Fortnite Battle Royale weapons guide - the best guns and strategies for victory

Picking the best gun in Fortnite is tricky. It’s not just about what does the most damage, it’s about picking the right tool for the job. Are you better at range? Do you prefer getting in close and packing a punch? Whatever your preference, there are some hard and fast rules, which we’ll run though now, to help you survive longer and hurt harder. You can also check out our more general Fortnite tips, for a wider look at tips and strategies.

What is the best gun in Fortnight?

It’s the SCAR, hands down. Its high damage and accuracy give you a huge advantage in a fight and, unless you’re taking on a sniper, having one almost always means a victory. Which is why it’s rare. You might get one from a chest at the start if you’re lucky, but otherwise it’s down to supply drops and other players’ bodies.

Whatever you do, always grab an assault rifle and a shotgun at the start

Whatever happens, always try to secure an assault rifle and a shotgun the second you land. It’s the bare minimum you need to get started, so don’t think about doing anything else until you have them. At the worst grab an SMG if you can’t see an assault rifle straight away. You need a good fire rate at range and a punch up close - as long as you have that you can usually pick up everything else you need along the way, either by finding it or eliminating opponents.

Switch between guns depending on where you are or what range you’re fighting at

Always switch to your shotgun when entering a house, and jump back to your assault rifle when you leave. In a confined space shottys beat assault rifles every time and, likewise, even a tactical SMG will give you an advantage over open space against a shotgun. It might sound obvious, but starting a fight with the wrong gun is almost as bad as not having one at all.

Reorder guns in your inventory

This is a simple one: if you get a spare moment, hit up on the D-pad to open your pack and move your guns around. Ideally you want your assault rifle/shotgun combo next to each other at the front, so you only have to press a shoulder button once to switch. A quick swap between the two could make all the difference if the combat situation changes.

Rarer guns are always best but DPS beats damage if you’re a poor shot

Fornite’s weapons have a rarity value, with the less common ones having better stats. The order goes like this: 

  • Grey - common
  • Green - uncommon
  • Blue - rare
  • Purple - epic
  • Gold - legendary

Generally, there are common, uncommon and rare variants for most weapon types, but only some have epic and legendary types (assault rifles, and sniper rifles for example). 

Within a given class, the higher type always wins because as the rarity increases so does the damage. So in a one-on-one fight, a blue M16 will beat a grey one most of the time. However, between different gun types things aren’t quite that simple. The main stats to pay attention to are damage and fire rate which combine to create DPS. Most weapons don’t show a huge change in damage across rarities, but it really stacks up on the DPS.

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For example, a burst assault rifle has a fire rate of 5.5 across all classes. The common rifle has a damage of 30, giving it a DPS of 165, while the rare has 33 damage, giving it a DPS of 181.5. So not a huge change per bullet, but plenty over time if you land the shots. 

Now where this gets interesting is that something like an uncommon tactical submachine gun only has 16 damage but a fire rate of 13, giving it a DPS of 208. So if you’ve got a steady hand, and you’re not fighting halfway across the map, you can take on a rare M16’s 192.5 DPS with confidence.

It all depends on you, and how much faith you have in your accuracy. If you’re not the best shot then favour high DPS over damage - you might not hit your opponent as much but you’ll hurt them more over time when you do. However, if you’re confident you can hit your target then damage beats DPS because you won’t need to rely on fire rate to compensate for missing. 

Shotguns are a perfect example here: an uncommon tactical shotgun does 67 damage with a 1.5 fire rate, while a common pump action does 90 damage at a 0.7 fire rate. In terms of DPS that give them 100 and 63 respectively. The tactical looks better (and realistically is in most cases) but if you’re absolutely sure you can land that first shot then the pump action can one shot an enemy. Especially if they’ve unshielded and with the max bandage health of 75%.

Try and pick a burst rifle if you can

You might not like it but if you can, grab a three shot burst rifle over a normal assault rifle. It will make you a better shot. Any time you spray and pray you’re losing accuracy and, to some degree, focus as you hose the general direction of an enemy. At medium to long range the tighter firing of a burst rifle will always win. And, if you’re worried about fire rate, just squeeze the trigger more!

Use the mini gun for destroying buildings rather than fighting

The mini gun is a beast of a weapon and while it might look terrifying, it’s not always the best thing in a firefight with its wide spread and slow aim. However, it will mince player-made structures, making it just as useful as the RPG and grenade launcher for leveling end game buildings and destroying protective walls. With an added bonus that the chaos of bullets it sprays out can scatter, panic and damage opponents the whole time you’re firing.

Save a silenced weapon for ambushing other people (especially if they’re already fighting)

The suppressed submachine gun or handgun aren’t always on the top of people’s must have list in a direct firefight, but their silenced abilities can be very useful if used correctly. Because they’re quieter and harder to place when shooting, you’ll likely get more damage in before people can find you and return fire, giving you an advantage. While if you find two or more people fighting you can attack and they’ll likely not even realise another person has joined in until someone dies.

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