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The best ‘Fortnite: Battle Royale’ weapons

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By Brittany Vincent


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Picking up a gun in Fortnite Battle Royale is simple. Choosing the best weapon, though, isn’t always an easy decision to make. What do the different colors for each weapon mean? What should you choose when playing solo versus as a team? We’ve got you covered with an overview of weapon basics, rarity types, and the most effective arms for each category. Here are the best weapons for any situation in Fortnite Battle Royale.

While there’s a treasure trove of different weapons to consider using in Fortnite, some of what you end up with is dependent on where you head to. As such, your first move of deciding where to land is just as important as your weapon choice. After all, some places offer many more options than others. Before we get into the weapons themselves, let’s go over the best spots to head to for the best Fortnite weapons.

Best loot locations

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When it comes to finding the best weapons in Battle Royale, there are a couple of different approaches you can take. You can go straight to the most popular areas in hopes of finding legendary gear or head to the least visited areas on the map with safety in mind. Let’s start with heading to popular areas. The absolute best areas to look for the best weapons can be found below:

  • Tilted Towers: The quintessential popular spot. There are chests littered everywhere in the city, which is why it’s no surprise it’s always full of hopeful players. We recommend landing at the base of a building and grabbing what you can first. While it makes sense to land on the roof, you can actually beat players destroying roofs to weapons if you’re quick.
  • Dusty Divot: This popular named location is filled with weapons and treasure chests to open. Better yet, the cover of trees and such make it so that other players will have a hard time finding you.
  • Tomato Town: There is a lot to love about this cute, fast food-obsessed town. Most importantly, though, are the slew of buildings with weapons and chests scattered throughout.

If you head to one of these popular spots, you will need a plan. Your initial goal should be to find a shotgun or SMG. Like we mentioned, it’s always best to head straight to the bottom floor first. While it’s tempting to go after those precious chests in the attics, you can easily get a gun first and then take out unsuspecting foes before they get that chest.

However, if you want to play with safety in mind and just want an easier time collecting the best Fortnite weapons before taking on enemies, you’ll want to head to less popular locations. You can find our recommendations for those spots below:

  • Snobby Shores: This set of suburban homes on the west side of the map is the road less traveled. There are a ton houses to ransack with basements and attics with chests, and more. The best part is that not many players think to come here for whatever reason.
  • Villains’ Lair: This unnamed location is found just to the east of Haunted Hills on the large mountain. It is an intricate lair filled with chests and loot everywhere. It’s hard not to find some good weapons here even if other players show up, too.
  • Paradise Palms/Desert: Paradise Palms is a moderately popular spot but still a town filled with good places to loot. However, the desert as a whole has lots of chests scattered around from the racetracks to the eastern cliffs and usually not many players to worry about.
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Visiting these places will quickly fill your inventory up. Fortnite Battle Royale sets you up with a default inventory that you can access at any time. You get five slots to carry weapons, medkits, potions, and grenades. Thankfully, building materials and ammo aren’t counted in this so collect those to your heart’s content.

You can rearrange your quick access slots however you see fit, but it’s always a good idea to places your best weapons (i.e. your assault rifle and shotgun) right next to each other for a quick switch to get you out of any sticky situation. To do this, you’ll need to find a quiet place where you won’t be seen to retreat for a few moments during a match. Open your inventory screen to swap out your weapons and rearrange them to your liking. This cannot be done straight from the hotbar on the bottom right screen. You need to head into your backpack first. This can be done by pressing up on the D-Pad on consoles.

Rifle through your inventory, select the weapon you want to move, and then one of the slots on your hotbar will light up. Simply choose the new slot where you want to put your weapon, and confirm the movement. Fortunately, you don’t have to drop the items and pick them back up to make a preferable lineup, though if you don’t really have time to head into the menus, you can certainly do that for a quick and dirty rearrange. Keep practicing this and it will become second nature.

Weapon colors and what they mean

Fortnite Available Weapons
Brittany Vincent/Digital Trends

Fortnite Battle Royale’s selection of weapons varies between categories, with plenty of different arms to choose from. From the suppressed assault rifle to the explosive rocket launcher, there’s something to fit every play style. Each weapon is assigned a tier on a rarity scale, too. Whether you’re selecting an SMG or an assault rifle, all weapons will be color-coded as such.

