Should You Play Fortnite Classic or Zero Build? We Break the Game Modes Down

A character in Fortnite battle royale wearing armour and glasses with a glowing hand device.
Epic Games

As part of chapter 3 season 2, Fortnite removed building, one of the game’s core mechanics. The new Fortnite Zero Build mode brought huge changes to the battle royale, prioritising maneuvering and sharpshooting over building towering structures to get the edge in team fights.

Players either loved it or hated it — some people said removing the building made Fortnite much more fun while others joked that only people who weren’t good at the game preferred it without building.

Today, Fortnite brought back the classic battle royale mode — and made Zero Build permanent. Now you can choose which mode to play when you’re queuing for a game — but which mode should you choose? We broke down the pros and cons of Fornite Zero Build and Fornite Battle Royale to help you find the Fortnite game mode that’s right for you.

Fortnite Zero Build Game Mode

The new mode is great for anyone who prefers a classic FPS experience or has found themselves wondering “can you play Fortnite without building?” To win Fortnite Zero Build, you need to rely on your skill with weapons, the items you pick up and your traversal abilities. Now when you shoot at someone, they won’t be able to hide behind a wall that pops up out of nowhere. The downside is that you won’t be able to throw up a wall to protect yourself from incoming fire either. Instead, you’ll have to take them on, run away or use your items to get the upper hand.

There are a few other differences in Fortnite Zero Build, too. Everyone starts with a recharging Overshield and sprinting is faster. This makes up for not being able to build defences, as you can initiate fights faster, escape more easily and recover your shields after a battle. As of chapter 3 season 2, you can also climb structures and zip up to sky-high blimps to claim the high ground. And, of course, you won’t have to spend any time gathering materials in between team fights. The Storm still closes in on the Island in Fortnite Zero Build, however, meaning you’ll have to keep moving inwards to remain in the safe zone.

Classic Fortnite Battle Royale Game Mode

If you prefer the classic Fortnite experience, you’ll be pleased to know that it’s back and not going anywhere this time. Building is something that set Fortnite apart from other battle royales like PUBG and Apex Legends and is a big part of the game’s overwhelming success.

In the classic Fortnite Battle Royale mode, you’ll still use your pickaxe to gather resources like wood, stone and metal as building materials. Use them to build walls, floors, ramps and roofs to bunker down in a safe position or get the drop on enemies. Loot, including legendary weapons, ammo and items like shield potions, bandages, grenades and traps will spawn as usual.

How Do You Select a Different Fortnite Game Mode?

To switch between Fortnite Zero Build and classic Fortnite Battle Royale game modes, click the “CHANGE” button in the Lobby. This will take you to the Discover page, where you can select the game mode you want to play. Battle Royale and Zero Build are both available for Solos, Duos, Trios or Squad games.

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