Fortnite: Battle Royale is, so far, the pinnacle of the decade-old battle royale game genre. It’s no understatement to say that we haven’t seen a game enter the mainstream in this way since Minecraft – but it’s not the only battle royale out there, and the genre has never before seen such quantity nor such quality. We’ll go over a handful of our favourite battle royale games like Fortnite below. Each of these games has been picked out for taking the genre in new directions, or adding a particular feel or flavour to the genre that we haven’t found anywhere else. If you’re looking for Fortnite alternatives, you’d be hard-pressed to find a more colourful selection than this.
Games like Fortnite – the best battle royale games out there
There are a great deal of games like Fortnite out there, but we have to remember with a list like this what it is that makes Fortnite what it is. It’s (reasonably) accessible; it’s got a huge playerbase and a very high skill ceiling; and for all its faults, it’s a polished product with an incredibly well-designed foundation. But for those of you who desire a break from Fortnite, or who want to try a different take on the genre, the following games might be exactly the kind of thing you’re after.
For each game in this list, we’ve gone through what new features or angles it brings to the battle royale table, and why you might consider giving it a go over all the other battle royales currently on the market. They’re all great games in their own right, and they each deserve praise and success for different reasons. Click on any of the below links to skip to a specific game (they’re in no particular order).
The intense post-launch popularity of Titanfall devs Respawn’s battle royale has dropped quite a way since February, but Apex Legends is still one of the titans of the genre, and for very good reason. It’s an incredibly well-designed and polished competitive shooter with far more of an emphasis on mobility and verticality than Fortnite ever had (and Fortnite wasn’t exactly lacking in that department). The matches are faster-paced than most BRs, and the game also brings elements of the hero shooter genre over to battle royales with its colourful roster of Legends, each of which has their own Passive, Tactical, and Ultimate abilities that can be used to great effect during or between battles.
Most importantly, Apex Legends is a team-based game. There’s no solo or duo mode, only trios – because many of the game’s innovative and ingenious systems revolve around teamplay, from the synergistic abilities of various characters to the game’s absolutely fantastic and gold-standard contextual ping system of communication. It may have its issues (mainly regarding some unstable servers every so often, and an abundance of hackers), but for a free-to-play team-based alternative to Fortnite, it doesn’t get much better than this.
By the by, we’ve got a very extensive and up-to-date series of guides on this excellent battle royale, all of which you can peruse from our main Apex Legends tips/guide page.
Playerunknown’s Battlegrounds (PUBG)
For many, PUBG is where the battle royale genre truly began. The first major standalone BR to become available, PUBG is still enjoyed by many hundreds of thousands of players every single day. Its popularity is what prompted the subsequent rise of Fortnite and many other battle royales, and for that it will forever command a certain respect.
Games of PUBG are much slower-paced than Fortnite, with far more of an emphasis on realism. There’s no building, no hitscan, no potions or launch pads. It’s a very grounded and more mature experience, despite also featuring some of the silliest moments of any battle royale I’ve played thanks to its (at times) famously janky physics and collisions. This is the go-to battle royale for those who can’t get into Fortnite because they don’t like the building, or because it’s too vibrant or busy or cartoonish. In many ways PUBG’s much larger maps, extended matches, and shorter time-to-kill generate more dramatic and tense anecdotes than Fortnite’s much more focused and action-packed matches.
For a good starting point on this titan of a battle royale, you’d best check out our PUBG guide for weapon stats, beginner’s tips, map overviews, and much more.
Call of Duty: Blackout (Black Ops 4)
Call of Duty’s foray into the battle royale genre with Blackout saw a similar rise-then-fall in prominence to Apex Legends – but it’s still fairly popular, and not at all difficult to get into matches. Again, the emphasis here is on very fast-paced matches and more mobility than we’re used to seeing in battle royales in general. The gunplay is obviously very solid as a Black Ops 4 mode – though it has been tweaked from the main game to better fit the battle royale format (such as a more prevalent bullet drop and higher time to kill).
Perks have been brought over from the standard Black Ops 4 formula as well, allowing players to customise their characters with certain abilities such as the ability to make enemy footsteps louder, or to move more quietly yourself. Overall it’s a really solid foundation for a battle royale, and the experience itself falls somewhere between Fortnite and PUBG in terms of its realism and arcade-y-ness.
Battlefield V: Firestorm
Firestorm is Battlefield’s own attempt to capitalise on the battle royale explosion, and it’s by far the best-looking battle royale out there. Battlefield always looks spectacular, but with Firestorm they’ve really upped the ante with the titular firestorm (their take on the ever-shrinking “ring” or “border”) being a literal wall of fire that destroys everything in its wake, from houses to trees to… well, you.
Again, this is obviously a far more realistic take on the genre. You won’t find no building or launch pads here. What you will find is Battlefield’s trademark focus on vehicular combat and destructive environments. There are tanks, and they look and feel great. And you can blow them up with dynamite, which feels even better.
Be warned, though: Firestorm walks a similar line to PUBG than Fortnite or Apex Legends. The games are longer and tenser and you are an incredibly fragile assortment of meat and bones that can be obliterated from afar at a moment’s notice. If that’s the experience you’ve been missing from Fortnite, give this beautiful battle royale a go and see if it’s for you. For more thoughts on Firestorm, why not check out Matt’s words on his time with the mode?
