When anybody copies anything, whether it be yesterday's homework or a triple-A video game, that person or company is usually slammed for doing so. Unusually, though, that's not the case for Fortnite, as the game wears almost all of its influences on its sleeve despite still continuing to dominate the market.
Now, with Fortnite's new season making its debut and once again inducing a freakout amongst most of the gaming community, it's safe to say that Fortnite might go down as one of the most popular games of all time. But for a while, I thought the light we see Fortnite in would be somewhere I'd see PUBG one day.
When PUBG dropped, it gave us the best take of the battle royale formula and the game seemed to be growing by the second. But it was held back by poor performance issues and terrible optimization, only giving a “good” experience for PC owners with great graphics cards. And it only got worse for PUBG when they released maybe one of the worst console ports ever.
Suffice to say that Fortnite had ample opportunities to capitalize and become THE battle royale of today. But instead of giving us an entirely brand new take on the battle royale genre, Fortnite really boiled down to a PUBG/Minecraft clone. It may be an undoubtedly fun game, but we're going to call a spade a spade, and today we're going to go through all the things Fortnite has ripped off.
30 Ripped Off: The Battle Royale Formula
Yes, we know, just like The Hunger Games, PUBG didn’t invent the battle royale formula, so many might say that it doesn’t matter that Fortnite ripped this particular thing off. Buuuut, just as The Hunger Games popularized battle royale in movies, PUBG was responsible for popularizing this formula in video games.
Fortnite also did a good job of copying the exact style of PUBG’s battle royale, but we’ll get into that later.
PUBG didn’t invent battle royale, but they still deserve a ton of credit for making it what it is today. Sorry Fortnite fans, this one was a shameless rip-off.
29 Ripped Off: 100 Player Lobbies
Now that we’ve got some of the meat and potatoes out of the way, it’s time to dive into the finer details of how Fortnite rips off PUBG. Starting with one that particularly feels like a blatant rip-off, keeping the lobby sizes to 100.
Sure, 100 feels like a great number, we celebrate it greater than most birthdays, Drake’s made a song on it, and heck, it even has an emoji.
But Fortnite choosing this particular number just feels too on the nose to the game sizes in PUBG.
28 Does Better: Free To Play
Allow me to say that if you purchased PUBG in its early access form, you probably made your money back by selling tons of free skins for bloated prices on the Steam marketplace. But most people probably weren’t as fortunate, and not only had to pay for PUBG but also have to look at all the microtransactions as they play their game.
Fortnite deserves a ton of credit for how they rolled out their game versus PUBG. Making Fortnite a free-to-play game validates the reasons for the affordable battle pass and all the other cosmetics that the game offers.
27 Ripped Off: The Game Modes And Variations
Fortnite just didn’t take the high road when it came to shaping its battle royale mode. Instead of separating their mode from the competition like how GTA V did with their battle royale mode, they shamelessly and obviously ripped off features like player count, and game modes/variations.
Most of the time in Fortnite you have the opportunity to play in squads, duos, or by yourself to take on the other meme dancing 6th graders you're probably playing against. Sounds an awful lot like PUBG, which offers the exact same game modes and variations.
26 Ripped Off: The Blue Circle From PUBG With The Storm
The Storm is an undoubtedly cool feature: you’re caved in on this island and are slowly being pushed towards the middle by this abundance of fog known as the Storm. Too bad the Storm is yet another feature that feels creative, yet is another rip off of PUBG’s blue circle.
The blue circle in PUBG acts exactly as the Storm does, moving players towards the center but instead with damage dealt by an aura of blueness.
Fortnite’s version is definitely the more memorable version, but it still counts as a rip-off.
25 Does Better: Apparel And Cosmetics
Not only does Fortnite do a better job of how they roll out their skins and costumes, but they also just have better cosmetics than PUBG. Fortnite’s skins have become iconic to the gaming industry ranging from tomato heads to full-on armors like the Omega outfit.
While PUBG's cosmetics are pretty good too with outfits like the trench coat and now the new weapon skins. We just can’t help but feel like PUBG's skins are just stale in comparison to Fortnite.
