Both games are enormously popular and are clear pioneers of the genre, but in spite of their obvious similarities, there are some key differences between the two biggest battle royale titles for mobile devices (besides the fact that only one of them is available on the Play Store).
Of course, a comparison between Fortnite vs PUBG can’t definitively say which game is better, since many of the differences are stylistic. Both games are great, and judging by the rate at which they are updated, the best is yet to come.
Fortnite vs PUBG – Visual style
Both Fortnite Mobile and PUBG Mobile are faithful recreations of their PC counterparts, and that includes their distinct visual styles.
Tencent’s Lightspeed and Quantum Studios have simplified the realistic graphics of PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds for the mobile version, but the essence is still there. The characters, maps, and guns are all realistic.
Fortnite, on the other hand, takes a more cartoony approach. Everything is bright and colorful as if it were torn from a Dreamworks film. Some weapons are based on real weapons, but others seem straight out of Looney Tunes like the temporary “Egg Launcher” reskin of the grenade launcher — and that’s without getting into the shopping carts, launch pads, and jet packs in the limited time modes.
The difference between Fortnite and PUBG is best summed up by a players first 30 seconds in a match. In PUBG Mobile, players parachute out of a cargo plane onto sprawling islands with military bases and power plants. In Fortnite, players skydive out of a bus strapped to a massive balloon, breaking their fall with an umbrella or futuristic glider.
Victory Royale! Check out the rest of our Fortnite content:
- Fortnite on Android: All the info on its unconventional release
- Fortnite for Android interview – Epic Games CEO Tim Sweeney on breaking away from Google Play
- Fortnite Mobile tips and tricks: How to build, shoot and win
- Fortnite Mobile on Android: Here are the compatible phones
- Fortnite vs PUBG: Ten mobile differences between the two biggest battle royales
Fortnite vs PUBG – Gameplay
Neither game invented the battle royale formula, but the basic free-for-all gameplay is the same. In the most popular mode, players are dropped onto an island with 99 other opponents. From there you collect weapons and other gear to fight until the last man (or woman) is standing.
The playzone (also known as the circle) also grows smaller and smaller, forcing the remaining players closer to one another. The area outside the playzone deals constant damage, and should be avoided at all costs. PUBG further limits the play area with red zones, where bombs drop from the sky that will instantly kill any player outside of cover.
PUBG Mobile is intense and gun fights give a real sense that death is imminent
A comparison between the gameplay of Fortnite vs PUBG follows along the same lines as their visuals. PUBG is intense and gun fights give a real sense that death is imminent, whereas Fortnite gives players a lot more room to manoeuvre and play creatively.
Much of that manoeuvrability comes from the fact that players in Fortnite can build structures using resources collected by hammering away at trees, rocks, or buildings. If caught in an open field, a quick 1×1 tower will provide enough time to assess the situation or med up.
On the contrary, getting caught unaware in PUBG Mobile is almost certain death. As a result, most people play more cautiously, hiding behind trees or in the brush. Unlike Fortnite, players can lay prone on the ground while they line up their next headshot.
Related: Fortnite quiz: True or false?
You can play cautiously in Fortnite as well, but more often than not players simply run towards the action. Even the most carefully constructed fort can be destroyed with a few hits from a rocket or grenade launcher, so it’s usually better to stay on the move. Fortune favors the bold in Fortnite.
Fortnite vs PUBG – Controls
The controls are where it’s really apparent which company has more experience making mobile games. Tencent is the undisputed king of mobile games, and PUBG Mobile reflects that in spades.
As far as controls on mobile shooters go, you’d be hard pressed to find a better system than the one used in PUBG Mobile. Plus, there are several control schemes built in, with the option to completely customize them to your liking.
Fortnite doesn’t feature any kind of customization, and often the controls leave something to be desired. Part of this is due to the more complicated nature of the game, with building, setting traps, and so on, but some of it is due to specific design decisions.
