Well, folks, it's high time to tackle what is currently the hottest debate within the battle royale fandom, if not the gaming industry at large. Between the immensely popular Fortnite, and the newest contender for the coveted battle royale crown, Apex Legends, which one's doing it better?
While Apex Legends' player count is soaring in a way that can only be described as meteoric, Fortnite has risen once again to surpass it in terms of Twitch viewership. And sure, player counts and streaming popularity are great indicators concerning how well a game is doing with audience interest and retention, but how do the games themselves hold up when compared side by side? What are the fundamental differences, unique quirks, and fine details that really determine where a player's going to get his or her battle royale fix?
Well, those are the very questions we're here to answer today, so join me as we work our way through fifteen things Apex Legends is doing better than Fortnite, and fifteen things Fortnite clearly has the edge on. Which way do you lean? Apex or Fortnite? Let us know what tipped you towards your go-to battle royale experience in the comments!
30 Apex Wins: Better Weapons & Gunplay
While Fortnite has a slightly bigger and crazier selection of firearms, Apex's spread of unique and modular weaponry takes a clear advantage. This shouldn't really come as a surprise when you're talking about the development team that brought us Titanfall.
Respawn's veteran status when it comes to first-person shooters is on full display, with each weapon handling like a dream, especially when you can scrounge up your favorite modifications (something that Fortnite lacks entirely). Grab a Peacekeeper and throw on a digital threat scope alongside a precision choke hop up, then look me in the eye and tell me that you prefer Fortnite's incredibly straightforward and bland shotgun.
29 Fornite Does It Better: The Building Mechanics
This is probably the biggest and most obvious edge that Fortnite carries over Apex, as the latter really has nothing to offer that compares to it.
Sure, it's frustrating to snap off a well placed shot at an opponent, only to watch as your target somehow manages to instantaneously evolve into a twelve story shopping mall complete with a combination Pizza Hut and Taco Bell in the food court. But this makes it really easy to forget that it's probably really satisfying to be the guy that built that seemingly impregnable fortress and is now chortling at you between sips of Orange Julius.
28 Apex Wins: It Brought Respawning To Battle Royale
Apex Legends really shook up the battle royale scene with several new spins on the tried and true formula, chief among which is the ability to respawn your fallen comrades if you can manage to deliver their banner tag to a respawn beacon.
Of course, Fortnite is actively working to adapt that mechanic after seeing how well received it was in Apex. I mean, I can't hold it against them. In order to succeed, you need to give the players what they want. But Apex is the game that brought it to the table, and they need to get the credit they're due for that innovation.
27 Fornite Does It Better: There Are More Ways To Play (Game Modes)
Sometimes, you're really not in the mood to be social. And as it is right now, you really have no choice but to work with a team if you want to queue up for Apex. This isn't the case for Fortnite.
You can run by yourself, with a friend, or a whole squad of friends. And there are still further variations that you're free to play around with at any time. While there's been plenty of talk concerning Apex introducing further game types in the future, the fact of the matter is that Fortnite has them beat until that nebulous date we call "the future" actually gets here.
26 Apex Wins: Legendary Characters
Combining a unique roster of characters that would seem at home in hero shooters like Overwatch or the MOBA scene with a battle royale format may not seem like the most obvious recipe for success. But as Apex's immense popularity would seem to indicate, it definitely strikes a chord with audiences.
Whether it's Bloodhound's somber dedication to the hunt, Pathfinder's hilariously quirky positive outlook, or Mirage's impressive level of self-absorption, there's sure to be a legend you feel some level of personal connection with. And though Fortnite's character customization is top notch, they're more avatars than they are characters, with no real personality for players to identify with.
25 Fornite Does It Better: More Character Customization
Apex's skins and cosmetics look pretty awesome. I won't argue that point. But Fortnite offers players a much bigger selection of customization options. And while some of them are pretty weird, that's kind of the point, you get to make your character look however you want, regardless of aesthetics or ridiculousness.
