By Brittany Vincent

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Fortnite Available Weapons
Fortnite Weapons
Fortnite SMG
Fortnite Grenade Launcher
best fortnite weapons fortnitesniper
Fortnite Shotgun
Fortnite Assault Rifle
Fortnite Pistol
Rare Light Machine Gun
Assault Rifle and Shotgun Inventory

Picking up a gun inFortnite: Battle Royaleis simple.Choosing the best weapon, though,isn’t easy. What do the color-coded rarities mean, and what kind of loadout should you strive for at the beginning of each match? We’ve got you covered with a brief overview of weapon basics, rarity types, and the most effective arms for each category. Here are the best weapons for any situation in Fortnite: Battle Royale.

The basics

Assault Rifle and Shotgun Inventory
Brittany Vincent/Digital Trends

While there’s a veritable treasure trove of different weapons to consider using in Fortnite, most of what you’ll be able to use comes down to luck.

With that in mind, you should always endeavor to find an SMG, assault rifle, or shotgun at the beginning of each match. As soon as you land, start searching for something viable, because others will be doing the exact same thing. An SMG will at the very least ensure you’ll have something with a rapid fire rate to take oncoming enemies down. The combination of both assault rifle and shotgun will ensure you’re covered for both close-range and long-range combat situations.

Fortnite: Battle Royale sets you up with a default Inventory that you can access at any time. You get five slots to carry weapons, gear, meds, and grenades, and an additional slot for ammo and any building materials you may need.

You can rearrange your quick access slots however you see fit, but it’s always a good idea to places your best weapons (i.e. your assault rifle and shotgun) right next to each other for a quick switch to get you out of any sticky situation. To do this, you’ll need to find a quiet place where you won’t be seen to retreat for a few moments during a match. You’ll need to head into your inventory screen to swap out your weapons so you can rearrange them to your liking. This cannot be done straight from the hotbar on the bottom right screen. You need to head into your backpack first.

Rifle through you inventory, select the weapon you want to move, and then one of the slots on your hotbar will light up. Simply choose the new slot where you want to put your weapon, and confirm the movement. Fortunately, you don’t have to drop the items and pick them back up to make a preferable lineup, though if you don’t really have time to head into the menus, you can certainly do that for a quick and dirty rearrange.

What do weapon colors mean?

Fortnite Available Weapons
Brittany Vincent/Digital Trends

Fortnite: Battle Royale’s selection of weapons varies between categories, with plenty of different arms to choose from. From a suppressed pistol to an explosive grenade launcher, there’s something to fit every play style. Each weapon is assigned a different classification on a rarity scale, as well. Whether you’re selecting an SMG or an assault rifle, all weapons will be color-coded as such.

  • Gray: Common
  • Green: Uncommon
  • Blue: Rare
  • Purple: Epic
  • Gold: Legendary

The rarer the gun, the higher the damage it will do. In a firefight, the better class of gun will end up winning out, so if you take a gray M16 into battle against a blue one, and so on, the person with the blue gun will have an edge.

If at any time during the game you find a higher rarity tier of the weapon you’re currently using, make sure you swap out your current weapon and pick up the new color. This allows for instant gratification in the form of a free weapon upgrade.

Choosing between different weapons of different tiers is more difficult. It might not be a good idea to trade a common assault rifle for an epic pistol if you know you’re about to cover some open terrain. If you have to make such a choice, think about where you plan to head next and what weapon is best suited to the terrain.

Where to reliably find weapons

Of course, none of these rarity types matter unless you can actually find weapons scattered throughout the map. Many weapons can be found in various named locations, such as Anarchy Acres, Moisty Mire, and Dusty Divot. One area in particular that you can hoard a ton of loot from, including weapons, is Retail Row. Another trusty location that usually plays host to a decent weapon while you continue your search for something viable can be found near the basketball court. Stick to buildings whenever you can instead of looking out in the open.

If all else fails, head over to the motel that can be found west of Anarchy Acres for some decent loot drops, including several Legendary weapons, if you’re lucky. No matter where you decide to head to in search of weapons, make sure you find even the most rudimentary of arms before tackling areas where other players typically congregate.

Rare Light Machine Gun
Brittany Vincent/Digital Trends

Sometimes, if you remain outside of the storm for just a few moments, you’ll be able to find items that other players have abandoned on their march out of harm’s way. Make sure you head back to safety as soon as humanly possible, however, because the storm is extremely difficult to outrun if you’re too far away from the safe zone.

New to Fortnite: Battle Royale? Be sure to consult our beginner’s guide, with plenty of tips and tricks to get you started.

What’s the best class of weapon?

Fortnite Weapons
Epic Games

While simply stumbling upon any weapon is preferable to running around the Fortnite map wildly swinging your pickaxe and hoping to avoid the first 90 players before you’re shot out, there are some that are preferable to others. For instance, you should really hope you happen upon a shotgun over a pistol, because it’s going to keep you a whole lot safer.

Here’s a reliable hierarchy of the weapons you should strive to aim for, ranked in order of desirability.

Assault rifles are the weapon you want

While assault rifles aren’t the most powerful set of guns in the game, they’re the most versatile. You’ve got several different variants with different kinds of stopping power, and a good M16 or SCAR get you out of some hairy situations. They won’t take out enemies from across the map, and they typically won’t one-shot kill anyone, but you’re easily covered whether you need to make a quick getaway to safety or you’re going on a run for your Victory Royale with five people left standing in your way. Just make sure to fire in short bursts and you’ll be golden.

