What is your definition of “good”?
Here’s what I think: You are good at Fortnite when you have:
- A general understanding of building
- Good aim
- Excellent movement
- Knowledge of all the weapons
- More than 75 Victory Royales
Now, how long does that take?
I find that players reach this level after 3-12 months of starting Fortnite. However, it depends on factors like; many hours you play a day and your general starting ability.
Here’s what I think: You progress the most (and the fastest) when you are a beginner. And, the longer you do something, the slower your improvement becomes.
Let’s talk about lifting weights, for example. Beginners that start strength training can expect to make the most gains within the first 6-12 months.
You see, when you start lifting weights (and follow a proper program) you will gain strength at a linear rate. Meaning that it’s possible to add 5lbs to your lifts every week.
At least, for a while. And then things will start to slow down.
You see, improvement isn’t linear like some people think:
The above chart suggests you get better at the same rate over time.
And that it takes 10 years to reach your maximum skill level.
However, that’s not how it really works.
Here’s what progression really looks like:
In other words: It’s complicated.
You see, there are times where you will plateau and times when you will even seem to get worse.
But, if you stick with it and put in the hours, you can become great.
The 10,000 hour rule
How long do you think the best players have played Fortnite for?
Ninja, for example, has played over 3,800 hours.
And Ninja isn’t even the best player.
He’s amazing, of course, but there are better players. For example, Tfue, Mongraal, Mitr0, and MrSavageM are all better, in my opinion. Because they have qualified for the Fortnite World Cup in 2019.
Now, how many hours do you think they’ve played Fortnite for? (Hint: it’s a lot!)
There’s compelling evidence to suggest that it takes 10,000 hours to become an expert at something.
This rule was made popular in the book Outliers: The Story of Success by Malcolm Gladwell. In Outliers, we explore what it is that makes people great.
When looking at expert musicians and grandmaster chess players, Gladwell discovered it took them around 10,000 hours to reach their level.
To reach 10,000 hours in Fortnite you would need to play 8 hours a day for 3.5 years.
This is not possible, of course. Because Fortnite Battle Royale was released less than 2 years ago.
There are, however, people with more than 10,000 hours spent gaming.
And all of those hours spent practicing don’t disappear when you start a new game. You learn skills that are transferable to different games. Like your aiming ability, for example.
The art of deliberate practice
The mere act of doing something does not necessarily mean you are going to improve. No. You must be focused and have a clear goal you are moving toward
And that’s where deliberate practice comes in.
You see, deliberate practice is regularly following a clear plan of things you need to improve on. But how do you identify the things you need to improve on?
Listen, beginners improve fast because they are open to new ideas and learning experiences.
And when you’ve done something for a while, it gets harder to see your weak points. That’s because our egos get in the way of us sometimes.
It might hurt to realize that you suck at something you’ve done for months or years.
But, when you put your ego aside and accept you are not perfect, then it gets a little easier.
Here’s an easy way to find your weak points: Watch your Fortnite replays. When you watch yourself back, you will notice things that you otherwise wouldn’t have.
Maybe your building is a little sloppy or your aim could do with some practice. Whatever it is you notice write it down and think about what you can do to get better at it.
Then, when you have that list of things, it’s time to create a practice schedule.
How to create a Fortnite practice schedule
Let’s stick with the idea that your aim might be bad and your building could do with a bit of work.
Now, here’s what a practice schedule might look like:
- Building practice
- Kovaak’s Aim Trainer
- Arena mode in Fortnite
But even this is too general.
What does “building practice” even mean and how long are you going to do it for?
How about this, instead:
- Building practice (1 hour)
- Kovaak’s Aim Trainer (30 minutes)
- Arena mode in Fortnite (1 hour)
Now, this is starting to take the shape of a practice schedule.
But, we can still do better.
Let’s go a little deeper and split “building practice” into smaller more specific scenarios:
- Practice 90s (15 minutes)
- Ramp, floor, wall training (15 minutes)
- Double ramp, double wall practice (15 minutes)
- Turtle drills (15 minutes)
When you split your practice up into small chunks and know exactly what you are doing each day, all that’s left is to do it.
Of course, what good is a practice schedule if you don’t know if you are getting better?
Kovaak’s Aim Trainer, for example, uses a scoring system. And you can use that to track your performance over time.
But what about a more subjective skill, like building?
This is a little harder to track performance in.
Here’s what you need to do: Record yourself practicing.
When you watch yourself back, you will spot when you are getting better. Now, you don’t need to watch it back every day.
Because improvement doesn’t happen day on day. And you might even have days where you get worse, as we have already explored.
So, review your performances every week or every month and take notes, too.
Also, don’t compare yourself to others (like Ninja), only compare yourself to who you were before.
When you have a goal and a clear plan, you will move toward your goal.
When you put in the hours, that is.
Listen, practice isn’t fun. After all, it’s practice. Sometimes, however, you need to sacrifice what is fun for what is going to make you better over the long-term.
And nothing is more helpful to long term improvement than a practice schedule.
Remember, progression isn’t linear. There are times when you will stall and not see any improvement for days, weeks, or even months.
But when you stick with it, you will be rewarded.