Fortnite Weapons Guide: ARs, Snipers, SMGs, Shotguns, Rocket Launchers, More

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Fortnite is a battle royale title that is all about competing against other players online to be the last person or team standing at the end of the match. A Fortnite weapons guide is here for helping players to know what weapons are available for them on the journey to that victory royale.

A major part of the survival experience, after all, is being able to take down the other players in the battle royale match and ensure that you can win it. While the building is an important aspect of the gameplay experience, so is eliminating other opponents. Here’s what you need to know about the weapons that are designed to help you do just that.

Bottom Line Up Front

Fortnite weapons vary greatly in terms of categories and purposes. There are assault rifles, SMGs, sniper rifles, explosives, bows, handguns, pickaxes, shotguns, items, and more. With seven main rarities in the game — common, uncommon, rare, epic, legendary, exotic, and mythic — figuring out which weapons and types work best for you will help you to nab that victory royale in matches.

Fortnite Weapons Guide: Rarities

One of the most important parts about Fortnite weapons that players should know about is the rarities system that defines what each weapon’s stats are. Essentially, there are multiple different rarities possibilities for most weapons out there, with some categories being better than others.

In total, there are seven rarities that players can encounter in Fortnite battle royale, but only five of them are mainly involved with the looting and gathering aspects of the game. That said, here are all seven of the rarities that players should know about in Fortnite:

  • Common
  • Uncommon
  • Rare
  • Epic
  • Legendary
  • Exotic
  • Mythic

In general, though, the main rarities that players should worry about memorizing in the game are the first five: common, uncommon, rare, epic, and legendary weapons. These five are the ones that you will mostly discover when you are looking around for loot in the battle royale game.

How you can determine which weapon is a different rarity is by the color of the weapon box in your inventory. Every weapon, item, and so on in the game will be noted in your inventory by a specific color attached to it.

The same goes for when you are looking around in treasure chests and on the floor and you see a new item to pick up. These five colors are very important to the looting parts of Fortnite battle royale matches, so you should memorize them.

Here are the colors that are associated with each weapon and even some other items that are in the game:

  • Common: Gray weapons
  • Uncommon: Green weapons
  • Rare: Blue
  • Epic: Purple
  • Legendary: Orange

What this effectively means in practice is that let’s say that you are entering a brand new match by yourself or with friends. As soon as you land, you need a weapon and any item will do for those initial fights against the enemies that are also looking to gear up.

In this way, the common, or gray, weapons will do just fine as you need something to immediately defend yourself. However, once the coast is clear, you need to make sure that you start upgrading and getting better weapons with which to fight back.

The natural progression would be to find the highest ones possible, like a legendary or epic, but even smaller, incremental upgrades like going from a gray weapon to a green one are better than nothing. It is also important to take a look at the items that drop from enemies that you defeat as well since they could have a better version of your same weapons.

And, yes, a skilled player with lower rarity weapons can defeat someone with better guns. This can come down to several factors, such as the skill difference between the two players or even the fact that the enemy you defeated simply has less health than you.

When it comes to the increasing rarity of weapons, the stats do change and will deal more damage overall, but they are slight changes that are not too drastic. Over time, they will make a difference and you should always aim for purple or orange weapons, but a pro with a gray weapon can easily defeat a newcomer with a legendary in a fight.

Of course, this is all without taking into account the other two weapon rarities that are in the game at this time: exotics and mythic weapons. These two are different in that, most of the time, you are not able to find these through the traditional looting methods.

They are locked behind certain key ways of finding them and will usually require either skill from the player or time and effort to gain access to one of them. For both exotic and mythic weapons, they usually come in one of two forms: better existing weapons or exclusive ones.

Most exotic weapons out there are unique versions of already existing weapons, like a special version of a particular assault rifle that only one character in the match has. This can go for mythic weapons, too, but mythics can also include unique weapons all on their own.

In the case of Chapter 3 right now, for example, there are the Spider-Man web shooters that are considered mythic items. There is only one rarity of these items and that is the mythic variety, making them exclusive to this rarity type.

Exotics and mythics are among the most powerful weapons in the game and you should go for them if you can, but they are not technically necessary for winning a match; they just happen to make it a whole lot easier for skilled players out there.

