With over 50 million players and counting, Apex Legends has taken the online gaming community by complete storm. When you have a well-crafted battle royale game backed by a triple A company and the game is released as free to play, it’s no surprise that the title would rise to the top. It’s a milestone for sure, but obviously, EA and Respawn Entertainment aren’t the first to do it. It’s a formula that PUBG did, that H1Z1 did it, and Fortnite has been absolutely killing it with. So now for the question that’s on everybody’s mind now that Apex Legends is on the up and up: “Is Fortnite on its way out?”
It’s definitely way too early to say, but the competition is surprisingly fierce – probably fiercer than Epic Games had expected. To EA’s credit, releasing Apex Legends during the slow period of Fortnite’s long seventh season was a stroke of genius. Many bored Fortnite players picked up Apex Legends just to see what the hype was about, and whether this battle royale game was better than the reigning champion. Evidently, many found this to be the case, as it’s climbed up to the top of both Twitch’s ‘most watched’ and ‘most popular’ lists, Fortnite falling to third on both counts:
One might think that the opening weeks aren’t any real indication of a game’s longevity or quality, but the frank truth is that PUBG never did recover from Fortnite’s initial splash. Like any good battle royale player, though, Epic Games was quick on the trigger, and is already working to reel their audience back in.
With lots of money (offered to players as rewards through tournaments) and by directly incorporating some successful Apex mechanics into Fortnite, namely the game’s ping system. Rumors are also circulating about Epic Games putting in Apex Legends’ respawn system in a coming update.
So who wins when two titans duke it out, trying to endlessly one-up each other?
A new free contender in the battle royale genre? That just means more opportunities to hop online and see which game we like better! In the end, that’s kind of the best way to look at things: Neither game is objectively better than the other; they both offer different facets to the experience.
Comparing Fortnite to Apex Legends
Apex Legends is obliquely set in the Titanfall universe, and carries some of the grit and more realistic character models with it. Fortnite fully embraces its unique visual aesthetic, and bumps the zaniness to 11 with players running around dabbing, riding chicken parachutes, and dressed as bananas.
Fortnite plays in 3rd-person, while Apex Legends is the more classic 1st-person shooter. This means the player perspective in Apex Legends in smaller, and their view cone thinner. As with the graphics, Apex Legends is trying to push for a more realistic, less arcade experience.
Fortnite has building
Players making the switch from Fortnite to Apex Legends will immediately notice the lack of a building mechanic. Some will be frustrated with the limited mobility (Apex doesn’t have vehicles, either), but others will glad to return to the genre’s shooter roots without having to worry about building battles or resource acquisition.
Apex legends has classes
Apex Legends has eight (with more incoming) different Legends you can play as, each with their own unique perks and passives. This dramatically changes player encounters, and adds a fresh element to the mix (though Fortnite players might argue that building served much the same purpose).
Squad gameplay is mandatory in Apex Legends
Sure, you can free fall onto a different part of the map than your buddies, but that happens pretty rarely. In Apex Legends you’re not alone; you’re on a squad of three players who are your only chance of getting back into the fight if you’re downed or killed. This offers a (weighted) chance to get back in the ring that many players will be excited to have, but other players may find it frustrating to kill the same players multiple times per game.
Fortnite has more people per match
There are 100 players in a Fortnite Battle Royale match, and there are only 60 players per match of Apex Legends, a little over half the people, and therefore half the chaos. Combine that with the fact that many players go solo in Fortnite, and you’re looking at a much more frenetic experience.
Like Fortnite, Apex Legends is 100% free to play, but offers aesthetic upgrades to player skins, weapon skins, finishers, and emotes. Fortnite’s got a huge array of character customization, ranging from cool, to pop culture references, to absolutely ludicrous. Everyone’s got a lot of personality in Fortnite, and so far that’s not the case with Apex Legends. This comes as the result of Apex Legends already having eight established and fully voice-acted characters, though.
Right now Fortnite also has the advantage of multiple game modes, a larger community, and most importantly a name and culture behind it. Apex had a great launch and established themselves as a true competitor to Fortnite, but Fortnite is a game that’s held that top spot for years. Given the huge cultural phenomenon that Fortnite has become – and moreover, its continued popularity this long after launch – it’s not going to be that easy for Apex Legends to swoop in and steal the crown.
In the meantime, enjoy the fruits of the competing companies’ labors, and drop into whichever game is your favorite. Let us know in the comments below which game that is, and we’ll see you online!