What kind of monster puts the jump button below the crouch button?
For example, to shoot you can either tap on the screen or press the shoot button on the left side of the screen. But tapping on the screen only shoots a single shot, so with any automatic weapon you’ll want to use the button on the left. That means you can’t move and shoot at the same time, unless you adopt some crazy claw method while playing on a tablet.
Also, what kind of monster puts the jump button below the crouch button? One goes up, one goes down. It shouldn’t be this hard.
Fortnite vs PUBG – Cross-platform experience
One major difference between Fortnite and PUBG is how connected the mobile titles are with the PC titles they’re based on. PUBG is a standalone game developed apart from the PC version, and Fortnite on mobile is essentially the same as the other versions of the game.
Player accounts, progress, skins, and so on are shared between platforms, so no matter where you play you’ll have the same items. Players can even play alongside their friends on Xbox, PS4, Switch, or PC right from their mobile device.
Fortunately, mobile solo players will never be stomped by mouse and keyboard using PC players.
Player base is determined by parties, so mobile-only players will play with other mobile players, parties with console players will play with both mobile and console players, and parties with PC players will get matched with all of the above.
For what it’s worth, the PUBG Mobile developers are also committed to keeping pure mobile players separate from PC emulator users. That said, matches have fewer than 100 real players due to the next item on the list.
Fortnite vs PUBG – Bots
PUBG Mobile’s decision to introduce bots into the battle royale formula was certainly controversial, but it’s also one of the main things that separates it from Fortnite.
A player’s first few matches only have ten to twenty human players, with the rest of the game populated by bots. Even after you’ve got a few games under your belt, don’t expect more than half of your opponents to have a pulse (unless playing in a custom game).
Think twice before bragging about winning a chicken dinner on your first try
Fortnite Mobile has none of this, with a full 100 human players in each match. In practice though, the bots in PUBG Mobile actually end up making the game more enjoyable for newer players. They give you a chance to practice and get a few kills before succumbing to the harsh reality of a battle royale.
No one wants to get knocked out in the first few seconds of each match, but think twice before bragging about winning a chicken dinner on your first try.
Fortnite vs PUBG – Maps and game modes
One major difference between Fortnite and PUBG is the number of maps and game modes they offer. Fortnite uses the exact same map as the PC version, which changes slightly as the game evolves.
For example, season four kicked off with meteors striking the island, destroying some structures and areas that had been there since the game’s launch (RIP Dusty Depot). Other new areas were added, some hidden at the sides of the map and others in plain sight.
Fortnite also occasionally offers limited time game modes, such as 50 vs 50 or sniper shootout. They spice up the game a bit, and disappear before getting stale.
PUBG instead offers several different maps — Erangel, Miramar, and Sanhok (with Vikendi on the way). PUBG Mobile also has a mobile-only arcade mode with fewer players to bring matches down to a more mobile-friendly duration.
Fortnite vs PUBG – Getting around the map
Both games give players the ability to get around the map quickly, but they go about it in very different ways. Keeping with the theme, PUBG Mobile stays true to life by placing cars and motorcycles around the map. They can explode upon taking too much damage, and run out of gas after covering long distances.
As well as vehicles like golf carts and quad bikes, Fortnite also gives players items that can increase your avatar’s movement speed and distance like jump pads, which launch your character into the air to glide their way across the map.
Both games also feature auto-move to give your thumbs a rest. But again, crossing open fields in PUBG Mobile is a lot more dangerous than it is in Fortnite, so proceed with caution.
Fortnite vs PUBG – Auto pick up and other mobile-only features
Both PUBG Mobile and Fortnite add a few mobile-only features to make the game more playable on touchscreen devices. These include aim assist, directional indicators, and auto pick-up.
The directional indicators are virtually identical in both games, and show which direction shots or footsteps come are coming from to help players without headphones. Fortnite features an additional golden indicator for chests containing powerful weapons and loot.