Where and How to Find Weapons

Knowing about the Fortnite weapons out there is one thing, but gaining access to them is a whole other topic entirely. One of the main aspects of a battle royale match is making sure to get as much loot as you possibly can to ensure that you are ready for the fights ahead, including guns and ammo.

There are a few different ways that players can find weapons in Fortnite matches and it comes down to what you are looking for. The first main way is to just walk around outside and inside of buildings around the island. Floor loot is the most basic way of finding weapons and you can find them just lying around for no reason at all around the map.

However, these weapons are generally not too great and you will only find the lower varieties of these most of the time. If you want better weapons, you will want to upgrade to opening up any treasure chests that you can find on the map to get better access to weapons.`

To get even better types of weapons, though, you are going to want to look for the rarer treasure chests and loot drops that come in the form of crates. And even more important than those are the NPC characters that you can come across on the island.

NPCs, or non-player characters, can come in two forms: traders or enemies that you can fight. The NPC traders will offer some of the best weapons in the game in exchange for gold bars. This is actually how you get most of the exotics in the game.

Alternatively, you can fight various NPC boss enemies on the map, like The Foundation at Sanctuary, who will offer you exotics and even mythic upon defeating them. These bosses can be very difficult to overcome, but it is worth it for the unique and powerful weapons that are offered there.

Finally, the last method of getting loot is to simply take out other players and take their gear. This is the tried-and-true method of getting better weapons as you can take advantage of the looting that this person has done. This is also great for acquiring more ammo, which can be scarce at times, especially if you fight a lot.

Fortnite Weapons Categories

When it comes to Fortnite weapons, there are multiple categories that these guns and items fall under. To make it easier, we have come up with groups of weapons that you should know about that we will break down further below. Here are all of the Fortnite weapon categories that you need to know about:

There are a lot of weapons that have been released over the nearly 20 seasons of Fortnite and counting, with many more to come in the future. Items and weapons are constantly being vaulted, removed from the game, unvaulted, or brought back, so players have an ever-changing meta. That said, here’s what you need to know about most weapon categories out there.

Fortnite Assault Rifles Explained

Starting this list, it only makes sense, to begin with, one of the most important weapon categories in Fortnite: the assault rifle group. ARs are a huge part of any shooting-based game, and Fortnite is no different. Assault rifles are the go-to mid-range weapons that players can fight with.

That said, the assault rifle is one of the most versatile weapon categories in the game, with so many different options that excel in their specific purpose. There are some that fire fast, making them great for close to mid-range fights with others, like the MK-Seven assault rifle, which is a welcome weapon for mid to long-range fights with its aim down the sights capabilities.

Then there are still other AR weapons that have different firing abilities, like burst fire or slow but powerful semi-automatic shots. There are so many different assault rifles throughout the history of Fortnite and one of the most important weapon categories for selecting gear.

Some of my personal favorites in this group include the MK-Seven assault rifle, the Primal rifle, the Pulse rifle, and the Stark Industries energy rifle. I would also include the machine gun-like Drum Gun in this category, which is probably in my top three favorite weapons in Fortnite of all time.

SMGs Explained

If the assault rifles excel at mid-range, then the SMGs, or submachine guns, are meant for close to mid-range flights. Lacking the range and overall flexibility of an AR, they will dominate up close and are meant for taking out opponents when you are right in front of one another or inside buildings.

Though the shotguns could also be used in close-range, SMGs are great for players that like automatic weapons and tearing their opponents apart with quick-firing capabilities. The SMGs also contain a ton of different varieties that could be recommended depending on the scenario that the player is in.

Throughout the three chapters that have been released in Fortnite, there are super fast ones like the Stinger SMG and slower but longer-range ones like the Tactical SMG. Then there are guns like the Suppressed SMG that are better for quietly taking out opponents before they even know you’re there.

There are even SMGs that can be used as burst fire weapons or the alien Ray Gun that had infinite ammo so long as the player could find it, removing the need for finding ammo in battle.

Rocket Launchers and Explosives

Another major group of Fortnite weapons is rocket launchers and explosives. RPGs go back to the very beginnings of Fortnite as one of the best ways of countering forts and player creations, and that has not changed much in the years since 2017.

Rocket launchers are still a great way of destroying a Fortnite building and ensuring that you can spot the enemy to take them down. It is worth noting that the rocket launchers are slow to fire and easy to avoid, but the wide range of explosions make it great for taking out structures and players hiding inside of them.

