Launched in 2017 as a paid-for early access game for Microsoft Windows, macOS, PS4 and Xbox One, Fortnite is essentially a co-op sandbox survival game. Developed by Epic Games, together with People Can Fly, Fortnite takes place on earth in the not-too-distant future.

Here, a sudden freak storm has caused almost 98% of the world’s population to disappear. The remaining 2% are under attack from zombie-like creatures. Think of it as Minecraft meets Left 4 Dead and you’ll see exactly what I mean.

A typical game of Fortnite has 4 players working together on a number of different missions randomly-generated maps to carry out a number of tasks. These include collecting resource, building up a base and fortifications around objectives that are made to help them fight the storm and also to protect survivors.

Fortnite Battle Royale
Fortnite Save The World is about protecting yourself from a Zombie invasion (Image Credits: Playstation Store)

While also protecting themselves, players can also create weapons and traps to counter the attacks by these zombies whose main goal is to destroy the objectives. Winning these missions give the players rewards. These rewards can be used to improve their characters and support teams. They can also use the rewards to upgrade their collection of weapons and traps which would help them on later missions. More upgrades can be purchased via microtransactions to purchase in-game currency which in turn can be used to buy these upgrades.

Onwards to Fortnite Battle Royale

While Fortnite: Save The World is the above game, the game also has a standalone mode as well. Known as Fortnite Battle Royale, the game is based on the battle royale game genre. As opposed to Fortnite: Save The World which is priced at USD 39.99, Fortnite Battle Royale is completely free. Because of this, I decided to give it a shot.

Akin to PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds or PUBG, Fortnite Battle Royale also features 100 players. We reviewed PUBG Mobile a while ago and we couldn’t help compare the difference in the game, despite being on two different platforms.

Fortnite Battle Royale
A typical situation in Fortnite Battle Royale (Image Credits: Windows Central)

Moving on with the game, the 100 players can either play alone, form a tag team, or play in groups of 4. The goal here is to be the last player alive while taking out the competition. Much like PUBG, the playing area and safe zone in Fortnite Battle Royale keep shrinking over time. This means that there is very little time that players can actually hide in the game without coming face to face with another player.

Setting Up Fortnite

Both Fortnite: Save The World and Fortnite Battle Royale can be installed via the Epic Game Launcher. This makes it easier to manage game updates and to add/remove friends who also play Fortnite Battle Royale. Once installed, the game takes around 21GB in size which can change as and when new content is added.

Fortnite Battle Royale
Launching Fortnite Battle Royale via the Epic Games Launcher. Epic indeed

Very similar to PUBG, players in Fortnite Battle Royale are ejected out of a moving aircraft and are land on an island. From here, players must run, crawl and sneak up on other players to collect weapons and armour to strengthen their characters. Although, unlike PUBG, players in Fortnite Battle Royale can actually break or destroy objects in an area, using those resources to create fortifications for themselves.

Throughout the game, random distribution of weapons and supplies will be carried out by supply drops. You can break down objects in the game to materials such as wood, stone, and metal. These can then be used to build fortifications such as walls, ramps, roofs, and floors as well.

Going all Out in Fortnite Battle Royale

You start off the game in a sort of spawning area, much like PUBG until 100 players are assembled to begin the game. Once the players are gathered, the game beings. You are transported on to a somewhat comical bus that flies over an island that you would be battling on. Again much like PUBG, location is everything. Jumping too early out of the bus might result in you landing in the water.

Fortnite Battle Royale
Standing around waiting for a bus to come pick you up (literally)

This, in turn, would mean that you spend a considerable amount of time swimming to shore, wasting your energy. On the other hand, jumping too late might also lead you into a place you don’t want to be in. If you’re playing as part of a squad, it’s recommended that you generally stick together and land together to make sure that you survive.

Fortnite Battle Royale
A flying… bus? Yes, you’re in Fortnite Battle Royale

You can have an Axe, and a Gun, and a rocket launcher

Once you land on the island, your first and default weapon is a giant axe. This axe is used to break down walls, containers and other objects. Once broken down, you can collect these resources to create walls and ramps. Ramps, particularly are useful if you want to just get over a wall and not waste time going around it. Although, this also makes you more vulnerable to a sniper who’s aiming for your head.

Fortnite Battle Royale
Forget building walls. Why not build ramps?

Speaking of aiming for the head, the tips and tricks section of the loading screen in Fortnite Battle Royale encourages players to aim for the head of another player as that is the easiest way to eliminate them. Helping them with this task are weapons spread across the map. One thing that you will notice when playing Fortnite Battle Royale is that as much as this is a firefight, it’s also about having quick responses to enemies.

