Fortnite building guide: How to build the best defences to give you the edge in battle

Fortnite building is what sets it apart from other shooters in the battle royale arena, as being able to throw up walls, ramps, and other structures on the fly can completely change the dynamic of a fight. If you want to survive in Fortnite, then knowing how to build particular structures and having some handy tricks in your pocket to get out of sticky situations can make all the difference and help you towards a Victory Royale. We've assembled this complete guide on how to build in Fortnite so you can construct every type of wall, floor, stairs, and roof, plus we’ll show you what they look like when they're deployed in battle.

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Before we start, here are some quick tips to help you with your building. First, change your controller configuration to "Builder Pro", as this helps speed up the building process by removing the need to scroll through different options before you place your structures - it’s the most efficient way of building on the fly. The second quick tip again involves the game settings, so go in and make sure you have "Reset Building Choice"’ turned on. This will reset your build option to a wall every time you come in and out of the build menu, which means if you haven’t quite mastered the Builder Pro controls yet you’ll always have a wall handy to throw up when you encounter an enemy.

Your four basic structures are walls, floors, stairs, and roofs, and all of these can be modified in a number of ways depending on which sections you add or remove after approaching the structure and entering edit mode. Here’s a complete guide for all the different shapes you can produces, and what you need to input to get them: 

How to build Fortnite Wall structures

Standard Wall

Medium Wall

Low Wall

Column (can be flipped)

Medium Half Wall (can be flipped)

Low Half Wall (can be flipped)

Full Wall with Side Window (can be flipped)

Full Wall with Middle Window

Full Wall with Two Windows

Full Wall with Side Door (can be flipped)

Full Wall with Middle Door

Full Wall with Door and Window (can be flipped)

Medium Wall with Side Door (can be flipped)

Medium Wall with Middle Door

Full Arch

Half Arch (can be flipped)

Top Diagonal Wall (can be flipped)

Bottom Diagonal Wall (can be flipped)

How to build Fortnite Floor structures

Full Floor

Three-quarter Floor (can be rotated)

Half Floor (can be rotated)

Diagonal Floor (can be rotated)

Quarter Floor (can be rotated)

How to build Fortnite Stairs structures

Full Stairs (can be rotated)

Half Stairs (can be rotated or flipped)

Quarter Turn Stairs (can be rotated or flipped)

Half Turn Stairs (can be rotated or flipped)

How to build Fortnite Roof structures

Pyramid Roof

Outer Corner Roof (can be rotated)

Inner Corner Roof (can be rotated)

Side Roof (can be rotated)

Diagonal Roof (can be rotated)

Fortnite Building Tactics for Victory Royales

All of these structures can be used where and when you wish, and some can even be combined to make strong forts for peeking and defending. For example, if you put down a floor and then a pyramid roof on top, this gives your floor an extra layer of protection to stop you from falling through.

So now let’s show you how to use a couple of these when you’re in-game. The basic stairs ramp is effective, as it gives you the upper hand and allows more of your body to be covered as you peek over the top. Another tactic is to use the ramps to get behind your enemy - do this by simply building two or three ramps over them, and then dropping down behind them. The enemy has two choices; they can either shoot your ground ramp to destroy the rest which leaves them vulnerable as they’re not shooting at you (and by then you should be falling on top of them), or they can pull back and counter your fall, which still gives you an advantage as you have a higher chance of headshots from above.

At times you may get countered meaning they will build a ramp above you so you can’t build higher, but there’s a few ways to counter this, and our favourite is to quickly add YOUR wall onto the side of their ramp above you and then adding a trap which should end up killing them if they’re camping above you.

Another key defensive move is to make sure you always build in twos when constructing ramps up to get the higher ground. This means that it’s harder for your opponent to shoot out your structure from underneath you and should allow you to get the drop on them from above.

Finally a note about materials. Wooden structures will build the fastest and quickly get up to full health once placed on the ground, so use these as your go to for defensive structures on the fly.

  • A wooden wall will take 5 seconds to build and has 200 health
  • A stone wall takes 12 seconds and has 300 health
  • A metal wall takes 20 seconds and has 400 health

However because they take time to fully build, it’s possible to quickly destroy a brick or metal wall while it’s being built by shooting it, much like the wooden wall. But it’s once you get past the 5 second mark that the other walls become stronger, and more effective for defensive strategies. The wooden wall is without doubt your best health per second structure by far, so we advise using these for your small battles, and using stone/metal for building forts that you’re going to be inside of for a long period of time. For example, if you’re the first in the next small circle towards the end of a match and nobody is troubling you, try building a small brick fort, as each wall will have an extra 100 health which will certainly help when an enemy engages you. Stone and metal should be used towards the end game when you’re making you final stand, but only when it's safe to allow for the extra build time.

Put simply, you need the higher ground, as it increases your chances of scoring headshots. Due to the third person nature of Fortnite this means you can see enemies a lot better than they can see you, giving you more control over the situation. Oh, and don’t forget what we said about turning on "Builder Pro" as it’s a God send and we wish we knew about it when we first started playing - say goodbye to toggling through your builds!

So there you have it, a Fortnite building guide that should help you understand each structure combo better and how to use building to your advantage in the battle royale.

Iain Wilson
Guides Editor

Iain originally joined Future in 2012 to write guides for CVG, PSM3, and Xbox World, before moving on to join GamesRadar in 2013 as Guides Editor. His words have also appeared in OPM, OXM, PC Gamer, GamesMaster, and SFX. He is better known to many as ‘Mr Trophy’, due to his slightly unhealthy obsession with amassing intangible PlayStation silverware, and he now has over 500 Platinum pots weighing down the shelves of his virtual award cabinet. He does not care for Xbox Achievements.