Fortnite is one of the most popular games on the planet, and it has been since the launch of its battle royale mode back in late 2017. I started it a few months later in early 2018, as the game really started to find its identity. Since then, the game has gone on to become one of the most iconic games of the century thus far, being a key figure behind wider changes in the gaming industry, such as the shift towards Battle Pass and Item Shop forms of monetization, battle royale game modes and live event experiences. 

So we get it, Fortnite is really popular, but is it worth playing? Well, it might actually be the best time you could ever play it. The game’s immense popularity has enabled Epic to get creative in what it can bring to Fortnite, and more than five years of change have created one of the best battle royale games on the market. Fortnite in 2023 is, in my opinion, all about fun, choice, variety and constantly giving the players more to do.

Fortnite character gliding down onto castle walls
The world of Fortnite in 2023 is a very different one from back in 2017.

One of the biggest changes can be spotted before you even join a game, and that is the presence of a no-build mode. Fortnite separated itself from rival PUBG with its building mechanic, making up the ‘Fort’ part of its name. In March of 2022 however, Fortnite removed building entirely in a plot-related twist to the start of the season. A few days later it was restored, but the no-build gameplay remained present with its own entire game mode. The mode is treated as properly and officially as the standard mode, with options to play solo, duos, trios or as a squad. 

No-build mode sacrifices the building mechanic in favor of a more gunplay-focused, environmentally aware experience. Honestly, I prefer it! It’s true that building is a unique mechanic for Fortnite, and it can add an extra layer to the gameplay. That being said, it’s a major obstacle for people trying to get into Fortnite, or for those who don’t have the time or the ability level required to pull off such complex tricks to outbuild opponents. The no-build mode alone is worth giving a jump into Fortnite as either a new or returning player, and seeing how much you enjoy a mode without complex building. 

Fortnite character crouched down and shooting a gun
The no-build mode focuses on getting right into the action.

Another additional mode that welcomes players into Fortnite is the vast library of creative mode maps. Fortnite creators are able to create their own game modes, and they come in all shapes and sizes. From parkour challenges, to RPG maps, gun games and more, Fortnite’s skilled creators have made a map for everyone. Sometimes I think the battle royale can be a little too intense, and jumping into a calm platforming mode can be just the thing I need. The creative modes still provide XP for leveling up your Battle Pass, so you aren’t made to feel like you’re having a lesser experience when you choose to take it easy.

Speaking of XP, let’s talk about changes to the Battle Pass. Once upon a time, the Fortnite Battle Pass could only be progressed in steps. For every level up, you would receive the next item in the Battle Pass in one strict order. Now though, the Battle Pass is made up of 14 pages of skins, emotes, music, premium currency V-Bucks and more. When you level up, you’re given 5 Battle Stars that can be spent on anything on any of your unlocked Battle Pass pages.

Fortnite character running
If you want a break from the action, Fortnite has a lot of ways to have fun without it.

Some items cost more Battle Stars than others, and skins require completing a page before unlocking them, but it still gives the player more freedom to explore and spend their hard-earned Battle Stars. It feels good to unlock things in your own order, and it makes for a way more rewarding experience than the old Fortnite. I often like to get all the exciting stuff first, like the emotes and the V-Bucks, and leave less interesting stuff like sprays and loading screens until last, but that’s just me! 

Once you’ve dropped into a battle royale mode of your choice, there’s plenty of additions made over the last few Fortnite seasons that make it more engaging than ever to just explore the island. The latest season, Chapter 4 Season 1, introduced augments into Fortnite for the first time ever. Augments are a new gameplay mechanic that allows the player to get certain buffs throughout the matches, being able to carry four at max in any game. You’re presented with a choice of two at a time, but you may reroll your augments and get new options in exchange for gold, a completely free in-game currency.

Fortnite character selecting an augment
Augments add a new layer to Fortnite gameplay.

Epic got very creative with these augments. Some are just brilliant buffs, like being able to reload light ammo weapons faster or being able to do increased damage with the first bullet of an assault rifle. Some however are very situational and unique, like giving vehicles unlimited fuel, or even spawning balloons attached to your character making them able to fly high into the air. It’s a lot of fun unlocking augments across matches and trying to roll your favorites in a game, and it allows you to buff yourself in your preferred playstyle. The augments system is definitely worth a shot if you’ve not experienced it yet, because you may find yourself having more fun than you ever had before in Fortnite with these new tools.

While you’re using your augments, you can rack up kills and earn XP. However, Fortnite has a lot of ways to earn XP in-game that doesn’t involve just killing or surviving. Over time, a bigger emphasis has been put on the game’s plot, giving players missions regularly to play and earn XP. These missions play out very differently to the usual Fortnite gameplay of killing and winning. You speak with characters, travel the map and complete objectives that push a greater narrative across the seasons and chapters. Completing these missions reward generous XP, letting you level up whenever they’re available. 

Fortnite character jumping through the sky, glowing with reduced gravity
Mix and match augments to create your perfect loadout in any match.

There’s also plenty of other ways to earn XP without just shooting stuff. Players can fish, hunt and tame wildlife, complete their unexplored maps and more to keep the XP ticking up. There are even non-player enemies that can provide varying levels of challenge such as weaker AI bots, tough bosses and other regular unfriendly characters. Games like Fortnite feel good when they’re rewarding, and bad when you lose. Even though you won’t be winning every Fortnite game you play, there are so many interactive elements in every single match that every game feels like progression. In every game you’re earning gold bars to spend in future matches, you’re earning XP and Battle Stars to spend on your next skin, and most importantly, you’re hopefully having fun. 

Even some of the improvements Fortnite has brought to making the gameplay more varied and exciting has itself been improved further. For example, let’s go back to the no-building mode. The no-build mode by itself is great for variation and a more accessible battle royale experience. Epic went further though, because improvements to the game’s movement options means that characters can climb ledges and jump over objects, which makes the no-build experience better because you can get around and evade gunfire faster, whereas in standard classic Fortnite one could just build a wall and block the enemy off.

Fortnite character holding a guardian shield
The Guardian Shield brings new depth to no-build mode.

Going further, the Guardian Shield item introduced in Fortnite’s latest season works as a portable handheld shield, or can be deployed on the ground. This effectively makes it a portable wall, that the player can hold or lay on the ground, without needing any of the mechanical skill and practice of fort building. As new mechanics and new modes get introduced that synergise together and complement each other in different ways, Fortnite just becomes more enjoyable.

All-in-all, Fortnite, for me, just keeps getting better. Not a lot gets taken away, but a whole bunch of things just keep getting added. More content means more variety, which results in more ways to play and that brings more things to try. I’ve always got a reason to start up Fortnite, whether I want to earn some wins, complete some quests, play some creative maps or just kill some time. That’s why, at this point, there’s really never been a better time to get into Fortnite

Do you play Fortnite? Do you agree or disagree with these opinions? Also, what advice would you give a new player jumping into Fortnite for the first time? Let us know in the comments below, and keep your eyes on GameLuster for more gaming news.

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