  • Gray: Common
  • Green: Uncommon
  • Blue: Rare
  • Purple: Epic
  • Gold: Legendary

The rarer the gun, the higher the damage it will do. In a firefight, the better class of gun has the higher potential for damage, so if you take a gray assault rifle into battle against a blue one, and so on, the person with the blue gun will have an edge.

If at any time during the game you find a higher rarity tier of the weapon you’re currently using, make sure you swap out your current weapon and pick up the new color. This allows for you to make sure you are maximizing your damage. Gray and green weapons are fine at the start of the match but you should have at least blue ones by the time half of the players are dead.

Choosing between different weapons of different tiers is more difficult. It might not be a good idea to trade a common assault rifle for an epic pistol if you know you’re about to cover some open terrain. If you have to make such a choice, think about where you plan to head next and what weapon is best suited to the terrain. If you find yourself not very skilled with sniper rifles, don’t waste the inventory space by picking it up even if it’s legendary.

New to Fortnite: Battle Royale? Be sure to consult our beginner’s guide, with plenty of tips and tricks to get you started.

Best guns in Fortnite Battle Royale

Fortnite Weapons
Epic Games

While simply stumbling upon any weapon is preferable to running around the Fortnite map wildly swinging your pickaxe and hoping to avoid the first 90 players before you’re shot out, there are some that are preferable to others. For instance, you should really hope you happen upon a shotgun over a pistol, because it’s going to keep you a whole lot safer.

Here’s a reliable hierarchy of the weapons you should strive to aim for, ranked in order of desirability.

Assault rifles

While assault rifles aren’t the most powerful set of guns in the game, they’re the most versatile. You’ve got several different variants with different kinds of stopping power. They won’t take out enemies from across the map, but you’re easily covered whether you need to make a quick getaway to safety or you’re going on a run for your Victory Royale with five people left standing in your way. Just make sure to fire in short bursts and you’ll be golden.

These are the different types of assault rifles that you can pick up in the game currently:

  • Normal M4 assault rifle
  • Burst assault rifle
  • SCAR assault rifle
  • Heavy assault rifle
  • Suppressed assault rifle
  • Scoped assault rifle
  • Thermal scope assault rifle

Shotguns

Shotguns aren’t great at range of course, but if someone is nearby, you can rock their world with a devastating shotgun blast. They are the perfect complement to your assault rifle. Some are notably better than others so play around in Playgrounds mode to find the one that suits you best. You can find the different types below:

  • Tactical shotgun
  • Pump shotgun
  • Double barrel shotgun
  • Heavy shotgun

SMGs

While not as powerful or as direct as assault rifles or shotguns, SMGs are still preferable in battle when you need something quick and light to eliminate the competition. They’re automatic, so you can hold the trigger down in a panic, and they’ll hold plenty of ammo.

They won’t do as much damage as assault rifles or shotguns, but they’re like little firecrackers that can still make for quite the party when people come to try and mess with you. Many players underrate the SMG as it is entirely to wreck a shotgun player in close range, especially if you take advantage of that weapon’s delay in shots and frequent reload time. Here are all SMG’s:

  • Submachine gun
  • Compact gun

Sniper rifles

Let’s face it: Not everyone can excel as a sniper. But if a sniper rifle is all you can find, use it wisely. It will require you to constantly remain on the move and on the lookout for areas in-game where you can sit and wait for passersby to pick off, but you’ll be a force to be reckoned with while hidden, and you can one-shot kill anyone who gets in your way with a well-placed headshot. Though not necessarily a rifle, we’ve also included the crossbow in this category because of its functionality.

  • Hunting rifle
  • Bolt-action sniper rifle
  • Heavy sniper rifle
  • Field hunter crossbow

Explosives and heavy weapons

Explosives and heavy weapons can be hit or miss. If you find a grenade launcher or RPG, you’ll be good for a short while, but can quickly run out of ammo. They’re not ideal in most situations, but they can still get you out of a jam if you need a quick fix. Because of this, these are best saved for those final assaults when there are only a handful of players left.

Explosives and heavy weapons are extremely powerful but are just as extremely hard to find outside of supply drops. That’s why it’s best that you don’t rely on these weapons and simply use them as a strong asset.

