How to Acquire Fortnite Cosmetic Items - dummies

How to Acquire Fortnite Cosmetic Items

By Bill Loguidice

Fortnite is a game with many options and a whole heck of a lot of variety. These options and variety extend to how you can personalize the game through cosmetic items like character skins and use the Fortnite Item Shop. Although these items have no effect on gameplay, the endless combinations, which you can cycle through and update on a regular basis, let you personalize your character and your character’s actions in a way that’s uniquely yours. Here, you take a look at filling your locker with an ever-growing list of cosmetic items.

You can unlock unique cosmetic items to add to your locker through regular play in either the Free Pass or Battle Pass. If you don’t get XP or V-Bucks each time you move up one of the 100 tiers, you’ll get one or more cosmetic items. You can see which items unlock in a particular Free Pass or Battle Pass tier by selecting the Battle Pass tab from the lobby, and then selecting the item from the respective tab to view its description.

In the following figure, I selected the item in the Free Pass row for tier 30, which is an uncommon glider called Cinder. If I reached tier 30 and just had the Free Pass, this is the item I would unlock and have added to my Locker. If I also had the Battle Pass, I would also unlock the uncommon loading screen called The Ice Queen.

cinder glider in Fortnite
Tier 30 unlocks the uncommon glider called Cinder on the Free Pass row.

There are also other ways to earn free cosmetic items from retailer promotions, special events, or for being an owner of a specific platform. For instance, if you play Fortnite on a PlayStation 4 and have a PlayStation Plus membership, you sometimes get exclusive items, like the Fortnite–PlayStation Plus Carbon Pack in the following figure, which includes a Carbon Commando outfit and Carbon back bling.

Fortnite–PlayStation Plus Carbon Pack
PlayStation Plus members on the PlayStation 4 sometimes get exclusive items, like the Fortnite–PlayStation Plus Carbon Pack.

These exclusive items show up in your locker and then can be equipped. The following figure shows the rare outfit called Carbon Commando.

Carbon Commando in Fortnite
The Carbon Commando outfit.

The following figure shows the Carbon back bling, a rare glider known as Blue Streak.

back bling in Fortnite
Carbon back bling known as Blue Streak.

Of course, exclusive skins are not limited to the PlayStation 4. Xbox One and Nintendo Switch owners can also get in on some exclusives, as can users of the Twitch.tv live streaming video platform who upgrade to a Twitch Prime membership, which is great for watching competitive Fortnite matches ad-free.

Having a Twitch Prime membership gets you bonus PC games, exclusive in-game content, a channel subscription every month at no additional cost to be used on any partner or affiliate channels, exclusive emotes, a chat badge, and more. Although it normally costs $12.99 per month, or $119 for an annual plan, if you’re an Amazon Prime member you can get a Twitch Prime account for free. If you’re an Amazon Prime member, connect your account.

The last way to acquire cosmetic items is the easiest, and that’s by purchasing them in the Item Shop. Let’s take a look at the Item Shop in the next section.

Getting to know the Fortnite Item Shop

You can purchase cosmetics directly in the Item Shop. You access the Item Shop by selecting the Item Shop tab from the lobby, as shown.

Fortnite Item Shop
The Item Shop.

Cosmetics in the Item Shop are purchased with V-Bucks and are broken into two main categories: featured items and daily items. They represent a mix of options, like skins and emotes, but they don’t include every type of cosmetic at one time.

Featured items, like the example shown here, are rotated weekly. The amount of time left to purchase this group of featured items is shown to the right of the Featured Items header.

featured items in Fortnite
The featured items for April 16, 2019.

Daily items, like the example shown in the following figure, are rotated daily. Like with featured items, the amount of time left for daily items is shown to the right of the Daily Items header.

daily items in Fortnite
The daily items for April 16, 2019.

When you select an item to purchase, you’re taken to its options and can view it in more detail. The following figure shows one example for the epic outfit, Tender Defender, which includes the epic back bling, Hatchback, for 1,500 V-Bucks.

Fortnite Item details
The combination of the epic outfit Tender Defender and the epic back bling Hatchback costs 1,500 V-Bucks.

To purchase, select Purchase or Purchase Items. If you have enough V-Bucks, they’ll be automatically subtracted from your total, like in the following figure. If you don’t have enough, you’ll be prompted to purchase more V-Bucks.

