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There’s nothing that gets our blood racing like dropping into a new battle royale map. Who else is on the map with you? What will the terrain be like? Do you find weapons first or find somewhere to hide? These are all the questions you’ll be faced with when you begin. Though the genre has expanded on this concept over the years, the blueprint remains the same. Classic Battle Royale games continuously tweak their game modes to stay current in the ever-progressing genre, which shows no signs of slowing down.
Battle royale is a simple concept, but yet one of the favorites of gamers everywhere. Within other genres of games, you’ll likely find a battle royale mode of some kind. The genre continually keeps players on their toes, and while there is a strategy aspect, it’s widely unpredictable and fast-paced. The game begins with many players, but in the end, only one wins.
There are many paths you can take to victory in a battle royale game. Similar to Hunger Games, you can choose to go offensive from the beginning, or stay hidden while everyone kills each other off. There are some heavy-hitter battle royale games out there with cult followings. That said, you shouldn’t underestimate the other contenders on the market.
Before we drop our list of the best battle royale games, it’s crucial to get a better grasp on what exactly defines them. What makes a battle royale a battle royale?
What Is A Battle Royale Game?
Battle Royale is a genre of video game that combines exploring and resourcing tactics with offensive gameplay. The aim of the game is to survive by any means necessary. There are typically many routes to victory in a battle royale, and you’ll need to play to your strengths to win. The games usually involve a large number of players dropped into a map of a fixed size. Some maps are more extensive than others, but there is no way out.
The resources you can find on this map are all you get to aid you. In most battle royale games, you’ll start with nothing, no weapons or gadgets. You’ll have to find everything you need within the map. The first goal is to stock yourself up with equipment that will benefit you before you launch any offensive attack. Of course, everyone will have a strategy as to how they want to approach the game.
The traditional battle royale style is every man for themselves. But some battle royale games incorporate team gameplay modes. The concept is the same, except you’ll have your team to back you up. It can be a bonus if you all work together, with some on offense and others defending. That said, if you’ve got some stubborn teammates, it may make things more difficult.
First Person Vs. Third Person
Within the genre, you will find games in first-person, and those with a third-person view. Neither is better than the other; it just depends on what you prefer. The first-person viewpoint can be more immersive, letting you see through the eyes of your character. It can be limiting, though, regarding your spatial awareness. It’s harder to see what’s going on around you, and you can be prone to sneak attacks. The third-person view can allow you to have a better perception of your surroundings, though it lacks the adrenaline of the first-person mode.
How to Play Battle Royale Games
Though each battle royale title will have unique features, you can approach the majority with similar tactics and strategies. There are a few initial steps to take and then a series of trial and error playthroughs until you develop your gaming style. We will give you a general idea of how to start, and you can branch off from there.
Firstly, you’ll need to choose which battle royale game you’re going to play. Check out our list of the best battle royale titles on the market below to get a good starting point. We’d recommend starting with one of these as they are the best you can get and will give you a solid first impression of the genre.
Once you’ve picked a game, we recommend familiarizing yourself with the gameplay before jumping straight into the ring. Likely, you’ll get shot up the second you drop into the map. In battle royale, you don’t respawn, so there are no second chances. Go through a game tutorial first and get a feel for the controls, so you know what to expect. When you do begin a legit game, choose a lower difficulty if it’s available. You will face some total pros online, and it can be disheartening at first if you’re playing against veterans.
Once you’ve got a good handle on the basics of the game, here are some things to keep in mind. It may be tempting to run full force into the battlefield, firing the first weapon you find willy nilly and hoping for the best. While it may be fun for a few minutes, you won’t get very far. The best way to succeed at these games is to use a balanced offensive/defensive approach. You want to make sure you’re stocked with a full range of gear, including medical supplies if you can find them. It’s also a smart idea to scout the terrain and find some vantage points at which you can see more of the action. If you find some hiding spots that look decent, bookmark them, as you may find your final enemies hiding out there later or (or need to use them yourself during a chase). Using these tips can dramatically help you stay alive longer in this high stakes’ genre.
