Fortnite Terminology: An idiot's guide

Fortnite Terminology: An idiot’s guide


After almost one full year of playing Fortnite, an entirely new vocabulary has opened itself up to me. Here is my take on Fortnite terminology because you need to know these words, whether you play Fortnite or not.

I am the idiot, this is my guide. 21 words you may find yourself using in your next Battle Royale match!

My Fortnite history lesson…

Like many ‘parents who play Fortnite’, I downloaded the game and began playing as a result of my curiosity about my 8-year-old’s obsession. My gamer girl has since pushed Fortnite to the wayside in favour of games like Among Us; Roblox and Minecraft. And me? I am still as obsessed – if not more so – as I was when I began playing in December 2019.

Fortnite is most certainly not everyone’s cup of tea. Gaming die-hards may find the gameplay a little juvenile and the common misconception is that most players are children. Subsequent Fortnite statistics show that over 62% of players are aged 18-24 and at over 350 million worldwide players (Source), that’s a lot of adults. For me, the appeal is in the weekly and daily quick challenges set by Epic Games; the colourful and eye-pleasing visuals; looting chests, llamas and ammo boxes in anticipation of the contents; the ability to purchase and play in a skin of my choosing (#takeallmymoney) and the fun of a fast-paced battle royale.

To be clear, I am no professional gamer. Despite the name FORTnite, I have zero interest in building forts and can just about get a wall up. That said, I am living mum proof that you can play and not know how to build. You can still WIN! My aim isn’t the best, I love Fortnite fishing and challenge completion is imperative. Level up, level up, level up! Enter my home mid-game and you will hear me ‘shaking down’ my opponent; shouting about it so that my squad-mates know and then being scolded by my kids for shouting.

Shevy with a controller and headset on
Shevy, the part-time Fortniter

Fortnite Mums UK

In June 2020, together with my Fortnite Mum in crime Kikky, we created the Fortnite Mums UK Facebook community; a group for like-minded Fortnite mums in the UK who play Fortnite and love a giggle while doing so. We have built up a group of amazing mums who all play for various reasons, at different times of the day and night. The consensus is that most of us are pretty terrible at building (not all) and we are in it for the love of the game. Mum squadding has become an integral part of my weekly downtime and Fortnite, a dependable hobby.

Fortnite Mums UK logo
Fan art logo created by Sugarplumb Creations

Fortnite terminology – a new language…

Before joining other players, my Fortnite vernacular was relatively limited. I had heard my youngest daughter throw words around that I didn’t quite understand but took little notice of. When mum squadding and twitch streaming became a thing, it became apparent that I needed to swot up on these new words. Any Google search will return meaning to one or all of the below but many meanings will differ; here is my layman’s take on Fortnite terminology!

Before the Fortnite police jump up and down, these are in no way the FINAL dictionary definitions.

  • AFK – Away From Keyboard. Referring to the lonely sod that is standing stock-still in the middle of a shoot out, excellent for practicing sniper skills and headshots. Many of these AFK players can be found once they’ve been forcibly pushed from the Battle bus at the end of its journey.
  • Big pot – Of shield! I call this big shield but a big pot is a globally recognised term. This bad boy will give you 50 shield points! Use AFTER the minis, not before. Unless you don’t have minis then use it. Either way, you need the shield.
  • Bots – Get killed? Blame a bot. That said, there are purposefully inserted bots (from the word robot) in the game. Fortnite confirmed the addition of bots in 2019 to improve skill level. The more skilled you become, the fewer bots you face.
  • Builder – Down to the top 10 and suddenly a large architectural marvel presents itself? Builders. What else is there to say, often used to assume your opponent is a child who spends far too much time honing their building skills in creative mode. Probably not though.
  • Bush camper – How we all start. Those first few games, near wins. Down to 1v1 and you are pooping your pants, hide in a bush. Sometimes, this is a necessary tactic. Sometimes, this is encouraged by Fortnite (like when the Bush is unvaulted).
  • Defaults – A common assumption that you don’t have the battle pass; wear the default (free) skin and therefore must be an awful player. This is rubbish. In fact, many skilled players take the form of a default skin purely to throw you off. No thanks to Mystique’s shapeshifting abilities!
  • Dub – In my language, a victory royale (VR). A WIN! Dub from the letter W. Doesn’t make sense to me either but hey, it’s the terminology.
  • Elims – Eliminations or kills because something happens when you start playing Fortnite, you abbreviate all of your words.
  • Flopper – I am keeping this post PC. A Flopper is a fish in Fortnite and we all love a bit of Fortnite Fishing, we also quickly get over it by around week 4. Stack these for 40 HP (health points) per meal.
  • Hacker – Get killed? Blame a hacker. I mean, what is a hacker anyway? Apparently, people have serious time on their hands to use aimbots and hacking software to win. The term hacker can also be used to refer to anyone good enough to kill you first because, they must have hacked, right?
  • Mats – This is that abbreviation thing again, mats = materials. Materials referring to wood; stone and metal which builders use to make forts out of. I use mats for upgrade and that is pretty much all I use them for.
  • Med – Medkit or bandages. Super useful to keep either or in your inventory but if you like fishing, Floppers will suffice. Big meds (as I call them) will restore your HP to 100 whilst bandages give you 15HP up to a maximum of 75.
  • Minis – The baby sister to the big pot, the shield! 25 shield points per baby shield up to a maximum of 50 and best used AFTER the big pot for a total of 100 shield points. Shield & meds are essential in your backpack!
  • Mum squad – The Fortnite Mums UK group has lovingly owned this term to refer to squadding up with our mum mates, no kids allowed! (PG18 for language and violence, obviously).
  • Noob – Get killed? Don’t tell anyone. Newbie, a title to refer to a new Fortnite player although, I have days where I feel like a noob and I have played for almost a year so this term is loosely used.
  • No scope – Land on the map, it’s a little bit sweaty and the only weapons within your reach are sniper rifles or scoped assaults. Not ideal for close combat BUT, use one of them to eliminate an opponent without making use of the scope function and, boom! You have no scoped.
  • Skin – One of my favourite things about Fortnite, spending far too much money on skins! These are stylised outfits that add to your gaming persona. I have a large collection but usually stick to the regulars – my last purchase of 2020 (keep telling myself this) is Grimoire.
  • Stacking – You can hold up to 3 large medkits, 15 bandages, 3 big pots and, 6 minis (in each inventory slot). Piling these up for future use is known as stacking.
  • Sweaty – Get killed? Blame it on the sweat. Battle bus begins, you need to drop in at Salty Springs and it happens to be ON THE LINE. You know, it is about to get busy aka sweaty. Sweaty players are generally known for doing whatever it takes to win, this includes being builders but probably also really good players. I don’t know, sweaty refers to anything that is about to get crazy. Sweaty can also be used to refer to Sweaty Sands in abbreviation, a place on the map.
  • Vaulted – This is that thing that Fortnite does when they take away your FAVOURITE WEAPON! Such as my beloved Tactical Shotgun. Thanks, Epic. It isn’t forever though, weapons make a cycled comeback in and out of seasons.
  • XP – eXperience points, one of the reasons I buy and play the battle pass and complete all of the challenges. The more XP you earn, the more you level up. Boom.

There you have it, a list of Fortnite terminology that you may or may not already know!

There are many more words that I could have included but this post would be far too long, feel free to share your favourite Fortnite terms in the comments below, using the Contact form or, connect with me on social.

Get in touch with Fortnite Mums UK if you’re a mum in the UK looking to play with other mums.

Happy Fortniting!

Shevy xx