Fortnite is distributed as three different game modes, using the same engine; each has similar graphics, art assets, and game mechanics.
Players can use their pickaxe to knock down existing structures on the map to collect basic resources that are wood, brick, and metal. Subsequently, in all modes, the player can use these materials to build fortifications, such as walls, floors, and stairs. Such fortification pieces can be edited to add things like windows or doors. The materials used have different durability properties and can be updated to stronger variants using more materials of the same type. Within Save the World this enables players to create defensive fortifications around an objective or trap-filled tunnels to lure husks through. In Battle Royale, this provides the means to quickly traverse the map, protect oneself from enemy fire, or to delay an advancing foe. Players are encouraged to be very inventive in designing their fortifications in Creative.
While Battle Royale and Creative are free-to-play, Save the World is pay-to-play. The games are monetized through the use of V-Bucks, in-game currency that can be purchased with real-world funds, but also earned through completing missions and other achievements in Save the World. V-Bucks in Save the World can be used to buy loot boxes, in the form of piñatas shaped like llamas, to gain a random selection of items. In Battle Royale, V-Bucks can be used to buy cosmetic items like character models or the like, or can also be used to purchase the game's battle pass, a tiered progression of customization rewards for gaining experience and completing certain objectives during the course of a Battle Royale season.