Both Apex and Fortnite are excellent Battle Royale games and can be played by just about anyone. If you're looking for a more complete game that offers rewards to keep you playing for longer, Fortnite might be for you. If you're looking for a fast-paced game that feels like a typical first-person shooter, however, then Apex Legends might be for you. Both are free to play but have microtransactions, so hold on to your wallets.
What is a Battle Royale game?
Battle Royale is a style of game that pits a large number of players against each other in a deathmatch style free-for-all. Typically, players will be dropped onto a large map and fight it out until only one player or team remains. Matches generally hold up to 100 players in them, but can be shorter depending on servers or game limits. Both Apex Legends by Respawn and Fortnite by Epic Games are Battle Royale games.
What's Apex Legends like?
In Apex Legends you work as a three-player team to beat the other 19 teams — there are around 60 players total in an Apex match, unlike the possible 100 players in a Fortnite match or in other Battle Royale games. There's only one map featured in the game, but Respawn has begun to change the map in small ways for certain events, similar to what Epic Games does with Fortnite.
Similar to other Battle Royale games, a zone surrounds the entire map of Apex Legends, which makes where you land and what you choose to loot very important. The timer for the zone in Apex Legends is a bit faster than Fortnite's, which means you'll be moving around a lot more than you possibly could in Fortnite.
There's only one map in Apex Legends and it's quite small, which makes the game feel frantic.
Where Apex Legends sets itself apart is in its characters. Similar to a class-based shooter, Apex features different Legends that all have their own abilities, perks, and personalities. Learning who you play best as and mastering their abilities is key to getting better at Apex, especially when in engaged in a firefight with better players.
Because Apex is exclusively squad-based, choosing your Legend is important, and you need to think about your team and what position they might need to fill. No one else is support? That's probably the position you need to fill.
One of the more innovative trends that Apex introduced is the ability to respawn. Not only can you revive teammates that go down, but you can also collect their card if they die and bring them back to life via a respawn location. However, it's not easy to respawn someone and takes time and skill. The way it's done makes it fun to attempt and never feels like it's interrupting the game.
Fortnite has since introduced respawns into the game, and while it didn't take off right away, it's become a key focus on playing. Thanks to the slower pace of Fortnite, though, it's much easier to find yourself getting ambushed at a respawn target than in Apex.
What's Fortnite like?
As we previously discussed, Fortnite has a much slower pace than Apex, but it also has a super unique mechanic: building. This allows Fortnite to stand out in the Battle Royale genre, making it a very different game to play than Apex or even Player Unknown: Battlegrounds (PUBG) — the other big name in Battle Royale.
The slower pace of Fortnite allows for some really fun building mechanics. You always have a pickaxe with you, which you can use it to smash objects to collect building supplies — almost like Minecraft. Once you have some supplies you can start to build walls, slopes, and roofs to protect you from attack, or give yourself the advantage of high ground.
Having a huge community to play with in Fortnite makes any game more fun.
Having the ability to build and collect items via your pickaxe is what sets Fortnite apart, but also makes it so difficult to just jump in and win. Because it's been around so long (10 seasons and counting), Fortnite's skill level is extremely high, and it will take some practice and patience before you're getting your first Victory Royale.
Another big draw to Fortnite right now is the crowds of people playing. Having a huge community to play with makes any game more fun, and the knowledge that anytime you want to play there will be a full server is comforting. Epic Games has taken advantage of this community to create limited-time events and hangout spaces in-game that allow you to chill with friends. It even held a concert on a server once, which you can't say about any other online game.
Of course, one of the biggest selling points for Fortnite is in its cross-play. Not only can you play with friends across literally any platform, but you can also play the game at nearly any time, thanks to its mobile version. It's one of the few games that be played this way, and is what sets it apart from anything on the market.
In fact, it could be argued that without the massive popularity of Fortnite we may never have seen cross-play become a reality. Being able to play a game like Fortnite with 100 players from almost any gaming platform is huge.
Both of these games are a lot of fun to play and although they are both the same genre, they are very different games. The squad-based gameplay of Apex Legends makes it feel like a more classic first-person shooter, and it's fun strategizing with a team and figuring out what character best suits your playstyle. However, the huge player base and sheer number of things to do in Fortnite, combined with how often Epic Games introduces new things, makes Fortnite something you can always go back to. Personally, Fortnite is my go-to title simply because of how easy it is to play alone, whereas Apex Legends often requires full communication via a team in order to be successful.
The elephant in the room
Both Apex and Fortnite are free to download but that doesn't mean they aren't monetized. Both games use microtransactions to sell you cosmetics — don't worry, neither game allows you to get an advantage by paying, they only make you look awesome — and honestly, a lot of them are quite cool. It all can get quite expensive though.
Fortnite's microtransactions might be more obtrusive, but the game does allow you to earn some cool items even if you don't spend actual money. Apex Legends, on the other hand, hasn't quite gotten things right with their microtransactions, and have found themselves under scrutiny. Both games don't shy away from trying to sell you stuff, but thankfully you really can ignore it completely if you want to.
The best way we have found to keep microtransaction to a reasonable amount is with gift cards. Buying separate cards rather than having your credit card on file is much safer. Kids have been known to "accidentally" spend hundreds of dollars buying cosmetics on Fortnite, so having a finite amount of money makes a lot of sense. It's also a good idea for adults who might want to limit their spending.
Battle Royale at its best
Apex Legends Apex Coins
Get those Apex packs!
Apex Coins let you buy skins, emotes, and even new characters in Apex Legends so it's worth picking up a few early on. These cards are the safest way to that.
Safe and secure
PlayStation gift card
Keep your credit card away from Fortnite
It's so easy to get carried away with buying cosmetics that you can spend hundreds of dollars very quickly, especially if your child is playing the game and not you. A gift card means they can only spend what's on the card, nothing else.
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