If you want to pull a Mary Poppins and drop into battle utilizing a custom umbrella rather than a glider, you can do that. Feel like dressing up as a 70's flower child or the easter bunny? All perfectly legitimate and hilarious choices when you're talking Fortnite.
24 Apex Wins: Better Graphics & Detailed Aesthetics
Sure, Fortnite's cartoonish nature has its own appeal, but the level of detail and graphical fidelity in Apex Legends absolutely comes out on top. I mean, it's not even really a contest.
Fortnite feels more like a canvas than anything. Empty filler material takes up a considerable portion of the map and the models are pretty light on fine details, where almost everything in Apex is rich with detail and handcrafted to create unique combat situations in every locale and truly immerse the player into the environment.
23 Fornite Does It Better: Friendlier Towards Younger Audiences
While Apex Legends' more visceral and realistic details aren't too alarming by any means, they're definitely just a little bit more intense than Fortnite's cartoonish and comparatively lighthearted depictions.
Of course, this is a subjective consideration that could fall one way or the other, and we've taken that into account. But when it comes down to appealing towards as wide of an audience as possible, this factor definitely leans in Fortnite's favor, and it shows when you look at the player count.
22 Apex Wins: It's Better With Friends
As it stands, Apex is a dedicated team experience, with the entirety of the gameplay centered and balanced around enjoying the game with a three-man squad. This makes it absolutely perfect for gathering up your gaming friends and dropping in to stomp the competition cooperatively.
I'm definitely not saying that Fortnite isn't fun when played with your buddies, but the team experience is currently Apex's bread and butter. The characters and their associated skills are tailored to work within a team. It shows, it shines, and it pulls out far ahead of Fortnite in that respect.
21 Fortnite Does It Better: It Has Better Seasonal Content
There's been absolutely no shortage of complaints when it comes to Apex's first season of content, namely the lack of actual content.
But Fortnite's been doing this for a while, and having grown used to its state of constant evolution, it knows what to bring its players with every new season. Packing in new weapons, tons of cosmetics, map locations, and more, every season provides more than enough incentive to actually buy into Fortnite's Battle Pass. Meanwhile, the actual worth of Apex's remains in heated debate.
20 Apex Wins: Fewer Keybinds Necessary
Lacking Fortnite's wider array of game mechanics, namely building, can turn off some players looking for a bigger experience involving sandbox elements. However, it also makes for a streamlined game that doesn't require as much in terms of micromanaging your controls.
Even console players can feel like they absolutely need to invest in a mouse and keyboard to stay competitive, and not just for the more sensitive and responsive aiming capabilities. Having a keyboard goes a long way in a build-off. Meanwhile, Apex controls are simple enough to translate well onto a controller and won't necessitate juggling keybinds for a keyboard.
19 Fortnite Does It Better: You Can Use Vehicles
Fortnite has a generous selection of vehicles to ride into battle if you're in the mood for a little mechanized mayhem, with Apex having absolutely nothing to show in that department.
Although there have been rumors floating around concerning Titanfall's titular Titans eventually making an appearance, as of now the only vehicles featured in Apex aren't interactive beyond serving as solid cover in a pinch. And that falls quite a bit short of what Fortnite has on the table, to say the least.
18 Apex Wins: Perspective: First Person Is Better
Sure, yeah, this is mostly a subjective consideration. But since I'm the one writing this list, first-person wins out over third-person when it comes to fun and immersion in a battle royale title, because my impeccable taste in gaming translates into impeccable opinions.
Besides, it's super annoying when your opponents can keep an eye on you without breaking cover by abusing the camera angles. Respawn stuck to their guns and did what they do best here – produce an excellent first-person shooter experience.
17 Fortnite Does It Better: Cross-Platform Play And Availability
Cross-platform play is becoming a hotter topic by the day, and Fortnite is decidedly ahead of the curve when it comes to resolving the console wars.
There's also the matter of it being available on a greater spread of platforms than Apex, thanks largely to its presence on mobile. And although there's been some fairly serious talk of cross-platform play for Apex, as of right now it's still just talk, while Fortnite has already made the leap and is one of the leading titles paving the way in that arena.
