The battle royale genre is one of the most popular in the world right now. Most of the major developers have begun to either attach battle royale modes to their popular shooters or have come up with their own spins on the genre, while even smaller names are trying to put their stamp on the rapidly-growing class of games. For most, though, the genre is still defined by two titles - PlayerUnkown's Battlegrounds and Fortnite: Battle Royale. The two games share a lot of the same DNA, but there are enough differences between the two to make them quite unique.
At their cores, Fortnite and PUBG are pretty similar games. Both games are Battle Royales - PUBG more or less introduced the concept to a wider audience, while Fortnite iterated on PUBG and brought it into the mainstream. You'll drop out of the air onto an island in both games, and you'll find yourself fighting against up to ninety-nine other players in order to be the last person standing.
The two games do, though, approach things in a fairly different manner. Once you get past the big picture, you can see a hundred little ways in which the two games diverge. Some of those differences are bigger than others, of course, but they all come together to make the two games fairly distinctive entities.
Fortnite play requires that players learn how to gather resources efficiently and build structures...
The biggest one that players are going to notice is the fact that Fortnite has a building system. Because the Battle Royale version of the game was a fairly late-in-development addition, it shares a lot with the Save the World version of the game. As such, Fortnite play requires that players learn how to gather resources efficiently and build structures in order to stay safe from enemies and to get the drop on their unsuspecting foes. Fights in Fortnite are as much about building at speed as they are about being able to scope out an enemy.
PUBG, on the other hand, eschews the building mechanics for something that feels a lot more like RPG mechanics. While Fortnite lets you collect materials to build, PUBG lets you collect items to make your character stronger. This means a much higher focus on loot - you need to make sure that your character is wearing the right kind of gear to be able to stand up to the tougher weapons in the game. PUBG, then, tends to encourage strategies that favor more preparation before players can get safely involved in one of the game's many firefights.
Fortnite tends to be a little more casual in terms of how weapons are handled - a headshot in PUBG feels like it takes a little more skill.
There are other little bits and pieces that separate the two games, of course. Fortnite tends to be a little more casual in terms of how weapons are handled - a headshot in PUBG feels like it takes a little more skill. At the same time, Fortnite sticks to a single map that changes over time, while PUBG has a little more variety. Players have more time to become familiar with every nook and cranny of Fortnite's island, while players can succeed while knowing the broad strokes of PUBG's battlegrounds.
PUBG vs. Fortnite | Credit: pubg.com & epicgames.com
The most obvious difference you'll see between Fortnite and PUBG will be apparent when you log into the game. While both games are battle royales, they look fairly different. One of the games is meant to be a relatively realistic looking game, while the other one is definitely a lot more cartoony than its competition. Both are actually fairly good-looking games, but the aesthetics are a huge clue about the design philosophy of both games.
Fortnite is a fairly cartoony-looking game, from its outlandish character designs to its various locales.
Fortnite is a fairly cartoony-looking game, from its outlandish character designs to its various locales. There's a lot of detail in the game, though - the animated look doesn't come from a lack of assets, but because of some significant design decisions. Because Fortnite is meant to be a little more friendly to newer and younger players, the overall aesthetic of the game does a lot to hide the fact that players are aiming to kill off the rest of the crowd in order to win.
PUBG, on the other hand, is a far more realistic-looking game.
PUBG, on the other hand, is a far more realistic-looking game. No one is ever going to mistake the graphical quality for photorealism, but there are some efforts made to make the game look serious. This is likely meant to attract a crowd of more traditional, serious gamers, though there's plenty of things in the game that can still come off as a bit silly.
PUBG vs. Fortnite | Credit: pubg.com & epicgames.com
The final place to look is at how the two games tend to perform. PUBG was made by a relatively small team and initially really meant for dedicated PC gamers, so you're looking at a game that has almost always insisted on having a fairly good PC to run. As such, it tends to run a little more slowly on older machines and doesn't perform nearly as well on console as one might hope. The fact that it runs as well as it does is impressive, though, and the team behind the game should be commended for its efforts.
Fortnite is a product of Epic, and that means a lot of money, and a lot of developers are behind this game. Fortnite runs on pretty much anything, with only recent updates even requiring PC players to have a video card. You're going to see a relatively smooth experience on Fortnite no matter on what console you choose to play the game, though higher-end computers are still the best platform for Fortnite players.
While Fortnite and PUBG are certainly both battle royales, they're both targeting different audiences. PUBG is a game for hardcore battle royale purists who take the base concept seriously, while Fortnite seems to be evenly divided between casual players and would-be e-sports pros.
There's definitely something for every type of gamer in both games, and those who have played one should absolutely check out the other to see the other directions in which the genre can go. While players will certainly have their opinions as to which is better, both games are very important for the battle royal genre.