What are the best Fortnite weapons and loot you should be looking out for?
Getting to grips with Fortnite weapons is a must if you want to excel in Epic’s battle royale shooter.
Though given the situation most weapons will be useful, some are undoubtedly better than others, whether it’s for close-up play or at a distance.
After you’ve worked out the many Fortnite loot sources available, it’s a case of choosing the best weapons – with our page helping you decide which to pick up, which to leave behind, and which to practice with to eventually win that well-earned Victory Royale.
Update: As of July 17, the Tactical Submachine Gun has been added to the Fortnite vault, to be replaced by the ‘regular’ Submachine Gun. We’ll have our impressions of where it sits after some playtime in the coming days, but in the meantime, we can offer SMG stats to know what you’re getting as a replacement.
Fortnite SMG stats: What you need to know about the new Submachine Gun
The latest weapon to be added to Fortnite is the Submachine Gun, or SMG. The weapon is described by developer Epic Games as follows:
“Make enemies think twice before they push you. Run and gun with the new Submachine Gun, ideal for those intense close range battles.”
Here are the raw SMG stats:
Available as a Common, Uncommon and Rare weapon
19-21 base damage
Uses light ammo, with a 30 round capacity
Found in chests and on the floor
Our picks for the best weapons in Fortnite
You could argue about the ins and outs of weapon stats all day and which is the best based on hard, cold numbers but what’s really important is how they perform in combat. For example, just because the M4 Assault Rifle has the highest DPS in the game, it doesn’t mean it’s going to outshine a Rocket Launcher in the final circle.
Weapon ranking changes based on strategy and the current situation, therefore your play style often determines what guns work best for you. We’ve rounded up our favourite guns from each category based on how they perform when playing a match.
The AR is every player’s essential weapon for scoring fast kills during medium-range skirmishes due to its spacious 30-round magazine. They can be used during close-range combat, but they don’t pack as much of a punch as other gun types. The SCAR – the Legendary variant of the AR – is our favourite of the bunch as it packs a massive 198 damage-per-second output, although it has a slightly slower reload speed compared to its Common, Uncommon and Rare brothers. If you’re unable to find the elusive Legendary beast then the Burst Assault Rifle almost as good.
If you’ve just dropped and the Common or Uncommon M4 Assault Rifle is the only gun you can grab, you’ll be at an advantage during medium to long range combat but maybe consider running away if your opponent has a shotgun because your chances of prevailing during an ambush is slim.
The Thermal Scoped AR is also a fantastic contender, although it unfortunately has a heavy recoil so make sure you tap-fire instead of holding down when shooting it. It comes in Epic and Legendary variants and gives you a gigantic advantage over other players even if you don’t use it to shoot as its thermal scope shows unopened chests, Supply Drops and enemy heat signatures.
Lastly, the Scoped AR is our favourite weapon in the mobile version of Fortnite specifically since it works wonderfully with the game’s aim assist. It also packs 100% accuracy so it’s a great gun for those who struggle with staying accurate consistently. Just make sure you use it at medium to long range as it sadly has a slow fire rate.
The Tactical Submachine Gun is the best gun for early circles because it has a huge fire rate compared to others, meaning it can deal almost as much harm as more powerful, slower weapons despite having a low damage output. It comes in Uncommon, Rare and Epic versions and all three pack a punch – the latter is the one you want though as it deals a whopping 260 damage-per-second as opposed to the base variant’s 234.
Update: As of July 17, the Tactical Submachine Gun has been added to the Fortnite vault, and is instead replaced by the ‘regular’ Submachine Gun. We’ll have our impressions of where it sits after some playtime soon.
Packing a gigantic 50-round magazine, our favourite is the recently added Rifle-SMG hybrid, the Drum Gun. With its Rare variant firing at a rate of 27, it’s fantastic for tearing down structures quickly – perfect for the final handful of circles.
Whilst the Minigun isn’t the best gun to use during combat due to its delayed firing, it is perfect for ripping opponents’ forts to shreds, even if they’re reinforced due to its unlimited magazine and absolutely no reload time. Our favourite machine gun is the Light Machine Gun though as it is incredible in close-range combat due to its 100-bullet magazine.
It doesn’t work too well when in long-range combat though so you’re better off switching to a different gun type entirely if you want a chance at winning a brawl against a foe with a more suitable weapon.
If long-range distance combat is your thing, then the Bolt-Action Sniper Rifle is your best friend. It’s the best sniper rifle in the game in our opinion as it can obliterate opponents with a single headshot, even if they have maximum health and shields.
It does have a really slow reload time, however, so make sure you’re either high above your opponent (such as on a mountain) or that they’re unaware of your location before you take a shot at them to avoid being taken out whilst you reload your single bullet.
The Suppressed Pistol is one of the best guns for the very early circles as it allows you to get the drop on opponents from medium-range and eliminate them silently without alerting others to your location, working in your favor if you’re in a crowded area. It’s especially effective when trying to be sneaky as firing it from a hidden spot such as a bush or behind a car will confuse your foe when it comes to figuring out where the shots are coming from.
If you’re after a weapon that packs a punch at close-range then the Dual Pistol is a great choice as it takes only two headshots to kill off a fully healed and shielded enemy, with a shot to the chest taking a third of their health. The more common Pistol is also a fair contender if it’s all you can find as it has a heavy DPS at 155 through to 169 depending on rarity.