16 Apex Wins: Excellent Loot & Inventory Systems
While looting was never really all that "difficult" in Fortnite, Apex Legends went above and beyond to streamline the experience and ensure that it did as little as possible to impede the action.
There's no need to worry about getting crafting materials, and superior weapon attachments automatically slot into your weapons as you gather them. It's also incredibly easy to tell what you need and what you don't at a glance, allowing you to keep your momentum as you chase after the next victory.
15 Fornite Does It Better: There Are Lots Of Crazy Special Events
Given Apex's recent arrival to the scene, it hardly seems fair to judge it by the minor events it's been testing the water with. However, if they're any indication of what's to come, Fortnite has it beat by miles.
Fortnite's inherently wacky nature also leaves it free to pull off the truly ridiculous, with the Thanos crossover event serving as one of very many perfect examples of the sort of crazy stuff that Epic likes to bring to its enthusiastic fanbase.
14 Apex Wins: Lore & Story Elements
This is an edge that it holds over the greater majority of the battle royale scene, honestly. But regardless, the fact that Apex Legends takes place in the fleshed out and well developed Titanfall universe is an immense credit.
All of the characters have backgrounds, motivations and (mostly) endearing personalities, and the Apex tournament itself has an in-game legacy that makes it feel every bit as epic as it should be. Fortnite's "lore" feels more like a tacked-on story to help explain and market the cosmetic additions to the game, and isn't all that fulfilling.
13 Fortnite Does It Better: It's Still More Popular By A Wide Margin
Apex is growing fast, and managed to threaten to outgrow Fortnite's popularity on Twitch in a very real way, especially in the weeks following its explosion into the gaming world. But the viewership has declined significantly since then.
And if we look at the raw numbers, Fortnite boasts an incredible 250 million registered accounts as of March, 2019. That's five times the number of accounts reported by Apex in the first month. While Apex may continue to grow exponentially over the next year, the fact of the matter is that it has an awful long way to go.
12 Apex Wins: The Contextual Ping System
The contextual ping system makes team communication a breeze, allowing players to highlight choice pieces of loot, point out landmarks, suggest destinations and draw attention to enemy squads with a single click or button press. In some cases, it's actually more effective than utilizing a microphone.
While Fortnite did eventually end up imitating this wildly successful mechanic, there's no denying that Apex did it first. You know you're doing something right when your leading competitor can't seem to quit copying your style.
11 Fortnite Does It Better: The Environments Are Actually Destructible
When you've got an enemy player pinned down behind a particularly troublesome piece of cover, being able to remove that obstacle is an incredibly gratifying experience. And with Fortnite, it's usually something that you can pull off.
But in Apex? Even the most rickety wooden shack will serve as an impenetrable fortress inside of which your opponents can hide, heal up and try to wait you out. The closest you can come to environmental destruction is kicking doors into splinters, and that only goes so far.
10 Apex Wins: Movement & Getting Around Feel Much Better
Respawn Entertainment definitely took more than one page from their experiences with Titanfall into consideration when developing Apex Legends, and nowhere is this more evident than Apex's movement system.
It may lack some of the wilder parkour aspects, such as wallrunning, but sprinting, climbing, jumping, and sliding your way around the map look and feel amazing. Did we even mention Pathfinder's ziplines? It's very rare that you'll feel limited by your options here, and it adds a fun dynamic to combat that many battle royale games, including Fortnite, find themselves lacking.
9 Fornite Does It Better: Microtransactions
One of Apex's major criticisms from launch has been how outrageously expensive the cosmetic purchases tend to be. One particular streamer dumped over $500 into loot boxes out of curiosity, and found themselves fairly disappointed with the result. But hey, at least they did get the item set they were after! For however much that consolation is worth to someone that just depleted their bank account by half a grand.
While Fortnite's cash shop isn't exactly cheap, the pricing is more or less on par with what's to be expected and hasn't come under nearly as much critical fire as a result. There's also a much bigger selection of items to choose from.
