“Build up and knock him with your tact; he’s right below you!”

“Sniper at 232 in the steel fort! Take cover!”

Exchanges like these between players of Epic Games’ Fortnite Battle Royale echo in classrooms, living rooms and bedrooms around the world. However, some favor its older rival and inspiration, PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds (PUBG) due to the viral playerbase it established prior to the Fortnite popularity boom in early February.

An immediate advantage that Fortnite grants its players is the free-to-play matchmaking and installation. While players of PUBG are required to shell out $30 to join the rapidly dwindling playerbase, Fortnite boasts a zero-cost battle royale mode that is revered by players worldwide.

The lack of a download fee has acted as a catalyst for the game’s popularity, and has promoted the expansion of many advanced features and quality-of-life improvements that PUBG has not taken the initiative to implement.

Another benefit that Fortnite boasts is its easy-to-run, cartoonish and playful graphics. By creating a relatively forgiving system that does not overload its computer players, Fortnite curates a more enjoyable experience than PUBG. Players can focus on collaborating and winning instead of disabling graphics to run their game.

Although both games utilize an effective shooting system, but there is one aspect that sets Fortnite apart from its counterpart. Building structures using wood, brick and steel materials is much more intriguing for players because the vast majority of first-person shooters, including PUBG, do not possess a resource-based building interface.

“The current state and the competitive scene of PUBG is inferior to Fortnite qualitatively and quantitatively speaking, and Fortnite has a much better close range system, too,” sophomore and player of both games Jimmy Kang said. “Fortnite has better game mechanics mainly because of the vertical movement and the building system.”

While PUBG has been around for much longer and has server connectivity in more regions than Fortnite does, it is prone to hacking from players in the Southeast Asia region. Unlike Fortnite, which prevents users from playing outside their region regardless of their matchmaking server ping, PUBG does not region lock international players who often join North America servers and cheat to win their matches.

“PUBG has a deficient anti-cheat system, and even Dell is selling a computer in China with a main advertising point that it can run PUBG hacks,” Kang said.

While PUBG reigned as the leader in the battle royale genre up until earlier this year, Fortnite has taken the world by storm. Simply put, the less-demanding graphics, free-to-play service and unique building system verifies Fortnite’s dominance, and justifies its rival’s downward spiral into irrelevance.