24 Ripped Off: Unreal Engine
This is where PUBG’s infamous lawsuit against Epic Games and Fortnite comes into play. Both Fortnite and PUBG use the Unreal Engine, which might paint Fortnite as the robbers of yet another aspect, but, this situation gets a lot dicier when you realize the owner of that engine, Epic Games, also makes Fortnite. Yikes.
Apparently, the lawsuit was fueled with resentment because Epic Games wasn’t completely cooperating with helping the PUBG devs in optimizing the engine for their games.
Obviously Epic would have no reason to help out their competitors, but this whole situation just seems so shady that we don’t even know what to make of it.
23 Ripped Off: The Way You Start Off Each Game
One thing you gotta give credit to Fortnite for is that they may wear their influences on their sleeves, but they do a dang good job at pimping out those ideas. Take the plane from PUBG for example: yet another thing that Fortnite has stolen and reimagined for their game.
The Plane from PUBG gave players a unique and pretty cool way to start off games.
Guess this was just yet another good idea that the Fortnite devs couldn’t live without; so add the battle bus to the list of the things of things that Fortnite has ripped off.
22 Does Better: Taunts And Dances
PUBG, a more serious take on the battle royale formula, has no real place for things like taunts and dances. Sure, taunts are getting more and more popular in games, but they just don’t feel right in PUBG. I guess the devs didn’t care when they saw how popular they were in Fortnite.
Fortnite dances and taunts have become a sensation, inspiring cringey yet occasionally funny videos across the internet. And I’m sure you’ve seen kids doing the dances from time to time. Sure, you want to shake your head out of moderate to severe disappointment, but you can’t deny this sensation.
21 Ripped Off: Bush Outfit (Based On The Ghillie Suit)
More of a minor nitpick, but those count too! The bush outfit is another staple from Fortnite, yet it’s pretty easy to spot similarities between the disguise and PUBG’s Ghillie suit.
Once again we find Fortnite guilty of ripping off something and making it more playful for their game and their audiences.
Both of these outfits are extremely rare to find in a game, but they both offer a coveted outfit that allows you to camouflage with the environment. Though it is admittedly more fun to watch someone stumble around as a bush in Fortnite.
20 Ripped Off: The Lobby Experience
PUBG doesn’t get enough credit for what they’ve brought to the table for the battle royale genre, as their innovations span a wide range of features, including their lobby experience.
PUBG was notorious for letting players mess around in the lobby before the match started, and Fortnite once again went ahead and ripped them off.
Yes, yes, PUBG isn’t completely responsible for it as H1Z1 had this feature as well, but it still feels like Fortnite’s lobby is just a little too similar to it’s counterparts.
19 Does Better: Appeal And Aesthetic Of The Game
PUBG truly lacks a real atmosphere/aesthetic, kind of like Call of Duty it just feels like a generic shooter. And sure, a generic shooter appeals to everyone because anyone can get into it, but it feels a whole heck of a lot better when a game has a distinct feel to it.
Games like BioShock, Overwatch, Portal, GTA, and even Fortnite are popular for the atmosphere they bring to the table.
Fortnite, a lot like Plants vs. Zombies or Overwatch, brings this cartoony vibe that makes it feel goofy and fun, maybe PUBG should take notes.
18 Ripped Off: Vehicles
Well, now that season 5 has officially rolled out in Fortnite, we can now call out the game for also ripping off vehicles from PUBG. Once again, it’s not like PUBG invented vehicles in a battle royale, but they seriously popularized it with how hilarious, and meme-y the vehicles were.
And the hilariousness of the PUBG vehicles was definitely not intentional, as most of their comedic feel comes from the bugs we experience on them but I digress. In a way, Fortnite copied the aesthetic of the PUBG vehicles, and how much comedy they offer.
17 Ripped Off: Healing Items
Oh, you already know we’re getting deep into the dirt on this list to see what Fortnite rips off, and that plagiarism stems to the healing items. When it comes down to it, these items are literally just reskins of the healing items in PUBG.
