Battlegrounds Is Slower Than Fortnite And That's A Good Thing

Image: PUBG Corp

There's a burning question in everyone's mind: Which is better, PlayerUnknown's Battlegrounds or Fortnite? Despite having put time in each, I find PUBG to be the more fulfilling experience, and that's because it's not afraid to slow you down.

The Fortnite-enjoyers in my life often cite the game's fast-paced frenzy as a reason they enjoy it more than other battle royale games. It's true that it's a game that rewards action. Running around more means you're going to get more materials for building.

Building more, and getting practiced at it, means that you're going to be able to create defensive structures in more strategic ways than your less-practiced opponents. Furthermore, winning and losing in Fortnite is faster. Games go by quickly, and if you die then you can just queue up and be right back in a game with very little downtime.

The problem is that I like the downtime. Back when PUBG first starting getting big I wrote about the things I loved about it.

Playing as a solo player, it can be a calm, tense experience that is punctuated by firefights that could either end in an instant or drag on across the landscape for minutes at a time. With your headphones up, you can hear the ambient noises of the game, and if they're interrupted by enemy footsteps you're in for trouble. It makes my heart race just thinking about it.

Image: Epic Games

Fortnite is the opposite of that. It's not a game designed around waiting for anything. Instead, you're encouraged by a small map size, the ever-enclosing electric storm, and the highly visible building system to come into contact with other players.

It's rare to go three minutes without seeing someone, or at least seeing the structures they have built, and you're highly incentivised to take a fight when you see them. After all, they're going to start shooting as soon as they see you, and it's not as if there's any kind of hiding of stealth in the game.

Image: PUBG Corp

By contrast, most of my games of solo PUBG are spent sneaking to get an angle on my opponents. I become a tactical Sam Fisher wannabe, snaking around corners and peeking through the line of sight that forms between an open doorway and a smashed out window. PUBG demands that you consider every action that you make. If you don't, you'll be punished in a significant way, especially if the opponent you're up against knows how to operate the game better than you do.

Crucially, this is not a question of tactical realism or "skill ceilings" or any of the other ways that competitive games get compared. Instead, it is about what each game encourages me to do in its world. Fortnite is a small world full of violence that wants you to have an arcade-y experience of fun and shooting. It does that, and it does it even better with your friends.

Image: Epic Games

None of this is bad. It's just not what I enjoy from the battle royale genre. Instead, I like the idea of making a good plan, picking a position with a good sightline, and picking off enemies as they approach me.

I like the rush of dodging gunfire over a long distance before storming a fortified position with some grenades and a SCAR. I like the long calm before the lightning strike.

I realise that many people don't play the game this way. They squad up with their friends and scream and yell and try to get their wins. That's the vast majority of the games that I am playing in these games right now, too.

But there's something to the slowness and the methodical play that PUBG allows that Fornite has specifically designed away from. That slowness is something that I love, and I can't help that it makes for a game that I enjoy playing more in PUBG.


    Its these sorts of differences that I personally think are driving the games away from each other. They provide different enough experiences that they can both survive each other as competition.

    Fortnite is more action-y, PUBG more strategic, though each provides enough of the other to satisfy that craving as well, just in different ways.

      I dont think anyone was really comparing the two in the first place. Just two subsets of rabid fanboys who feel the need to create conflict to justify their decision.

        Its the first thing in the article...

        There's a burning question in everyone's mind: Which is better, PlayerUnknown's Battlegrounds or Fortnite?

        Its a question that comes up time and again, and from the sidelines its not a simple answer. They focus on delivering similar products in quite different ways.

          Why do websites like kotaku compare the two?

          Because it gets clicks from the kind of rabid fanboys i described above.

          I see it as trying to compare battlefield to call of duty. Achieves nothing.

    Agreed. I like both now, but as a battle royale game I enjoy pubg more. It's so tense because if you get spotted, you're likely to die. Whereas in Fortnite, getting spotted first doesn't make a great deal of difference.

    Fortnite is great thanks to fun building mechanics (despite the awful gunplay), but I feel like the battle royale aspect doesn't add much to the experience.

    Agree. I like to play like a survival horror - slow and steady, sneaking around, desperately trying to acrue resources before inevitable confrontation. :)

    Its not slower anymore, the oubg team shot themselves im the foot by changing the blue zone speed early game to make it more fast paced like fortnite

    If people wanted to play fortnite theyd bloody play fortnite, dont fuck over the people who like pubg by making it more like fortnite

    They stayed because pubg WASNT fortnite

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