CSGO: Danger Zone
None of us ever expected Danger Zone to be as good as it is. I was a Counter-Strike novice, so I was expecting an extremely tough time even figuring out what was going on in Valve’s take on the battle royale genre. But oh boy, did Danger Zone grip me. It gripped me in the same way Apex Legends later did: with a handful of such exquisitely good ideas, honed to near-perfection and all working in tandem to create an entirely new experience, a genuinely unique take on the genre.
In Danger Zone, the map is miniscule, and you’ve less than 20 enemies to outlive with each 10-minute match. But let me talk about the tablet and the drones, because they’re just amazing. You carry a tablet with you from the start, which you can use a) to buy weapons and equipment, and b) to view a hex-based representation of the map, which highlights all hexes where a player is present. It’s absolutely ingenious. It leads to faster, tenser fights as players have the ability to seek one another out; but it never feels unfair because you’re never given precise positions, only general vicinities.
And everything you buy is flown in by drones, which is amazing because enemies can use your drones to track your position, or even shoot the drones to intercept your equipment. If that doesn’t intrigue you, I don’t know what will. Check out our Danger Zone guide for tonnes more info on this excellent and free-to-play battle royale mode.
Minecraft Hunger Games/Survival Games
This was my first ever experience with battle royales, and I still think upon my time in the Minecraft Hunger Games servers with great fondness. Y’know, once upon a time I was about as competitive a Minecraft player as you can get. I was a regular name in UHC (Ultra Hardcore) PvP matches and tournaments, and to hone my skills between matches I’d often head over to the Minecraft Hunger Games servers.
As you can imagine from the name, these servers are very much based on the battle royale format as laid out by the Hunger Games books/films, right down to all of you starting off next to each other around a cornucopia filled with high-tier loot. The maps are small, the loot is frequent, and the combat is, well, Minecraft. Of course, combat in Minecraft nowadays is very different to my time, with shields and attack speeds and all that jazz. But still, Minecraft has a much higher skill ceiling, and much more competitive PvP potential, than you might have thought. If you’re interested in giving a completely different style of battle royale a go, you might want to consider logging into one of these Hunger Games servers and seeing how you get on. It might surprise you how intense and enjoyable a match can be.
ZombsRoyale is another game that completely floored me with how enjoyable it was. I was expecting something that fulfil the bare necessities of what constitutes a battle royale (or a game), but I quickly realised that there are some really winning ideas in this unassuming free-to-play browser-based take on the genre.
The game’s name is quite the misnomer, by the way, since you don’t encounter any zombies at all unless you play one of the limited time modes, just like Fortnite. The main game mode is more or less Fortnite in 2D – but seriously, it works. The weapons are varied and satisfying, the movement is slick and responsive, and the skill ceiling is far, far higher than you’d think from looking at it. These matches are the quickest you’ll see in the genre, generally lasting between 4-6 minutes at the most – and it’s oh-so-easy to just immediately click into the next match, then the next match, then the next match, getting better and better all the time. It’s the best of all the 2D battle royales I’ve played, for sure, so if you’ve stuck with Fortnite or PUBG or Apex until now, maybe give something new a try with ZombsRoyale.io.
Mordhau Battle Royale mode
Okay, okay, I know – Mordhau is really not at all similar to Fortnite. Like, not even remotely. Y’know, I’m starting to question why I’ve even put it on this list.
No, I must persist! Because although Mordhau isn’t a battle royale game, I’ve been playing a tonne of its battle royale mode recently, and – quite surprisingly – it’s a match made in heaven. There are no big innovations or anything, it’s all very familiar if you’ve played Fortnite or any other BR: you’re placed in a pretty small map with 63 other players, and you must loot chests for weapons and equipment, then fight to be the last player standing while a border slowly pushes you all closer together.
The only way it innovates is that it’s Mordhau. It has Mordhau’s absolutely peerless melee combat system. And somehow, that’s enough. The matches are short, intense, bloody, and really goddamn fun. I think I also really like that third-partying is more counterable in Mordhau because, if you’re decent with a blade, you can definitely cross swords with more than one player at once. It feels fairer, it feels less reliant on who catches sight of whom. It honestly just brings everything I love about battle royales to Mordhau, and everything I love about Mordhau to battle royales.
If you’re intrigued but daunted at the prospect of learning how to play Mordhau, fear not! We’ve got a spiffing series of guides to help you on your way, all of which you can peruse from our Mordhau guide.
And with that, we’ll wrap up this guide to Fortnite alternatives. Hopefully you’ve found at least one or two battle royales that you quite like the sound of within these meandering words. And yes, I know we missed out your favourites. That was always going to happen. These are our favourites; if you want to bring attention to other (no doubt also excellent in their own right) games such as Ring of Elysium, or Totally Accurate Battlegrounds, or anything else you can think of, then please do so in the comments below! Now if you’ll excuse me, I’m off to play some Call of PUBpex Mordcraft: DangerStorm.io.