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Fortnite vs. PUBG: player count, map, weapons - which is better?

We compare the player count, gameplay, and graphics of Fortnite vs. PUBG to see which battle royale game is best

Fortnite vs Pubg

So, between Fortnite vs. PUBG, which should you play? 2017 may have been the year of the battle royale, but the genre’s popularity showed no sign of slowing down in 2018. Perhaps 2019 will be known as the year of the auto battler, but the biggest last man standing games are still going strong – such as the two major players: PUBG vs Fortnite, but which of these heavyweights is best?

Bluehole took PC gaming by storm with PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds but, since you can never have too much of a good thing, Epic Games introduced its own battle royale mode for Fortnite. While it looked remarkably similar to its battle royale rival at first, Epic Games took full advantage of the unique mechanics found in its PvE mode and settled on a winning formula that has made Fortnite into one of the biggest games of all time. Since then, Respawn came up with their own: Apex Legends.

But, let’s stick with the original big two: which is better between Fortnite vs. PUBG? The two might share many similarities, but there are enough differences to make them look, play, and feel distinct. So, all aboard the PCGamesN battle bus, or plane if you prefer, as we take PUBG vs Fortnite, drop them on an island, and make them fight it out to the death.

Fortnite vs. PUBG: which is better?

A player shoots another from the high ground in Fortnite

Fortnite vs. PUBG player count

When it comes to PC gaming, you should try to avoid following the crowd. Although, while it does help if the lobbies of the best multiplayer games like Fortnite and PUBG are populated, these games are so big you’ll always get a game.

For some time now, Epic Games’s battle royale effort has been a bigger beast than PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds, winning the fight when it comes to the Fortnite vs PUBG player count. Fortnite’s player numbers amount to at least 250 million when the company last revealed its figures. Meanwhile, PUBG’s sales numbers have struggled to keep up.

You shouldn’t let player count affect your decision of which battle royale game to play, however. You will have a great experience with either and should have no trouble finding plenty of rivals to mercilessly murder.

A bridge in PUBG, comparing PUBG vs Fortnite

Fortnite vs. PUBG map size

One of the biggest factors in distinguishing the gameplay experience in Fortnite and PUBG is the difference in their maps. In PUBG you’ll find yourself dropping into one of four locations – the largest maps are Miramar and Erangel at 8x8km, both of which have been recently updated and refreshed, Miramar receiving an overhaul in PUBG Season 5. Clocking in at a smaller 6x6km we have the snow-covered Vikendi – the latest PUBG new map – and the smallest of all at 4x4km, PUBG’s Sanhok map.

In comparison, the Fortnite Chapter 2 map is far smaller than all but Sanhok. Traversing the new Fortnite map is a completely different task – before the black hole we had endless mobility options; driftboards, gliders, launch pads, and Rifts, and now all those vehicles and items are locked away in the vault. The only vehicle currently available is the motorboat, which can carry 4 people and shoot missiles. Fortunately, the new map is full of lakes and rivers to traverse in your boat, or alternatively to dive into and swim across – just be cautious of which way the water is flowing.

Despite the now-limited mobility available in Fortnite, the size of the map in comparison to PUBG still means you’re not at the mercy of the circle to quite the same extent. If luck isn’t on your side when it comes to the distance of the safe zone, that’s a much bigger deal in PUBG, where you might have to drop everything in search of a vehicle or risk death. The high-level loot available on the extremities of the map, like Sosnovka Island in Erangel, could make the risk worthwhile.

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Overall, the Fortnite map is much denser and you will only die to the circle if you are really unlucky or your time management is not up to snuff. However, while more open space in Erangel might make it harder for players to hide, you can only go prone in PUBG. Each of the many Fortnite skins and cosmetics ensure you stand out.

Miramar, Vikendi, and Sanhok are a refreshing change of pace. If you are in the mood for a larger map but are tiring of Erangel, go for Miramar. But if you want some terrain that’s smaller and more action-packed, Sanhok is your best bet. Fortnite may pack more variety and personality in its one map, but PUBG has greater options when it comes to map choice and scale.

Either way, when it comes to a Fortnite vs. PUBG map face-off, players looking for a tense, high-risk fix should go for PUBG. If you want a map that is easier to traverse – with endearingly-named townships such as Misty Meadows and Pleasant Park – stick to Fortnite.

A sniper in PUBG, in Fortnite vs PUBG

Fortnite vs. PUBG weapons and items

In the big Fortnite vs. PUBG battle, weapons are an important factor: the two games are very different in this regard. Essentially, you are choosing between accessibility and complexity.

In PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds there’s a massive variety of weapons and items – with cosmetics available in PUBG crates. There many more weapons and items in PUBG than Fortnite Battle Royale, so things can get complex for players who have not played military sims before. The best ones are tricky to nab, too: you have to risk running to a crate – dropped by a loud helicopter – or travel to dangerous areas like the Sosnovka Military Base. However, new gear comes to Fortnite all the time.

