Top 11 Differences Between Fortnite Battle Royale and Apex Legends

“The two games are so wildly different, and the gaming community is so vast, that they can both coexist with ease while supporting massive player counts.”

So if you’re an avid gamer, or even a casual one, and likely even if you are aware of gaming, you’ve probably heard of these two games. While there are many similarities, they are both battle royale games after all, the two games couldn’t be more different in the way they play. Fortnite took the world by storm, exploding in popularity, dominating the Twitch view counts, and becoming a pop-culture icon seemingly overnight. Apex Legends appears to be on that same track. With a release that was barely even known about, Apex has taken the gaming world by storm, and for now, has unseated Fortnite as the top game on Twitch.

Many people think that Apex Legends will be the “Fortnite killer” that brings the insanely popular title from Epic Games down, however, we don’t think that’s the case. The two games are so wildly different, and the gaming community is so vast, that they can both coexist with ease while supporting massive player counts. We don’t expect Fortnite to be going anywhere, but we don’t expect Apex Legends to slow down or die off either. To us it’s pretty clear, this isn’t a situation where World of Warcraft dominates the MMORPG scene with an iron-fist, these are two top tier games, that will likely push each other to grow and evolve, while both staying right at the top of the charts.

For some people Fortnite is always going to be the better game due to its style and mechanics, likewise, others will vastly prefer the approach Apex Legends has taken to the genre. We think both are incredible in their own ways, and we’ve put together this list of the top 10 differences to be aware of to help you decide which game is a better fit for you (or if you’ll love them both of course)!

Graphical Style – Cartoonish vs Realistic

The most glaring difference between the two current titans (Titanfall pun half intended) of the battle royale genre is the graphical style. Fortnite has a cartoonish feel to it. The game is made in a much less realistic fashion featuring things like the battle bus floating on a giant balloon, crazy skins, boogie bomb grenades that make you dance, and so much more. Epic Games is always pushing the envelope on the crazy things they can add to Fortnite to keep the experience exciting. Apex Legends on the other hand has a much more realistic graphical style, although not completely realistic looking. There is also a bit of sci-fi/futuristic vibe to the game, with things such as energy weapons that shoot plasma, EMP grenades in the form of Arc Stars, and jetpacks when jumping in and redeploying rather than the umbrellas and gliders of Fortnite. Apex can be a bit more taxing on the GPU, so that is something to keep in mind if you have an older or less powerful gaming rig.

First or Third?

It’s all a matter of perspective. Fortnite is played in a third person perspective, looking over the shoulder of your character. This opens up a lot options as it allows you to rotate to look around corners, above you, outside of the building you are in, and so on to gain additional information on your surroundings. Apex Legends on the other hand, is played in first person perspective, looking out into the arena as if you were your character. This makes it a little bit harder to get information safely from cover, and rewards higher awareness while relying more heavily on audio indicators to enemy locations. Both perspectives have their pros and cons, and those are best saved for another article as there are too many to list, ultimately it comes down to which style you prefer.

To Build Or Not To Build?

Let’s face it, Fortnite IS building. Build fights are the most skill intensive part of the game, and the new mechanic to the gaming world is what helped Fortnite explode in popularity. The concept of making your own cover, your own paths to parts of the map, and taking a fight 30 stories into the sky is as freeing as it is exhilarating. Apex Legends gets back to the basics of shooters. You aren’t able to build structures, make your own pathways, or create cover anywhere that you please. Instead you are relying on the natural cover in the game, using trees, rocks, houses, and hills to your advantage, and protecting yourself from enemy fire while you heal or setup to engage. Likewise, with the lack of building in Apex Legends, comes a lack of farming. As you have nothing to build, you don’t need to spend time farming wood, stone, and metal to build with.

Down, But Not Out!

Possibly the most well-received mechanic, and the freshest take on the battle royale genre, comes from Apex Legends in the form of respawns. Like in Fortnite, and other battle royale games like PUBG, you can be knocked down when your health is depleted. In this knock down stage you are unable to shoot your guns, throw grenades, or do just about anything else. You can however crawl around and attempt to get to safety. When you are safe, or the fight is over and your squad is still alive, you can be revived and get back into the game. Apex does offer a bit more to this mechanic in the form of knock-down shields, which can be used to protect yourself from bullets while downed (or potentially revive yourself if you have a legendary knock-down shield). However, the main difference is that Apex Legends also offers respawns. If you are eliminated entirely while downed, but your team survives, they are able to grab your banner from your loot box. They can then take this banner to one of the many respawn beacons around the map, interact with the beacon, and you will drop back into the game from the respawn ship (albeit without any loot at all) and get back into the game. This mechanic is so popular out the gate, that Fortnite is even considering adding a form of it to their game as well!

