Fortnite: Battle Royale finally received its long-awaited ranked-esque game mode, Arena, with the v8.20 update in 2019. It offers a new way for players to compete with others and show off their skills in a pro game setting. Grinding the mode also possibly allows players to obtain a spot in major online and offline Fortnite competitions with prize money.
Every season brings minor adjustments to the Arena mode with season X, which started in August 2019, taking the crown for introducing the most changes.
The Arena mode introduced three new game modes: Solo, Duos, and Trios. Each take place in competitive settings, which means that unlike Events and Tournaments, it's always enabled for players to hop in. Aside from the Solo mode, Duos and Trios tend to rotate in and out with each season. The rotations mostly depend on the bigger events that Epic plans to introduce later in that specific season.
In Arena, every player has a rank represented by their division. Everyone starts in the Open League, Division One. They can rank up to Division 10, which is the Champion Division III, by receiving points called Hype based on the number of eliminations they get and their placement in each match. Getting a certain number of Hype points in several matches will allow players to go to the next division or league.
Arena bus fare
Bus fare is the Hype points players have to pay to start a match in the Arena mode. It only exists starting from Division Four and its value increases until Division 10. This means that if a player pays the bus fare and fails to get points in that match, they’ll lose Hype equal to the bus fare once they go back to the lobby. Though a player can’t be demoted from one division to another, the bus fare is still a great way to ensure everyone’s bringing their A-game.
Here are the bus fares for each Division in Solo and Trios.
Division bus fares (Hype loss)
|Open I||No bus fare|
|Open II||No bus fare|
|Open III||No bus fare|
Arena divisions and leagues
The Arena has 10 divisions, in total, divided into Open, Contender, and Champion League.
- Divisions One to Four – Open League
- Divisions Four to Seven – Contender League
- Divisions Eight to 10 – Champion League
Players can get Hype in all divisions based on the number of eliminations they get and their placement in each match. For Solos and Trios, the Hype you get for each of these is the same. But you pay Hype in high divisions to play each match.
Players will increase their Division once they go past a certain Hype threshold of the Division that they’re in. Players have to collect over 1,499 Hype points to climb out of the Open Leagues. The amount of Hype players get in each game depends on their placements and total kill score.
Here's how many Hype points players get for their performance in Arena Solo and Duos.
Players get to keep the number of Hype points they have from one Division to another. Divisions are determined by the total number of Hype points players have in the Arena, which can be seen below.
- Open League: Division I (0 - 249 Hype points (“Hype”))
- Open League: Division II (250 - 499 Hype)
- Open League: Division III (500 - 999 Hype)
- Open League: Division IV (1,000 - 1,499 Hype)
- Contender League: Division I (1,500 - 2,499 Hype)
- Contender League: Division II (2,500 - 3,999 Hype)
- Contender League: Division III (4,000 - 5,999 Hype)
- Champion League: Division I (6,000 - 11,999 Hype)
- Champion League: Division II (12,000 - 15,999 Hype)
- Champion League: Division III (16,000+ Hype)
Why Arena mode matters
Arena mode is perfect for anyone looking to prove themselves and those who want to play Fortnite with players who are at the same skill level as them. Matchmaking in Arena is based on Division and Hype points, which means players will only face opponents who are in the same Division as them and, if possible, with the same number of Hype points. Playing at off-hours could affect the algorithm and may cause players from close divisions to face off against each other, however.
Players’ divisions in the Arena mode will also let them unlock online Events that award prize money, such as the Fortnite World Cup Online Qualifiers, weekly Cash Cups, and FNCS. If a player plays their cards correctly, the Arena mode can certainly turn out to be their gateway to the professional Fortnite scene.
How does the Arena mode’s health, The Siphon, work?
Health and shields work slightly differently in Arena compared to public matches. Arena features a mechanic called Siphon. Each elimination grants players a healing bonus that promotes more aggressive and faster matches.
The healing bonus is capped at 50 HP or shields. Players with more than 50 percent HP receive the rest of the bonus as shields. Siphon is a great way for players to concentrate more on picking fights instead of stacking healing items. It can also be a double-edged sword sometimes since veterans are used to knowing how much damage is enough to secure a kill. A player that you thought was dead could gain a health boost out of nowhere and finish you off in return.
