If you’re a gamer, you’ll know Battle Royale games have taken the world by storm.
Player Unknown’s Battlegrounds (PUBG), a game based on battle royale mods and developed by South Korean studio Bluehole, has taken the gaming world by storm. It has racked up huge sales numbers, an Xbox One port, and now a well-received mobile version.
With such success, the game was never going to be alone for long. Enter Fortnite, a rival battle royale produced by American studio Epic Games.
Both games offer the high-stakes, white-knuckle survival fix gamers know and love, but each has a slightly different approach. So, which is better? We’ll compare the major features to help you decide which is the one for you.
Both games offer a unique graphical style. PUBG is all about gritty, environmental realism, so the color palate is subdued and washed out. Fortnite is the complete opposite, embracing a bubblegum-bright, cartoonish style, with outlandish outfits and weapons.
PUBG environments look like they come straight out of The Walking Dead.
While Fortnite‘s visual style is more Disney than Day Z.
PUBG has gained notoriety among PC users for bad frame-rates and stuttering, even on high-end machines. There are plenty of guides to getting the most FPS from your rig, but until Bluehole fixes the bugs, you might need to play on lower settings. Not that that’s necessarily a bad thing, if you’re a pro player.
Fortnite seems better optimized graphically, and the minimum specs are much lower than PUBG’s, so a wider variety of rigs will be able to run the game.
Generally speaking, the goals of each game are the same: drop in, loot, kill your enemies, and stay within boundaries that shrink as time passes. Gunplay, though, is significantly different.
PUBG boasts realistic gun handling, and you have to account for things like bullet drop. This makes fights difficult and combat tense, but also more rewarding when you win an engagement. You have to plan your moves carefully, and the game rewards patience.
In Fortnite, the style is much looser. Hit points will fly out of player’s heads as you pummel them with a mini-gun, for example. It’s a lot simpler, and easier to grasp. In general, the weapons are a lot more forgiving than those in PUBG, so Fortnite is kinder to beginners.
We play games to relax, right? Not in Battle Royale.
Clutching your mouse in a death grip while scanning for the bullet that could end it all… Both games have a very different approach to creating this atmosphere.
Broadly speaking, Fortnite is faster, tighter, and the action takes place in a smaller area. When you hear gunshots, it usually means it’s too late to defend yourself.
PUBG is the opposite. Games are about the silence between engagements, the tension drawing out until you finally have someone in your sights. Then all hell breaks loose.
The key part of any Battle Royale is the late game, and this is where PUBG and Fortnite differ the most.
Fortnite introduced a building system, so you can quickly scoot up difficult terrain using stairs and ramps. Late game encourages players to build towers that overlook rapidly shrinking maps. Then you simply pick off your opponents who didn’t plan ahead by collecting building materials as well as weapons.
PUBG’s late game can be a little frustrating. It usually ends with eight players slowly crawling through fields or holing themselves up in one location, waiting for someone else to slip up and reveal themselves. While it’s nail-biting, it can deflate some of the early game excitement.
Another key part is the actual battleground. Currently, Fortnite has only one map, but the developers are continually adding and polishing up locations.
PUBG has two maps, selected randomly when you join a match. The original map has a bleak, Soviet bloc feel, while the second is a desert. The change of scenery definitely helps keeps things fresh.
PUBG has moved out of early access, and costs $29.99 for a digital download key.
Epic chose to make Fortnite completely free. You can purchase outfits and weapon skins from their store, but there’s no pay-to-win advantages to buying an item.
Both PUBG and Fortnite are the leading lights in the newly revitalised Battle Royale genre. However, both will appeal to a slightly different kind of player.
If you’re looking for something casual that’s easy to learn but hard to master, then Fortnite is for you.
If you’re a fan of heart-pounding tension, steep learning curves, and big rewards, then PUBG is the way to go.