Look flash: Customise your gear with these cool Fortnite Wraps

PUBG weapons and items are on a rarity scale – common, uncommon, and rare – but they are not clearly delineated by colour as they are in Fortnite Battle Royale. However, items such as backpacks, helmets, and police vests can be found between levels one and three.

PUBG is a military sim for serious shooter fans; the likes of Arma form its DNA, after all. If you are looking for a battle royale game with a deep and complex weapon system – ones that factor in bullet velocity, firing modes, and DPS – PUBG is for you.

Meanwhile, Fortnite’s weapons are very different, and much more accessible than PUBG’s. First, you know straight away that your newly-looted weapon is good or not thanks to the colour-indicated rarity system: grey, green, blue, purple, and orange stand for common, uncommon, rare, epic, and legendary, respectively.

Also, there are far fewer weapons and items relative to PUBG, with Epic Games regularly vaulting items to keep the game fresh and relatively balanced. Plus, you do not even need to worry about what mods to equip, or which ammo type is best: there is one ammo type for each weapon class.

Fortnite is much more accessible than PUBG, so if you are new to shooters then Epic’s battle royale game might be the one for you to try first. That’s not to say it is easy, but it will certainly take less time to get to grips with in the beginning.

A molotov launched into a building in PUBG, PUBG vs Fortnite

Fortnite vs. PUBG graphics

We think Fortnite is a much better-looking game than its battle royale rival. It scores better in performance, too, as you will likely find that running PUBG is a tougher ask than Fortnite Battle Royale. Of course, PUBG Corp is a much smaller team, and without the financial heft at Epic Games’s disposal.

PUBG clearly has the gritty, militaristic aesthetic down, but Fortnite goes for a much lighter, Pixar-esque cartoon style akin to Team Fortress 2 or Overwatch. That can have its disadvantages in gameplay terms, however. When you stand out so brightly against the rest of the world you are much easier to spot. On the other hand, in PUBG, it is easier to blend in to the greys, browns, and dark greens of Erangel.

Fortnite might look more appealing, but who wins out in the Fortnite vs. PUBG graphics stakes really depends on personal preference.

A sniper surveys the landscape in Fortnite, in Fortnite vs. PUBG

Fortnite vs. PUBG gameplay

It’s certainly a long time ago now, but, Fortnite was once seen as a carbon copy of PUBG. Epic might have appeared to copy PlayerUnknown’s homework, but the inclusion of construction transformed the formula – there are plenty of games like PUBG, but not many that use Fortnite’s building mechanic.

When it comes to the Fortnite vs. PUBG gameplay battle, building is the most important divergence between the two. In the former, when it gets to the business end of a match, it’s important you use the wood, stone, and metal you should have stockpiled at the beginning to create your own structures and get a good vantage point. But building at any other time is fatal unless you have the skills: player-made constructions are noticeable, and you will be found. In PUBG, you have no such luxury: you have to make do with the cover provided by the map.

Fortnite has also taken a few pages from Apex Legends’ playbook. Epic’s build ‘em up now has a ping system so you can flag up loot and foes to your team, all while not having to speak to them – bliss. Another Apex trademark you can find in Fortnite is the means to respawn your allies should they perish, meaning that you always have a chance to clutch a victory from the jaws of defeat.

Another wrinkle to the Fortnite vs PUBG debate is limited-time event modes. Fortnite modes such as Blitz – featuring shorter storm times and more intense matches – and matches with 50 and 20-player teams have mixed up the battle royale formula nicely. Not to be outdone, Bluehole responded with their own time sensitive modes, the first of which featured a flare gun to call in supply drops.

More battle royale goodness:

PUBG’s gameplay is a more stressful, serious experience with matches that often last longer – provided you stay alive, that is. Fortnite is faster and more accessible and it’s easier to get to the top 30-or-so players if you avoid the highly contested areas. However, once you get there, building is essential to win, so make sure you read up on our top Fortnite building tips.

A player runs across the rooftops in PUBG, in Fortnite vs PUBG

Fortnite vs. PUBG review

When it comes to Fortnite vs. PUBG, there are similarities that cannot be ignored. That said, there are a number of differences between Fortnite and PUBG. Fortnite is bright, accessible, and has a denser map, whereas PUBG is gritty, complex, stressful, and boasts multiple maps.

So, finally, Fortnite vs. PUBG: which is better? Both attract the huge number of players they do for good reason: they are excellent games. However, we would recommend Fortnite if you are more of a casual player, and not only because you can download it for free.

On the other hand, you should opt for PUBG if you are a seasoned shooter veteran looking for a more of a serious experience. Whichever battle royale game you choose between Fortnite vs. PUBG, we wish you well in achieving a legendary chicken dinner, or victory royale.