Fortnite can be a difficult game to wrap your head around — there are so many weapons, modes, costumes, and statistics to keep in mind that it’s easy to see why so many people feel like they’ll never come out on top. But for beginners and veterans alike, knowing which weapon to use can be the difference between first one out and last man standing. We ranked all 24 Fortnite weapon types on a criteria based on their range, damage output, utility in different game modes, and ease of use.
While regular pistols are pretty easy to use for new players, their damage output is relatively weak compared to other pistols such as hand cannons and dual pistols. They also suffer from weak damage spread and can be overpowered pretty easily by SMGs or shotguns.
23 Suppressed Pistol
Like regular pistols, suppressed pistols simply can’t match up to weapons with higher DPS and more ease of use. Headshots while in close combat can make the suppressed pistol useful, but that’s reserved for more seasoned players.
22 Infantry Rifle
The infantry rifle is essentially a cross between an assault rifle and a sniper rifle, making for a gun that’s a lesser version of both — less damage than a sniper rifle and slower firing speed than an assault rifle. The mag size and high skill ceiling make this a gun to avoid for new players.
21 Flint-Knock Pistol
In the right hands, the flint-knock pistol can deal a lot of damage, but it loses serious points for its tendency to knock players back after each shot. That, coupled with the need to reload after every shot, make this one of the weaker pistols in the game.
20 Heavy Assault Rifle
Those favoring high damage will likely rank this gun much higher on their list, but the heavy assault rifle suffers in pretty much every other category — fire rate, clip size, and time needed to reload all pale in comparison to more versatile assault rifles.
19 Dual Pistols
As you can see by now, pistols are far from the game’s best weapons. Their damage output and uselessness at long ranges make pretty much every other gun out there preferable. Low accuracy and unreliable bloom put dual pistols firmly in the bottom tier of Fortnite weapons, though its quick rate of fire can be useful early-game.
18 Scoped Assault Rifle
The scoped assault rifle can be useful in the right hands, especially for headshots, but its low damage can’t compare to the better assault rifles out there. As players build structures as the game progresses and headshots become more difficult, the scoped assault rifle loses pretty much all viability. Avoid.
17 Heavy Shotgun
While only available in Playground and Creative modes, the heavy shotgun is far from the worst weapon in Fortnite. It’s got the best range out of all the shotguns in the game, but frankly, choosing a shotgun for long-range combat is not the best idea. Stick with a sniper or assault rifle.
16 Tactical Shotgun
The tactical shotgun has low damage compared to the much-preferred pump shotgun, but its high rate of fire makes it arguably a better choice for new players. However, its usefulness when compared to other weapons like assault rifles and SMGs is pretty weak.
15 Thermal Scoped Assault Rifle
The more useful cousin of the scoped assault rifle, this weapon has the peculiar perk of highlighting enemies even behind cover. It also has higher damage than the scoped assault rifle, making it much more useful. Still, it can’t compete with other assault rifles when it comes to close range combat.
The minigun is unlike any other weapon in the game in that its rate of fire is pretty much unbeatable. This is a mixed bag, because it means a pretty heavy damage output but it can also eat through your ammo supply quickly. The minigun is best used to knock down structures — save its light ammo for other weapons like SMGs and the revolver.
13 Scoped Revolver
The revolver’s scope can be useful in the right hands, and its high damage output (especially for headshots) make it one of the more powerful pistols in the game. Its usefulness is mainly in long-range combat, which makes it useful at the beginning of a match — switch out to something else once the match progresses.
12 Hunting Rifle
Like the infantry rifle, the hunting rifle combines a lot of the features of the assault rifle and sniper rifle, and while both of those weapons are a better choice, the hunting rifle can be useful for mid-range combat, and its relatively quick reload time for sniper rifles make it a more forgiving alternative.
11 Suppressed Sniper Rifle
Very similar to the heavy sniper rifle, the suppressed sniper rifle avoids one of the worst traits of sniper rifles in the game: the sound they make. Suppressed sniper rifles increase the stealth element of an already stealthy weapon, and can make the difference between being found and flying under the radar. We've already sung its praises, and this gun deserves it.
10 Compact SMG
You can’t really go wrong with either SMG in the game, but the compact SMG just falls short by virtue of its longer reload time. Still, it’s hard to beat this weapon at close range, as its DPS and quick firing rate make it a force to be reckoned with, especially when paired with a shotgun.
Easily the most unusual weapon in Fortnite, the crossbow is difficult to master, but in the right hands, it’s easily one of the best weapons in the game. It’s especially well suited to stealthy players, as it barely makes a sound and has a very long range. It also has infinite ammo. The only thing keeping the crossbow from ranking higher is its damage output and relatively slow firing speed.
8 Heavy Sniper Rifle
Sporting the highest damage output among sniper rifles, the heavy sniper rifle is one of the most powerful weapons in the game. Despite its long reload and draw time, the sniper rifle will often one-shot enemies even without headshots, as well as easily destroy enemy structures.
7 Suppressed SMG
The suppressed SMG has a slightly slower firing rate when compared to its cousin the compact SMG, but its accuracy and increased damage more than makes up for its shortcomings. Like an assault rifle, the suppressed SMG is useful both at close and long range.
6 Suppressed Assault Rifle
Useful at all ranges and quieter than other assault rifles, the suppressed assault rifle is easily one of the best weapons in the game. Due to its sneaky elements, this gun is best used at mid and long ranges, but can also tear through enemies at close range.
5 Rocket Launcher
Who doesn’t love a rocket launcher? This weapon sure does pack a punch, and can annihilate structures easily, making enemies more susceptible to fire from more precise weapons. Be careful, though — rockets can also damage you if you’re not careful!
4 Pump Shotgun
When you think of a shotgun, you think of firepower, and you simply can’t beat the pump shotgun for raw power. A single shot can take an enemy out even with a shield, and players with good aim will often find that the pump shotgun is one of only a few weapons they need to win a match.
3 Grenade Launcher
Like the rocket launcher, the grenade launcher is best used against structures, though it can also be useful in blowing up enemies into smithereens — and what could be more fun than that? Extra splash damage and the rarity of rockets just slightly edge out the rocket launcher, making the grenade launcher the most powerful explosive weapon in the game.
2 Assault Rifle
The assault rifle is truly a jack of all trades, with relatively balanced features: good DPS and firing rate, useful across all ranges, and low bloom. It’s hard to think of a better weapon for a new player, as it’s pretty foolproof. Even seasoned players will often find themselves using this gun throughout battle royale matches. In a game that requires a take-charge attitude, the assault rifle is a perfect fit.
1 Hand Cannon
Accurate at all ranges, featuring extremely high damage, and able to take out enemies in a single shot, most players agree that the hand cannon is overpowered — leading to some protesting that it should be taken out of the game. The meta may change soon, but for now, the hand cannon is the absolute best weapon available in Fortnite.