Although a significant portion of Fortnite revolves around base building and putting together squads of defensive Survivors, the heart of of the game is all about mowing down waves of zombies with your Hero!
Several different classes of Hero are available to try out (so long as you unlock them through card drops), with different focuses on ranged combat, tanky melee fighters, or even improving the effectiveness of your traps and fortifications.
Note: Because Fortnite is currently in Early Access Beta and will remain so until 2018, the info below is very much subject to change at any time as tweaks are made! Some of the skill names and effects have already been changed from previous editions before Founder level backers were brought onto Closed Beta.
Fortnite Class Differences
Many different characters can be unlocked through random card drops within the same class, and each has a different skill loadout beyond the class’ base skills. For instance, two characters can be the Soldier class, but one might be a Rescue Trooper and another could be a Survivalist. Some rare and legendary characters will have access to additional skills from other sub-classes.
You can also find different star versions of the same character (1-star to 4-star) with upgraded stats and extra starting skills. For another level of complexity, each character can be leveled independently (unlocking more skills down the list for each class), and when you reach a certain experience threshold, each character can then be evolved using certain items and skills.
For instance, the basic Rescue Trooper Ramirez, a Soldier-class character, can be evolved when reaching 1,500 EXP if you have 10 Pure Drops of Rain (found randomly through Llamas and completing quests) and a Training Manual. Evolution grants additional boosts to your character and your team beyond your normal skills.
Any class can use any gun or melee weapon in the game, so long as you’ve found the weapon randomly through a card drop or discovered the schematic through card drops and crafted it during a quest.
So what’s the difference between the classes? Some classes will deal more or less damage with certain weapons or have slightly different run and sprint speeds (which can make a difference in map exploration when there’s a bonus objective involving time) — and they all have vastly different skills.
Below we’ve outlined all the class and sub-class skills currently available at this stage of the Fortnite Beta.
- Advanced Tactics: Health and Ranged Weapon Damage increased 10%
- Frag Grenade: Throws a short-range explosive (damage and energy based on level and evolution). The Soldier carries up to three grenades and can regenerate 1 used grenade every 25 seconds
- Shockwave: Knocks back enemies within 1 tile and deals damage to any affected enemy
- Debilitating Shots: Dealing ranged damage adds Vulnerability to that enemy, increasing damage taken from all sources for a short time, even from other team members
- Survivalist: Killing with ranged damage heals the soldier a small amount
- Assault Damage: Slight increase applied to all assault weapon damage
- Quick Clip: Reduce reload speed during combat
- Goin’ Commando: Fires mini-gun style weapon at rapid speed for huge damage
Rescue Trooper Subclass
- Steamy Aim: Reduces recoil of any melee weapon
- Ammo Recovery: Gain small chance to automatically recover 1 ammo when damaging any enemy with assault weapon
- No Time To Bleed: Doubles amount healed by the Survivalist ability
- Clean Living: Increases base health of the Soldier
Support Specialist Subclass
Special Forces Subclass
Urban Assault Subclass
Shock Trooper Subclass
- Creative Engineering: Increases build speed and lowers build costs
- Bull Rush: Charges forward while dealing damage and knocking enemies back
- Plasma Pulse: Deploys device that launches explosive pulses every half second for 10 seconds
- Kinetic Overload: Deals plasma damage and critical hits with hardware melee weapons will cause knock back
- BASE: Sets down a BASE object that affects all building pieces within 3 tiles, granting them damage resistance and dealing retaliation damage to any enemy who strikes the object with a melee attack
- Shielded: Increases maximum shield health of the Constructor
- Healthy: Increases maximum health of the Constructor
- Actuated Attacks: Increases all blunt melee weapon damage
- Hammer Criticals: Increases chance of critical hits with blunt melee weapons
- Automated Defenses: Increase BASE tile range affect by 1
- Safety Protocols: Increases damage resistance of BASE connected tiles
- Electrified Floors: Floor segments connected to BASE also deal electricity damage when enemies walk on them
- Long Rush: Increases Bull Rush distance
- Emergency Override: Immediately ends Bull Rush cool down if the Constructor’s shield is reduced to 0
Plasma Sentinel Subclass
Plasma Shielder Subclass
Kinetic Guardian Subclass
- Shinobi: Reduces fall damage
- Throwing Stars: Hurls three damaging stars in quick succession; has a cool down before being used again
- Mantis Leap: Can jump a second time while already jumping (note: this ability costs energy and cannot be chained together for infinite jumps)
- Dragon Slash: Spring forward and deal damage to all enemies within a half tile along the line of attack
- Smoke Bomb: Create a cloud of gas that slows enemies and deals damage for the duration of the cloud
- Assassination: Dealing sword damage applies the Assassination ability, which further increases sword damage by 5%; this effect lasts 5 seconds and can stack up to 5 separate times for a total of 25% bonus damage
- Long-Sassin: Increases duration of your Assassination from 5 seconds to 11 seconds per hit
- Trained Throw: Reduces energy cost of Throwing Stars
- Cascade: Throw an additional star when using Throwing Stars
- Rain of Death: Throw yet another star when using Throwing Stars
- Wings of the Dragon: Increases the range of Dragon Slash
- Return of the Dragon: Reduces energy cost of Dragon Slash
- Crescent Kick: Melee attack that causes stun
- Fleet: Increases the Ninja’s base movement speed for faster walking
- Soft Landing: Further reduces all fall damage from Shinobi skill by a higher percentage
- Three Mantis Style: Significantly reduces the energy cost of Mantis Leap
- Easy Sword: Reduces sword combo attack energy cost by 60%
- Easier Sword: Reduces sword combo attack energy cost by 80%
- Praying Mantis: Increase the jump height when using Mantis Leap for a second jump
Dim Mak Subclass
Shuriken Master Subclass
- Focus Acquisition: Increases chance to find double loot
- In The Zone: After 5 successive hits with the pick axe, the pick axe will deal bonus damage
- Loot Llama: Deploy a llamma anyone on the team can whack for easy resources
- Anti-Material Charge: Charges forward and deals damage to structures or enemies, stunning them along the way
- Phase Shift: Teleport quickly in the direction you are moving
- Phased Out: Reduces cool down time on Phase Shift
Shock Specialist Subclass
- Shock Tower: Places tower that launches stunning chain lightning at any enemy who approaches
- Capacitor: Increases duration of Shock Tower placement
- Supercapacitor: Further increases duration of Shock Tower
- Up The Voltage: Increases damage of Shock Tower
- Forked Lightning: Shock Tower launches additional bolts to attack multiple enemies
- TEDDY: Deploys a TEDDY unit to blast enemies who approach within 4 tiles
- Passing Zone: Increases run speed while In The Zone is active
- Keen Eyes: Reveals nearby containers with valuable loot while In The Zone is active
- Keener Eyes: Increases Keen Eyes distance by 1 tile
- Work, Work: Increases harvesting speed when hitting objects with the pick axe
Recon Scout Subclass
Phase Scout Subclass
Those are all the class and subclass combos we’ve discovered so far in Fortnite. Have you found any others in your random loot drops? Let us know in the comments section and we’ll get them added to this guide!
Just getting started with the game and need more help understanding the ins and outs? Be sure to check out our beginner’s guide here to learning the basics of this complicated multiplayer title’s three main phases. And make sure to check out all of our other Fortnite guides here!