One, Two, Three, Four – Game Modes And Squad Count

Like to go solo? Have a consistent duo but no more? Is your squad three or four people strong? Game modes vary greatly between the two games. While Fortnite has a full offering of playlists that includes Solos, Duos, and Squads (4 man squads), Apex Legends currently only has Squads (3 man squads). This can make Apex a bit less convenient to play if you are having to leave someone out of the squad. If you don’t have a three man group, you can still play Apex by getting into a match with random players, just be aware, some of them are amazing, and some of them have no idea what they are doing. If you do play with random players, be sure to stick with your team, call out what you see, and be courteous, it goes along way for helping to get that win!

Bloom vs Recoil

The two games have extremely different shooting models. Fortnite has a bloom based shooting model. This means that as you shoot your gun, the crosshair will expand, and the bullets can go to any point within that crosshair. This is done to lower the DPS output that is possible, and can have a bit of a random feel to it. Sometimes your gun is perfectly accurate and you hit every shot without fail, other times you seemingly shoot in a circle around your target and don’t hit anything at all. Apex Legends on the other hand, uses a recoil based model. This means that as you shoot your gun, there will be recoil and your crosshair will move. The recoil happens in set patterns and can be counteracted by precise mouse movement, offering a higher skill cap to shooting. If you master your recoil control, you can guarantee that your shots will hit exactly where you put them.

Don’t Fall vs Let’s Jump!

One of the first things we noticed in Apex Legends, is that there is no fall damage. At the top of a mountain, just jump right off and get to the ground instantly, you won’t take any damage at all! This is different than Fortnite, where falls do progressively more damage as you get higher and higher up past 3 stories. Both systems have their pros and cons here. Fortnite having fall damage means you have to be more aware of your positioning and height, and you can’t instantly get down from the top of the building and be on top of someone in a fight. On the other hand, the lack of fall damage in Apex makes for faster paced movement and more chaotic fights.

Can You See Me Now?

A huge difference between the two games is the presence of optics in Apex Legends. Fortnite (outside of a select few scoped guns like the scoped assault rifle and the various sniper rifles) has a third person shooting perspective, aiming over the shoulder of your character with a crosshair in the middle of the screen. On the other hand, Apex Legends offers a wide variety of optics for the guns in the game. As you are in first person perspective, aiming down the sights literally aims down the sights of the gun, rather than only zooming in further on the screen. Iron sights, the default optics on any gun, are often clunky and get in the way, hindering the ability to aim. To counteract this, Apex Legends has a wide variety of scopes that can be attached to guns to make aiming easier. These optics can range from a 1x magnification to a 10x magnification for fighting at different distances. The optics also come in a variety of styles so that you can find the optic that most fits your preference. Speaking of attachments…

Get Geared Up

Apex Legends has a wide variety of gun attachments and gear, which are not present in Fortnite. While Fortnite offers traps that have different utility functionality (such as the jump pad and spike trap) Apex has weapon attachments and character gear. There are a number of attachment to work with, such as optics which we mentioned previously. In addition, guns can be modified with barrel stabilizers to reduce recoil, extended mags to increase bullet capacity, stocks to reduce draw time and weapon sway, shotgun bolts to increase firing speed (for shotguns only of course), and a number of powerful “hop-up attachments”. Among the hop-ups are the Skullpiercer Rifling, which increases headshot damage, Precision Choke, which tightens spread on guns with multiple projectiles, Selectfire Receiver, which allows the gun to be shot in different methods (burst, full auto, single shot), and Turbochargers, which increase the rate at which a gun can fire at full speed.

There are also four pieces of player gear to be aware of in Apex Legends. There is the backpack which increases the amount of items you can carry. There is also body armor, which increases the amount of health you have, and helmets, which reduce the damage you take from headshots. Lastly, there are knock-down shields, which as we mentioned previously, allow you block damage while in the downed but not out state.

All of the attachments in Apex Legends have different rarities (excluding the hop-up attachments) which determine their effectiveness. For example a common body armor adds 50 health, while an epic body armor adds 100 health. The legendary pieces of player gear all come with their own special effect as well.

Time For Class

Another huge difference between the two games, is the presence of Legends (or classes) in Apex Legends. While in Fortnite, skins can be different so the player looks different, there are no special abilities and everyone is capable of the exact same things. Apex Legends on the other hand, takes an approach more similar to Overwatch with various Legends with various abilities. Each legend has their own unique passive ability, tactical ability, and ultimate ability, which can greatly influence how they play, and the overall flow of the game. If you want to know more about these mechanics, be sure to check out our Legend Guides.

Just Ping It

Last, but most certainly not least, is the ping system that Apex Legends has introduced. The utility of this system is absolutely amazing, and you can ping just about anything you would ever need to say, allowing your team to communicate even without a microphone. If you can think it, you can ping it. Whether it be a gun, ammo, or other loot on the ground, you can ping it to let your team know exactly where it is, likewise they can ping your ping to let everyone know that they need that item. You can also ping where you are going, where you are watching, where you see an enemy, where you think enemies may be, and so much more. This system is incredible and really helps to keep comms clear and increase communication. No more “there’s a helmet over here, uhhh yellow building, top floor, room on the left, behind the door” – simply ping it and move on with your game. We hope that other games, not just Fortnite, take notice of how well put together this system is and add similar systems in the future.