The Fortnite guide to Blackout: 10 things every Fortnite player needs to know when playing Blackout

While you might thinks Fortnite and Black Ops 4 Blackout are basically the same thing - battle royale, kill everyone, dance on the bodies - but there are differences. And they're big enough that the average Fortnite player might take a little time adjusting to the changes in mechanics, pace, weapons and more they’ll find. The complete lack of llamas is also a bit of a shock. To ease Fortnite players into Black Ops 4 Blackout’s more frowny take on the genre here’s a helpful guide to explain some key differences between the two. 

1. You can travel further and fall faster after jumping 

Like every battle royale game Blackout starts with everyone jumping out of an aircraft and racing to land as soon as possible to grab loot. Call of Duty’s take, however, throws a wingsuit into the mix giving you greater control in the air before you pop your chute. It means that where people initially drop is a lot more widespread and less constrained to the flight path of the chopper everyone hurls themselves from. It also means you can nosedive into a plummet that will get you to the ground incredibly fast and make your chute open lower so you can touch down faster. It’s far more flexible than Fortnite in terms of your control over where you land and how fast.

2. Dropping with other people is unavoidable but isn’t an instant death sentence

While the Blackout map is huge by Call of Duty standards it might be a touch smaller than Fornite’s island. It’s impossible to make a direct comparison but the fact is, you are almost certainly going to be landing with other people around you. There’s also far less in the way of smaller, out of the way places to land. If you want gear you’ll need to hit a named location, and with other people. It doesn’t have to be game over straight away though as the best gear drops are in buildings meaning everyone’s rushing inside, immediately reducing the opportunity to attack - find an empty building and you’ll have some time to grab gear, get prepared, and maybe run away after if the place looks too hot. 

3. Windows are far more important in Blackout than Fortnite

In Fortnite windows are good for a view outside and maybe some sniping if people stay in sight, but that’s about it. In Blackout not only do they have a far wider field of view - meaning you can engage people meaningfully at close to medium range - they’re also great for getting in and out of buildings quickly. Okay, it’ll make a lot of noise if you do it so it’s a risk for you and great way of knowing it anyone else is around, but once you get used to it, it’s a great way of getting out of danger fast. It’s also possible to breach a window, scoop up a room full of loot, and jump out the otherside before anyone even realises what’s happened. 

4. You can’t build but buildings are important

There’s no building, obviously, in Blackout but buildings are just as important for cover when the fighting picks up. If you can you should always be moving towards a building, taking care to watch the sides and windows for enemies (and checking open doors and broken glass for signs someone might already be inside). From inside a room you immediately create a far more defensible position. Just make sure the doors are shut and avoid standing right in the middle of the windows and you should be able to hold things down a lot more easily. When the final circles start to close in, being inside is the best place to be.

5. You can heal while moving

If you’ve played a lot of Fortnite then you’re probably used to standing still as you heal or chug a shield potion to avoid cancelling the action. In Blackout that’s not a problem: you can heal while moving which makes life much easier (and longer). If you take a hit you can top up your health with L1 while running away from danger without having to find cover first. 

6. There are no shield potions but look out for trauma kits and armour

Blackout doesn’t do potions but it does have both armour and trauma kits. The first is obvious: it stops bullets hurting you and comes in three levels, so always swap out for a higher one if you find it. Trauma kits on the other hand heal you like first aid kits but boost your health to 200 instead of the normal 150, giving you a shield like boost.  

6. Take your time: players are far less visible and jumpy

There’s not really any stealth in Fortnite. Especially when everyone’s hopping about all over the place or wearing colourful outfits. In Blackout everything’s a little more subdued: outfits are much more camo flavoured and gameplay styles do tend to lean more towards slower, stealthy approaches. It means you should try and take a little more care as you move around the map. People are likely to be moving slower and more well hidden in bushes or buildings - both harder to find, and more of a threat if they get the drop on you. 

7. There’s a lot more weapon variety but you still need a good starter pair

While Fortnite is always balancing and changing weapons, your options are relatively limited to a few broad classes of basic assault rifles, sniper rifles, shotguns and so on. In Blackout there are nearly 40 different weapons and grenades, with a range of damage, recoil accuracy, bullet spread and so on. Plus there are a ton of sights, scopes, barrels, stocks and other attachments that will vary things up further. It’s going to take time to get a feel for the best Black Ops 4 weapons but you still really need an assault rifle and a secondary as a good base to start with. A shotgun’s an obvious back up if you’re hitting a lot of buildings, and a sniper’s great if you’re planning more ranged outside action. Also take care when picking up attachments, mainly to avoid less than useful combinations like a x4 scope on a full auto machine gun. 

9. Use perks wisely and don’t forget about them

The power ups in Blackout take the form of consumable perks that enhance various abilities. They look like little GI Joe lunch boxes and can be picked up and consumed separately. That means you can use them when it gives you the best advantage. So something like Awareness, which makes enemy footsteps louder, is kind of an all rounder that’s always useful. While Dead Silence, which makes you move a lot more quietly, is best saved to the end to give you an edge as numbers drop. Just don’t forget about them, which is easy to do because you were in hurry when you got it, people started shooting, there was running etc, etc. 

10. Challenges are a set list, not weekly updates, and hidden ones unlock new skins

One of Fortnite’s big things are its weekly Fortnite Battle Pass Challenges you can complete to earn extra XP and tiers. Blackout’s set up is more fixed, consisting of a big set of challenges you can access in-game that revolve things you can do: kills, items picked up, using vehicles and so on - almost anything you can think off will tick a challenge off if you do it enough times. That’ll also earn you Merits to help you level up faster. As for new skins these are found by completing Black Ops 4 Blackout character missions with each outfit having a specific set of objectives to complete to get them. They’re secret though so unless you’re relying on luck check our guide for help.  

If that all sounds a bit too complicated and you’d rather stick with Fortnite then we’ve got some Fortnite tips to help you there as well. 

Leon Hurley
Managing editor for guides

I'm GamesRadar's Managing Editor for guides, which means I run GamesRadar's guides and tips content. I also write reviews, previews and features, largely about horror, action adventure, FPS and open world games. I previously worked on Kotaku, and the Official PlayStation Magazine and website.