When Was the First Battle Royale Game Released?
Battle Royale as a genre is relatively new. There were aspects of it in previous games over the years, but it was defined as a genre in 2017 with PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds, or PUBG. You may have played battle royale modes in games like Call of Duty or Minecraft, previous to this.
Battle Royale in Esports
The eSports gaming industry has jumped on the concept of battle royale. Not only is its high-stakes gaming, making it a shoo-in for competitions, but it’s also fun to watch. The idea of the last man standing means that it gets the competitive juices flowing. Since there’s no respawning, the stakes are that much higher than a first-person shooter game, or team match.
Though it’s still a new genre, games like Fortnite have already blown up in the eSports scene. And we expect that trend to keep growing with new battle royale titles.
What Can We Expect from This Genre?
Fans are going crazy for this genre, so we only expect the market to grow. The style has come in at an exciting time in gaming technology. Advancements and progression with visual technology mean that games are becoming more immersive, and the quality is getting better. Virtual Reality technology is progressing as well, and soon we are likely to see many games going that route. Battle royale in VR would bring a whole new level of experience to the genre, and we support that movement.
That said, let’s talk about the current and excellent games that top today’s battle royale charts. We’ve got ten amazing picks for you to choose from, and we bet you can’t choose just one! The last couple of years have featured the release of some epic titles. These have laid a foundation for the genre. Below, check out the best battle royale games on the market today.
Best Battle Royale Games – Reviews
1. PUBG – PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds
Available On – PlayStation 4, Android, Microsoft Windows, Xbox One, iOS
We’ve topped our list with the trailblazer of the battle royale genre, PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds. Released in 2017, this is the first game that can call itself a complete battle royale. There have been many patches over the years, with updated features and additional maps added along the way. With each new update, we get more of a sense of the story behind the game.
The battle royale features 100 players, dropped into the map via airplane at the beginning of the game. You are left there with nothing and have to gather equipment and resources on the map. The focus of the game is around scavenging, strategy, and firefights. There isn’t a ton of melee style combat in this game, nor do you need to craft items from primary resources.
The game feels the most realistic of any of the games on our list. It takes place in a dystopian future, where if you survive the battlegrounds, you get rewarded with your life and a chicken dinner. The game sounds simple, but it’s incredibly addictive. They add new weapons, maps and modes often, so no two rounds will be the same. It always has gamers coming back for more. Hundreds of thousands of them to be more specific.
Since it’s been around the longest, it has had time to try and test different features to see what people resonate with. And with their millions of copies sold, we can tell gamers are love what PUBG is throwing at them.
- Huge maps
- 100 players per game
- Realistic gameplay, including weapon reactions with the environment (i.e., Wind, bullet penetration, etc.)
- Can be hard for new players
2. Apex Legends
Available On: Microsoft Windows, PlayStation 4 and Xbox One
Apex Legends made a bang when it was released early in 2019 with no prior warning. They didn’t tell gamers it was coming, but with no previous marketing, it instantly had them hooked. Within their first month, the game already had 50 million players! Apex Legends is a first-person, free-to-play battle royale.
It takes place in a dystopian style world where you get to choose your character from a roster of Legends. You’ll play in teams of 3, with 19 teams total competing in the map. You can revive teammates that have fallen in this game. So, while there is no respawn option, this revival feature gives a bit of a second chance. Their team-play approach to the battle royale genre is super innovative and doesn’t require voice chat to communicate. They’ve integrated some cool features allowing you to talk to your teammates in other ways.
One cool feature is that you choose your character, one team member at a time. You can see who the others in your team choose, allowing you to pick a character that balances the team out. For example, if your teammates have chosen a heavy hitter and a high agility character, you might want to choose a healer. It allows you to create a reliable team without the need to discuss it. Also, it’s ping function will enable you to alert your teammates of locations you’d like to visit on the map so that you can assemble at those points.
