You Will Suck At Fortnite A Lot Less If You Remap Your Key Bindings

Illustration for article titled You Will Suck At Fortnite A Lot Less If You Remap Your Key Bindings

Do you suck at Fortnite on PC? Are you baffled by other players’ ability to magic together amazing forts while you’ve accidentally locked yourself into a brick box prison? Here’s a trick: Remap your damn key bindings.

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Fortnite’s default key bindings are awful. To build anything, you need to reach all the way up to F1 through F4 when, generally, your fingers are going to be on W, A, S and D. When bullets are raining down, you’re bleeding out health every fraction of a second it takes for your finger to get all the way up there.

Pros all have different setups, which the site BestFortniteSettings.com documents. Twitch streamer Ninja, for example, has bound his building inputs onto his Logitech G502 mouse’s thumb buttons, which a lot of people rave about. Dr. Lupo has bound his all around his keyboard—the wall build on Q, the platform build on ‘ and the ramp build on F. I can see the merits of that, since building a ramp while running along would feel way more comfortable.

What worked for me—and consequently dragged me out of the lower echelons of Fortnite play—is binding my building inputs to Z, X, C and V, right below my movement keys. That way, I don’t have to move my wrist to construct my basic fort: four tall walls surrounding several staircases. To do that, I need to jump right after building a ramp, which, frankly, feels bad when the ramp key is on the other side of the keyboard.

How have you tinkered with your Fortnite settings? How has it changed the game for you? We’d love to hear in the comments. 

Senior reporter at Kotaku.

DISCUSSION

My trick, which I’ve used in virtually every FPS game since I was, like, 7, is to use ESDF instead of WASD. It frees up Q, A, Z, 1, and F1 for additional commands while still giving easy access to the modifier keys. You basically just get a free column’s worth of keybinds, which, in Fortnite, perfectly resolves into the three buildable structures.

Unfortunately, the thing I’ve come to realize is that this is one of those things that’s really hard to switch over to if you’ve grown up on WASD.

Fortunately, since no one else I know can muster the willpower to switch over to it, I can think of it as a competitive advantage that only I have access to.

Unfortunately, some games are super incompatible with it, especially ones where the UI controls are independent of the in-game controls (In vanilla Skyrim, even if you set movement keys to ESDF, menu controls stayed in WASD. That got fixed in later patches, but some controls still fuck up: in the map screen, SDF works fine for left-down-right, but E is permanently assigned to “Center view on player”, so you can never scroll up on the map with ESDF ever). I’ve been running into this problem with Conan: Exiles a lot too, where some menu controls can’t be reassigned (like B opening up the Player Menu; I usually set B to Inventory). In games like that I usually just give up and stick with WASD because fuck me, right?

Grumble.