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PUBG vs. Fortnite Battle Royale – Are They Really That Similar?

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By serenaDate: Nov 25 2017 Views:

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In light of rapid expansion of PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds and Fortnite Battle Royale as two of the most prolific battle royale titles, comparisons are unavoidable. Despite belonging to the same genre, they feature a few key surface-level differences, as well as deeper, gameplay and mechanics disparities. Let’s see how these two popular battle royale titles stack up against each other.

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  • Development Progress

PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds, known as PUBG, has been in development for a little over a year now. After a series of battle royale mods in Arma 2, 3 and H1Z1 (now known as King of the Kill), the creative director Brendan “PlayerUnknown” Greene seems to have finally hit the home run with PUBG.

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Fortnite: Battle Royale has been in development for over 3 years. It started off as Epic Games’ cartoonish take on the zombie survival genre, which was still popular at the time. However, witnessing the unprecedented success of PUBG, the studio decided to include a battle royale game mode and release Fortnite as an F2P early access title.

  • Graphics and Performance

When it comes to graphics, PUBG and Fortnite differ a lot, despite the fact that both games run on Unreal Engine 4.

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PUBG graphics help portray a rather grim and desperate atmosphere, which is probably as close to how you would feel in real life if you had to murder your way out to stay alive. Unfortunately, the game is known for notoriously bad performance across the board, often times challenging even the most high-end PCs out there. If you want to get an acceptable framerate on all parts of the map, you most likely won’t be able to run everything on ultra, no matter how high-end your PC is. So, be prepared to settle for medium-to-low graphic settings.

Meanwhile, Fortnite Battle Royale runs smooth as silk on most PC setups. Cartoonish graphics definitely play a part here. Simpler textures and models, fewer polygons, shadows and particles as well as less foliage all contribute to Fortnite’s higher framerates. The game still looks good though. Obviously, a lot of work has been done over the 3+ years of development as well.

  • Mechanics and Gameplay

On the surface, both games are similar in terms of mechanics and gameplay. You jump out of a plane, parachute down to the nearest point of interest, grab weapons and supplies and start running, fighting for your life. There are some key differences though.

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  • Resources, Construction & Destructibility

PUBG environment is almost exclusively indestructible. There’s no construction system, everything in the environment is pre-made and can’t be altered in any significant way, shape or form. Most of the buildings and car wrecks can survive grenades and bombs. In other words, good luck destroying your opponents’ cover.

The situation is quite the opposite in Fortnite Battle Royale. First of all, most everything is destructible. If your opponent is hugging a wall or a tree, just shoot it and blow his cover away. There are three resources: wood, stone and metal. You can scavenge them, or you can gather them with your pickaxe by banging on pretty much anything – trees, vehicles, buildings, stones etc. Doing this, of course, destroys the said objects. These resources can later be used to construct all kinds of structures. 

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Construction system is definitely one of the most game-changing mechanics in Fortnite Battle Royale. You can build stairs, walls, floors, ceilings etc. This changes the gameplay significantly, as you are no longer that vulnerable in open fields, and you can climb even the highest of hilltops in a matter of seconds. Obviously, these player-made structures are also destructible, so beware!

  • Weapons, Gear & Supplies

New PUBG players can easily get confused and overwhelmed with the sheer amount of weapons, accessories, helmets, armours, backpacks, clothes and medical supplies. Which assault rifle is better, AKM or M16? Which scope to go with, 4x or 8x? The lines between weapons and attachments are quite blurry. Of course, experience comes with practice, so once you learn the ropes, it gets easier. However, the process is far from intuitive.
Fortnite also boasts a decent amount of weapons, but there’s next to no customization available. For example, accessories come with the guns, you can’t find them separately. Your standard pistol-shotgun-assault rifle-sniper rifle weapon selection is neatly wrapped within a Rarity system. Common weapons glow gray, Uncommons are green, Rares are blue, Epic purple and Legendary weapons are of orange colouration. The rarer the weapon, the better its stats are. Generally speaking, once you find a purple sniper rifle, you have a huge advantage over the non-sniper crowd.

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Additionally, there’s next to no extra gear to pick up. You start with a backpack. You can have up to 6 items equipped. Bandages heal you to 75% health max, Medkits get you full. There are shield potions that basically double your hitpoints, but these are rather rare. That’s it. Just get a shotgun and an assault rifle, sneak up on that sniper harassing you from the hilltop, blast him with a shotty and proceed to murder everybody to be the last man standing!

  • Vehicles and Tactical Options

As much as construction system makes Fortnite amazing, so do vehicles make PUBG a wild ride. Literally. Regardless of bugs, glitches and whatnot, PUBG vehicles are simply awesome. Cars, buggies and motorbikes are a big part of the overall experience. They generally provide a lot of advantages, with very few drawbacks.
Another, often overlooked difference between the two battle royale games is the first person view. In PUBG, you can switch between first and third person on a whim. There is even a first person only game mode. You can also lean to the side and go prone. There’s a free-look keybind too, so you can keep checking your side and behind yourself while running in your desired direction. The developers announced vaulting as well, which will enable you to go hardcore parkour on your opponents soon. All of these tactical choices can help you gain a much needed edge in tight situations.

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In Fortnite, however, you’re locked in a third person view, you can crouch, and that’s it. For everything else, you’ll need to pretty much rely on construction system, traps, sniper rifles and quick thinking to get yourself out of dangerous spots. Hopefully, the developers will start adding these small, but important features in the future updates.

  • Final Verdict/Last Thoughts

PUBG and Fortnite Battle Royale are fundamentally very similar, but they cater to slightly different crowds.
PUBG is certainly much closer to a military simulation. This makes for a bigger competitive appeal and a more serious gameplay. The weapon variety and customization options require a certain level of experience and knowledge about the game if you want to be on a same competitive level as other players. 

On the other hand, Fortnite Battle Royale, while still being competitive at its core, provides a more fun-oriented setting. With cartoonish graphics, awesome construction system and hilarious animations, the game takes itself much less seriously. Dying in Fortnite will definitely feel less “salty” than dying in PUBG.
And you WILL be dying. In both games. A lot.

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