The game features a fun cast of characters and a more casual style of play, which makes it great for those just getting into the genre.
- Communicate with teammates via ping system
- Revive fallen teammates
- Fun and unique characters
- No solo mode
- While it’s free to play, if you want any upgrades, they are pricey.
3. Battlerite Royale
Available On: Microsoft Windows
Battlerite Royale is a spinoff to the original MOBA game, Battlerite. Stunlock Studios jumped on the battle royale bandwagon in 2017, but the game has been a slow burner. It is now free to play and is deserving of a spot on our top 10 list of best battle royale games.
The characters are known as the Champions, much like those in the Hunger Games. Each one has an individual fighting style, strengths, and weaknesses. Once you choose your Champion, you can use a small pool of cash to purchase additional abilities to use in the area. Then, you fly into the map on the back of a dragon. Talk about an epic entrance! The map is way bigger than the original Battlerite, and you’ll play with a bird’s eye view. It’s not common to have this viewpoint in a battle royale, but it does give you a better idea of what’s going on around you. That said, it’s not as immersive as some of the others.
Once on the ground, you’ll need to hunt for equipment orbs, which contain weapons, items, health potions, and new abilities. There are also merchant stalls in various locations around the map, but standing at one too long will make you an easy target for other players. As the game goes on, the map area will begin to shrink. If you go outside of this area, you will be sucked up by the Death Vortex. So best to stay inside the lines.
- Good loot balancing. Amount of loot balances with how much you have to work to get it.
- Fun cast of Champions
- Success is dependent on where you initially spawn; some spots are better than others
- Long load times before each round
4. Planetside Arena
Available On: PlayStation 4, Microsoft Windows
Planetside Arena is a battle royale game for those who want a game with a higher level of challenge. If you’re a beginner to the genre, then you may want to start on something a bit more casual. It’s different from any other battle royales and incredibly fast-paced, which is what veteran gamers crave. For this reason, we’ve included it as one of the best battle royale games on the market.
Different from other games, you’ll begin fully stocked with equipment. You’ll have the necessary weapons and armor already when you drop from a starship with your squad of 12 players. On the ship, you’ll have the opportunity to test out the different class options and get the hang of the controls. While this sounds like it would benefit newbies, all bets are off once you drop into the map. When you’re on the ground, you can find higher-grade weapons and armored vehicles, that adds a level of savagery to the gameplay. Other features you can collect are orbital airstrikes, which will instantly eliminate those within its radius. It’s a nightmare for those who don’t know what they’re doing.
If you have the experience, the addition of these more powerful weapon options provides a welcome challenge. There can be up to 300 players in each round, which ups the stakes, even more, You’ll have to keep your wits about you to survive attacks coming at you from all angles. You can also unlock blueprints for new weapons by gaining XP and collect nanite, which can be used as currency to purchase guns. There is an option to revive fallen members of your team by collecting nanite as well.
- Begin the game fully equipped
- Tons of cool vehicle options
- Opportunity to try different classes
- Not great for beginners
- Confusing and messy when you first get dropped in
5. Ring of Elysium
Available On: Microsoft Windows
Tencent Games, the developers of Ring of Elysium, have approached the battle royale genre differently, and we love it. They’ve created a unique story behind the game. It goes beyond just being thrown in an arena to fight to the death. They combined the classic battle royale elements with player vs. environment elements that make this title one of the best battle royale games you can get.
Rather than be exclusively combat-focused, the game puts the players in a bitter environment. Natural disasters plague the map, from volcanic eruptions and hurricanes to snowstorms that threaten to wipe the players from existence. The goal is to find the rescue plane and get the hell out of this place. The catch is that the aircraft only has four seats. You will need to be one of the first four players to reach the plane, by any means necessary, which is where the battle royale comes in. You’ll have to take out other players with any scavenged weapons you can find to prevent them from making it to the plane before you.
