Video Games

Fortnite Battle Royale Weapons Guide

20 Feb , 2018  

By Paul Hunter

Knowing the right weapon to use at the right moment is crucial to success in Fortnite Battle Royale. From SMGs, to shotguns, to assault rifles and grenade launchers, there are dozens of different weapons you can find. Moreover, since launch Epic Games continues to roll out new weapons, further bolstering the gameplay’s breadth and depth. Check out this Fortnite Battle Royale Weapons Guide.

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To get a handle on when to use specific weapons, along with advanced tips and tricks to try out, I’ve put together this comprehensive guide. Keep in mind that although weapons are optimized for specific situations, everyone has their own personal tastes. Perhaps you feel more comfortable with pistols rather than shotguns, as an example. It’s important to test all weapons to see which ones click the best given your own personal playstyle.

Understanding weapon basics

Item Rarity

The first point to note is that all weapons in Fortnite Battle Royale come in one of five different rarities. They are:

  • Common – Gray
  • Uncommon – Green
  • Rare – Blue
  • Epic – Purple
  • Legendary – Orange

For each weapon class, the higher the rarity the most damage it’ll inflict. There are other potential benefits as well, such as faster reload times and more impact upon hit. When carrying a specific weapon it’s in your best interest to upgrade to a higher rarity version. The only real exception is when you defeat an enemy only to discover their high-rarity weapon has no bullets—and you also don’t have spare bullets.

Note as well that not all weapons come in all five rarity types. For instance, the Tactical SMG only has an Uncommon (green), Rare (blue), and Epic (purple) version. Over time as you play you’ll begin to recognize which rarities each weapon class can take.

Ammunition Types

The other crucial piece to know is weapons take one of five Ammunition types. They are:

  • Light bullets (pistols, SMGs) – Used for short-range combat. Icon is 5 bullets.
  • Medium bullets (assault rifles) – Used for mid-range combat. Icon is 3 bullets.
  • Heavy bullets (sniper rifles) – Used for long-range combat. Icon is 1 bullet.
  • Shells (shotguns) – Use for melee range. Icon is 2 shotgun shells.
  • Explosive Rounds (grenade launchers, rocket launchers) – Used for mid- and long-range combat. Icon is 1 rocket tip.

If you’re playing in teams (Duos or Squads) you can share ammo between players. This way if one team member locates say a rare Rocket Launcher, the rest of the team can load them up with explosive rounds. High-performing teams will share ammo resources to optimize each teammate’s loadout!


In this section I’ll go over all the main weapon types and strategies on how to use them.


This starter tool is mainly used for breaking down objects to collect resources, but it can be used as a weapon that deals 10 damage. That’s exceptionally weak so there’s only two times I really use the pickaxe as a weapon: (a) if you happen to parachute directly beside an enemy and neither has a weapon, or (b) you’ve downed an enemy and want to conserve ammo. Aside from these scenarios I wouldn’t bother with the pickaxe.


There are three different types of pistols you can find in Fortnite: Revolvers, Pistols, and Suppressed Pistols. Revolvers, in my opinion, are the most useless guns in the entire game. They deal decent damage (up to 60 per hit) but their fire rate is abysmal (0.9 per second). Just ignore Revolvers if you see them, but nab the light bullet ammo.

Pistols and Suppressed Pistols on the other hand can be quite useful. A blue Pistol, used at close-range, can deal nearly 170 damage per second. Suppressed Pistols are even better—189 damage per second, and the suppressed shots are exceptionally quiet. Blue is the lowest rarity Pistol I’ll consider picking up though; green and grey ones are just too weak.

Submachine Guns (SMGs)

These guns also come in three different types: Tactical SMGs, regular SMGs, and Suppressed SMGs. The blue and purple submachine guns deal between 160-180 damage per second, and their rate of fire is fast.

Despite those impressive stats, my problem with SMGs is they’re not very good at downing enemies. Even if you connect with five shots you’ll still only inflict about 80 damage, which is too low. In extremely close quarters where I’m likely to unload a full clip I’ll use an SMG, but otherwise I find them pretty useless.


I used to prefer Tactical Shotguns since they fire at double the rate of the slower Pump Shotguns. After using both extensively though I’d have to give the edge to Pump Shotguns, particularly when playing Solo. They deliver a powerful 95 damage per hit (green rarity), and critical headshots can inflict 170+ damage. One or two shots is usually enough to take down enemies.

On the flip side, Tactical Shotguns do 74 damage (purple rarity) at close range. I find them better suited to Duos or Squads since the Tactical variant has a larger magazine size (8 vs. 5) and as I said, the rate of fire is better. If you’re trying to shotgun several opponents in a heated skirmish, you’ll appreciate the extra ammo and faster shots.

Assault Rifles

Assault Rifles are essential for any loadout. They’re the backbone of your arsenal dealing over 200 damage per second at the purple and orange rarity. Their good fire rate (5.5 per second) coupled with great damage (even grey ARs deal 32 damage per hit) means you should always have one in your arsenal. Make sure to use these mostly at medium-range, enemies are hard to hit long-range and shotguns or pistols are better are close-range.

There are two variants as well: Burst Assault Rifles, and Scoped Assault Rifles. Bursts fire three bullets at once, making them really powerful if they connect. If even one bullets gets a headshot there’s potential to down an enemy with one burst. If ever I have the element of surprise, Burst ARs can deal punishing damage on first strike. Scoped ARs are decent, but I only pick them up in cases where I don’t have a Sniper Rifle on-hand. Even an epic Scoped AR only deals 24 damager per hit, so they’re pretty weak.

Sniper Rifles

There are two different Sniper Rifles found in the game: Bolt-Action Sniper Rifles, and Semi-Auto Sniper Rifles. The choice of which one to use really depends on how good you are with snipers. Bolt-Action inflict enormous damage (up to 116) and can down and enemy in one hit. A major down side though is these snipers only have a magazine size of one—so you have to reload after ever shot. Expert snipers need apply only.

In contrast, Semi-Auto Sniper Rifles deal up to 66 damage per hit and have a magazine size of 10. So it’s about half the damage, but the advantage is you can fire multiple times in a row. I personally prefer the Semi-Auto since it gives you multiple chances to connect, plus the reduced reloading time means you can keep the heat on your opponents.

Rocket Launchers, Grenades, and Grenade Launchers

The last weapon type in Fortnite are the explosives: Rocket Launchers, Grenades, and Grenade Launchers. They inflict tremendous damage—over 100 per hit—so you’ll always want one or more of these weapons handy.

While they’re excellent for taking down enemies, perhaps even more useful is their ability to destroy fortifications fast. Rocket Launchers I would say are your best choice, as shots travel in a straight line right across the battlefield. On the other hand, grenade launchers and especially hand grenades have limited range. Be careful about the explosive area of effect damage: you can kill yourself if the blast hits too close.

Thanks a lot for reading this Fortnite Battle Royale Weapons Guide, I hope you learned a few helpful tips! Remember to practice, practice, practice to find the weapons best-suited to your playstyle. Have fun and I’ll see you on the island!

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