You have bandages (which are rip-offs), medkits (another rip-off) aaaaand slurp juice (which are just energy drinks in disguise).
It’s nothing clever, and while the game does offer other healing options, the ones that we mentioned or really the premiere items.
16 Ripped Off: Leveled Loot
The items in PUBG are scaled on a three-level system. You have your level 1 items which are prominent but feeble, your level 2s which are also common but an upgrade over level 1s, and also your big boy level 3 items which are rare but incredibly good and durable.
Enter Fortnite with a leveled item system that feels a bit too on the nose when compared to PUBG.
Fortnite features a loot system that is ranked by color, ranging from the weak gray items to the golden mythical ones.
15 Does Better: Items And Weapons Are More Fun
Even though we just accused Fortnite of ripping off PUBG’s item system, we do have to say that the weapons and items themselves are a lot more interesting. Granted, you can’t get too crazy in a realistic-type shooter like PUBG, but they don’t have many weapons that just feel like a blast to use.
On the other hand, Fortnite features some wonderfully creative weapons and items like the RPG, the grenade launcher, and the splendidly funky boogie bomb.
PUBG has some fun weapons, especially the snipers, but none that feel out of the box.
14 Ripped Off: Cosmetics And Apparel (Though It’s Been Said)
No I’m not crazy (at least I think), I know I mentioned cosmetics and apparel in the “Does Better” section, but this particular item is something that Fortnite rips off while simultaneously improving upon.
PUBG was the first battle royale game that popularized skins, and to my knowledge, it was the first to have skins at all.
The skins were selling like hotcakes when PUBG first hit the Steam store, and I’m seriously guessing that Fortnite and Epic Games took note of the success that PUBG found with skins.
13 Ripped Off: Primarily Being A 3rd Person Shooter
We really can’t give Fortnite too much flak for this one as most shooters fall into the category of being a 3rd person shooter or a first-person shooter... and something tells me that Fortnite wouldn’t have found success being a top-down shooter, but maybe that’s just me.
Even with all that being said, PUBG started off as a primarily third-person shooter, and it’s still primarily played that way making this sort-of, kind-of another aspect that Fortnite ripped off. I don’t feel entirely good about this entry since this one is more of technicality, but it still counts as a rip-off.
12 Does Better: Microtransactions And In-Game Purchases
Fortnite does an incredible job at justifying their in-game purchases when compared to really any battle royale game. And it’s pretty obvious as to why: the game is free!
Any game that is free automatically gets a lot more leeway when it comes to offering microtransactions.
I mean, they got to make money someway. But Fortnite should also get credit for their innovative battle pass which is extremely affordable and still makes players feel like they are earning the skins instead of just easily and cheaply buying them.
11 Ripped Off: Crate Drops
Now, this one didn’t even feel like a rip-off until I really thought long and hard about the gameplay between PUBG and Fortnite... but once it did come to mind, it was obvious to see it was a rip-off.
PUBG features crate drops that come every once in a while and when they do come they drop ultra rare loot that is sure to give you an edge within your game.
And once again, we can look at Fortnite to see a feature that is so on the nose to PUBG’s crate drops that we’re surprised they haven’t won the lawsuit already.
10 Ripped Off: Starting The Game Off With No Weapons
Well, it’s not “technically” true as you start off a Fortnite game with your trusty pickaxe, it still should be stated that the start of these two games is eerily similar. For PUBG, after jumping from the plane (or Battle Bus if you're playing Fortnite) you move onto looting everywhere and anywhere.
While we already got Fortnite for ripping off the plane from PUBG, they also do a good job of ripping off your initial moments in each game. Both games start you off with no loot and you're forced to find some good stuff as quick as possible.
9 Does Better: More Undertones And A Better Underlying Story
Fortnite does an exceptional job at making your battle royale experience feel like it’s adding up to some overall story, while PUBG kind of misses the mark here. Sure, it’s fun to have mindless fun on a multiplayer game like CS Go, Call of Duty, or Battlefield, but games like Overwatch and Fortnite nail the underlying story aspect.
