthy balance. Routinely hit the gym, engage in sport, or just go for a walk.
If that’s genuinely hard to stick to, consider making the rest of your life more movement rich.
Walk instead of driving, stand if you don’t have to sit, park further away, use stairs instead of the elevator. Why not get up and move between rounds? Bust out a few pushups, squats or your favourite Fortnite emote to keep you fresh.
The more you move the more you’ll offset gaming’s sedentary nature. More importantly, you’ll able to leverage this into better mental and physical performance.The more you move the more you'll offset gaming's sedentary nature. More importantly, you’ll able to leverage this into better mental and physical performance.Click To Tweet
Mobilize Your Forearms
Similarly, consider doing some mobility work on your forearms. Many aren’t aware the muscles that control your hands and fingers reside here.
Hours online can leave these tissues stiff and tight from constant use and poor posture. And tighter forearms lead to less responsive hands, wrists and fingers.
Imagine working through those quick builds and edits with a handbrake on. Smoothing out these tissues can give you a boost in power, endurance and control.
Take a lacrosse ball (like this) and use it to gently press into your forearms. Move it around until you find some stiff and tender areas and go hunting all the way around. Traditionally the upper third of the front and back will need attention.
Alternatively, go through some basic wrist and forearm stretches. Keep your elbow straight and bend your wrist forwards or backwards to find your best stretch. While under tension, gently try and tense up any tight areas for a faster release.
Why not throw on a traversal emote and get to work on those restricted areas.
Look After Your Neck
This one is very sneaky. Did you know that your hand and finger function is controlled by the nerves at the base of your neck?
Furthermore, guess which other area of the body is constantly overloaded when gaming?
Clinically, the majority of non-traumatic hand, finger, wrist and forearm dysfunction has strong links to the neck.
Issues like Tennis Elbow, RSI, Carpal Tunnel and hand weakness, tingling and numbness can all be indicative of poor neck health.
Even simple neck stiffness can lead to a decrease in hand strength, motor control, precision and fine motor function.Simple neck stiffness can lead to a decrease in hand strength, motor control, precision and fine motor function.Click To Tweet
In short it can make your fingers and hands weaker and more sluggish. Not good for when things inevitably get sweaty in Neo Tilted Towers.
To see what I mean, try this:
Practice some quick builds and edits, test out your aim or just go play. Get a sense of how those fingers are moving and how things feel.
Next, take another lacrosse ball to your neck and upper back. Go hunting for any stiffness and tightness. Let the ball gently press in until you feel like things free up. Then re-test what’s important. There’s usually an immediate uptick in function once the neck is working a bit better.
With this in mind keep an eye on your postures and ergonomics as mentioned before. If you can you’ll be ahead of the lobby in more ways than one.
Strengthen Your Hands, Fingers and Forearms
Not many competitive Fortnite players will be out there pumping iron for an advantage, but there’s an advantage out there for you all the same.
Much like removing unnecessary tightness and stiffness from your forearms, actively seeking greater strength and endurance can compound increases in your technical proficiency.
Relentlessly using your hands, fingers and forearms during Fortnite gameplay will improve your strength, endurance and skill but using resistance can take things to another level.
Here are some simple areas to target.
Take a thick rubber band and hook it around your thumb and another finger. Practice separating those fingers until fatigued. Now move the band to the next finger and so on.
Similarly look at getting a theraband (like this). Hold on to one end and use it to resist wrist extension until fatigued.
In the same manner as the above wrist extension exercise, use a theraband to resist wrist flexion. Work until you feel those forearms fatigue.
Improving your grip strength is as simple as grabbing a fist full of bath towel and squeezing – a lot. Much like the rest, make sure you feel some really strong fatigue so your body knows it needs to come back stronger.
These simple exercises also make for a great pre-Fortnite warm up.
If you want to get better at Fortnite, look beyond just playing the game a lot.
There are a number of simple, peripheral ideas to consider. Ideas that can not only lead to better Fortnite gameplay, but help you withstand any long-term ill-effects of the gaming lifestyle.
The pillars of better Fortnite gameplay are the same as any devoted athlete. Protect your sleep and fuel your body effectively. Learn to manage your stress and your body’s ability to cope with it. Move and use your body at every opportunity and work to make it stronger and more mobile.
By all means go HAM at the game, you have every right to – it’s a f**king cool game. But if you want to get better at Fortnite Battle Royal or be more competitive in the Fortnite World Cup, make sure there’s balance in the rest of your life.If you want to get better at Fortnite Battle Royal or be more competitive in the Fortnite World Cup, make sure there’s balance in the rest of your life.Click To Tweet
It might sound strange for a Physiotherapist to be an advocate for spending hours online playing Fortnite. And despite how this reads – I’m not. If you have a choice between sitting inside, in front of your blue-light emitting screen, getting super stressed and pounding the energy drinks and junk food, or going outside, clearly choose the latter. Your body will thank you for it.
But if you’re an adult making adult choices, or a youngster having them made for you, then make the most of it. Strive to be the best version of yourself, not just the best. You deserve it.
We know that life often gets in the way of being a “perfect” human and that’s ok. But be aware that a healthier you is a better you. And a better you is better prepared to emote on the corpses of your enemies.
What are you doing to get better at Fortnite? Let me know in the comments below.
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