10 Keys to Understanding Fortnite Save the World - dummies

10 Keys to Understanding Fortnite Save the World

By Bill Loguidice

At one time, Fortnite was only Save the World, a paid player-versus-environment (PvE) campaign. With the introduction of the free player-versus-player (PvP) Battle Royale mode and its massive success, Save the World took a back seat. That doesn’t mean Save the World is a bad game, however. Quite the contrary. Both game modes share many of the same gameplay traits, but Save the World is story-driven and designed around a solo or cooperative play experience. All PvP combat is reserved for the free Battle Royale game.

In this list you take a closer look at ten keys to understanding Save the World, which is available to PC, Mac, PlayStation 4, and Xbox One owners.

As of this writing and barring any special offers, the Standard Founder’s Pack for Save the World costs $39.99. Although Epic Games has stated that Save the World will become free at some point, they plan to delay availability in that format until they’ve sufficiently expanded the in-game story.

Mandatory tutorial

Save the World is set in a near-future Earth where a worldwide storm, shown in the following figure, has caused 98 percent of the world’s population to disappear, replaced with husks, zombie-like creatures that attack the survivors. You and three other players, either humans or computer-generated teammates, work towards a common goal on various missions.

Fortnite opening scene
The opening cut scene shows the storm that ravaged the Earth.

You need to fight against the storm, rescue survivors, build structures, craft weapons, find loot, and upgrade and expand a shield device to protect your base of operations.

After the opening cut-scenes establish the story and describe the need for a commander, you, you’re immediately tasked with taking down an advancing group of husks, as shown here.

Fortnite Save the World
Showing no mercy, Save the World places you in an immediate firefight with enemy husks.

As in Battle Royale, aim for the heads! If you succeed in taking out all of the husks, your next step will be to find a way out of the caves. Head towards the yellow checkpoint symbol, as shown.

Next destination in Fortnite
The yellow exclamation point at the center of the screen indicates the next destination.

After you reach the mine cart, as shown in the following figure, destroy it with your pickaxe. Continue following the rest of the tutorial, using the skills you learned from Battle Royale, including building. You’ll also learn some new skills, like crafting, where you can harvest materials to build weapons. Good luck!

Fortnite Mine cart
Destroy the mine cart and continue with the rest of the tutorial.

Mission structure based on objectives and quests

After you get past its tutorials, Save the World involves mission-based objectives and quests where you defend locations against enemy husks or seek out stranded survivors. For defense missions, you’ll be harvesting materials to make needed items and setting up and building fortifications. When you’re ready, you’ll need to defend your base.

The map, as shown in the following figure, is randomly generated for each mission, save for the map where your home base is located. You’ll return to your storm shield on your home base’s map to increase the radius of the shield’s influence.

Fortnite Save the World map
The Save the World map works on the same grid-based system as in Battle Royale, but it is randomly generated. As you explore, more of the map gets revealed.

V-Bucks and llamas

Just like in Battle Royale and its related modes, V-Bucks can be spent in Save the World. However, items bought in Save the World do not transfer to Battle Royale and vice-versa.

In Save the World, you can purchase llama pinatas, like those in the following figure, which contain weapon and trap schematics, XP, new heroes, and more.

Fortnite llama
An upgrade llama.


There are four main hero classes in Save the World, which are described as follows:

  • Constructor: This is the strongest in building, defending structures, and crowd control. This hero class has 18 standard subclasses, each with unique perks and bonuses.
Fortnite Constructor hero
Constructor hero class.
  • Ninja: This is the strongest in melee combat and quick movement. This hero class has 19 standard subclasses, each with unique perks and bonuses.
Fortnite Ninja hero
Ninja hero class.
  • Soldier: This is the strongest in ranged combat and the use of guns and grenades. This hero class has 19 standard subclasses, each with unique perks and bonuses.
Fortnite Soldier hero
Soldier hero class.
  • Outlander: Shown in Figure 10-10, this is the strongest in resource collection, scouting, and crowd control. This hero class has 19 standard subclasses, each with unique perks and bonuses.
Fortnite Outlander hero
Outlander hero class.

