Fortnite leveling guide: how to maximize your XP gains

As with almost all competitive multiplayer games these days, Fortnite has a progression system based on time spent playing. Sure, you’ll level up faster if you’re better at Fortnite compared to someone who’s just getting started, but eventually, no matter your skill level, everyone will be able to reach the maximum level if they play enough during a 10-week season. By the time Fortnite Season 6 rolls around, you'll want all your skins upgraded and out of mind. 

For a lot of people though, there’s not enough time in the day to reach the max level in Fortnite. There’s 100 battle pass tiers and 100 season levels, each increasing at different rates. You unlock specific cosmetics and bonuses through each tier of the battle pass, but to upgrade a couple of the legendary skins, you need to increase your season level and gain experience points.

To a newcomer, it’s not intuitive whatsoever. What’s the difference between the free and the paid battle pass? What is my account level referring to? How do I earn battle stars to level up the battle pass? Perhaps most importantly, someone joining the Fortnite craze part-way through a season will be questioning how to level up quicker than they already are. Here’s a few tricks and tips you can use to earn all the unlocks quicker.

Challenge time

Something you’ll notice as soon as you log on for the first time is the Daily Challenges window to the left of the lobby screen. As expected, you receive one per day up to a maximum of three and they each reward 500 XP and five battle stars. You don’t have to complete them on that day, but as long as you’re logging on every single day to receive the challenge and you always complete one whenever you have three assigned to you, you’ll be able to level up the battle pass at a slow but steady rate. 

If you’re not keen on the challenge it’s chosen, you can re-roll one challenge once per day for something you reckon you stand a better chance at completing.

Work on that battle pass

Right above that, you’ll see the Suggested Challenges bar, which cycles through incomplete challenges you have in the battle pass. New for season five is the introduction of free weekly battle pass challenges. Previously, all battle pass challenges were reserved for the paid version but now, you can complete three free ones per week.

Completing each weekly challenge, whether you’re a free player or you’ve upgraded to the paid version, will reward you with five or ten battle stars. You get seven challenges per week on top of the daily challenges, that’s approximately three-quarters of the battle pass complete by simply completing every possible challenge.

There’s also your season level, which is increased by earning XP. At every fifth level (5, 15, 25 etc.) you’ll earn five battle stars, then every 10th level will give you 10 battle stars (10, 20, 30 etc.). You earn XP from just playing the game, while kills and higher placements will earn you more. So it is worth it to actually learn and improve as a player, as the benefits to your progression are significant.

Once you complete your battle pass, all challenges that would normally reward battle stars reward XP instead, and typically 1000 XP per star. Don't sit on those challenges for too long. 

Buddy up

Another way to earn a lot of XP quickly is to play with friends, as long as they have the paid battle pass. Upon purchase, you’re given a 10% match XP boost for any friends that play with you, on top of a 50% personal match XP boost. As you progress through the battle pass, both the personal and the friend XP boost rate will increase, up to 120% and 40% respectively. If you have a full squad with the battle pass, you’ll receive shed-loads more XP than you would playing solo.

Bonus XP weekends

Finally, if you’re still struggling toward the end of the season, keep an eye out for double XP weekends, or 200% XP weekends to be specific. Epic introduced them at the end of last season to give players a slight boost toward unlocking all the armour add-ons for Omega, and it’s safe to assume they will return this season. They’re called 200% XP weekends and not double XP because technically, it doesn’t double your XP return if you’re already at the 110% or 120% level. Similarly, if you haven’t reached 100% XP boost yet, it will grant you more than double what you’d usually earn.