The Battle Royale craze: what makes it so big right now?

best battle royale games

Battle Royale has become the largest driving force in the online gaming community as of late. With so many options it may be hard to really know which ones are worth investing into, and how long until another will pop up. It seems that there are more and more games coming out with a focus, or at least a game mode, in which offers this style of play.

Something about starting off with nothing and jumping into an open map that has limited resources to fight over in a last man standing style gets people hyped up. Different titles will offer slightly different experiences but the idea is you usually parachute down from the skies with nothing but the clothes you’re wearing in an attempt to land where you can gear yourself up. Should you land where you know a lot of loot will be while risking a higher amount of players in that area of the map? Maybe it would be a better option to land on the outskirts and hope that you get lucky with loot and to play the waiting game. Battle Royale allows the player to be in control of more with less time investment than other genres while still keeping a competitive atmosphere. No grinding, just jumping in and trying to get that chicken dinner.

PUBG, H1Z1, Fortnite, Radical Heights and even some unexpected titles like Moonlight Blade, Battlerite and Maplestory 2 offer a Battle Royale experience. No two are exact clones of one another but will feel familiar once you play one, as the idea behind each of them is very similar. As these types of games came up out of nowhere, quickly over- saturating the market, it seems almost overwhelming. A lot of people still support heavily, as one of the most popular games on the market at the moment is Fortnite, however there are others that don’t feel the same about the idea of Battle Royale and would rather see it die out.

Although I don’t find find these games very fun by yourself, they are incredibly fun to hop into with a group of friends, there is no “catching up” necessary which keeps your friends from falling behind one another. These games bring a great mix of competition and tomfoolery where you’re able to play to win or play to mess around and have fun which, in this day and age of the gaming community was long overdue. It’s usually too competitive or a lack thereof.

Deciding on which Battle Royale to invest in depends on what you’re looking for. If you want a more realistic feel, then PUBG would be your go-to (with a monetary investment). PUBG is obviously not fully realistic but out of the Battle Royale games it's definitely as close as can be so far with a healthy population. H1Z1 is a good free option, now, as it used to have a price tag. If you’re looking for a game with guns that you’re familiar with then this would be a good free alternative to PUBG. Next in the line is the major breadwinner of the genre, Fortnite. If you’re desiring unique guns and a cartoon/arcade style Battle Royale for all ages, then this would be as good a choice as any. Lastly, a more recent contender, Radical Heights. This game at first glance is definitely not good on the eyes but has some charm to it. It takes arcade to the next level and drives that as its selling point. Definitely a good choice out of them if you’re looking for a smaller community and to see which direction the game takes in development.

With Fortnite being the largest name out at the moment, consistently leading the charts on streaming services like Twitch, this should be the go-to for anyone unsure of what Battle Royale is. This title deserves the number one spot as it brings something completely unique to the genre – building. You can build your Fort on the fly, or stairs leading up and around mountains, the way you build is up to you and it’s easy to get down with a bit of practice. How well you build will be the difference between top 10 and first place in a match. It’s a free game that has only cosmetic purchases (staying away from the idea of pay-to-win). If you have a squad you can get up to 4 people in one lobby together as a team. Don’t have enough? No worries! They offer duo and solo for those that are looking to rely only on themselves or one another. The map is constantly being worked on and events are always taking place.

As of writing this, if you’re an Avengers fan they just released an event called “Infinity Gauntlet” allowing you to drop in for a limited time and fight over a gauntlet that turns you into Thanos, with the remaining players trying to take him down. These types of events and game modes are pushed regularly to keep the player-base returning, something that they do far better than their competition.

Fortnite may be the most polished of the games and the team behind it, Epic Games has had far more time inside the engine (their own Unreal Engine 4) and building its game than the others, but it is not the only viable choice. If you have seen Fortnite and the graphics turn you off but you still would like to hop into a free Battle Royale then I would advise to check out H1Z1. This game has had a very rocky development but it still holds over 2,000 players online at any given time. The team behind it has made a lot of changes, or lack thereof, in directions that the players have not been happy with which leads to a lot of negative perceptions. Even if the perception is generally off-putting towards this name, it’s a solid free option out there that should be around for a while. You can’t lose anything from giving it a shot.

Maybe when checking out these names you want something a bit more… “Radical”. Radical Heights is here for you. This game sets itself apart from the others by being completely nonsensical and over the top. The game has an announcer throughout it as if you are really in a game show to the death and a currency system linked to your account. It’s all about making as much money per match while staying alive against the other players that are searching for loot and gear.

The money you finish with will be kept in an ATM system, allowing you to withdraw cash from in your future games to use on one-time use vending machines scattered across the map to buy gear, this allows players that have been playing for a bit to occasionally tap in to their savings to get a piece of equipment that would otherwise be locked to others. The cash can also be used to unlock cosmetics in their cash shop (although more limited). Like any decent Battle Royale, there is currently no pay-to-win in place and spending money on this title will only grant cosmetic changes. It’s time to get radical, man.

It’s hard to explain what the draw of Battle Royale games are, people can have all sorts of different answers as to what makes them enjoy them. The best thing to do is to hop into one of these free games and give it a bit of time yourself to see if it’s for you. After you’re done checking it out be sure to let us know what you think about them. Did you love it? Did you hate it? Which one did you enjoy the most?

By Michael Hack

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