Fortnite is one of the most popular games in the world, and it’s easy to see why. The player base is massive, the game receives regular content updates, and it helped define the battle royale genre. Although the onslaught on new content can keep you from getting bored, sometimes you just need a break. If you’ve had your builds destroyed by a Choppa one too many times or you’re tired of seeing the “Take the L” dance after getting bested, it might be time to try out a new game, if only for a bit.
We’ve rounded up the best games like Fortnite, paying attention to not only the battle royale format, but also the building mechanics featured in Fortnite. Although Fortnite is a fairly unique game, there are similar titles that scratch the same itch, just in a different way.
Realm Royale (Switch, Xbox One, PS4, PC)
A battle royale with a similar art style, Realm Royale is an adjacent title that will scratch that Fortnite itch. A spin-off of the hero shooter Paladins: Champions of the Realm, this title blends modern shooter and fantasy elements into an action-packed fight to the death. Gameplay is similar to most BRs out there, but there are a few twists. Players must choose between one of five specialized classes when jumping into a game: Hunter, warrior, assassin, engineer, or mage. While there are a handful of guns in the game, players can also battle it out with long swords, crossbows, and staffs. A lot of fights take place around Forges, workshops scattered throughout the map that allow players to break down unwanted items and build more powerful weapons (similar to Fortnite’s relatively new Upgrade Bench tool).
This game will make you feel at home if you’re coming over from Fortnite, and a lot of your battle royale instincts will serve you well here. But give yourself some time to learn the ins and outs of forging new weapons and the character class system before judging the gameplay.
Darwin Project (Xbox One, PS4, PC)
While Fortnite doesn’t give players an explanation for its 100-man deathmatch, Darwin Project has a more fleshed-out world. In this game’s dystopian future, overpopulation has led to the practice of reality TV-style battle royale contests to keep the masses manageable, a la The Hunger Games. A match can support up to 10 players, and the goal is the same as any battle royale: Outplay your competition and be the last player left alive.
Darwin Project has some mechanics that separate it from the pack, though. The environment is just as much of a threat in this match as the other players are. The temperature can drop, forcing players to build a fire to keep alive. To do that, they must chop down some trees and gather the correct materials, similar to Minecraft. Players also gather materials throughout the match to build weapons and items.
The most unique piece to this battle royale, however, is the role of the Director. Each game, a player takes on the role of a robot camera master of ceremonies hovering overhead and can shift the game by changing the environment, swapping player locations, creating hazards, and so on.
Read our full Darwin Project review
Overwatch (Switch, Xbox One, PS4, PC)
Overwatch isn’t a battle royale game, meaning the team-based shooter may be a nice break for those tired of picking where to land. Each match is a 6v6, objective-based brawl that pits some interesting characters against each other. The game’s 30 characters are divided into four classes: Offense, Defense, Support, and Tank. While it may sound fun to build a team consisting of all run-n-gun characters like sharp-shooting cowboy McCree and cyborg ninja Genji, a team needs to be balanced to come out on top. Support characters like Mercy and defensive specialists like the Chinese climatologist and adventurer Mei — who freezes enemies with an Endothermic Blaster — are just as important to a well-drafted team.
The game has a very active competitive scene and allows players to participate in experimental gameplay modes. Communication is key in both picking a team and strategizing on the battlefield, so Overwatch is a perfect game to jump into for chatty gamers. The class system takes a while to learn, and specializing in using a specific character takes a lot of time behind the controller, but a smooth win once you find a team with good chemistry is such a great gaming experience.
PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds (Xbox One, PS4, PC, iOS)
You’ve earned plenty of Victory Royales on the Fortnite island, but can you win a chicken dinner? Every PUBG match opens with 100 players jumping out of a cargo plane onto a giant, abandoned island with nothing but the shirts on their backs. The map is huge and exploring takes a lot of time, so it’s especially brutal when you get gunned down without ever seeing your enemy. There’s no building mechanics to protect you here — you might find yourself in the final safe zone trying to find the smallest bit of cover behind a small boulder or bush. While the shrinking safe zone is key to every battle royale, PUBG also includes dangerous red zones, randomly targeted areas of the map that are bombed throughout the game. Don’t get caught in one.
With a lot of weapon upgrades and a handful of different healing options, it can take some time to get used to the game if you’re coming in as a new player. But PUBG is one of the original battle royale games, and if you’re a fan of the genre, it’s a definite must-play.