There are some super cool elements to this game. Various items you will find throughout the map will help you get to the plane faster and save you from the elements. These include BMX bikes, gliders, snowboard, and grappling hooks. Each item enables you to find creative ways to reach your destination. There are 60 players total in each round, and you can choose from two different maps, Dione or Europa.
- Realistic weather simulations
- Gives the players a goal rather than only to kill
- Simple loot system
- Graphics aren’t the best
6. Realm Royale
Available On: PlayStation 4, Nintendo Switch, Xbox One, Microsoft Windows
With the ability to play on a variety of consoles, Realm Royale is an extremely popular battle royale. Its simple, fun gameplay style is excellent for beginners or more advanced players. Realm Royale brings a breath of fresh air to the genre, with comical elements and cartoony characters while still staying true to the battle royale concept.
There are 100 players in each round, made up of five different classes. The class options are Mage, Assassin, Hunter, Engineer, and Warrior, each with individual strengths and weaknesses that can change the outcome of the game. Different from other battle royales, Realm Royale incorporates magical elements into the gameplay. Crafting is also used in this title to upgrade and make weaponry, but it does take you out of play for a short period. Which means you’re left open to attack.
There are a few cool features that are signature to Realm Royale. There are Forges, at which you can break down weapons and items and use them to enhance other things. In other games, once you collect all the weapons and loot on the map, that’s it. It can lead to a bit of a lull in the game when there’s nothing else to collect. In Realm Royale, you eliminate that problem with Forges.
Additionally, when you die, you turn into a chicken. You’ll stay a chicken for 20 seconds in which time you can run from enemies, or peck at them if you want. Enemies will need to kill your chicken within the 20 seconds to remove you from the game. If they don’t, then you’ll turn back into a human again.
- Innovative class system
- Forges to alter and upgrade weapons
- Turn into a chicken when you die
- Classes are slightly unbalanced (some are better than others)
7. Dying Light: Bad Blood
Available On: PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Microsoft Windows, Linux, Macintosh operating systems
What would any gaming genre be without a good ol’ zombie game? Dying Light: Bad Blood gives gamers the battle royale style the love, with the added task of not getting eaten by zombies. Techland, the developers, are calling their game ‘Brutal Royale.’
Rather than some of the massive battle royales with hundreds of players, this game only includes 12. Your goal is to collect blood samples from a string of zombie hangouts, which will eventually spawn a helicopter to get you out of there. You’ll face the dilemma of whether to team up with other players or go at it on your own. In the end, only one can win, but you may increase your chances by letting the stragglers get picked off first while you work with another player until only a few players remain.
You can steal blood samples from other players who have collected them. On the other hand, they will also try to take yours. With the addition of tons of blood-thirsty zombies, you’ll always need to keep your wits about you. Dissimilar to other battle royales, you can’t just go and find someplace to hideout while the rest pick each other off. Firstly, the zombies will find you, regardless of where you’re hiding. Secondly, you will need the blood samples, which will help increase your damage output and also your health. You need to reach a certain amount of blood samples to spawn the helicopter, so there’s no time to waste.
- Fast-paced gameplay
- Only 12 players in each round
- Gameplay can get repetitive when you’re playing multiple rounds.
8. Super Animal Royale
Available On: Microsoft Windows, Macintosh operating systems
We’re going out on a limb with this pick. It’s very different from any others on our list, but equally as fun for many reasons. Super Animal Royale combines fighting to the death with cute and cuddly animals. Weird combination, but it works. Although Realm Royale and Fortnite integrate cartoonish-like aspects, SAR takes it to an extreme level.
