Fortnite Best Weapons – Tier List and Best Guns in Battle Royale

Knowing the best Fortnite weapons is absolutely vital. The battle royale game is a game all about scavenging for resources, and that includes guns. Whether you’re a novice or an expert, the difference between Uncommon and Legendary Assault Rifles is huge. Understanding why can save your life.

In Fortnite, there are five different item rarities: Legendary, Epic, Rare, Uncommon, and Common. While everyone has their own weapon preferences, the game’s Legendary weapons are generally the best in each weapon class. But which guns stand above the rest? We’ve gone ahead and separated Fortnite’s most popular weapon categories into the top-tier guns players should watch for while exploring—and looting—throughout the game.

fortnite assault rifle

Assault Rifles

When it comes to all-around firepower, Fortnite’s Assault Rifles get the job done. These guns let you take shots at enemies near and far, without sacrificing accuracy or damage.The best rifles will let you take blow away your enemies as precisely as possible. Of course, if you plan on sniping from long-range or mowing down enemies right in front of you, consider bringing a Sniper Rifle or Shotgun to round out your loadout, respectively.

Here are our top three Assault Rifle picks:

  • Legendary Assault Rifle: The Legendary Assault rifle packs 198 DPS with 36 damage and 2.1 seconds of reload time. That makes it the fastest Assault Rifle to reload as well as one of the most damaging. You simply cannot go wrong with this gun, especially for medium-range combat.
  • Legendary Heavy Assault Rifle: The Heavy Assault Rifle is a new addition to Fortnite, and it’s a welcome one at that. With 48 damage per hit at a DPS of 180, this weapon tears away at opponents with ease. Just look out for its smaller magazine and slower reload time, which can prove costly in an intense battle.
  • Legendary Thermal Scoped Assault Rifle: This Assault Rifle comes with a thermal scope that quickly lets you spot enemies from afar. So it’s a powerful choice for medium- to long-range targeting. Stick with the Legendary variant for its 37 damage. That will let you knock out enemies at full health in just three hits.

Honorable mention goes to the Epic Scoped Assault Rifle, which remains incredibly popular with Fortnite’s mobile players thanks to the game’s aim assist. Of course, the Scoped Assault Rifle is a pretty popular choice on PC, too. But the Thermal Scoped Assault Rifle offers a slight competitive advantage in picking out enemies from afar.

Oh, and you want to avoid both the Common Assault Rifle and the Common Burst Assault Rifle if possible. The Common Assault Rifle is great if you just dropped into a map, but the Burst Assault Rifle’s grey iteration uses a (you guessed it) burst-fire pattern. It just doesn’t provide the sustained damage, nor the frequent fire rate that you need to take down enemies in a pinch. Avoid it unless you literally have nothing else.

fortnite launcher

Explosive Launchers

There’s nothing like launching a rocket at the last remaining player’s fort and letting gravity do the rest. Yes, the Rocket and Grenade Launchers are blessings (and curses) to every Fortnite player, thanks to their high damage against players and devastating impact on towers. Here’s the top Explosive Launchers that every player should pick up:

  • Legendary Quad Launcher: We’re inclined to recommend the Legendary Quad Launcher. First, it sports four rockets per magazine compared to the Rocket Launcher’s one-ammo clip. While the Quad Launcher’s damage output is a little lower than its Rocket Launcher brethren, it’s perfect for mowing down an enemy fort or wiping out an incoming squad with sustained damage.
  • Legendary Rocket Launcher: The Legendary Rocket Launcher remains an all-around favorite thanks to its sheer destructive capabilities. Dealing 121 damage and 413 structural damage, this explosive will wipe out nearly any enemy or structure that stands in your way. Just remember that you can only fire one rocket at a time before reloading.
  • Legendary Grenade Launcher: As far as crowd control goes, the Legendary Grenade Launcher’s 110 damage makes it a fine choice. Use this gun to wipe out an enemy squad camping in a sniper tower—or knock out their fort’s foundation and let your enemies fall to their deaths.

Generally speaking, all seven Explosive Launchers are fantastic choices for Fortnite players. So we don’t recommend avoiding any one in particular. Just remember to upgrade your gear as you scavenge for more powerful guns.

fortnite pistol

Pistols

Fortnite’s handguns make for perfect secondary weapons, alongside Assault Rifles and Sniper Rifles. But some of the game’s most powerful Pistols hold their own in a fight, too. For all the sharpshooters and deadeyes out there, here are our top-tier Pistol recommendations:

  • Legendary Hand Cannon: There’s no Pistol quite like the Hand Cannon. That’s doubly true for its Legendary variant. While the Legendary Hand Cannon fires relatively slow, and has a smaller magazine than other Pistols, it deals up to 78 damage and 157 against buildings. That makes it a fantastic weapon if you’re a skilled shot looking to snipe from short- or medium-range.
  • Epic Six Shooter: The Epic Six Shooter only gives you six bullets per magazine, but this Legendary revolver deals 38 damage on impact. It can also snipe targets at medium-range and fire rapidly for significant damage. Whether you’re an accurate shot or a close-range fighter, the Six Shooter is a great addition to your loadout.
  • Epic Suppressed Pistol: For players that prefer a silent approach, the Epic Suppressed Pistol deals 28 damage with 16 bullets per magazine. It’s perfect for snipers that need to finish off their opponents at short- or medium-range without alerting nearby players.

