Fortnite is a game all about its crazy weapons. With each drop on the wacky island, players must scramble to find decent weapons that they can use to either annihilate everyone they see or defend themselves when things get hairy. As the game has progressed, more weapons have been added to allow certain play styles to flourish while encouraging different types of strategy to get that coveted Victory Royale at the end. There are a few different classes, like shotguns, assault rifles, and SMGs. However, the variations in each class are what provide the game with such an expansive roster of weapons. They each have their own stats and are effective for different reasons. These weapons exist in a tier system that is marked by color. Grey weapons are the bottom of the barrel, and it goes all the way up to the illustrious gold weapons. Many weapons are even repeated across tiers, adding even more variety to the system.
However, with so many weapons found in chests and locations, it can be difficult to decide which ones to use. That's why we're ranking the 20 most powerful weapons in Fortnite. Know which ones are at the top of the list so you can get closer to your own victory. For this list, we will only be including weapons that deal damage. Equipment like Slurp Juice, Port-a-Fortresses, and Rifts-to-go will not be included, as they are nearly impossible to rank alongside the guns in the game. Just know they're all useful for different reasons.
Hunting Rifles have the same effect as sniper rifles, but at a closer range. The big difference is that they don't have scopes, so trying to use them at longer ranges isn't a recommended strategy, especially when accounting for bullet drop. However, the blue hunting rifle is extremely effective at medium and sometimes even close range. The reason for this is that a headshot practically guarantees that you win a one on one fight. All you have to do is sneak up on someone, aim properly, and that's one spot closer to a Victory Royale. That said, it can still be a bit tricky to aim properly.
Hand cannons are devastating weapons. While they look like unassuming pistols, they pack quite a punch. These guns deal a lot of damage, though trying to use such a powerful pistol can be difficult. It's more viable in close to medium range (but if you're a good shot, long range might be the way to go), but it can still be difficult. With a long recoil time and not guaranteed damage even if you land a hit, it could put you in a worse spot. It's a fine weapon, but it takes someone with good aim to use it effectively. Otherwise, you're just a sitting duck.
There are a few different types of shotguns in Fortnite, but one of the most effective remains the blue pump shotgun. While its reload time can be a bit long in the heat of the moment, carrying two of these to swap between is never a bad idea. They have high damage and good spread, making them a go-to weapon choice in close quarters combat. They don't have the same rate of fire as a tactical shotgun does, but they make up for it in terms of damage. All pump shotguns are fairly decent, but the blue one is the best of the bunch.
Assault rifles are standard weapons that are good at pretty much anything. With powerful shots and ability in close quarters and long range, there are many things to love about them. The standard blue assault rifle is like a good book; you just don't want to put it down. As far as assault rifles go, though, the blue assault rifle is simply the worst of the best. There are others in Fortnite that do its job much better. Either way, the blue assault rifle is useful to have in a pinch. It makes for a great first weapon too.
SMGs are only effective at close range. They can work at medium range, but they don't sport the accuracy of assault rifles. That said, the blue SMG remains a scary tool in any player's arsenal. This weapon has a high rate of fire. Couple with its respectable damage, and it can tear through an enemy's shields in no time at all. The multiple bullets also make it an excellent tool in taking down structures. That said, the blue SMG is good at a few things, but not great at any particular one thing. There are better SMGs out there, though this one remains a nice weapon.
If there is one sniper that's scarier than the rest, it's the gold heavy sniper. This is one of the newer weapons introduced to Fortnite, and it packs quite a punch. The heavy sniper deals a serious amount of damage. With less bullet drop than most snipers, those good with long-range weapons are sure to take out their enemies before people even realize what hit them. The sniper can end someone with a single shot, which makes it a serious threat. It has also proven effective against structures. The only downside is its crazy reload time, so make sure you're in a safe spot.
There's something just plain fun about the thermal scope assault rifles. Not only do they give an increased range to an assault rifle, but the scope allows players to find hidden enemies. As expected, the gold version remains the best of the bunch. It deals a lot of damage and doesn't suffer from any serious bullet drop. Because of this, some players use it to take on opponents at long range. It doesn't fire quite as quickly as other guns of its type, but it more than makes up for it just through its sheer usefulness. In squads, having someone with this gun makes a huge difference.
There are a few different types of sniper rifles in Fortnite, and one of the most effective has to be the purple bolt-action sniper rifle. A classic choice among players, this sniper deals a hefty amount of damage. While it won't necessarily take someone out unless you get a headshot, it's still dangerous enough to send people into a building frenzy. Its only downside is that it requires a reload after every shot, which can be detrimental in a fight. However, it is also useful against structures and can provide just enough pressure to cause people to make some serious mistakes.
What makes the purple scoped assault rifle so effective is that bullet drop has no bearing on it in any way. Players who want to take on opponents at long range can whip out this weapon and start ticking at their health. In a fight with a sniper, the assault rifle will often come out on top, as snipers have to better adjust for bullet drop. The scoped assault rifle can fire off shots and deal damage instantly, making it much easier to use. Its only downside is that it doesn't offer much in close-quarter combat. You'd be better off using something else.
