Fortnite Battle Royale has been out for just over 4 years. In that time, the game has innovated more than anyone expected. Live events, in-game concerts with live musicians, it is even popular for the ‘battlepass’ monetization mechanic so many games have today. If you love it or hate it, you simply cannot deny that Fortnite is one of the smartest, craziest, and most innovative games on the market to this day.
The game started out all those years ago as chapter one, season one. We are now in chapter two, season seven. But what does all that mean? Well, to keep the game fresh and exciting, Epic games (the masterminds behind Fortnite) release frequent updates that add brand new weapons, mechanics, and content into the game as well as map changes.
Each update typically has a theme, ranging from dinosaurs to superheroes. As you can tell, each update advances the game into the next season. This advancement is marked by an in-game story, a plot, that the players can interact with to understand why and how the game is changing. The lore and plots in the game are rather impressive and would take you a couple of hours at least to get up to date on now.
On top of the map changes, new weapons are added with each new update. So with that said, I think it is time to revisit one of the base mechanics of the game; Weapon colors and interpreting their ranking. So many articles were written when the game was released explaining what this was, but the game has evolved so much that it is long overdue that an updated article be written.
The loot system in the game is somewhat simple. You can find weapons and gear in chests, on the floor, in pinata llamas, Airdrops, and most importantly from enemies in which you have slain. Like other shooting games, there needs to be a rarity ranking so you know easily which guns are supposedly better than others. In Fortnite, this is done by color-coding the weapons to show off their rarity. The rarer the weapon, the better it is…got it? good.
The rarity of a weapon mostly impacts its damage and accuracy with slight increases to most other aspects, it does not affect the fire rate, however. But it also sort of does, don’t worry it will be explained.
For there to be a ranking system, there has to be a hierarchy of weapons. A top and a bottom. Thankfully, there is and it is super simple. Each tier of rarity is tied to a different color, and it is exactly like this, from worst to best;
Grey (common) – Green (uncommon) – Blue (rare) – Purple (epic) – Orange (legendary)
So with this list in mind, you can get a general sense that anything you pick up that is grey, should be swapped out as soon as possible. As a little tip for you, do not ignore guns because of their rarity. A grey gun is better than trying to slap an enemy with your mining tool. A general rule of thumb, in my experience, is that grey and green guns are to be swapped as soon as possible but blue guns are actually rather powerful.
Best, obviously meaning legendary, is a term to be careful of. It all comes down to your own skill and abilities with said weapon. Just because you find a legendary pistol, doesn’t mean it is better than your epic SMG. So in a sense, weapon colors are important, but only to a certain degree. You still have to outweigh the benefits of using one weapon over another.
The guns, as mentioned, can be found almost anywhere but knowing where to get the best guns will give you an advantage. There are multiple spots to loot and almost any gun can be found anywhere, it just may be quite rare. This means that different colors will spawn everywhere, but a legendary spawning on the floor is very rare.
Floor – The floor is where guns naturally spawn and you will see them as soon as you drop in. The majority of floor loot will be either grey weapons or blue weapons. However, it is worth mentioning that you may stumble across a rare purple weapon every now and then if you’re lucky.
Chests – Wooden chests can spawn around the map, they glow and can be heard from a short distance away. These have a better loot pool (the list of items in which can be dropped and their chances) and are less likely to drop greys and greens. They also have a higher chance to drop those sweet sweet purples and oranges.
Airdrops – These can be seen on both the screen and the mini-map. A map marker is added whenever one spawns in so that every player is aware of its arrival. The airdrop, also known as supply drops, is a big balloon carrying a blue wooden crate. Once it slowly descends, a player can open the crate and reap the rewards. These have the highest chance to drop not only legendary guns but also healing items and gear! As mentioned, they are shown on the map so more players will go for them. This means you may have to fight for the loot, but high risk is known for its high reward.
Slaying enemies – One of the more confrontational ways to get loot is to slay your enemies and take whatever loot they had on them. This is also a high-risk, high-reward strategy however, nothing guarantees your enemy will have good loot. While good guns are imperative, sometimes choosing not to engage in a fight is the answer to being able to survive longer.
Just to remind you of the ranking system for the rarity of weapons in the game:
Grey (common) – Green (uncommon) – Blue (rare) – Purple (epic) – Orange (legendary)
The main difference between each tier of weapon is the damage output per second. While as mentioned, the fire rate does not change, the damage per bullet fired does change. This means that you may still be firing at the same speed but each bullet does more damage so your damage over time, provided you have good aim, increases.
There is a slight twist, though. From grey to blue, the only changes are statistical. However, when you change from blue to purple and orange, the guns change and turn into stronger versions. It changes how they look and perform. An assault rifle goes from looking like an M16A1 at the grey tier rarity, to looking like an FN Scar at purple and above rarity. The assault rifle now acts differently as well, the fire pattern will feel different and the recoil will also change its performance.
This happens for all the guns in the game, as long as they have a rarity system. Some guns only come in one rarity but that is rare to see, and they tend to be more tactical weapons than those used for shooting. For example, there is a gun in the game that shoots bandages but only comes in the blue tier.
This change applies to most guns in the game ranging from assault rifles, sniper rifles for long range, a shotgun, semi-autos, and any auto rifle. Any gun that has a changed look will have the upper hand in a fight with its lower rarity counterpart.
With this much choice, it can be overwhelming to know what to use. After you have played the game for a while you get into the habit of using guns you like but for a newcomer, a recommended loadout should get you on your way to that first victory.
Slot one – A classic assault rifle will help you out here, swapping out for a higher rarity when you can. An assault rifle can provide decent accuracy at medium ranges keeping the enemy at bay with some well-aimed bullets.
Slot two – An SMG is by far my favorite weapon in the game, they are crazy fast and have high damage output at close ranges. One is definitely needed in your loadout to make sure no one can sneak up on you and catch you unprepared.
Slot three – A sniper rifle. By far the best way to shoot at enemies a long-distance away. The extremely rare legendary snipers can inflict ridiculously high damage if you hit your shots and will definitely help you during your match, making it the perfect long range weapon. Some even consider this the best weapons to acquire if you can hit head shots consistently.
Slot four – This spot is mostly personal preference. Some people would choose a shotgun, others would choose some tactical gear like grenades. I mainly use this slot for anything fun that I find on the ground and might want to try and use during my match.
Slot five – This slot never holds a weapon, for me at least. I always have either shield potions or healing items in this slot to ensure that I can survive should I become wounded while fighting someone.
In conclusion, Fortnite does not have a singular best weapon. They all have their pros and cons but also can all be used as long as the player is skilled enough. Fortnite colors are important and as a rule of thumb, anything above green is likely to get you a few kills as the statistical difference between the blue – orange rarity is somewhat small and unnoticeable for a newcomer. The legendries are good but don’t be afraid to pick up a blue gun if it is all you have got.