It almost makes me feel like Fortnite ripped off Overwatch’s underlying story on this one.
The story can be ignored by anyone, but for those who pay attention to it, they’re given just another interesting, and fun aspect of the game.
8 Ripped Off: The Default Maps
To be honest, this one could’ve easily made it onto the “does better” section as Fortnite really does do a great job with their map, but this one could go either way.
The reasons for that or for the distinct location that is prominent in both default maps; basically we’re getting at the fact that they’re both on islands.
Once again, it just feels like Fortnite hit this one a bit too on the nose, because instead of featuring their location in some deserted wasteland, or maybe some luscious forest, they went for an abandoned island, just like PUBG.
7 Ripped Off: Weapons, They're Pretty Much The Same
Sure, I did mention that Fortnite has some cooler weapons than PUBG, but when it comes to their core weapon sets, they’re pretty much the exact same things.
You got your assault rifles, your shotguns, your pistols, the list truly goes on and on.
In Fortnite's case, you can point out a few distinct weapons that are radically different like the RPG and grenade launcher, but most of the weapons are pretty much the same. Granted, even the weapons that are exactly alike, like the Scar, act differently but from an aesthetic point, they’re exactly the same thing.
6 Does Better: Progression, It's A Lot Better
Without a proper, quality progression system, you’ll find that a multiplayer game will slowly start to feel less interesting than any multiplayer game. Games like CS Go and Rocket League live off of their quality progression systems, and at this point you can definitely throw Fortnite into that mix.
You know who doesn’t have a proper progression system and still has one that feels clunky? PUBG.
PUBG just recently tacked on a progression system, making this an entry that feels like vice versa of what we’ve seen on this list.
5 Ripped Off: Loot Scattered Around The Map
We kind of already mentioned this one, but really wanted to flesh it out more with this entry. Looting in most battle royale games follows the formula that PUBG has popularized so we have to include this in the “Ripped Off” section.
PUBG scatters loot around the entire map, making every game feel like another scramble for who can get to the good stuff first.
It’s a system that is fun almost every time, so it makes sense as to why Fortnite would be set up this way.
4 Does Better: Combat (Feels Less Clunky)
Combat in PUBG sometimes, well, just feels awkward. A lot of that can just be blamed on the maps and how they’re constructed (up until the release of the newest map) but for most games, you are just walking around for minutes on end without seeing a single person.
Some may like an experience like this, but the games feel a lot more intense when you have fights happening one after another. Fortnite’s map is set up perfectly for combat and now it feels like PUBG finally sought after that direction with their newest map.
3 Ripped Off: Gliders Vs. Parachutes
Here’s one that every PUBG fan likes to use against Fortnite when detailing how the game specifically rips PUBG off; we’re talking about the glider versus the parachute.
It’s extremely petty of Fortnite to copy PUBG down to the last detail, but I guess here we are. Instead they could’ve chosen to just have their players slam down to the ground or maybe land on trampolines, but instead, they took the route that makes them look like blatant rip-offs.
The skins for the gliders are undoubtedly cool, but rip-offs nonetheless.
2 Does Better: Bugs... Or Should We Say Lack Of?
The quintessential reason why Fortnite is more popular than PUBG is that the game actually feels like a complete game. PUBG for the longest time felt like a buggy mess, even when it was ported to consoles.
It felt like we were playing a broken mod that a few people created in their basement.
But this was passed off as a full-fledged game, making it feel even more disrespectful to the people who dished out $30 dollars for it. The fact that the developers for PUBG had the gall to charge for their broken game is honestly extremely insulting.
1 Ripped Off: One Player Or Team Winning
For battle royales, I always had this idea that there’d be at least one game that rewards you for coming in second, or even third place. Nope, time after time it’s only last man, or last team standing wins.
It’s so much fun to be the last person or team to win, but it feels like this formula has been seriously overused. It’d be awesome to see a podium where the 1st, 2nd, and 3rd placers are celebrated, but Fortnite joins the ever-growing list of games to let only one man or team win a game.