You’ll drop into the arena from a huge carrier duck where you’ll need to scavenge for equipment and vehicles. Of course, you can’t expect tanks and ATVs in this alternate universe. You’ll be piloting the likes of hamster balls around this map, which can kill others when you run over them. There are 64 players total in each game. In the beginning, you’ll have limited character choice options. But eventually, you can choose your character from 50 different animal breeds, along with over 100 cosmetic modifications for each. You’ll unlock the full range of options with experience points that you gain from continuous play.
You play the game with an above the ground view, so you’ll be able to see what’s going on in the area immediately surrounding you. The aiming can be a bit tricky from this view, so if you can grab yourself a hamster ball and plow over people, you might have more luck. The wide range of weapons also includes traps like banana peels, which you can drop on the ground for others to slip on. Another trap option is the Fog of War, which allows for less visibility while it’s active and gives you a second to strategize.
- Cute woodland creatures
- Hamster wheel vehicles
- More laid-back than others
- Not a ton of weapons options
- Hard to aim in the birds’ eye view
9. Darwin Project
Available On: Microsoft Windows and Xbox One
Darwin Project takes place at the beginning of an Ice Age on Earth. Partially an experiment and partially entertainment, Darwin Project is a reality TV show that pits contestants against each other. Set within the Canadian Rocky Mountain range, the contestants need to survive the cold weather and survive each other.
The twisted reality show is overseen by an AI they call The Director, who is controlled by another gamer. Whoever controls The Director can give favor to contestants, bestowing them with useful abilities or granting them a blast of healing. If you displease The Director, then you’ll likely not be around much longer. The Director observes gameplay and will probably reward those who use a cunning strategy. You’re against nine other contestants, which makes 11 players total in each round (The Director + 10 contestants).
The game combines the battle royale structure with wilderness survival, as well. You need to craft fires for warmth, while also scavenging for weapons and items you can use to win. Just be aware, when you make a fire, you will leave a trail behind you, which others can use to track your whereabouts. Compared to other battle royale games, you get a chance to use strategy in Darwin Project. As you go along, you’ll learn things you can use to your advantage in the environment.
- Wilderness survival element
- Great graphics
- Director is uncontrollable, and can hugely sway the game based on their decisions
Available On: PlayStation 4, Nintendo Switch, Android, Xbox One, iOS, Microsoft Windows, Macintosh operating systems
You knew it was coming. How could our list be complete without the phenomenon Fortnite? Though PUBG was officially the first battle royale released, Fortnite sparks constant debates on which is the best one. The reality is, they are both excellent in different ways. Where PUBG is more realistic and hardcore, Fortnite implements more innovative game modes and colorful characters. Epic Games is well known for pushing the boundaries, and that’s what they are doing with Fortnite.
The environment is extremely interactive. Resources can be harvested to build a wide variety of things. You can construct houses that you can hide out in, strengthen walls, and craft traps to catch your enemies. If there’s a mountain in your way, no worries, build a ramp. The customizable and interactive terrain means the creative possibilities are endless.
A total of 100 players will skydive into the small island on which Fortnite takes place. All you have when you begin is an ax, and you must hunt the map to find weapons and other resources. You will be able to see each time a player dies as it will flash up on your screen, including the cause of death. As players are eliminated, the map will get smaller, pushing all your enemies closer to you, until you’re forced to face off with the remaining opponents. But only one will leave the island alive.
What keeps players coming back from more is their constant addition of new modes, map changes, and equipment upgrades. Which means no two games will ever be the same. For this reason, Fortnite is one of the most addicting, but best battle royale games, hands down.
- Weekly updates with new maps and upgrades
- Highly interactive environment
- Fun, cartoony graphics
- Highly addictive
Within the few years since the genre’s inception, battle royale titles are popping up left, right and center. With innovations introduced every day, we know that the genre will continue to grow and can’t wait to see what else is in store. Regardless of if you like realistic, gory shooters or cute, cuddly animals, there’s a battle royale game that will fit your style. The titles above are the ten best battle royale games in today’s market and are an excellent place to start when exploring this genre