Shotguns rule up close

If you can’t get an assault rifle, go for a shotgun. Better yet, go with both, as previously advised earlier in this guide. Shotguns aren’t great at range of course, but if someone is nearby, you can rock their world with a devastating shotgun blast. Then switch to your SCAR as you retreat for a coup de grace.

SMGs are a poor man’s assault rifle

While not as powerful or as direct as assault rifles or shotguns, SMGs are still preferable in battle when you need something quick and light to eliminate the competition. They’re automatic, so you can hold the trigger down in a panic, and they’ll hold plenty of ammo. They won’t do as much damage as assault rifles or shotguns, but they’re like little firecrackers that can still make for quite the party when people come try to mess with you.

Sniper Rifles are great, if you’re a crack shot

Let’s face it: Not everyone can excel as a sniper. But if a sniper rifle is all you can find, use it wisely. It will require you to constantly remain on the move and on the lookout for areas in-game where you can sit and wait for passersby to pick off, but you’ll be a force to be reckoned with while hidden, and you can one-shot kill anyone who gets in your way with a well-placed headshot.

A pistol is better than nothing

Most pistols do meager damage, though they can be deadly when you find the right ones. They’re just a lot slower, rarely automatic, and do less damage per shot than most other weapons. Still, a pistol is better than nothing.

Explosives are cool, but niche

Explosives can be hit or miss. If you find a grenade launcher or RPG, you’ll be good for a short while, but will eventually run out of ammo. The same goes for Boogie Bombs or other projectile weapons. They’re not ideal in most situations, but they can still get you out of a jam if you need a quick fix. It’s best to start looking for anything else you can, unless you’ve already got a full store of other weapons when one of these babies shows up.

What’s the best weapon in each class?


The revolver, vanilla pistol, suppressed pistol, hand cannon, and dual pistols will all work if you have no choice but to use a pistol (sometimes that’s all you’ll have at your disposal). The hand cannon is the best thanks to its 60 points of damage per second, though its rate of fire and low magazine size make it a bit more unwieldy than dual pistols, or the regular pistol. Still, it’s the most powerful of the category you could choose, and a killer at close or mid-range.

Assault Rifles

Assault rifles come in several different flavors, including the burst-fire and M16 variations. The M16 is the middling, simplest choice that players tend to gravitate toward.

However, while it’s the most common assault rifle, it’s far from the best. Currently, the best rifle for all types of combat situations is the SCAR. Both its Epic and Legendary variants pack a wallop, with more damage per second than any other weapon in the game.

Its high rate of fire makes it a dangerous choice for any type of scuffle. Its low recoil also makes it a great rifle for newbies who tend to rely on “spray and pray” tactics. Landing headshots is the preferred method when it come to seriously damaging enemies with the SCAR, but it’s still formidable even if your aim isn’t as true as you’d like for it to be.

The SCAR will only drop as an Epic or Legendary rarity type, so if you want to find one, you’ll have to scavenge for loot chests or take on enemies to get one to trigger. It’s well worth the extra work, because acquiring a SCAR definitely improves your odds of being the last person alive.

Sniper Rifles

You can choose from the bolt-action, semi-automatic, or scoped sniper rifles as your signature long-distance weapon, but most snipers will choose the bolt-action option every single time. It’s easy to see why it’s the clear winner. For every potential headshot you land, you’ll send a devastating 200 damage tearing through each enemy. That ensures a one-shot kill, of course, which is exactly what you’ll want to aim for when taking on a sniping role.

The bolt-action requires you to exercise patience rather than spamming shots and revealing your position. You’ll likely become a better sniper in general with copious usage of this rifle, so its benefits are two-fold.


You can choose from the vanilla SMG, tactical SMG, and the suppressed SMG. Vanilla SMGs can be somewhat difficult to use, and their tactical cousins can be a bit too rare to get your hands on. With that in mind, the suppressed SMG is your best bet in most situations.

While it has a slower fire rate, it’s quieter and more powerful than the other two on offer. Silence is often your best friend in battle royale, so a damaging weapon that helps you maintain your position in a stealthy manner is always going to be a helpful tool.


You’ll find different categories of shotguns to choose from in the form of pump shotguns, tactical shotguns, and heavy shotguns. The tactical shotgun is currently the best choice for players looking for a high rate of fire.

While the pump shotgun is a much more powerful option, it sacrifices fire rate for its 95 damage points. It’s a devastating pick for close-range combat, especially with the potential for one-hit kills, but you’ll need to land every shot, every time.

The tactical shotgun is the better all-around choice for that reason, as it’s a more versatile weapon that allows you to pull off various defensive and offensive maneuvers, firing off shots one after another and landing what you can without having to worry yourself with pinpoint accuracy.

Experts can prove better with the pump, but if you’re already a pro, you don’t need a guide to tell you that — do you?


While explosive weaponry won’t really be something you’ll need to rely on early in the game, it comes in handy in the late game, when enemies can simply hide in their own structures or buildings dotting the map. Your best will be the rocket launcher. You don’t need to compensate for the arc the grenade launcher lobs its ammo with, as the rocket launcher fires in a reliable straight line.

In terms of grenades, you can select from a few different types aside from the typical Common Grenade, including the Boogie Bomb, Smoke Grenade, Impulse Grenade, and the newest addition to the lineup, the Stink Bomb. While the aforementioned offerings can be fun to use, especially when you can force other players to dance, they’re not always the most practical to keep around.

If you choose to utilize the Rocket Launcher for easily-controlled destruction, then regular Common Grenades should be your best choice for handheld explosives. You simply fling it at your desired target, and wait for the fireworks to happen. Nothing too complicated here.

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