Call of Duty: Warzone (Xbox One, PS4, PC)
The Call of Duty franchise recently re-entered the battle royale arena with Warzone, a free-to-play mode attached to Call of Duty: Modern Warfare. In the Warzone version of battle royale, the usual 100-person limit is upped to 150 to accommodate its three-man squad set-up. Any experience with Call of Duty game mechanics, weapons, perks, and loadouts will serve you well here. While you don’t need Modern Warfare to play Warzone, players who have been grinding away at the base game are able to use weapon skins and attachments in their battle royale loadouts.
One unique addition to the battle royale scene is Warzone’s 1v1 gulag fights. If you die early on in a match, you are captured and sent to the gulag, where you can earn another shot at survival by besting another fallen player. When you respawn, you’re left with just a handgun, so get ready to loot again.
If you’re not up for the life-or-death battle royale experience but want to try out similar gameplay, Warzone’s Plunder mode is a great alternative and might become a growing trend in FPS games. The goal in Plunder is for players to collect $1 million on the map and deposit it using helicopter drop pads and deposit balloons. You find cash littered throughout crates on the map and can pick some up from fallen enemies. A few top-earning teams in a match are shown on everyone’s radar, however, so be careful not to carry too much cash at one time.
Read our full Call of Duty: Warzone review
Apex Legends (Xbox One, PS4, PC)
Apex Legends is a free-to-play battle royale that blends aspects of Fortnite and hero shooters like Overwatch. Players choose from a roster of 12 “legends,” each with its own set of special abilities, and drop into a giant map filled with weapons, armor, and other items to fight it out with other squads. Pathfinder, a charismatic robot from the Titanfall series, can locate future safe zones and has a grappling hook for increased mobility, while Gibraltar is a heavily shielded character built to be rugged in gunfights throughout each match.
With a massive map, teams have the choice to play it slow and loot outlying locations, with fingers crossed that they’ll run into some high-tier weapons as the herd thins, or to jump right into the action by landing in the Hot Zone or Supply Ship and battling it out immediately for guaranteed gear. With unique characters, relatively realistic gunfights, and a sci-fi spin on the genre, Apex Legends is essentially a perfect blend of all the other games on this list.
H1Z1: Battle Royale (PS4, PC)
While Fortnite is often credited with launching the battle royale boom, H1N1 is where the genre started to gain traction. King of the Hill was a battle royale mode created for H1Z1, and quickly became H1Z1’s most popular mod. This battle royale game features 150 players fighting to the death either solo, in a duo, or as a squad of five players, hitting a sweet spot between the realism of PUBG and the more care-free vibe of Fortnite. On PC, H1Z1 also boasts Auto Royale, a battle royale with H1Z1′s vehicles; it’s essentially a demolition derby game.
While H1Z1 may not be as polished as AAA battle royales, it’s still got an active player base and a place in battle royale history.
Battlerite Royale (PC)
There are plenty of battle royale games out there that add a twist to make a title unique, but others are completely breaking the mold. Top-down MOBA Battlerite jumped on the battle royale train and was able to do so without sacrificing what makes either genre great. As the circle closes in, you move your chosen fantasy Champion, find loot, and defeat other players with weapons, magic, and traps. The art style is similar to that of Fortnite, but successful gameplay relies more on strategy and knowing your character than fast-paced shootouts.
Because Battlerite Royale is a companion game to the main Battlerite, there is even an included Battle Pass system that allows you to collect currency and unlock cosmetic items that are connected to both games. A couple of years ago, the studio announced that the game would be available on Xbox One, but the release date has been TBA since.
Splatoon 2 (Nintendo Switch)
Like Fortnite, the cartoonish style of Splatoon 2 often leads to folks thinking the game is designed just for kids. While the game is certainly a charming entry-level shooter, it’s still a fun, less-violent, game for adults as well. Armed with a paint weapon — blaster, brush, roller, etc. — your main goal is to cover each map with as much paint as possible. Essentially, it’s all about territory control, which also leads to some paint firefights with the opposing team.
Splatoon 2’s standard multiplayer mode, “Turf War,” is available to play as soon as you complete the game’s short tutorial sequence, but you’ll struggle to keep up with more experienced players, so we recommend playing the solo campaign first to get a feel for the game. There are some serious players online, so be sure to perfect your skills before jumping into a paint war with a pro.
Read our full Splatoon 2 review
- The best free games on Xbox One (July 2020)
- The best free-to-play games for 2020
- The best Call of Duty games, ranked from best to worst
- Best free games to play right now
- The best PS4 shooter games