If you’ve been paying attention to gaming in general, and especially multiplayer gaming, then no doubt you’ve heard of either Fortnite or PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds (PUBG). In fact, you’ve probably heard of both. As the battle royale genre grows increasingly more popular, these two games are dominating the genre and the news. But while the two games are super similar in a bunch of ways, they also have lots of distinct differences. So if you’ve been mildly confused as to why you should get one if you have the other, or if you just have no idea what’s going on, then this article’s for you.
PUBG has a simple premise: 100 players parachute down onto an island with no weapons and scavenge around through the various locales for some, killing their way up the chain until only one man is left standing. As time goes on, a circle forms and shrinks, decreasing the area where players can be, thus eventually forcing everyone to come face to face with one another. It’s straightforward, somewhat simple, and currently only available for Xbox One and PC. But given the game’s massive popularity, chances are that it will make it to PlayStation sooner or later. Oh, and occasionally a plane rains bombs down on parts of the island. That doesn’t happen in Fortnite.
Fortnite is slightly more complicated because it has two modes. In fact, think of these two modes as being two separate games. There’s a PvE mode where players face off against NPC zombies together and there’s the Battle Royale mode, which is essentially the same concept as PUBG and is the mode that most people are referring to when they mention Fortnite. 100 players parachute onto an island with nothing but a pickaxe (I’ll explain the pickaxe in a bit) and scavenge for weapons, killing each other until there’s only one man standing. The shrinking area is also present here. Currently the PvE mode needs to be bought, while the Battle Royale is free to download on all the platforms where it’s available (PS4, Xbox One, and PC). The PvE is set to be free sometime later this year, so it’s probably best not to spend money on it. Interesting side note: Fortnite‘s Battle Royale mode can be played without PS Plus on PlayStation, but you do need Xbox Live Gold to play it on Xbox One.
The moment you hop into either PUBG or Fortnite you’re immediately hit with two very distinct designs. The premise of each game might be identical, but the design isn’t.
PUBG looks a lot more like the standard military shooter we’ve grown accustomed to through games like Call of Duty and Battlefield. The color palette is muted with grays, greens, and browns. Some people have called it the battle royale version of Counterstrike: GO.
Fornite, on the other hand, is full of bright colors with characters whose design almost looks pulled from the Clone Wars TV show. The game goes through relatively rapid day and night cycles, but even at night the colors of the world are vibrant. And the weapons themselves, while actually quite accurate in terms of appearance, have some minor silly aspects to them. For example, the grenade launcher essentially launches explosive snowballs and there’s a boogie bomb that forces enemies to dance when they get hit by it, making them easy targets.
One of the other major differences between the two games is the technical issues. Fortnite is generally free from any game breaking glitches, and personally I haven’t come across any noticeable issues in my 300+ matches played except for maybe a frame rate drop every now and then. But for the majority of the time it’s able to keep a consistent 30 fps.
PUBG, on the other hand, is known for its bugs. During both its Early Access period and launch of version 1.0, PUBG experienced game breaking server issues that would either drop players or create a stutter effect that would render the game unplayable. After a number of post-launch patches, the game is fully functional and enjoyable. The most common bugs that exist now relate to the occasional physics issues, slow rendering for environment pieces, and the occasional arrow hat that didn’t reset from the matchmaking lobby.
. . . till I took an arrow to the throat.
The gameplay is where the two games begin to differ quite drastically. Once again, the premise is the same, but the execution is different in a bunch of ways.
For one, PUBG allows you to choose between first and third-person perspectives while playing, with each offering its own kinds of advantages. Fortnite is only third-person, and the developers have stated that they currently have no plans to change that. PUBG also has vehicles such as cars and motorcycles to get around the island more quickly. Fortnite lacks this kind of option and the developers have said that they don’t have plans to include it at the moment.
But the largest difference is by far the building element that Fortnite throws into the mix. The pickaxe I mentioned earlier can be used to destroy trees, houses, walls, almost anything. And when you do that you collect resources that you can then use to build stairways, walls, and complete fortresses. It’s an aspect of the game that matters little in the beginning, but becomes increasingly important as the number of players left alive dwindles. Throwing up a wall when you’re getting shot at can be the difference between life and death.
Playing With Friends
Both PUBG and Fortnite give you the option to play with friends or random people online. There’s solo mode where every man is for himself. There’s duos, where you work in 50 teams of 2. And then there’s squad, where you have 25 teams of 4. So if going it alone scares you, fear not. You can kill enemies with your friends too.
PUBG and Fortnite are incredibly similar in a lot of ways. But they also have a lot of key differences that make them both worth playing. I highly recommend that you play both and see what you think. Chances are that one will suit your taste more than the other, but they both have reasons to be preferred over each other. And besides, Fortnite‘s free. You have little to lose.