Don’t forget to swap out the Common or Rare Pistol if you come across a Six Shooter, Suppressed Pistol, or Hand Cannon. The Common Pistol deals 23 damage while the Rare Pistol offers 24. Their counterparts deal much more damage and provide more versatility on the battlefield, making them superior choices if you can upgrade.

fortnite shotgun

Shotguns

For plenty of Fortnite players, Shotguns are the weapon to have. These guns pack extensive damage at short-range. An experienced player can land headshot after headshot with one, clearing the battlefield on the way to victory. Shotguns are perfect for raiding forts, close-quarters combat at sites like Tilted Towers, and as a backup should your Assault Rifle run out of ammo.

Here are our top-tier Shotgun picks.

  • Legendary Double Barrel Shotgun: The Double Barrel Shotgun is easily the most powerful Shotgun in Fortnite. It deals up to 120 damage per shot with a DPS of 228. That means you can quickly wipe away any opponent without a shield (and deal some pretty serious damage to those at 100 HP with a full shield). The Double Barrel Shotgun works best at incredibly close range. So make sure your enemy is directly in front of you before unloading.
  • Legendary Heavy Shotgun: The Double Barrel Shotgun requires a deft hand, but the Heavy Shotgun is a bit more forgiving. Sporting 77 damage, seven shells per magazine, and just over 190 damage for a headshot, the Legendary Heavy Shotgun’s strong damage output and relatively versatile range make it an easy upgrade from any Rare or Uncommon Shotgun.
  • Rare Pump Shotgun: We’re going with the Rare Pump Shotgun as our third and final recommendation. That’s thanks to its sheer player damage output. Sporting 85 damage in total and 170 with a headshot, this Shotgun is perfect for veterans that know how to precisely land their shots. If you can’t upgrade to a Heavy Shotgun, stick with this one.

Unlike the Assault Rifle, you can pretty much get away with any Shotgun on the battlefield to start. Even the Common Tactical Shotgun and Uncommon Pump Shotgun do work. Granted, you should always replace these Shotguns as soon as possible. Their competitive viability drops dramatically as the storm circle brings stronger players closer together.

Seriously, the last thing you want to see is a Common Tactical Shotgun going head-to-head with a Legendary Heavy Shotgun. Yikes.

fortnite smg

SMGs

Over the past year, Epic Games has really fleshed out Fortnite’s submachine gun offerings. If you’re mainly raiding forts, fighting against enemies at close range, or simply want a backup gun for when your Assault Rifle or Sniper Rifle runs dry, go ahead and pick up an SMG. In the right hands, players can quickly finish off an opponent struggling to survive—especially if they’re an experienced shot. Here are our top tier picks:

  • Legendary Compact SMG: This is the SMG to have on hand at all times. Sporting 21 damage with 40 rounds per magazine, the Legendary Compact SMG accomplishes a pretty high DPS that’s sure to blow away your opponent. It’s powerful, compact, and perfect if you’re missing a short-range gun.
  • Rare Submachine Gun: The Rare Submachine Gun’s DPS is slightly higher than the Legendary Compact SMG: 228 vs 210, respectively. It even sports a slightly faster fire rate to boot. While this gun’s damage isn’t quite as high, it’s a fantastic option for players that struggle with aiming and want a slightly faster SMG over one with more stopping power.

Meanwhile, the Common Submachine Gun will land you a few decent kills during the start of a match. But it only sports a mere 17 player damage and 17 structural damage. Make sure to upgrade it as soon as possible while you’re scavenging for items. You don’t want to wind up stuck with it as the match comes to a close.

fortnite sniper

Sniper Rifles

As far as long-range combat goes, Fortnite features a wide range of Sniper Rifles perfect for knocking out the opposition. Not all Sniper Rifles are scoped, but each provides a significant advantage to players who prefer camping in a tower, or simply picking off enemies fighting amongst themselves in the distance. These are our top choices.

  • Legendary Heavy Sniper Rifle: Touting 157 damage and dealing an instant kill for headshots, the Legendary Heavy Sniper Rifle simply cannot be beat. Its one-shot-per-mag setup makes it a tough weapon to manage.  the most elite snipers in Fortnite, this rifle rewards accuracy with kill after kill.
  • Rare Bolt-Action Sniper Rifle: If you can’t grab a Heavy Sniper Rifle, the Bolt-Action will do. This gun deals 110 damage on impact and 275 with a headshot. It will wipe out any normal opponent with a headshot and severely damage those with a full shield. Like the Heavy Sniper Rifle, you only have one shot per magazine with the Bolt-Action. So make every shot count.
  • Rare Hunting Rifle: The Hunting Rifle makes up for its lack of a scope with its relatively faster reload time, requiring only 1.8 seconds to prepare. The Rare Hunting Rifle deals 90 damage on impact and 225 with a headshot, making it an excellent early-to-mid-game pick. Just remember to switch out to one of our higher tier recommendations if you stumble across an improvement.

The Bolt-Action Sniper Rifle uses a scope while the Hunting Rifle does not. If you have the option to choose between one or the other, play to your strengths. Go with the Sniper Rifle if you prefer zooming in on your targets and landing precise shots at long-range. If you’re an experienced sniper and know the game’s bullet drop physics inside and out, the Hunting Rifle will do.

And that’s it for our tier list! If you’re more interested in cosmetics, check out our list of every Fortnite skin. And check back later for more updates on the biggest battle royale game in the world.

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Ana Valens

Ana Valens is a freelance games journalist. Her work has been published on Dot Esports, The Daily Dot, Waypoint, Glixel, and Kill Screen. She lives in Brooklyn, New York, where she shares an apartment with a gaming PC, a PlayStation 4, and a Nintendo Switch.

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