That said, there are have been interesting variations of the rocket launcher over the years like the quad launcher that shoots out four rockets at once or the guided missile that lets you maneuver the rocket manually. There have also been a ton of themed explosive weapons, like the snowball launcher, the shockwave launcher, and the pumpkin launcher.

Oddly enough, these are generally all variations of the original rocket launcher. The only other main explosive weapon is the grenade launcher, which launches grenades at enemies. These are the only two archetypes that fall under this category.

Sniper Rifles

Another major category of weapons in Fortnite is sniper rifles. For any player who likes getting headshots, taking out players in only a few shots, or just being a menace at long-range, the sniper rifles are going to be for you. Unfortunately, there are not a ton of these weapons in Fortnite.

While plenty has been released over the years, Epic Games does not seem to like having too many sniper rifle variants in the same season. That is why there is only one type in the game currently. But there have been several different unique versions in past seasons.

There is your standard Hunter bolt-action rifle in the game currently with that classic three-round magazine for popping off a few shots in quick succession. There are others, too, like the unbelievably powerful heavy sniper rifle or the speedy automatic sniper rifle.

There are still others, too, like the Rail Gun that was focused less on sniping other players but charging up a laser beam to take out vehicles, like the flying saucer from its season.


Though not as glamorous as other weapons in this Fortnite weapons guide, there is no denying that pistols and general handguns have their place in the meta. They may not be necessarily the weapons you want at the end of a match, but they are valuable and common weapons for those early fights.

Pistols are simple handguns that deal a pretty moderate level of damage, so they are best used in the early parts of a match or as a backup in the event of running out of ammo. There have been a lot of variations in the past, with some better than others like the dual pistols, the Hand Cannon, or the popular Flintlock.


Another classic Fortnite weapon is the shotgun. Where the SMG excels in speed at close-range, the shotgun is the master of up close and personal blasts. With the right shotgun and some skill, you can blast an opponent away with a well-placed shot or two before they can even start to unleash their SMG.

There are plenty of shotguns in the game and some wild variations, too, including the strong pump shotgun but also the tactical for a faster take. Then there is the Auto Shotgun for speedier hits or the fascinating Charge Shotgun for choosing whether to spend time to charge up for a more damaging attack than usual.

I’m not a huge shotgun fan, personally, but the gun that I love (and hope it returns someday) is the Drum Shotgun, which takes the fully automatic nature of the Drum Gun and applies to an impressive shotgun form.


Despite having an overwhelming number of different versions, the bows are some of the most underused Fortnite weapons around. Even though it is probably my favorite weapon ever, Epic does not seem to appreciate them and keep them around for long.

The bow works how you would expect, pulling back the arrow to then aim and let it loose. Other versions have added takes on this, like explosive arrows, shockwave arrows, the odd Plunger Bow, fiery arrows, and more. It also benefited from being one of the most customizable bows. And that is all before including the more controllable crossbow.


The mascot weapon of Fortnite is none other than one of the very few melee weapons in it: the pickaxe. The pickaxe is the default and only weapon that players have at the start of the match. It is used to destroy buildings and gather materials as you move around the island.

However, it is also able to deal damage, though, we do not necessarily recommend using it for that unless you have no other choice or are doing a mission. What is interesting about the pickaxe, though, is that it has plenty of skins that have been released over the years.

It is hard to even call it a pickaxe these days when there are literal swords, hammers, and more that are used in place of it at times. You can even dual-wield some pickaxes that essentially function in the same manner.

Beyond the pickaxe, there have been a few decent melee weapons that have been released, like the Infinity Blade, lightsaber, or the Sideways Scythe. But those have been very rare instances and they were typically underused or overpowered.

Combat and Recovery Items

While most of the Fortnite weapons are the usual equipment that you carry around and deal damage with like a gun or bow, there are some items meant for damage that fall outside of those usual categories. These include thrown explosives like grenades, for instance.

There have been plenty of grenades used for destroying enemies and structures, ranging from the usual explosions to trap-like ones to shockwaves to even a Boogie Bomb for making a person dance.

There are also other combat items like ones used for freezing the feet of enemies or the firefly jar for setting objects and players on fire. Of course, this is not only limited to combat items but recovery items as well.