Select Purchase Items carefully. If you have enough V-Bucks, the purchase will go through immediately, with no confirmation step. If you accidentally make a purchase, you can go to the Account tab under Settings to request a refund. However, you only get 3 lifetime refund requests per account, so this option should be used only when absolutely necessary.

V-Bucks subtracted in Fortnite
Purchasing Tender Defender and Hatchback subtracts 1,500 V-Bucks from the previous total of 2,700, leaving 1,200.

If you wish to gift an item to a friend, click the Buy as a Gift button instead of Purchase or Purchase Items. Items you purchase for yourself will show up in your locker.

Filling your Fortnite Locker

After you’ve received or purchased a new item, you’ll be notified one of two ways. If you’ve received a new item from the Free Pass or Battle Pass, or from some type of redemption offer, you’ll be shown the item and prompted to look at and collect it upon entering the lobby, as shown.

Fortnite redemption code
Prompt to review and collect the Back Bling Carbon Pack, which was received via a redemption code.

If you purchased an item from the Item Shop, the Locker tab in the lobby is flagged with a yellow exclamation point to indicate the addition of the new item or items, as shown.

Fortnite Locker screen
After purchasing Tender Defender (now marked as owned) and Hatchback, the Locker tab is flagged with a yellow exclamation point.

After selecting the Locker tab, you can see that the new items are flagged in a similar manner, with numbers indicating the amount of new items in a particular category against a yellow background, as shown.

Fortnite Locker items
There are three new Locker items under Gear, an outfit, back bling, and a glider.

Selecting any of these new items in a locker space takes you to the Selecting screen, where you can select the new item or any other item in your locker in that category. The following figure shows the Outfit options screen.

Fortnite Outfit options
The Outfit options screen.

Before we take a look at the options screen, let’s review the elements of the Locker screen, shown here:

Fortnite Locker screen
The Locker screen.
  • Gear: The locker spaces from left to right, are: Outfit, Back Bling, Harvesting Tool, Glider, and Contrail.
  • Emote: The locker spaces from left to right, are Emotes 1 through 6.
  • Wraps: The locker spaces from left to right, are: Vehicle Wrap, Assault Rifle Wrap, Shotgun Wrap, SMG Wrap, Sniper Wrap, Pistol Wrap, and Misc Wrap.
  • Account: The locker spaces from left to right are: Banner, Music, and Loading Screen.

After selecting one of these locker spaces, you are presented with the Selecting screen. Let’s review the elements of this screen, shown here:

Fortnite Selecting screen
The glider Selecting screen.
  • Filter: Choose how to display the list of items, from left to right: All, New, Favorite, Styles, and Reactive.
  • List of Items: Displays the items you own by how they’re filtered. The first option chooses randomly between favorite items or all owned items if nothing is marked as a favorite.
  • Edit Style: Includes only items that have additional options; for instance, additional outfit choices for a particular character will have this option available. Typically, these additional choices open up after achieving a certain XP threshold.
  • Save and Exit: Select this option to confirm your selection.

After you have selected your new options from the locker, you’re ready to use them in-game. The following figure shows how distinctive your character can look with just a handful of gear changes.

Fortnite gear changes
Heading toward a landing with the Hybrid outfit, Woodsy Pet back bling, and Sky Serpents glider equipped.

Customizing Fortnite skins

Character skins, which are stored in the Gear locker under the Outfit options, are the most prominent customization in Fortnite. There are male and female skins, as well as exotic costumes, which make your character stand out like nothing else in the game. This is the easiest way to tell foe from friend, but can also confer other advantages. For instance, some skins make your character thinner, making it easier to hide behind certain objects. Other skins make your character blend in in certain environments. Other skins, like the ones that feature bright colors, make you more prominent, creating a greater challenge.

Whether labeled as an outfit, like in the locker, or referred to as a skin or costume, it’s all just a different way to note your character’s appearance and the clothes that your character is wearing.

Some skins can even indicate player skill. For instance, The Reaper skin from Season 3, shown in the following figure, was only available to players who progressed through all 100 tiers.

Fortnite Reaper
The legendary outfit called The Reaper. The resemblance to Keanu Reeves from the 2014 film John Wick is purely intentional.