Hero subclasses determine the abilities, hero perks, and squad bonuses received as the character is upgraded and evolved. You can choose hero perks to maximize the effectives of your gameplay style and even stack heroes to increase weapon damage.

Command Center

The Command Center lets you track every aspect of your heroes. Apply XP boosts, check notices and alerts, and review your Power and Account levels through each of your heroes to keep tabs on all of your available options.


There are two categories of weapons in Save the World: ranged and melee. Ranged weapons include: assault rifles, explosive weapons, pistols, shotguns, and sniper rifles.

Melee weapons include: axes, clubs, hardware, scythes, spears, and swords.

Like heroes, each weapon has a subclass that determines performance.

Weapon schematics are used to craft a specific weapon. Crafting requires the correct number of materials listed on the schematic, like the example for a common assault rifle shown.

Fortnite assault rifle schematics
The schematic for a common assault rifle listing the required crafting ingredients.

Unlike in Battle Royale, weapons wear out and break over time. After it’s broken, the weapon can be recycled to reclaim a portion of its original crafting materials.


There are three categories of traps in Save the World: wall traps, floor traps, and ceiling traps. Traps work the same as in Battle Royale, with defensive traps that damage or disrupt enemies, such as the ceiling Electric Field trap shown in the following figure, and utility traps that perform a function like healing.

Fortnite Electric Field trap
The ceiling Electric Field trap targets enemies in a 3 x 3 tile radius.

Just as with weapons, trap schematics are used to craft a specific trap and traps wear out and break over a set number of triggers.

Player statistics

The acronym F.O.R.T. represents the four types of player statistics, each of which can be increased by 1 percent per point:

  • (F)ortitude: Health and health regeneration.
  • (O)ffense: Ranged and melee weapon damage.
  • (R)esistance: Shield and shield generation.
  • (T)ech: Trap, ability, and gadget damage, as well as healing.

F.O.R.T. statistics total the bonuses awarded by survivor squads and skills, and are found under the Squads tab. There are two types of survivors in Save the World: lead survivors and survivors. Lead survivors, like the doctor female leader shown, affect a larger percentage of F.O.R.T. statistics and are slotted into the Leader slot for each squad.

Fortnite leader slot
A doctor female leader gets slotted into the Leader slot for each squad.

Inserting survivors into survivor squads grants F.O.R.T. statistics by squad type:

To save time or eliminate the task from your to do list, use the Autofill Survivors option to automatically manage your survivors and squads.

  • (F)ortitude: EMT Squad and Training Team.
  • (O)ffense: Fire Team Alpha and Close Assault Squad.
  • (R)esistance: Scouting Party and Gadgeteers.
  • (T)ech: Corps of Engineering and The Think Tank.

Your Power, which is the number in the upper-left corner next to the lightning bolt, as shown, is a summary of your F.O.R.T. statistics mixed with the boosts from your survivor squads. The higher the number, the more potent your hero and abilities.

Fortnite Power level
Your starting Power level.

Unlike your Account level, which only goes up, your Power level can be both boosted or reduced depending upon your actions at any one time, including mission type, party make-up, and active perks.

Upgrade points

All rewards are associated with your account level. Upgrade points are awarded based on your current account level. These points can be spent to unlock improved pickaxes, building health, gadgets, storage capacity, and other improvements in the Upgrades page.


As you progress through Save the World, you’ll not only encounter husks, but other monster types. Let’s take a look at some of these monsters:

  • Elemental monsters: High-level enemies that include the following:
    • Fire monster: Weak against water weapons and does double damage to wood structures.
    • Nature monster: Weak against fire weapons and does double damage to metal structures.
    • Water monster: Weak against nature weapons and does double damage to stone structures.
  • Husk: Most common monsters that attack on sight. There are a variety of husk types with different appearances and attacks.
  • Mimics: Conceal themselves as treasure chests and do bite damage.
  • Mist monsters: The second most-common monster type that attacks on sight. These large monsters create openings for smaller husks to attack. The following figure shows a flinger mist monster, which throws husks towards your base.
Fortnite flinger mist monster
A flinger mist monster.
  • Trolls: Can pass through walls and steal materials.