All 100 players in a given game of Fortnite land about as defenseless as they day they were born—except for their pickaxe. Fortnite’s pickaxe isn’t really a weapon, though. It is a means to an end. That end is mining materials. It is for felling trees, collecting brick. The pickaxe is not meant for killing. Nobody comes out the better in a drawn-out, dumb pickaxe fight.

Kotaku Game Diary

Daily thoughts from a Kotaku staffer about a game we’re playing.

If you and I happen to land in the same biome in Fortnite, armed only with pickaxes, please leave me alone. Do not pursue me. Do not swing your feeble mining tool in my general direction. It is not a kill windmill. It is not a blood fan. It will take you ten long swings, and eight long seconds, to end me. And that’s only if I resign myself to this fate. If I fight back—and believe me, I will—our pickaxe warfare will be nothing more than a drawn-out battle of will.


Consider this. Don’t engage me in a pickaxe fight, the winner of which is mostly determined by fate and conviction. Be chivalrous. Let me live. I’ll be chivalrous, too. Let’s return to this when we’re both actually armed. There’s a whole game ahead of us, man. You could lose this fight and regret picking it at all (excuse the pun). Or, you could just barely win, with ten health remaining, and receive no loot in return. Your kill tally will go up to one and, moments later, somebody will probably shotgun you. After that, if we meet unarmed in the afterlife—the next game of Fortnite we queue up for—I will definitely…. run in the other direction and hide until I’m sure you’re gone.