It’s difficult to say what shotgun is the best overall, since they’re very similar in how they perform. The Tactical Shotgun is semi-automatic and has a fast fire rate, whilst the Pump Shotgun has a more powerful shot but a slower fire rate. Both have the capability to finish off a non-shielded foe with a single shot regardless of weapon rarity.
We’ve found that if you have both in your inventory, taking an initial shot with the Pump and then switching to the Tactical works incredibly well compared to just using one or the other.
If you don’t have both, then make sure you’re always equipped with a backup assault rifle or other fast-spraying weapon, in case you miss your shot and need something with a higher fire rate to stand a chance at winning the fight. As for the Heavy Shotgun, it has a higher range than the other two, making it more suitable for the mid to late game when you’ll be moving away from close-quarter combat. It also has fires more rounds.
Our favourite, the Rocket Launcher, is absolutely fantastic for the final few circles, as not only does it have an incredible range, it completely rips opponents’ bases to shreds.
It’s common knowledge that if you see a rocket flying towards you and you don’t have time or the space to run away, you’re pretty much guaranteed to be wiped out instantly. You can also ride on rockets too, which is always a blast when playing in with teammates in a Duo or Squads.
The Grenade Launcher requires more precision when firing its grenades due to the need to get the aim and trajectory just right to get them to land at the desired point. Be careful not to wipe yourself out too, since one wrong move and the grenade will show no mercy in bouncing back into your face and end your game there and then.
It is a mighty little thing when used in the right situation though, such as firing into a camper’s spot or into the bottom of enemy structures.
Fortnite weapon tier list
Is it possible to rank the various weapons in the game into a single list? We’ve given it a go with our Fortnite weapon tier list, giving you an idea of which weapons to definitely keep, and which to consider dropping as you approach the end game.
Legendary Assault Rifle (SCAR)
Epic Assault Rifle (SCAR)
Legendary Bolt-Action Sniper Rifle
Epic Bolt-Action Sniper Rifle
Rare Bolt-Action Sniper Rifle
Legendary Rocket Launcher
Epic Rocket Launcher
Rare Rocket Launcher
Rare Pump Shotgun
Uncommon Pump Shotgun
Legendary Thermal Scoped Assault Rifle
Epic Thermal Scoped Assault Rifle
Legendary Grenade Launcher
Epic Grenade Launcher
Legendary Dual Pistols
Rare Burst Assault Rifle
Epic Scoped Assault Rifle
Rare Tactical Shotgun
Epic Dual Pistols
Legendary Heavy Shotgun
Epic Tactical Submachine Gun
Legendary Semi-Automatic Sniper Rifle
Epic Light Machine Gun
Rare Drum Gun
Uncommon Drum Gun
Legendary Hand Cannon
Rare Assault Rifle (M4)
Rare Scoped Assault Rifle
Rare Hunting Rifle
Uncommon Tactical Shotgun
Epic Heavy Shotgun
Rare Tactical Submachine Gun
Epic Semi-Automatic Sniper Rifle
Uncommon Hunting Rifle
Epic Hand Cannon
Legendary Suppressed Pistol
Rare Light Machine Gun
Uncommon Assault Rifle (M4)
Common Assault Rifle (M4)
Common Tactical Shotgun
Uncommon Burst Assault Rifle
Common Burst Assault Rifle
Uncommon Tactical Submachine Gun
Epic Suppressed Pistol
Rare Suppressed Submachine Gun
Uncommon Submachine Gun
Common Submachine Gun
Topping our list is the SCAR Assault Rifle which is, in our opinion, the best all-round weapon in the game. It deals more damage than other assault rifles, but more importantly has faster reload times and very little recoil. While a Pump Shotgun would beat a SCAR in most close-quarter battles, the majority of the mid / late game is spent traversing the land as the circle shrinks and pushes you towards the center.
Above any other weapon, the SCAR is the most versatile and will perform the best in most situations. In the late game, particularly the final circle, the Bolt Action Rifle is a great counter to the SCAR or Rocket Launcher. In a long-range fight where you have cover, the Bolt Action Sniper Rifle can easily overpower the SCAR, especially if you get the drop on an opponent who is popping their head up to return fire on another player.
The Rocket Launcher is the best of both worlds, as it’s the perfect tool to destroy forts, and a weapon that can deal immense damage when it directly hits an opponent.
Rounding out our Best list is the Rare Pump Shotgun, which dominates in the early phase of matches, particularly the looting phase where a lot of players will be in closed quarter battles. Quickly switching to the Pump Shotgun can secure you a Victory Royale, as the benefits of other weapons will be diminished as the distance closes.
In the Strong category, we have the Thermal Scoped AR at the top. It’s great for all phases in the game as it can be used as a scouting tool. The Legendary Grenade Launcher is great for fishing enemies out if they are hunkered down in a closed quarter section or in their fort in the late game. Unlike the Rocket Launcher, it has a delayed explosion, and that can make it somewhat unpredictable.
Other honorary mentions include the Legendary Hand Cannon. It’s heavy damage output of 78 body and 156 head damage puts it up there with the Shotgun class. Another is the Rare Assault Rifle, while not the strongest assaults rifle in the game, is commonly found in the early game, has all-round solid stats and has the potential to take you far into the mid game.
Lastly, Hunting Rifle is the middle ground between the Bolt Action’s high damage output and the Semi-Automatic’s higher fire rate. While it’s still a single shot, it’s quick reload time of 1.7 seconds, makes it more forgiving for less skilled players, but just as deadly.