In practice the indicators work better in PUBG, since in Fortnite gameplay is more three-dimensional. Players can build up and down, and the indicators are simply unable to provide that kind of information. You won’t know if a player is above or below you until it’s too late.
Auto pick-up is also similar between the two, and will pick up weapons, items, and meds to fill up your inventory. In Fortnite it also picks up building materials, and in PUBG Mobile it picks up and equips attachments for your guns as well as higher level armor and backpacks.
Fortnite vs PUBG – Monetization
Another difference between Fortnite and PUBG is how they’ve chosen to monetize their content.
First of all, both mobile games are completely free and purchased content is limited to cosmetics that offer no competitive advantage. Fortnite has a lot more to offer in that regard, with tons of skins, dances, emotes, and now sprays to unlock. Some of these can be unlocked by playing, and others will need to be purchased.
Both games are completely free and purchased content is limited to cosmetics that offer no competitive advantage
Fortnite is divided into seasons, so every 70 days or so a new Battle Pass will need to be purchased in order to level up faster and unlock that season’s unique rewards. It’s quite a grind to unlock all of them, but fortunately your progress is shared account wide so you don’t have to start over if you’ve played the PC version.
It might not sound that exciting, but a lot of the unlockables are really cool. Epic Games has also been really good at incorporating ideas from their community, so it’s filled with inside jokes and memes. But really, no one wants to be a lowly no-skin.
PUBG Mobile, on the other hand, initially opted for a more traditional loot box system for its cosmetic items. These include parachutes, jackets, glasses, pants, shoes, and other basic apparel. Some boxes can be opened using in-game currency, but others require real money.
As of update 0.6.0, however, PUBG Mobile has also gone the seasonal route with the Royale Pass — a free pass that can be upgraded using real cash for the chance at grabbing exclusive cosmetics. Sound familiar?
Fortnite vs PUBG – Performance
PUBG Mobile and Fortnite run on the tried-and-tested Unreal Engine 4, which was actually created by Epic Games. As such, it’s not surprising that both PUBG and Fortnite hit the ground running and were highly optimized right out of the gates on PC.
In fact, one of the main things that lead to Fortnite overtaking PUBG in the first place (other than being free) was that it can be played on much less powerful PCs.
Both games will drain your battery faster than you can say winner winner chicken dinner
Fortnite is compatible with any Android device that meets the minimum hardware and software requirements below:
- Android 8.0 Oreo or higher
- 3GB of free onboard storage
- At least 4GB of system RAM
- GPU requirements: Qualcomm Adreno 530 or higher, ARM Mali-G71 MP20, ARM Mali-G72 MP12 or higher
Fortnite on mobile does look remarkably similar to the PC version, but currently there are options to tweak your graphics settings to improve performance.
PUBG Mobile offers robust graphics settings to adapt it to just about any device. Unlike the PC version on release, it’s also fairly well optimized, although low-res textures do take away from the realistic feel of the game.
Lightspeed and Quantum Studios has pushed out several updates to PUBG Mobile to include both higher and lower end Android devices. However, both games will drain your battery faster than you can say winner winner chicken dinner.
Fortnite vs PUBG – Conclusion
So which game is better when it comes to Fortnite vs PUBG? Both games are great (and free), but offer decidedly different battle royale experiences.
PUBG Mobile arguably does a little more to adapt its gameplay experience to touchscreen controls and has more maps, but Fortnite has much deeper lore and the seasonal weapon and item additions keep fans coming back for more.
Who do you think will come out on top in the battle royale of Fortnite and PUBG? Let us know in the comments!
Winner Winner! Check out the rest of our PUBG Mobile content:
- PUBG Mobile Review — does it live up to the original’s legacy?
- PUBG Mobile tips and tricks: How to survive and win a battle royale
- PUBG Mobile: How to change your name and appearance
- Fortnite vs PUBG: Ten mobile differences between the two biggest battle royales
- Tencent Gaming Buddy: The best way to play PUBG Mobile on PC