A promotional picture for "Fortnite: Battle Royale."

‘Fortnite’ vs. ‘PUBG’: two most popular battle royale games go head to head

(Photo used via Flickr under Creative Commons license)
A promotional picture for “Fortnite: Battle Royale.”

As more battle royale games emerge, the genre is becoming ever more popular in the gaming community. Amongst these games are two strong competitors: “Fortnite: Battle Royale” and “Playerunknown’s Battlegrounds” (PUBG).

Personally I like both games.  “Fortnite” feels generally smoother to play than “PUBG”; however “PUBG” has a very life-like feel, and it offers many different possibilities to win the game since it is harder for players to engage in head-to-head combat.

“Fortnite,” developed by Epic Games, was first published in July. The game began as a sandbox zombie survival game but later developed the battle royale game mode, in which 100 players fight on an island for survival.

“PUBG” was designed by Brendan “Playerunknown” Greene and developed by PUBG Corporation and Bluehole Studio. The game has been published as “early access” since the beginning of 2017 and was officially published in December. “PUBG” was inspired by the 2000 movie “Battle Royale,” where 42 freshmen were trapped on a deserted island and forced to kill each other in order to leave the island.

Both games abide by the same fundamentals: 100 players land on an island, where they find weapons and supplies scattered in various locations on the map. The island, which is the battleground, is mostly flat with some mounds and a few hills. The border of the island marks the border of the map, so stepping into the ocean spells certain death. There are a few geographical features, such as cliffs, forests, rivers, lakes and marshlands. In addition, players can destroy and build structures. A border on the map constantly shrinks. If players fail to stay within the border, they slowly lose health.

To win the game, one must eliminate all 99 other players.

The items and structures in “Fortnite: Battle Royale” are based on their zombie survival game, “Fortnite: Save the World.” Everything in Fortnite is simplified to cartoon figures. In “Battle Royale,” there are 21 weapons and a few other items, such as traps, potions, grenades, and utilities. Items collected in the game are organized by rarity into five tiers. As the tiers increase, the rarity and in-game stats are better. A plane occasionally drops supply crates that contain rare weapons and items at random places on the map. Because of the simple, self-explanatory game mechanics, players can easily maneuver around and understand the game.

In “PUBG,” the game displays a realistic battlefield for the player. The game includes 31 weapons, three types of armor, multiple healing items, and various weapon attachments. Most items are designed from real-life models.

Unlike those in “Fortnite,” weapon statistics in “PUBG” differ according to the weapon itself, not by its rarity. Every weapon has slightly different characteristics. There aren’t any clear criteria to determine if one weapon is better than another – players choose weapons purely by personal preference.

The “PUBG” map is much larger than “Fortnite”’s. It’s split into one main island and a military base built into another island. And the environment is much more realistic. Players can lie prone in long grass; bushes look more realistic; and, unlike in “Fortnite,” players may swim in the ocean and dive underwater for cover. In addition, players can obtain camouflage to hide in the environment. However, unlike “Fortnite,” players need some experience to fully understand.

“Fortnite” has a unique algorithm for aiming and shooting. When a gun is shot, the bullet typically travels to the center of the crosshair, causing the crosshair to move up to create a recoil effect. But in “Fortnite” a bullet may travel to any location inside the crosshair. To create a recoil effect, the crosshair will move up slightly, but the bullets become more inaccurate as the recoil increases.

In addition, bullets fired from sniper rifles in “Fortnite” are relatively slow and have a significant bullet drop over long distances. In comparison, “PUBG” has a more realistic method for aiming. “PUBG” allows players to aim down the sight of any weapon. While aiming down the sight, bullets will always travel to the center of the crosshair. However, when the player fires the weapon, the gun shakes from the recoil, causing the crosshair to move violently. The same happens to the sight when the player is running, jumping or riding a vehicle.

In sum, “PUBG” has more realistic bullet ballistics.

Both games are very popular and fun. “PUBG” provides a hardcore survival challenge in which players utilize the environment to hunt down their enemies, whereas “Fortnite” gives the player more opportunities to engage in all-out fights with other players.

In addition, “Fortnite” is free on the Epic Games official site; “PUBG” costs $30 on Steam. Although both games have their pros and cons, players can enjoy both if they understand the different playstyles. Although “PUBG” costs $30, if you are a player who enjoys hardcore competition, PUBG is well worth the cost. But “Fortnite” is more fitting for the general public.

—By Ming Zhu

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