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Fortnite: Weapon balance

Fortnite: Weapon Balance

In a game where 100 players face off for the glory of a Victory Royale, many guns allow for all of them to hunt or be hunted. As a result, Epic makes a lot of tweaks that change the overall way things flow in the game.

Here we will analyze the current status of the options, and point out if the players should pick up or walk past the different weapons on the island.

Assault Rifles

Fortnite: Weapon Balance
Assault rifle, and its suppressed counterpart – Image: Dexerto

Assault Rifle: The classic Assault rifle is one that keeps being a core part of the standard loadout. It comes in five different rarities. However, the epic and legendary assault rifles are some of the best guns in the game. If any player comes across these two assault rifles, they are a definite part of a great load out, and should be picked up.

Burst Rifle: After the burst rifle got buffed it stands in a really good spot. Its precision, and burst potential are optimal ranking on par with the Assault Rifle. Depending on familiarity, players can go for either the burst or the classic assault rifle.

Suppressed Assault Rifle: The suppressed assault rifle has a lower damage per second compared to the assault rifle (epic, legendary). Still it has an optimal damage per second, and its firing is different. This weapon is good, however the assault rifle (epic, legendary) is usually considered better. Due to the small differences, it’s the players call to pick this or the classic assault rifle.

Scoped Assault Rifle: A rifle that has a precise long distance aim. Not optimal in the current meta, however it can be deadly in the hands of a great player. Not recommended at the moment.

Thermal Assault Rifle: Same as the scoped assault rifle, however it shows enemy heat signatures, loot llamas and chests. This can be a good rifle for third-partying enemy teams who don’t see it coming, but will generally lose to a good sniper in a fight.


Tactical Shotgun: A Shotgun that can be decent at the start of the game, but its counterpart the pump shotgun performs better at bursting enemies. Recommended on drop, but should be swapped for a better shotgun eventually.

Fortnite: Weapon Balance
Pump Shotgun – Image: Dexerto

Pump Shotgun:

A gun that sometimes whiffs shots, and other times melts enemies. It has a very high potential, but its inconsistent spread makes it just decent. By itself it does not have a safe use; to get the most out of this gun pair it with a different gun like an SMG or an Assault Rifle. By itself it should not be trusted, but as a complement it works very well. It is recommended to pick it up.

Heavy Shotgun: Really good at causing a lot of damage up close and medium range. The fire-rate isn’t as fast as the double barrel or tactical, but the damage output, if accurate, is well worth it.

Double Barrel Shotgun: Arguably the best shotgun in the game. Its bursting potential at close range is off the charts. Packing two deadly shots, the double barrel shotgun sits at the top of the current shotguns.


Pistol: A gun with no purpose other than grabbing it after dropping to defend oneself. It helps with early kills, but falls off immediately after. This gun has no uses after getting a different weapon. Discard as soon as possible.

Hand Cannon: Useful if it’s one of the few weapons the player can acquire. Usually it’s better to equip a shotgun or assault rifle.

Fortnite: Weapon Balance
Dual Pistols – Image: Game Rant

Dual Pistols: Depending on the player this pair of pistols carries the potential to perform at a very high level. It is recommended to take the assault rifle over it, however the level of familiarity the player has with it plays heavily on its effect.

Suppressed Pistol: A gun rarely used. Mostly optimal if picked up after dropping, and swapped out for something better. Shots miss constantly due to bloom if used up close, and its consistency is negative. Can be used to tap with at range with bloom reset, but is outshone by the AR.


Submachine Gun

Fortnite: Weapon Balance
Submachine Gun – Image: Polygon

Submachine Gun: This gun perfectly complements the heavy and pump shotguns. Its efficiency up close differentiates it from the assault rifles, and pushes it to be a great tool. Bursting enemies at close range, the submachine gun is great for the player load out.

Compact SMG: The Compact SMG is a gun that melts the enemies. Its fire-rate is top notch, and definitively aids a player load out.


Fortnite: Weapon Balance
Minigun – Image: Fortnite Wiki

The minigun has a very quick and powerful fire rate. It is especially useful in destroying enemy buildings. In addition it can occupy a space in the regular load out, however it depends on the situation.


Sniper Rifles

Fortnite: Weapon Balance
Heavy Sniper – Image: Polygon

Heavy Sniper rifles: A sniper rifle that can burst through buildings, and deliver a powerful shot. It has a very long reload, but a smaller bullet drop than the normal sniper. One of the best snipers due to its utility, however it is the player’s call to pick it up or leave it.

Bolt Action Rifle: Standing second to the heavy sniper in the category, the bolt action rifle is a pretty regular sniper. In the hands of a good player, it has the potential to be very deadly and do mass damage. At certain situations it can perform better than the heavy sniper, but its usability depends on the player’s familiarity,

Semi-auto Sniper Rifle: A sniper rifle that has the ability to fire multiple shots without the need to reload. Its availability is higher than the first two of the list, however its damage is lower by a significant amount.

Hunting Rifle: The hunting rifle keeps perception of the surrounding areas while blasting. It does not actually scope in, but zooms in a bit, allowing the player to have a better view on the enemies while also seeing the terrain around. It will still kill an enemy with full health if the headshot is hit, but the body shots are less effective. The lack of scoping makes pre-aiming easy with the hunting rifle, allowing for quick peak shots unexpectedly.



Rocket Launchers: The rocket launcher is a weapon players should not pass on. As a matter of fact its ability to blow up buildings and cause devastating damage ranks at the top of the Fortnite weapons to use.

Grenade Launchers: The grenade launcher ranks on par with the rocket launcher. Again the ability to blow up buildings, and consequently do a lot of damage, elevates the weapons usefulness.

Fortnite: Weapon Balance
Guided Missile – Image: Variety

Guided Missile: This launcher does not deliver after being reworked. In the first place it leaves the player without the ability to move, and it does not do much damage. Using this launcher is not recommended due to its lack of applicable techniques. During solo games it is basically useless.



Grenade: The regular grenade is effective if thrown to another player. It is a good item to carry during the early portion of the game. However substituting it for something more reliable is recommended.

Fortnite: Weapon Balance
Clingers – Image: Polygon

Clingers: Clingers stick to surfaces and enemy players, resulting in it being a bit more useful than regular grenades. It can demolish buildings allowing the player to follow up and deal a great amount of damage.

Stink Bombs: These deadly bombs cause a small cloud that damages enemies in an area of effect. Additionally, it counters players that attempt to turtle inside a building. This grenade is good, but not great. Its the players discretion to pick it up or pass on it. A nice benefit is that they ignore shields.

Boogie Bombs:  Boogie bombs pack some funky jams that cause players to uncontrollably dance. Moreover they are not commonly used, but can work in niche situations. Boogie bombs and the double barrel have been seeing some use due to the potential free damage if the combo is hit.


Knowing this

Epic games keep adding new weapons to the game, and balancing the old ones. Through this process the Fortnite metagame keeps changing again and again. The games balance works, and multiple weapons have efficient uses while no gun sticks out as “broken” . There are always weapons that are better than others, but the efficiency of the arsenal is there. Until we get a new weapon or the buff of a gun catches us us off guard there should be a calm period were the game flows, and most players enjoy their experience on the Fortnite island.


Featured image provided by Windows Central

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