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Call of Duty Warzone vs. Fortnite: Which battle royale is for you?

Call of Duty Warzone vs. Fortnite
(Image credit: Activision)

It's Call of Duty: Warzone vs. Fortnite in the latest fight for battle royale supremacy.

Fortnite still reigns supreme in the battle royale arena, but many solid contenders still remain on the field. PUBG is still going strong, Apex Legends continues to be a big hit and Escape From Tarkov took things to the hardcore limit. But recently, many people have discovered Call of Duty Warzone.

If you’re a big battle royale fan looking for the next hit, Warzone should be on your radar for many different reasons. Fans of Fortnite and other battle royales should be familiar with Warzone’s basic premise. But the details are where things can really matter, so anyone curious about Warzone should a minute to know what they’re getting into with Call of Duty’s next battle royale. Here's how Call of Duty: Warzone and Fortnite stack up.

Call of Duty Warzone vs. Fortnite: Price and platforms 

Call of Duty Warzone vs. Fortnite

(Image credit: Activision)

Warzone launched March 9th as part of a major update to Modern Warfare. If you bought Modern Warfare for $60, you already have access to Warzone as well as some extra rewards. However, Warzone is also available for free as a separate download, with the option to upgrade to the full Modern Warfare game that includes the campaign, traditional multiplayer modes, and a co-op Special Ops mode.

You can get access to Warzone on all the platforms the new Modern Warfare is on: PS4, Xbox One and PC through Battlenet. Warzone players can buy the Modern Warfare battle pass, which sells for around $10 worth of Call of Duty points and includes a special operator, 100 tiers of new items and up to 1,300 Call of Duty points that you can earn back. 

Call of Duty Warzone vs. Fortnite

(Image credit: Epic Games)

Fortnite is also free-to-play, and available on a wider range of platforms than Activision's battle royale is. You can currently play fortnite on PS4, Xbox One, PC, Mac, iOS and Android. Fortnite offers plenty of in-game purchases, including a seasonal battle pass that grants access to special cosmetics and sells for roughly $10 in in-game currency. 

Call of Duty Warzone vs. Fortnite: Style and visuals 

Call of Duty Warzone vs. Fortnite

(Image credit: Activision)

Call of Duty: Warzone follows many of the familiar rules of battle royale: it’s an elimination, team-based deathmatch on a single map with a shrinking playzone and every player has to scramble to find guns and equipment after parachuting onto the map. 

Call of Duty Warzone vs. Fortnite

(Image credit: Epic Games)

Where Fortnite stands out with a cartoon visual style and a Minecraft-like building mechanic, Warzone is expectedly more realistic looking and it includes features new to battle royales that are inspired from the Call of Duty multiplayer games, like access to loadouts and killstreak rewards. It shares a color-coded loot system with fixed weapon mods, similar to Fortnite, rather than an attachment system in PUBG or Apex Legends.

Warzone is currently limited to teams of three, with the option to drop solo or as a duo. Warzone also boasts a much larger player count than other battle royales, at 150 players per match compared to the 100-player matches in Fortnite.

Similar to Fortnite and Apex Legends, Warzone allows teammates to be brought back from the dead. It also uses the Battle Pass system for leveling up your account and earning cosmetics.

Call of Duty: Warzone vs. Fortnite: Gameplay 

Call of Duty Warzone vs. Fortnite

(Image credit: Activision)

In Warzone you can collect piles of cash from around the map and from defeated players for use at Buy Stations which you can find marked on your map. These locations are not fixed between matches. At each station you can purchase things to give you a big advantage, assuming you have enough money. Many of the things for sale are designed after classic Call of Duty killstreak rewards, like the UAV or the Air Strike. You can also use a Buy Station to purchase a self-revive or a teammate respawn. 

Easily the most interesting choice at the Buy Station is the Loadout Drop Marker. This marks a space for a supply drop, putting a pin on every player’s map at your marker’s location. If you can stay alive for the drop, you’ll get access to a full loadout of gear. You can customize what appears in this loadout before the match, and unlock more options as you pass gameplay milestones. Each loadout comes with traditional Call of Duty perks, like Ghost that renders you invisible to UAVs or Tracker that lets you see enemy footprints.

As an added means of earning cash, you can collect items called Contracts, which will activate mini-missions inside of the match, which can include staying in a location for a set time or opening a number of weapon crates. Completing a contract will net your team with a good chunk of cash and also incentivize a little variation in your gameplan.

Finally, Warzone adds one more way to give players another chance at victory by allowing players killed early on in a match to earn a respawn. If you die before a majority of players do, you’ll be dragged off to the Gulag for a 1 vs 1 gunfight in a small room against another player who met an early demise. If you win, you’ll redeploy from the sky back into the same match, minus any stuff or cash you may have found before you died.

Call of Duty Warzone vs. Fortnite

(Image credit: Epic Games)

Fortnite is more straightforward by comparison, as players or teams drop onto an island and simply battle until one is left standing. The game's defining mechanic is building, as players can collect resources such as wood and metal throughout the game world and build fortifications on the fly to defend against and trap opponents. There's no cash system, no killstreaks, no contracts, no respawns -- just a colorful battle royale arena with some building mechanics. 

Call of Duty: Warzone vs Fortnite: Modes 

Call of Duty Warzone vs. Fortnite

(Image credit: Epic Games)

Fortnite's main game modes consist of solo, duo and squad play, as well as a Creative mode that lets players build their own levels outside of the chaos of combat. There are also limited-time modes that rotate out on a seasonal basis, including the occasional 50 vs. 50 team battle.

Warzone currently has two modes: The traditional Battle Royale, as well as a new mode dubbed Plunder. Plunder is a new twist on the goals of battle royale. It uses all the systems mentioned above, but changes the win condition from being the last team alive to being the team that deposits the most cash in 30 minutes. The player limit is set to 102 to make 34 teams of three. Each team has to run around collecting cash, killing other players for their cash and completing contracts. The team with the most money after 30 minutes or the team to reach one million dollars first wins the match.

Call of Duty Warzone vs. Fortnite

(Image credit: Activision)

There are some big differences between Plunder and standard battle royale. Players can respawn infinitely, although they drop half their cash on the ground when they do, and only the cash you manage to deposit at special locations count for your team. Once you deposit your cash, it’s secured and cannot be dropped when you die. Depositing cash takes a little bit of time and can be done either at very conspicuous deposit locations or if you spend some of your team’s money to call in your own deposit balloon.

In Plunder, there is no shrinking playzone. All 102 players have access to the full map for the duration of the match. Dwindling cash to be found on the map and respawning players looking to take back their lost cash will both help to ensure everyone will have enough incentive to get into fights rather than spend all game looting. And despite the static map conditions, Plunder matches tend to be over much more quickly than standard Warzone battle royale matches.