Fortnite: Trying to explain survivor squads

Fortnite throws some terms around that can get confusing. Survivors and Squads both seem to have multiple meanings and initially I’d get kind of lost in all the survivor types and squad types.

Today I want to talk about Survivor Squads. Since Fortnite is down I’m going to try to do this without visual aids and from memory!

[Update: Added some images at the bottom!]

When I say Survivor Squads, I’m talking about Squads like the EMT Squad. In the Squads page, the left most pane leads you to these Squads.

The best analogy I could come up with is that these squads are to Fortnite what Runes are to a fantasy RPG. You know you’re playing a game and you get a weapon that has 2 rune slots so you put in a +Attack Rune and a +Speed Rune, or something like that? These squads do the same thing.

Every time you slot a survivor into these squads you’ll get an increase to one of a number of stats like Fortitude or Tech. The better the survivors (runes) you slot, the better the stats. These stats apply to whatever hero you’re running as. The “Squads” never leave this menu screen. They’re just buffs. These buffs also contribute to your overall power level (the number by the lightning bolt at the top left corner of the screen).

To maximize the buffs you get, you can in theory pick the ideal survivors (in your early days you’ll probably have to pick whatever you have). Each Survivor has a Job, a Personality and some Effects. Matching the Job to the Squad type enhances the buff. So slotting a Doctor into the EMT Squad, for example.

Also if your survivors have matching personalities it’ll increase the potency of the squad. Personality will be something like “Aggressive” for example. And then each Survivor will have 1 or more effects like +1 Trap Damage. If you slot in a few survivors with the same effect you’ll get a bonus to that effect.

I hope this at least gives you enough that you can figure out the rest in-game. You can slot, unslot and re-slot survivors at no cost so you should feel free to experiment. Also you can level up survivors which of course also increases the buff.

You unlock more of these squads, and more slots in these squads, via the skill tree.

There are also Defender Squads and Expedition Squads, but those are a completely different system.

Visual Aids!

Here is a low level Tank Penny with nothing slotted in Squads. You can see my overall Commander/Power Rating is pretty low with her like this. I should only go out on low level missions like this. My F.O.R.T. stats are 15-15-6-6 and those are all coming from the skill tree.

Penny with all Squads Empty

Here is Sidewinder Ramirez with no Squad. Even though she’s much higher level than Penny, my overall power score is still only 4. Ramirez has a higher Health & Shield values, partly due to her class (she’s a soldier) and partly due to her being level 21.

Ramirez with no squad

OK let’s slot some squads, starting with EMT which is the first squad you unlock. I had a Doctor to slot in here which is a job match. That circle with a cross in it was a little misleading to me because it just looked like a generic “add” button. But the icon inside the circle is indicating the job required for a job match, the cross meaning Doctor. Fortitude has jumped 10 points to 25 and Health has jump 54 points to 681 (hard to see in that green font). I haven’t sussed out the exact math here; I believe it is based on percentage and I’m not sure exactly how much of a boost the Job Ability Match gives. [Update: Matching the job doubles the FORT value increase.]

First Slot

Here’s Penny again, just showing that the Health, Shield and F.O.R.T. stats are the same on the Hero page as on the Squad page.

Penny with the Doctor Slotted into the EMT Squad

OK I’ve given the Doctor some help. These two cowboys brought Fortitude up to 54 and Health up to 839 (EMT Squad is all about Fortitude). These guys also Personality Match with the Doctor; everyone in this squad so far is Adventurous. And look, my overall power level crept up to 6. Again, I don’t know the exact math going on here. One of the new minions comes with Trap Durability and one comes with Shield Regeneration. I’m not sure that Personality or the two abilities do any good without being full. [Update: The abilities, at least, do not. I finally got a 3/3 for ranged damage increase and it gave me a 15% buff. Nothing until it was completed.
I’m going to guess 5% per point, so if I were to complete a 2/2 ability it would be a 10% buff. Not confirmed though.] In other words does having a personality match of 2/7 help or does it not kick in until you get 7/7. Same for the Trap and Shield abilities. Always more questions!

Filling up the EMT Squad

OK and now I’m jumping to where I’ve filled out all the squad slots that are unlocked. All the F.O.R.T. stats are improved and her Shield has been buffed up (Health goes up from Fortitude, Shield goes up from Resistance, I believe) and now my Commander Power Level is 11. So I’ve gone from Level 4 to Level 11 just based on slotting Survivor Squads. Same Penny hero, almost 3 times as powerful. And I can’t say for sure I have optimized my squads. I have a lot of survivors and optimizing squads is almost a game in itself. It’s a little like Deck Building in a CCG I guess.

All my Squad Slots (so far) full

Anyway, hope this helps!

One thought on “Fortnite: Trying to explain survivor squads

  1. Very helpful! Me and my buddies have been playing since xbox release and it is very confusing.

    There are sites that try to explain it but they dont have pics or you have to click the link to an imgur pic.

    Youve done a great job. I cant wait till you get some more info.

    (The reddit folks are crunching numbers. Maybe you can join them in solving this mystery with stat boost percentages)

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