Outlast the rest of the competition and emerge the last person standing, that's the motto for the best battle royale games out there. Often there's a big circle of poison gas pushing people closer together, or like, everyone parachutes in for some reason. Some don't feature any of these things, and opt for obstacle courses, or zany community creations instead. You may have thought battle royale games were quite one-note, but they're actually quite varied. So below I've rounded up some of the best ways to prove you're the fittest survivor of them all.
The 10 Best Battle Royale Games
Each of the games on this list has been hand-selected for taking the battle royale genre in new directions, or adding a particular feel or flavour to the usual proceedings. Saying that, there are a lot of shooty bang games on this list, but we've tried our damndest to mix things up nicely. Anyway, that's enough of me. Bring on the battle royales:
- CSGO: Danger Zone
- Minecraft Hunger Games
- Fall Guys
- Naraka: Bladepoint
- Hunt: Showdown
- Call Of Duty: Warzone
- Apex Legends
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.
ZombsRoyale.io 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.
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 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.
Fall Guys sees you control a sentient Tic Tac through obstacles courses constructed from marshmallow. What for? The crown, of course. Your aim to survive long enough to be in with a shot of gunning it for this ultimate prize.
As you'd expect, this is easier said than done. Fall Guys has a big selection of courses, with some featuring brutal gauntlets through swinging axes, and others requiring chaotic teamwork to make the dream work. Not to mention that the game's ever-expanding too, with seasons introducing creative new ways to put your beans through hell.
For many, PUBG is where the battle royale genre truly began. The first major standalone BR to be available, PUBG is still enjoyed by thousands of players every day. Its popularity is what prompted the 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.
If pulling triggers isn't really your bag in a battle royale, then Naraka Bladepoint might be your best bet. It's the usual fight to survive, but you control a magical martial artist, instead of a bloke holding a gun. This means fights to the death aren't decided by bullets, but by who can string together the sickest combo. Not that it rewards wild behaviour, oh no, you'll need to be patient when it comes to fights. Economy of movement is king.
Occasional RPSer Matt Cox really likes Naraka Bladepoint and calls it a "punishing battle royale that frustrates before it elates" in his Naraka Bladepoint review. I'd give it a read for the full lowdown on this action game meets battle royale if I were you. And as an extra note: it has a grappling hook.
Not for the faint of heart is Hunt: Showdown. This is a nerve-shredder of a battle royale game, that's also a PvPvE FPS (god, that's a lot of capital letters). Basically, you take on the role of hunters in search of an AI boss that's tucked away somewhere on the map. Unfortunately, there's a bunch of other hunters also looking to do the same thing as you.
What ensues is a scramble to finish off these bosses before everyone else. Or, you can let everyone else fight amongst themselves, then swoop in and finish the job for both of them. The possibilities in Hunt: Showdown really are huge. Just be careful, though, as death means you lose your equipment forever. Yikes, best be really careful, then.
Ah yes, Fortnite: Battle Royale. Chances are, you know the drill. But if you don't, this is a colourful, cartoony fight to the death that has big draws such as: building forts to protect yourself in combat, live concerts, and the ability to play as Ariana Grande.
Hmmm, I suppose "colourful" and "cartoony" aren't exactly accurate. Despite appearances, Fortnite still features plenty of mean gunfights and explosions with which to mince your enemies. It's also one of the most heavily updated BRs around, with swathes of seasonal map mix-ups and cosmetic items to obtain.
Call Of Duty: Warzone
For one of the slickest battle royales around, you can't get much better than Call Of Duty: Warzone. Not only is the gunplay crisp, it's one of the few on this list that lets you truly customise your play style. And by this, I mean that you can create personalised gun loadouts with all sorts of different attachments and perks and things to make them your own.
That's another thing, actually. These custom loadouts give Call Of Duty: Warzone matches some nice direction, as if you're short on things to do mid-match, you can always aim to get enough money together to call in your snazzy guns. Honestly, this is one of the best paced battle royales out there.
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, at its core, a team-based game. While Respawn have added a limited-time Solo Mode for the first time this August, 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 page.