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Review: LEGO Fortnite lets you build Japanese shrine towers and flying machines out of bricks while fighting off skeletons

In LEGO Fortnite, you can build Rome (or Japan or a Medieval kingdom) in a day, by yourself, with toy bricks.

Image: Arthur Collins / Epic Games
Image: Arthur Collins / Epic Games

Fortnite: LEGO Fortnite mode

Developer: Epic Games Publisher: Epic Games

Release Date: 12/7/2023

Review Score: 8

Quick Verdict:

LEGO Fortnite is a great distraction from the classic Fortnite experiences, focusing on survival-style gameplay for beginners.


  • Great starting point for players who want to try a survival game

  • It’s free to play

  • Lots of options to make it as hard or cozy as you want


  • Needs more tutorials and direction for newcomers to the genre/ easy to get lost

  • Survival mode can get really intense if you don’t know what you’re doing

  • Villager NPCs are slow to join your village based on the level

Reviewer played LEGO Fortnite on PC. It’s a free mode, so no review key was provided.

Fortnite is available on macOS, Epic Games Store on PC, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, iOS, Nintendo Switch, Android, Xbox Series X/S, and PlayStation 5. 

Your eyes are not deceiving you. Epic Games has not only added an official LEGO mode to their ever-expanding game, but LEGO Fortnite is an entirely new gameplay mode to gain new interest in gamers who don’t necessarily care about “battle royale” style games.

During Fortnite’s recent Big Bang event, the game has been adding some new official modes. Rocket League developer Psyonix made the high-octane racing mode Rocket Racing, Harmonix brought their Rock Band franchise in as Fortnite Festival and Epic Games teamed up with LEGO to make a full sandbox survival game in the style of the infamous bricks.

Where Rocket Racing is definitely my favorite of the new additions, LEGO Fortnite is probably the most expansive of the three new modes. The insanity of this is compounded when you find out that all of the modes are entirely free to play.

But, what is LEGO Fortnite?

Image: Epic Games / LEGO Fortnite
Image: Epic Games / LEGO Fortnite

Anyone familiar with games like Minecraft, RUST, DayZ, or The Forest is going to feel right at home in LEGO Fortnite. This open-world mode drops you onto a LEGO island and tells you to survive.

It harkens back to Fortnite’s early years, long before the battle royale mode was added. The original (what is now known as) Fortnite: Save the World had players gather supplies during the day and fortify their base from the undead at night. 


Image: Arthur Collins / Epic Games / LEGO Fortnite
Image: Arthur Collins / Epic Games / LEGO Fortnite

LEGO Fortnite is exactly this, but you have a lot more to explore. Build everything from entire shacks for yourself and other NPCs for putting a bed all the way down to the smallest decorations.

When you head into Fortnite’s main menu, you want to start by checking your locker for your LEGO-fied options. Most licensed outfits are, sadly, not compatible with the new mode. But, well over 1,200 classic Fortnite skins were translated into minifig form. 

Plus, it seems that all new or upcoming skins, including licensed ones, get a LEGO version for free. Looking at the shop at the time of writing, all four Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (and April O’Neil) were available to play in both Battle Royale and LEGO Fortnite.

Gather and process various types of wood or stone to make new types of items and buildings. Protect yourself with different weapons, drink smoothies to get buffs, and prepare yourself for the nighttime.

Once night falls, huddle up with your NPC villagers who join you over time or other players that you’ve invited into your world. The skeletons will attack, relentlessly, until daybreak. At least you’ll never have a shortage of bones and nearly destroyed pickaxes from them.

During the day (or night, if you’re crazy enough), explore the vast biome options and head down into a nearby cave. Plenty of new resources and materials can be found within, but the enemies are much harder to kill. Watch out for scorpions, trust me.

All of that is great on its own, but we’re talking about a free LEGO mode of a game that’s been dedicated to quick-match battle royale for years. How deep can it really get? I was really surprised to find that I’d sunk nearly 8 hours into LEGO Fortnite in a day without even trying or getting far at all.

There are two world options: Sandbox and Survival. Sandbox mode is for those just looking to build, without the usual resource requirements like X amount of wood or stone. By default, this mode doesn’t offer enemies, hunger, or temperature issues (which is useful in the colder biomes).

Just like in other games of the genre, inventory gets stored in your backpack, which limits your space and need for more chests in your village. But, with Sandbox mode, you don’t have as much that is needed to be stored due to resources being unnecessary.

In my survival world, I'm building a Japanese shrine, complete with full shrine towers. But, there are a ton of options and no limits.

I also accidentally created a The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom-esque flying contraption that flew me to a far-off area of the map in the icy mountains, where I collided with a tree and the machine broke into a million LEGO bricks. I had to make a new one to fly back to my village.

Survival mode, on the other hand, offers a more traditional survival game experience. It gives some basic lessons at the beginning and then sets you free. 

While both options have pros and cons, they each have toggles to change how hard or easy of a time you’ll have. You can even turn “elimination” (i.e. death) on and off for both modes if you’re having a tough time and just want to relax.

During setup for a new world, you can also choose to override a world seed to make your experience identical to another world’s starting point.

Final Verdict

Image: Epic Games / LEGO Fortnite
Image: Epic Games / LEGO Fortnite

After playing the LEGO Fortnite mode for longer than I care to admit, I’m really impressed with how much content you get for free in it. 

It’s easy to make comparisons to Minecraft, especially with the blocky nature of LEGO and the Sandbox option resembling Creative mode in the classic mining game. However, I’d argue that the entire LEGO Fortnite mode shares a lot of DNA with more modern survival games, like Sons of the Forest, in how mechanics and building structures work.

My only qualms were the lack of direction for those new to the genre. They give some very basic tutorials in Survival, but once you’re set free to do as you need, there isn’t a lot to go by and it’s easy to get lost if you get too far from your main base and village. In Sandbox, you don't even get that much. You need to know how to do the basics, at the least, if you head there.

I wish enemies could be toggled not just as on and off, but in difficulty level as well. There have been multiple times where all of the enemies in a cave were super easy to defeat and then a single scorpion sneaks up and takes me down in two quick hits in Survival mode. I’m fine with difficulty in a game, but cheap kills really are frustrating when I have to hoof it back to the depth of a dark cave without any inventory or light.

If you’re an avid survival game player, you’re going to love the Survival mode. But, if you need a more relaxing experience, there are so many toggles to work with and make it as cozy as you want. This also is likely for those looking to make crazy builds not unlike the Creative mode in the main Fortnite experience.

Fortnite, and all three new modes, are free and on every platform you can imagine: macOS (with some luck), Epic Games Store on PC, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, iOS, Nintendo Switch, Android, Xbox Series X/S, and PlayStation 5.

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