  • Grenade launcher
  • Rocket launcher
  • Quad launcher
  • Minigun

Pistols

Most pistols do meager damage, though they can be deadly when you find the right ones. They’re just a lot slower, rarely automatic, and do less damage per shot than most other weapons. Still, a pistol is better than nothing. Thankfully, Epic Games has added some pretty impressive pistols in the last couple of months that can surprise enemies.

  • Pistol
  • Hand cannon
  • Revolver
  • Six shooter
  • Suppressed pistol

Best guns in each class

Pistols

Fortnite Pistol
Fortnite Wikia

You’ll want to switch to another weapon from a pistol as soon as possible most of the time. However, there are some noteworthy pistols you might want to keep in your inventory. The first is the Six Shooter. One of the more recent additions, this powerful pistol packs a nice punch. The second, the Hand Cannon, is similarly powerful but both require precise aiming.

Assault Rifles

Fortnite Assault Rifle
Fortnite Wikia

Assault rifles come in several different flavors, including the burst-fire and M4 variations. The M4 is the middling, simplest choice that players tend to gravitate toward.

However, while it’s the most common assault rifle, it’s far from the best. Currently, the best rifle for all types of combat situations is the heavy assault rifle. Both its epic and legendary variants pack a wallop, with more damage than any other assault rifle in the game. The suppressed assault rifle shouldn’t be ignored either, though, with strong damage and its silent but deadly approach.

Sniper Rifles

Fortnite Sniper Rifle
Fortnite Wikia

Many snipers will choose the bolt-action sniper rifle option every single time. It’s easy to see why it’s a clear winner. For every potential headshot you land, you’ll send a devastating 200 damage tearing through each enemy. That ensures a one-shot kill, of course, which is exactly what you’ll want to aim for when taking on a sniping role.

Of course, the biggest contender these days is the heavy sniper rifle. There is no other weapon as powerful as a single shot from this bad boy. While great for taking out enemies, it’s best used for destroying another player’s structures and exposing them to fire.

SMGs

Fortnite SMG
Fortnite Wikia

When it comes to SMG’s, you’re good no matter which one you get. As such, your best bet is to focus on making sure it’s the highest quality you can find. When you come across another SMG, don’t allow yourself to automatically ignore it but make sure it’s not better than the one you already have.

Shotguns

Fortnite Shotgun
Fortnite Wikia

You’ll find different categories of shotguns to choose from in the form of pump shotguns, tactical shotguns, and heavy shotguns. The tactical shotgun is currently the best choice for players looking for a high rate of fire.

While the pump shotgun is a much more powerful option, it sacrifices fire rate for its 95 damage points. It’s a devastating pick for close-range combat, especially with the potential for one-hit kills, but you’ll need to land every shot, every time.

The tactical shotgun is the better all-around choice for that reason, as it’s a more versatile weapon that allows you to pull off various defensive and offensive maneuvers, firing off shots one after another and landing what you can without having to worry yourself with pinpoint accuracy.

However, our personal favorite remains the heavy shotgun. Though it’s much harder to find, the heavy shotgun is a powerhouse just in damage alone. The best part is its relatively fast rate of fire and not super long reload speed. If you find one of these, make sure to hold onto it tight for those close range fights.

Explosives

Fortnite Grenade Launcher
Fortnite Wikia

While explosive weaponry won’t really be something you’ll need to rely on early in the game, it comes in handy in the late game, when enemies can simply hide in their own structures or buildings dotting the map. Your best bet will be the rocket launcher. You don’t need to compensate for the arc the grenade launcher lobs its ammo with, as the rocket launcher fires in a reliable straight line.

In terms of grenades, you can select from a few different types outside of the typical Common Grenade. These include the Boogie Bomb, Impulse Grenade, Stink Bomb, and so on. Most of these grenades can be easily ignored but we can’t help but love the Boogie Bomb. It’s a meme for a reason as it opens up your enemies to a heartbreaking loss.

Fortnite Close Encounters

However, in terms of heavy weapons and explosives, the minigun shouldn’t be ignored either. This heavy weapon will tear through just about anything and anyone quickly. While not necessarily the best choice for taking out enemies due to its unwieldy nature, it’s perfect for taking out buildings and setting up for a Victory Royale using a sniper rifle, assault rifle, or shotgun.


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