There’s co-op base building and zombie slaying shenanigans to be had in spades with the Early Access Fortnite, once you get done navigating through the confusing menu and its overly complicated layout.
One of the least explained elements of the game revolves around Hero stats and how they interact with Squads. Many players have been left confused because Defender Squads, Hero Squads, Survivor Squads, and Expedition Squads all serve different functions and don’t have a clear tutorial.
Some of those Squad types will show up on a map with you, while others provide your Hero with stat bonuses or are unavailable for a set amount of time before returning with resources and crafting materials. In this Fortnite guide, we’ll cover each type of Squad and how they work.
Your Heros’ base stats are intimately tied into Squads, but Squads aren’t the only way to raise stats, with many of the skill tree nodes bumping up stats as well. Not surprisingly, the main stats spell out F.O.R.T. — and they have the following effects:
- Fortitude: Health and health regeneration go up by 1% for each point
- Offense: Damage (ranged and melee) goes up by 1% for each point
- Resistance: Hero shield and shield regen rate goes up by 1% for each point
- Tech: Efficiency of traps, gadgets, abilities, and healing pads goes up by 1% for each point
Pay attention to the team version of these bonuses in the skill tree and Squad screens, because these provide the bonus to your hero and all the other heroes in a match.
Building stats aren’t as front-andg-center as the main four stats, but they can be just as important because they affect the max health of your structures, the speed at which structures are built, and how well the abilities of the Constructor class work.
There are four main types of Squads, and they aren’t all located in the Squads screen. The first type is actually found on the Heroes screen instead and gives your main Hero bonuses to his or her stats.
Popping Heroes into the Hero Squad Bonus slots doesn’t bring them onto a map with you at all — you don’t get to actually control extra Heroes while defending a Storm Shield or going on quest. Instead, the level and evolution of whatever Hero you slot there will provide a bonus to F.O.R.T. stats, as well as giving a specific new ability like Ammo Recovery or Firewall.
You can tell what bonuses are available by looking at the icon directly underneath the Hero star rating. The icon on the lower left is the support bonus slot, while icon on the lower right is the tactical bonus slot. Heroes who are out on Expeditions aren’t available to be used in the Squad bonus slots.
Next up are Survivor Squads, which serve a similar role to Hero Bonus Squads, but instead of Heroes they use all those Survivors you get in reward llamas. The higher the level, rarity, and evolution star rating of a Survivor, the bigger a bonus to your F.O.R.T. stats.
While the different types of Survivor Squads seem to indicate they would do things on the map — EMT, Fire Team Alpha, Corps Of Engineering, Scouting Party, etc. — they all just serve the same purpose of stat bonuses. Each individual slot within those various Survivor Squads is unlocked over time on the skill tree.
There’s another element to take into account when choosing Survivors: personality. If all the Survivors on a Squad have the same personality trait (competitive, cooperative, adventurous, dreamer, analytical, curious, and dependable) you get a big boost to the stat bonuses.
Putting a cooperative legendary Survivor in the Fire Team Alpha Squad
Unlike all the other varieties of Squads, these characters do actually appear on maps with you, although you don’t control them directly.
Instead, you have to set down a Defender Pad on any floor piece you’ve built and then choose one of your selected Defenders to be an A.I. ally. Don’t forget — you have to actually craft a weapon and drop it next to the Defender pad for the Defender to pick it up.
Whichever character you pick for the Defender squad uses your ammo (so make sure to craft plenty ahead of time), and they will automatically give your gun or melee weapon back at the end of the mission.
Before you upgrade or evolve your Defenders, they will have very low accuracy, so it’s a good idea to give them single shot weapons rather than automatic machine guns.
Picking Defenders for the Homebase Storm Shield
These become absolutely critical later in the game, as you won’t find enough crafting parts in any given mission to keep up with the rate of weapon decay and the absurd amount of ammo you chew through as the waves get bigger.
There are three types of Expedition Squads: land, sea, and air, which all have to be unlocked on the skill tree node and can be expanded with extra slots for more characters in the research tiers.
Any given Expedition requires a Hero, and then if you’ve unlocked more slots additional characters can be added. Expeditions have a base success percentage based around the power level of the Expedition Squad — the higher the power of the Heroes, the better.
Keep in mind that Expeditions take real world time, and while Heroes are tied up on an Expedition, they can’t be used in quests or placed in the Hero Squad slots.
Starting an Expedition with a 52% chance of success
Those are all the basics you need to know to use the Squad system! Need help with the rest of the game? Check out our other Fortnite guides here:
- Map Exploration and Resource Gathering Guide
- Fortnite Class Guide
- Beginner’s Guide to Defending Storm Shields
- Fortnite Base Building Layout Guide
- Understanding F.O.R.T. Stats and Using Squads
- V 1.03 Bug Fixes