It’s hard to escape the influence of Fortnite. Everyone and their grandmothers seem to be playing Epic Games’ iconic battle royale game, and it’s become such a melting pot of pop culture that it’s one of the few places you can regularly see Thanos taking shots. Potty photos at Boba Fett. But the vibrant colors and extensive IP library aren’t for everyone. If you’re one of those trying to resist Fortnite’s siren call, check out one of these suitors instead.
Respawn’s squad-based Battle Royale/Hero Shooter hybrid was an instant hit when it launched in surprise 2019. From the same studio that brought us the Titanfall series, Apex Legends is set in the same world, but without all the parkour and climbing from the main titles. That’s not to say it’s a slump in the movement department, though – the eponymous legends navigate each level with a surprising amount of oomph, which admirably supports the solid shooting mechanics. By default, you can team up in groups of three and take on 19 other teams for a total of 60 players at once in this battle for supremacy.
Call of Duty: Warzone
It was inevitable that Call of Duty, the king of shooters, would eventually show up at the Battle Royale party. Luckily, Warzone has proven to be a hit with gamers. With a slew of different game modes, the option to play solo or in squads of two, three, or four, and – admittedly slightly random – integration with new releases like Black Ops Cold War and Vanguard, Warzone showed that the folks at Call of Duty always know what they’re doing. Although Warzone received its last major update, the incoming Warzone 2.0 is likely to scratch the same itch.
Fall Guys: Ultimate Knockout
A game like no other, Fall Guys: Ultimate Knockout combines the competitive nature of a battle royale with the utter chaos of series like Takeshi’s Castle. Guide your little bean through a series of obstacle courses ranging from relatively simple runs to complex balancing acts while trying to maintain your balance on a moving platform as the cannons fire at you. Fall Guys also features plenty of cosmetics, with regular crossovers with franchises such as Sonic the Hedgehog and Destiny. The game is free to play, but there’s plenty to spend for real money in the store, including a paid version of the now ubiquitous battle pass. So if you miss Fortnite’s brightly colored microtransactions, be sure to check out Fall Guys.
PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds is arguably where it all began. From its humble beginnings as an Early Access title plagued with fun bugs and glitches, PUBG has become a force to be reckoned with, lighting the flames of battle royale fever. It’s had continuous updates since its first release in 2017 and is now available on almost every platform, so there’s no excuse not to give it a try. It’s arguably been overshadowed somewhat by Fortnite, but PUBG excels in its more realistic take on the Battle Royale genre, eschewing a pan of pop culture references in favor of simpler tactical gameplay.
Visually, Spellbreak looks a bit more like Fortnite than the other entries on this list, but it’s got a lot of character. Playing as a rogue battle mage, the goal of each match is to outlast your opponents by casting spells and finding innovative magic combinations to use. Each magical element – ice, fire, lightning, stone, wind, and toxic – has its own class and playstyle, but the real strategy and fun comes from combining magic, sometimes with explosive results. Imagine flaming tornadoes and electrified clouds of poison. Time is running out to play this one, so be quick – after developer Proletariat was purchased by Blizzard, the studio announced it would be shutting down Spellbreak’s servers in early 2023.