A major part of using weapons is to make sure that you are ready to be defended against everyone else’s weapons. There are recovery items throughout the game for regaining health and shields that are used for this.


Question: What’s the best weapon in Fortnite?

Answer: This is a question that will ultimately be subjective. I could create an entire tier list of weapons in Fortnite, but it will just come down to every player’s preference and skill in the end.
For instance, take a player who excels at long-range combat using weapons like a sniper or infantry rifle. They will be much better at those types of weapons than some other players.
However, at the same time, that sniper might not be as good when it comes to close-range weaponry like SMGs and shotguns. So, they might say that a sniper rifle is the best weapon in the game while another person with a preference for close-range combat might say the opposite.
In general, though, the thing to keep in mind is the rarity. The rarer a weapon, the more damage it will do compared to its other versions. In this way, always try to aim for legendary, mythic, and exotic weapons. Epic will do good as well, but, ultimately, only get you so far. That said, I have won matches in the past with only green, blue, and/or purple weapons, so it is possible.
For me, the best weapon in the game was the customizable makeshift bow from Fortnite Chapter 2, Season 6. The bow was my best companion and I learned how to use it well, causing that season to have my most wins since I started playing the game in 2017 as soon as Fortnite was released.
When it comes to the weapons that are available currently in Fortnite Chapter 3, I would give it to the MK-Seven assault rifle. The addition of being able to aim down the sights for the first time with a non-sniper rifle weapon is a welcome change of pace and has led to more eliminations than usual for me. I hope that, unlike the bow, it is not vaulted in the future.

Question: What weapon does the most damage in Fortnite?

Answer: This is a difficult question to answer, but for right now in Chapter 3, we would give this to the Stinger SMG or the Hunter bolt-action sniper rifle. The Stinger deals an impressive 264 damage per second with a decent magazine size and reloads time.
At close range, there is nothing that will outpace the Stinger SMG and it will destroy players without a doubt in the right hands. Then there is the Hunter bolt-action sniper rifle, which is the only sniper that is available in Chapter 3 at this time.
Though its output damage seems small compared to the Stinger SMG’s unbelievable damage, the sniper rifle is capable of taking out a player with a single headshot, if they do not have full shields. If they do have full shields and health, it can manage the elimination in two simple headshots from a safe distance.

Question: Which color guns are better in Fortnite?

Answer: As I previously mentioned in our rarities section of this Fortnite weapons guide, there are seven different colors or so that you will find in the battle royale game. These rarities are common, uncommon, epic, rare, and legendary. There are also exotic and mythic weapons that are hard to get, but you will know it when you see one.
For colors at least, you mainly just need to focus on the five main colors: gray, green, blue, purple, and orange. Those colors are already in order from the least powerful to the most powerful of the bunch. What this means is that gray is the worst while green is better than it.
On the other hand, blue is better than green, while purple is better than blue, and orange is better than purple and the rest. Exotic and mythic can be even better than legendary, but you are good with just the legendary weapons.

Question: Did the Flintlock get vaulted?

Answer: Yes, the Flintlock pistol was vaulted back in Chapter 2, Season 5 of Fortnite battle royale. It has appeared in the past in limited-time events and game modes for events like the Winterfest holiday event, but it is not available in the game at this time in Chapter 3. Perhaps it will return someday in the future.

Question: Where can you find the scythe in Fortnite?

Answer: The scythe in Fortnite is no longer available. It was one of the unique weapons that players could get in Fortnite Season 8 Cubed and it had to do with the cube monsters that were available all across the island in that particular season.
It was known as the Sideways Scythe and was one of the few melee weapons to ever release in the game besides the usual pickaxe. While it is not available now, the way that players were able to unlock it in a match in Chapter 2, Season 8 was to visit The Sideways Anomalies on the island and open up the special purple chests inside. Players had a chance of encountering the Sideways Scythe this way.


There is an insane amount of weapons that were noted in our Fortnite weapons guide, but this is only one section of learning how to master this battle royale game. There is much more that players should learn about that will help them to grow as a player and get ever closer to earning a victory royale.

If you want to know more about what you should be doing to improve your gameplay and expertise in Fortnite, be sure to check out our overall gameplay guide for the entire battle royale game. This will supplement what you learned here and prepare you for the matches ahead, be it as a solo competitor or a team player.

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