How Fortnite coaches are creating the next generation of pros
How Fortnite Creative coaches are building the next generation of pros

How Fortnite coaches are creating the next generation of pros

Building better skills by building better maps
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Adil “Bucktee” Maiwand was alone and outgunned outside Colossal Coliseum. He had to fight off an enemy trio long enough for his squadmates to get there in time to save him. The trio pushed him all at once, spraying Bucktee’s wall with bullets as he burned through resources to rebuild his defenses. He had almost no chance to win the fight, but he could use a little trick he had learned to even the odds.

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“It’s called spray punish,” Bucktee said of a move where he would take a shot every time the enemy trio broke his wall. “The second they broke my wall I would [hit them with my] shotgun and then place another ramp or wall. Then I’d repeat that.”

As a result, Bucktee killed two of his harassers in those frantic moments, but fell to the last one as his teammates rolled up to the fight.

“He made it an easy cleanup job,” his Fortnite coach Zach “MachineRite” Faulkner said of the play. Bucktee had used a map that MachineRite designed in Fortnite Creative to learn how to get those shots off in the first place. “We practiced that move a lot.”

As a Fortnite coach and map designer, MachineRite uses the battle royale’s Creative mode to help players sharpen their mechanical skills, decision making and game sense by designing practice routines. He’s one of many designer-coach-hybrids that have helped raise the overall skill floor of competitive Fortnite.

“The impact these maps have had is massive,” said Fortnite caster Taylor “Somebodysgun” Yates. These maps let players run coordinated drills to train their aiming, building, editing, movement and other mechanical skills. All things that players need to implement at incredible speeds within the games’ top tournaments.

Fortnite Creative training
Bucktee was ambushed at the old farm building just outside Colossal Coliseum. Image via Epic Games.

“Mechanical skill gaps close at the highest level, so you need to have the knowledge of every advantage possible in order to win,” MachineRite added.

MachineRite works part time as a coach with trios like Team Serenity — the team Bucktee is a part of — by building custom maps to help their muscle memory, reviewing game tape and helping them plan for the random elements that they can’t always account for in battle royales.

“I probably used MachineRite’s map for around a week,” Bucktee said, adding that he practices in Fortnite Creative for two hours a day. “It builds muscle memory.”

Creating Custom Fortnite Practice Routines

The training maps, much like practice for football, basketball and baseball, are all about mastering mechanical movements that players will need to do hundreds of times while trying to gain an advantage during tense moments. One advantage MachineRite pointed out as an example is mastering the weapon swap delay when players are holding a pickaxe. During that time frame, there is a short moment of vulnerability that an enemy could use to hit them with a shotgun spread.

“It’s not a math problem,” MachineRite said. “You’re building a solution to a problem before it happens. You’ll just have a subconscious habit of using them built in.”

Map creation has also become a small source of income for people like MachineRite, who chose to learn the ins-and-outs of Fortnite Creative rather than focus on their own skills. After all, for those that want to get better at one of the most popular games in the world, there is no better tool than the game itself.

“When you practice in Fortnite, in-game aim trainers teach you the actual game mechanics, whereas KovaaK 2.0 are just general,” said Fortnite map creator Daniel “Donwozi” Warish, referring to popular aim trainer tools that people can purchase on Steam. “My map has an average play time of around 26 to 30 minutes. A lot of people use them to warm up.”

Donwozi is the creator of the Skaavok aim trainer, an all-purpose routine that drills players on Fortnite’s variety of weapons. His trainer is incredibly popular, with more than 12 million unique lifetime users. Both Donwozi and MachineRite agreed that training maps have been widely adopted in the Fortnite community, with a few of them bringing in more than 40 million players.

Fortnite Skaavok aim trainer
A scenario from the Skaavok aim trainer that tasks players with hitting specific targets while bouncing around. Image via Epic Games.

Fortnite Creative is the go-to training ground for a number of top players and millions of others who are still grinding through ranked Arena lobbies. It gives players the tools to improve their muscle memory and mechanical skills, but using it on it’s own won’t be enough to win tournaments.

A lot of Fortnite Creative is how you approach it,” Donwozi said. “If you just follow the path of my aim trainer you’ll hit a skill ceiling. You need to approach things differently than the straight line version set out for you.”

Author
Image of Aron Garst
Aron Garst
A guy who likes Fortnite and Animal Crossing.