Fortnite: Battle Royale is a multiplayer game built around strategically building. Without a keen eye for cover there’s no way you’ll reach top 10, and the game’s best players know how to lay down a fort in a pinch to keep themselves safe from their enemies.
In other words, the first step to surviving in Battle Royale is learning how to panic build. It’s the kind of strategy that can keep you alive through early and mid-game and into late-game, where you’ll be building massive towers and enormous staircases to take on your opponents.
Like the rest of Fortnite’s Build Mode, learning how to panic build in Fortnite: Battle Royale takes time, practice, game sense, and a lot of muscle memory. But if you want to learn how to do it properly and what to build, here’s everything you need to know about panic building.
What is panic building?
Panic building is a strategy that Fortnite: Battle Royale players use when facing incoming fire, particularly during the game’s early- and mid-game stages. Simply put, panic building involves quickly throwing up simple structures to absorb enemy damage. These provide immediate cover to players and, in some cases, grant a slight high ground advantage over opponents.
Most panic buildings are made from wood, and panic building is best used when players are still traversing large distances to stay in the storm’s eye. But plenty of panic buildings can be created with stone and metal, and some of the more advanced panic buildings can be used in late-game.
What are some basic panic buildings?
While “panic building” generally refers to throwing up walls and ramps to prevent damage from incoming enemy fire, there’s actually several different iterations of panic structures that players can use against enemies.
Here’s some of the best ones that all players should know. Note that while each of these structures work well on the battlefield, players should ideally experiment with each formula to create the best building for the circumstances at hand.
Panic walls are the backbone behind panic building, and they’re an incredibly common (and easy) structure to create. As soon as enemy fire comes your way, immediately build several walls horizontally and vertically against incoming fire. Ideally, two walls connected to each other vertically or horizontally should do the trick, but don’t be afraid to deploy only one floor’s worth of walls if you plan on building a panic ramp.
While running away from enemy fire, consider building extra walls behind your initial panic walls. This can give you a buffer between you, your opponent, and your first line of defense, buying you extra time to build a panic ramp.
The most common panic building, panic ramps are an important structure that every Fortnite: Battle Royale player should master. At its core, the panic ramp features a ramp with a wall protecting it, giving players high ground to fire at their enemies.
To build a panic ramp, start by placing a wall between yourself and your opponent, ideally in the direction that they’re shooting at you. Then connect a ramp to that wall so that you can peek over its top. For further cover, add two additional walls protecting the ramp’s flank, then finish up the ramp with a wall in the back. If done correctly, the entire structure should be set within a matter of seconds, providing protection, cover, and a foundation for building a bigger ramp or fort.
For Fortnite players teaming up for duos, there’s an additional panic ramp iteration that lets two players camp in a panic ramp together, taking shots at enemies from multiple angles. To build this ramp, each player should start by building a wall opposite one another. Then, after connecting a ramp to each wall, both players should fortify their ramp with two additional walls. When finished, the panic ramp should be connected to each other by two tiles horizontally, creating a fortified, v-shaped ramp that both players can use to fight back against enemies.
Also known as healing rooms, panic forts give players a quick opportunity to heal, improve their shields, take a Chug Jug, or use any other items with a high consume time. To create a panic fort, start by putting a wall between yourself and the direction that an enemy is firing or most likely to fire. Then connect that wall with three others and finish the fort with either a platform ceiling or an angle. A ramp to the roof is optional, but not necessary.
Panic forts take a little bit longer to make than panic ramps, but they can be used in numerous circumstances to protect players. For one, these panic buildings are perfect for players that are healing after a fight or applying a Shield Potion because they add a small buffer between the player and opponents. Panic forts can also be used to protect a duo or squad while reviving a fallen comrade, as they provide cover for all six sides.
Generally speaking, it’s better to build a panic fort with stone or metal over wood, as the former two Building Materials are more durable than the latter. However, in the middle of a fight, wood is still perfectly fine and can provide plenty of protection when applying Bandages, Small Shield Potions, and other consumables that can be quickly used.
Easily the most complicated panic building for beginners, panic towers (also known as 1×1 towers) are perfect for hunkering down in, but building them from scratch during combat takes a fast hand. Start by building four walls and connecting one ramp to the first floor. At the top of the ramp, add four more walls, a platform, and an additional ramp. Players can then either build a another floor, close up the tower, or create a sniper tower by adding four additional ramps on each side of the highest floor’s walls.
Suffice to say, panic towers can take a long time to build for Fortnite: Battle Royale players that are still learning how to quickly build basic structures like panic ramps. But for experienced players, there’s plenty of reasons to build a panic tower during an intense firefight. These structures provide significant high ground advantage, they’re incredibly versatile, they can be easily transformed into larger forts during mid- and late-game stages, and panic towers can be used to snipe players from afar.
But be warned, panic towers can burn through resources fast if you only have a few dozen wood and stone on hand. In one-on-one fights or confrontations that take place during early-game, stick with panic ramps and keep the panic towers for closer to the end.
How can you counter an enemy’s panic building?
Let’s say you’re facing off against another Fortnite: Battle Royale player experienced at panic building. If you’re both dug in and taking shots at one another from your panic ramps, there’s a few maneuvers you can take to try and gain an upper hand.
For one, opponents are defenseless when they’re creating panic ramps and panic forts, which means they won’t necessarily fire at you if you advance forward while they’re building. If an enemy player is quickly laying down multiple walls or ramps to protect themselves, consider advancing forward and building a second panic ramp for when they’re done. This can simultaneously give you a clearer shot against an opponent and stop them from building, making it a little easier for you to destroy their panic buildings. Try outbuilding your opponent, too, by gaining the higher ground and using walls and ceilings to trap them into a 1×1 cube.
Some panic buildings are better than others, and because most panic buildings are made from wood, unprotected ramps and platforms can easily be destroyed with a little bit of Assault Rifle or Shotgun fire. This is a great way to scare your enemy, keep them busy with fortifying their structures, or outright destroy their fort, thereby exposing them.
Last but not least, consider using a panic ramp or panic tower as a decoy, especially around cities, buildings, and other locations with a large amount of cover. Creating a panic building and immediately abandoning it can give you an upper-hand against opponents, tricking them into thinking that you are hunkering down at your fort. This gives you an excellent opportunity to sneak around and flank an enemy from the side or behind, landing you an easy kill.