Material rules in Arena
There are also material restrictions in Arena, alongside the health system, for the same purpose of encouraging more violent gameplay.
The number of materials a player can carry in Arena is limited to 500 for each material type. Though players who rely more on their aim than building welcomed this change with open arms, it also started making players question if a fight is worth spending materials on. An early-game fight that can drain a player’s material stock can certainly come back to haunt them in the game’s later stages. The cap also increases the importance of looting eliminated enemies since they'll be the best source of materials.
Map and Vault changes in Arena
Each new season of Fortnite brings map changes. These changes also make their way into the Arena mode as they arrive, aside from some of the limited unique features, like portals or guns that are the center of attention in regular games.
This doesn’t mean that any fun gimmick Epic adds to Fortnite gets removed from the Arena mode, however. The developer releases thorough patch notes every season and players who aim for the higher ranks should keep an eye out for those to know what they’re walking into before queueing up for an Arena game. Overpowered guns or anything causing game-breaking bugs also get removed from the Arena mode first.
Despite being careful with map changes, Arena seems to embrace the Vault changes since it’s a nice way to spice up gameplay. The vaulting and unvaulting is simply a gun rotation that replaces the gun arsenal in Fortnite Though it brings variety to the game, not following patch notes may result in searching for your favorite gun after it was rotated out from the game. It’s simply another competitive aspect of Fortnite that players need to keep up with to stay on top of their game.
How can you rank up faster at Arena in Fortnite?
As you climb up the ranks, you’ll realize the Arena mode has an entirely different meta than regular Fortnite matches. In higher ranks, players don’t hesitate to bide their time to ensure they don’t lose any Hype points.
If you’re looking to rank up as fast as possible, you’ll need to make sure that you aren’t losing any Hype points to begin with. While losing Hype points is a rare occurrence up until division five, you’ll be in a completely different world starting from division eight.
Once you get to the eighth division, you’ll start paying 60 Hype points as your bus fare, meaning you’ll lose Hype if you don’t get a top-25 placement. This pushes players to play safer than usual and creates a rather intense environment when there are 30-35 players left. No one will want to lose points after getting that far into the match, resulting in an overall defensive playstyle.
Managing your risks will be your number one priority as you approach the end of a match. When there are 30-35 players left, getting into an overly risky skirmish won’t even be the last item on your checklist. At that point in the game, you should focus on securing that top-25 finish to concentrate on gaining points later on. This means you can practically divide your matches into two stages. Survive until top 25 and then focus on winning the match.
Securing a top-25 finish may look complicated at first, but if you have a well-rehearsed looting route, you may not even realize how the time passes until there are 25 players left. Choosing yourself an isolated looting route will save you from early game skirmishes, which can knock you out of a match without any Hype points.
You’ll also want to take advantage of all the in-game mechanics you can get your hands on. With Chapter Two, season five, Fortnite introduced NPCs that give away quests and rewards in exchange for gold bars. Every season brings new NPCs, and all of them serve a different purpose. While some of them will try to sell you meme weapons that aren’t that effective, there are a decent bunch of them offering weapon upgrades and powerful weapons. You may want to sneak a couple of NPCs in your routes to ensure that you enter the late game in top shape.
Though it may sound boring, stacking a couple of Floppers by fishing is one of the most effective ways of healing. In Arena matches, most players will recognize you’re taking your time to heal inside your box. If your enemies smell the blood, they’ll try to push you. You can max out your health with Floppers in a matter of seconds, preparing you for your next fight as soon as possible.
When in doubt, always try to have the element of surprise on your side since most players in higher ranks are often matched equally. If an enemy’s trying to push you due to your low health, sometimes you may be better off taking that fight without healing. Your enemy will naturally expect you to heal and act accordingly, and you can suddenly change the tides of a fight with the element of surprise.
If you’re just starting your adventure in Fortnite’s Arena mode, you can learn more about how you can generally improve your gameplay in Fortnite. Once you master the core mechanics of the game, you can slowly start learning the Arena meta. You can accelerate your learning curve by watching the tournament and professional players participating in Weekly Cash Cups and events.