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The Inner Game of Fortnite – Slow Down and Let Them Play Your Game
My game got noticeably better when I slowed down. I was already pretty good but when things really started to click for me was when I played a much slower game, rather than being overly aggressive when I didn’t need to.
Years ago, I read this book called “Soccernomics,” which I don’t recommend, but one good thing that I took from that book was how the Italian national team was able to dominate the highest levels of the sport for so long until Brazil rose up in the world as a soccer superpower. The Italians would vary the tempo of their game. They’d play hard and aggressive for some short period of time and then they’d play safe and slow for another period of time. Not only did this throw off their opponents, it also allowed the Italians to rest a bit before the next push.
It’s tempting to run around the map in Fortnite pushing all the time, trying to drop high kill games and post impressive stats to brag about. If you’re a content creator, that may be the style of game you need to play in order to keep your Twitch stream happy and coming back, but most of us aren’t that kind of player. Most of us are playing Fortnite after a day of work or school just to have some fun and get a win or two.
Remember, from when we talked about Marginal Advantage:
Amateur players…try risky, greedy strategies.
So when we slow down, we can force our opponents to play our game. Make them come to us. Box up. Play with our safety rather than trying to ramp up and re-take high ground from a player that’s pressuring us from 150 meters away, with rockets and a sniper rifle.
One thing that I like to do after an intense fight is to switch to metal, box up, and take a few deep breaths while I reload my weapons. I like to gather myself before continuing down my hopeful path to victory and just take stock of the fact that I’m not being shot at anymore and that I can take the time that I need before proceeding. That might be 15 seconds, it might be a minute or two, depending on where we are in the game.
I’ll even say to myself out loud, “I’m safe,” just to remind myself that whatever craziness I just made it through is over and that I can take my time now.
We can do this in the middle of a fight too. Drop to middle or low ground and box up. Let them come to us. Let them try to take our walls or our ceiling while we play safe. Maybe a third party will come along and take them out while we’re safely in a 1x1. Maybe not. But we’re playing our game.
Slowing down can also come by not escalating fights. We can disengage. We don’t really have mobility items in the meta right now aside from boats but if there’s a boat nearby and you don’t want to get into a fight or you need to get to zone, hop in that boat and get away. It’ll be much harder to hit you with a big metal frame around most of your character.
The reality of any game of Fortnite is that you have about 15 minutes to creatively be the last person standing. How you do that is entirely up to you. As we develop our own play style, we can test out elements we see from other players but ultimately, it’s about what allows us to perform at our peak. And if that’s going slow and steady rather than impulsing around the map, let’s do that.
Sub-Skill Drills – 4, 7, 8
Today we’re going to practice a little breathing exercise. This is a Fortnite newsletter and a yoga class.
We just talked about boxing up getting our bearings after a fight. Let’s add some structure to that. This is a breathing exercise that you can do any time things get tense in Fortnite (or in life):
Breathe in for 4 seconds, hold for 7 seconds, and breathe out for 8 seconds. Do this 3 times. It takes about a minute.
Taking even that short amount of time will help you shake out of fight or flight and regain your cool head before proceeding.
Remember: In for 4, hold for 7, out for 8.
Then go win.
Have a great weekend.
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See you Monday.