The gold burst assault rifle is a key tool when it comes to eliminating other players. Firing three high-damage shots each time you pull the trigger, this assault rifle can wipe out players in seconds. However, its only downside is that it doesn't offer a lot in terms of damaging structures. As a result, it's a good idea to use this weapon when playing with a friend. That way, one can attack the building while you put pressure on the other players. It's a surefire way to eliminate the competition, though it's a bit more situational than some of the other weapons on this list.
What's so scary about the blue tactical shotgun is that it doesn't need to be pumped after every shot. Having the fastest rate of fire out of any shotgun in Fortnite, it's all too easy to start smashing the trigger and watching as your opponents meet their end. Couple that with a hefty magazine size, it guarantees that reloading won't be much of a problem. Of course, like any other shotgun, the blue tactical shotgun is only effective at close range. Using it at a distance is a great way to get oneself eliminated, but it's always a good idea to have something like this in the inventory.
The gold double-barreled shotgun is a serious gamble of a weapon. It does high damage if you can land a hit, but it also leaves the player very vulnerable. Using such a weapon is a serious risk and one that doesn't always pay off. After firing just two shots, you have to reload the shotgun, which can give just enough time for an opponent to wipe the floor with you. Land one hit, though, and they're down for the count. If it were more of a consistent weapon to use, the gold double-barreled shotgun would certainly be a bit higher on this list.
If there's one weapon that can ruin an entire strategy with just a few shots, it's the gold grenade launcher. Firing explosive that can be thrown into building, forts, and even massive fortresses, the grenade launcher is one of the best ways to send you opponents scattering. If they're not quick enough builders, it's only a matter of time before their cover comes crashing down with them on top of it. Not only is it extremely effective in destroying destructures, but its high explosive damage is effective when taking down opponents as well. Need to assault a base? Make sure you have one of these handy.
The minigun is a massive and useful weapon. That said, it's a bit more situational than some of the better weapons on this list. Its biggest downside being that it takes a few seconds to charge and it leaves its user fairly immobile. However, its advantages far outweigh its weaknesses. The gold minigun's high damage and rate of fire make it one of the best tools for taking down structures and destroying buildings faster than players can construct them. It's also an excellent tool for distractions and pressure. It can force people to constantly take cover while keeping the attention off of the player's teammates.
If the blue SMG proved effective against both players and structures, imagine how much better the gold compact SMG is at all of those things. With its higher damage and excellent rate of fire, the gold compact SMG can wipe out opponents at close and medium ranges before they know how to properly respond. On top of that, its high rate of fire makes it very useful against structures. With the right level of care, this gun can change the tide of team fights. It also has a hefty magazine size, ensuring that you only have to hold the trigger and watch the carnage.
If there's one explosive weapon that's a Fortnite player's bread and butter, it's the gold rocket launcher. This devastating device can do a lot of damage to both buildings and people at just about any range. Just aim at the foundation of a structure and watch as everyone loses their cool. The rocket launcher is also surprisingly effective in combat. Just jump in the air and shoot at your foe. The explosion radius is deadly enough that it can wipe them out in no more than two shots. Rocket launchers are excellent in both solo and team play, which makes it one of the best weapons in the game.
Arguably the best shotgun in Fortnite is the gold heavy shotgun. Combining all of the advantages of the other shotguns with none of the weaknesses, it's a pure joy to use. It has the higher damage of a pump shotgun, but with the rate of fire of a tactical shotgun. On top of that, the shotgun is still effective at a greater distance, making it an extremely flexible tool in any player's arsenal. At close range, though, anyone using a gold heavy shotgun is sure to have the upper hand. It's essentially like a double-barreled shotgun with a bit less damage, but without any of the risk.
There's something magical about the gold assault rifle. Whether it be how it remains effective at just about any range, does a serious amount of damage, or has a respectable rate of fire is anyone's guess. This is simply one of the best weapons in the game. While it doesn't have a regular or thermal scope, it doesn't need it. Furthermore, the lack of a scope means that it can be used at close ranges, making it an extremely safe option to have in just about any situation. While not made for it, the gold assault rifle can also do some decent damage to structures.
Take everything great we said about the gold assault rifle and throw in the fact that shots don't give away your position, and you have the gold suppressed assault rifle. Is just about all the strengths of its cousin, but with the added advantage of giving players the element of surprise. When every shot in Fortnite is a risk of letting 99 other players know where you are, having such a deadly weapon remove that risk makes it that much more of a threat. It's good at all types of ranges and still does high damage to both players and structures.
While the gold rocket launcher might be a Fortnite player's bread and butter, the gold quad launcher is their fancy meal. The only downside to using a rocket launcher is that it needs to be reloaded after every shot. That isn't the case with a quad launcher. Imagine a rocket launcher with four shots before needing to reload. It keeps all of the advantages to players and structures, even being just as effective at close ranges. With four times the magazine capacity, the quad launcher is much better at pressuring opponents and destroying them, making it arguably the best weapon in Fortnite.