What do I mean? Well, quite simply, rather than running headfirst into a firefight, players will tend to gather resources such as wood and metal and craft structures for themselves. Those quick enough can even scale great distances to get from one corner of the map to another by just building platforms. I’ve seen people literally plant walls in the battlefield so that they can go from cover to cover to take out enemies,

Fortnite Battle Royale
Note the amount of structures created? There’s a method to the madness

These weapons range from pistols to Assault Rifles, SMGs, Shotguns, Sniper Rifles, Miniguns, Rocket Launchers, Grenade Launchers, and even crossbows. All of these, if used correctly would be your best friend as you struggle to survive to be the very best. Each weapon class also has their own category ranging from Common, Uncommon, Rare, Epic, and to Legendary. Obviously, the higher the weapon-grade, the rarer it is to find. It also has more damage.

Fortnite Battle Royale
A well-stocked inventory of weapons doesn’t always guarantee a victory, but it does help (Image Credits: Ghost Recon)

To keep things interesting, no two games in Fortnite Battle Royale will have weapons spawning in the same place. Doing so would obviously be unfair to new players. But there are areas of the map that usually have good weapons, so it’s up to you to find those places out. Google is your friend here.

Fortnite Battle Royale
Say hello to my new best friend (Image Credits: Digital Trends)

If you’re playing as a duo or a 4-person squad, then sticking together is the best chance you have at survival. Because it’s a co-op, that also means you won’t have to go all Hunger Games and kill your teammates to win the match either.

Fortnite Battle Royale
Well, Sh*t

Just eliminate 96 other players while keeping your squad alive and you’re good to go.

To the victors belong the spoils

Successfully complete a Fortnite Battle Royale match and you will be awarded not exactly fame, fortune or eternal glory. Rather, you are awarded an umbrella. Yes, you read that right. Winning a match in Fortnite Battle Royale gives you an umbrella which would replace your glider the next time you jump out of a giant flying bus.

Fortnite Battle Royale
Because Gliders are sometimes too mainstream, let’s use an umbrella instead (Image Credits: battleroyale.top)

In addition, you also get XP which you can use to level up your character. This levelling up, in turn, means you have the ability to customize the visual appearance of your character as well.

You also have access to what is called a Battle Pass. This is a way that players in Fortnite Battle Royale gain access to exclusive challenges and in-game rewards. Each player will have their own battle pass at the beginning of every season of Battle Royale. Points or Battle Stars are earned by levelling their Profile Rank and completing Daily Challenges. The stars can then be used to unlock Tiers in the Battle Pass. These tiers have free and premium rewards.

Fortnite Battle Royale
The Battle Pass enables you to unlock rewards by completing quests (Image Credits: Kyber’s Corner)

A player will receive a free reward listed under a Battle Pass Tier once they have unlocked it. On the other hand, premium rewards on each Battle Pass Tier can only be acquired by purchasing Battle Pass Premium, which in turn has to be purchased V-bucks. This obviously means that there is a certain level of microtransactions required, and not directly with real currency.

Each battle pass is also only valid for the current season. So if you have a Battle pass for season 3, you will have to purchase another battle pass for the next season. Conversely, buying Battle Pass Premium for Season 4 will not grant any Premium items from Season 3, regardless of the number of Tiers you unlocked in that earlier Season.

Is Fortnite Battle Royale a copycat of PUBG?

That is indeed a question that most people have on their minds. You were probably thinking of it as well. The answer is not exactly so straightforward. In recent news, PUBG and their developers Bluehole filed a lawsuit against Epic Games in South Korea. According to the lawsuit, PUBG is alleging copyright infringement against Epic Games. The irony of this is that both PUBG and Fortnite Battle Royale are powered by Unreal Engine 4, which was created and licensed by Epic Games.

Fortnite Battle Royale
Fortnite and PUBG both offer similar gameplay traits but are different in their own way (Image Credits: DontHateTheGeek)

Given the popularity of PUBG when first released, it was the primary reason for Fortnite to release a Battle Royale version for their game as well. In turn, it also appears that the PUBG player base has dwindled while Fortnite Battle Royale player base is on the rise. This could be because while PUBG requires you to buy the game for $29.99, Fortnite Battle Royale is free to play.

That being said, while both games are quite similar in terms of gameplay, I personally feel that the cartoonish graphics of Fortnite Battle Royale are much less graphics intensive meaning that even gamers with low to mid-range PCs and laptop can get better frame rates compared to PUBG.

I personally like both games but I will stick to playing Fortnite because it’s free to play and is somewhat less stressful in comparison to PUBG. In my two weeks of playing Fortnite, I’ve learned to stick together, always reload your weapon and that anything is a weapon if you use it right. If you’re interested in giving Fortnite Battle Royale a go, you can download the game for PC from here.

Have you played Fortnite Battle Royale? Love it? Hate it? Leave a comment below.

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