8 Apex Wins: More Action, Faster Pace
With all things considered, the smaller size of Apex's Kings Canyon actually works to its advantage in several ways, chief among which is the significant reduction of downtime between bouts of combat.
Players are much more likely to get into the fight faster with less space to cover. When you pair this with the much quicker pacing of Apex's combat in general, you end up with adrenaline-fueled, fast-paced matches that will keep you glued to the action the entire time.
7 Fortnite Does It Better: A Bigger Map That Stays Fresh
What more is there to say? For some people, bigger is just better. It's a pretty simple equation.
There's something to be said about Apex's more detailed map, but Fortnite gives you more to explore, which is something most people have a really difficult time actually complaining about. Furthermore, the map is consistently updated with new and exciting locations for players to explore and squabble over. Apex hasn't been on the scene long, but for dedicated players, Kings Canyon may already be getting just a little stale.
6 Apex Wins: A Focused Battle Royale Experience
There are quite a few unique and fun gameplay mechanics Fortnite brings to the table that Apex simply doesn't. However, this allows Apex to focus on what really matters - combat, combat, and more combat.
This is a pretty big deal, given that it makes up the bulk of a battle royale title's appeal. You may not be able to erect an impressive skyscraper in Apex Legends, but the squad based combat is so intricate and well thought-out that no two fights will ever turn out the same. Except for the one where you drop into a weaponless loot zone and end up in a fist fight with two other unarmed squads. That's probably going to happen more than once. Just saying.
5 Fortnite Does It Better: More Potential Players Per Match
This another one of those cut and dry, matter of fact differences that really is just as simple as it seems. There are more people to meet and conquer per match of Fortnite than there are in Apex Legends, and by a fairly large margin.
There's a difference of forty players, to be a little more precise. That's the equivalent of nearly fourteen entire squads, from Apex's perspective, making for a pretty considerable crowd of people that are being left out.
4 Apex Wins: Game Changing Abilities
The hero shooter genre's influence on Apex Legends combines with the battle royale format quite brilliantly, and each character's unique set of abilities impacts the battlefield in a big and dynamic way.
Both Gibraltar and Bangalore can rain their respective brands of visually impressive heavy artillery to bring some real chaos to the fight, while Bloodhound can unveil players waiting in ambush and track down runners. And that's just the tip of the iceberg, with nine characters to choose from currently, and many more being worked in as we speak.
3 Fortnite Does It Better: It Doesn't Take Itself Too Seriously
While Apex's gritty Sci-Fi pseudo-realism is definitely one of its primary strengths, Fortnite's less intense nature gives it a far more accessible, casual-friendly appeal and allows it to pull off some of the stranger, wilder and sillier components of the game that have become its hallmarks.
Gigantic hamster bubble as a vehicle? Sure. Bacon as a crafting material? Absolutely. Functional pirate cannons? Toss 'em in. The sky is the limit when it comes to what might turn up in Fortnite next, and the unexpected is always welcome.
2 Apex Wins: Epic Finishing Moves
While you can't exactly dance in Apex Legends (and face it, we got more than enough of that out of Fortnite), what you can do is perform incredibly stylish and awesome finishing moves on downed opponents.
You do have to unlock some of the cooler finishing moves as incredibly rare legendary cosmetics, and that can be a bit of a drag. But until you've either managed to get lucky or hoarded enough crafting metals, the base finishing move for each character should provide plenty of entertainment.
1 Fortnite Does It Better: You Can Dance If You Want To
This is a pretty divisive topic. Depending on who you are, it's either the most unquestionably annoying facet of Fortnite's existence, or it's one of the funniest and most addictive developments in gaming history.
Performing unique, funny or quirky emotes isn't a new thing by any stretch of the imagination, but rarely has it ever blossomed into a pop culture phenomenon in the way that Fortnite dances have. It's become such a massive fad that it's even managed to invade the court room more than once, bringing on several lawsuits involving stolen intellectual property.