Come on, you knew that we had to do it, right? Love it, hate it or wanting to throw it into space in a burning trashcan, the Battle Royale craze is not giving any signs of slowing down. We’re not ones to shy away from any trend, and so here is our honest take on the best Battle Royale games – free Battle Royale games, of course, because that’s just how we roll. And besides, everyone already knows about PUBG.
Let’s begin with our Top 10 Free Battle Royale Games 2018-2019. Can you guess the number one? snicker
10 – TOTALLY ACCURATE BATTLEGROUNDS
Alright, technically Totally Accurate Battlegrounds may not be free-to-play at the time of writing – or maybe it is, it depends on when you are reading this –, but the announcement of the business model switch plan dates from November 8, 2018. So, we’re jumping the gun and adding it in this list, because we can.
What was originally created as an April Fools' parody of the Battle Royal genre ended up as an actual Battle Royale game. Life is stranger than fiction, right? And so, Totally Accurate Battlegrounds may look silly, play like a bugged mess and it has a complete disregard for real physics, but that is what makes it a lot of fun. It’s wacky, better with friends and hopefully will be decently supported, as it deserves some love from the developers and players both.
9 – CREATIVE DESTRUCTION
Maybe labeling Creative Destruction as the ‘Fortnite of the poor' is a bit harsh, but we can’t shake the idea that developer Titan Studio played the heck out of Epic Games’ Battle Royale before developing this game. Apparently, it paid off, as Creative Destruction has a big player base that is helped by the fact that it both available on PC and mobile devices. It’s not cross-platform, though.
With cartoon graphics and a mix of shooting and building, Creative Destruction really sounds like that other game, right? It’s a fun little game, not too demanding on your PC, but make sure that you go in with low expectations – that’s the best way to enjoy Creative Destruction.
8 – CUISINE ROYALE
Boy, whoever decided that this would make an actual game was either tripping on LSD or has an incredibly weird sense of humor. Cuisine Royale started as a joke and ended up as a full-fledged game, one that even puts some real Battle Royale games to shame.
I don’t know why these devs are so obsessed with food, but Cuisine Royale isn’t just fooling around with its wok and waffle maker armor; it runs on a proper engine that will also support squad based MMO shooter Enlisted. This is no double-dipping, however; this is a genuinely fun and fair game that will be mostly enjoyed by those with a sense of humor – and real tough guys chewing on cigars!
7 – REALM ROYALE
Realm Royale follows that one popular trend – a game mode that turned into a standalone game. With the colossally successful Paladins as a great foundation to build up on, you would expect that Hi-Rez would do no wrong.
And it didn’t. Well, at least until some recent changes outraged the community and removed some of the details that made it exciting. Sure, this is the kind of experimenting that happens with a game in Early Access, but it can also mean the difference between a game that is well received and one that falls into negative review territory, never to climb back again.
Realm Royale will probably take some time to achieve its best form, unless Hi-Rez or players give up on it too soon. Eventually, it could turn out to be a perfect companion for Paladins, but will it ever justify its status as a standalone game, even if it is free-to-play?
6 – DARWIN PROJECT
Darwin Project came out of nowhere and is bound to leave you cold. No, not in the sense that it is a bad game, but because it’s set in a dystopian post-apocalyptic North Canadian region under the threat of an impending ice age. It’s a setting that isn’t dissimilar to other Battle Royale game, Ring of Elysium.
However, Darwin Project has something of a dungeon master. The Show Director is a player that controls the arena as a deadly host, by controlling nuclear bombs, storms, zone closures and so on. Stream viewers can also help the Director by suggesting targets for his rage, voting for the next zone to be nuked and other malign suggestions.
A good, inventive Battle Royale game with a small community that hopefully won’t shrink much further.
5 – DYING LIGHT: BAD BLOOD
Dying Light: Bad Blood is a triple-A quality game with a focus on first-person melee combat, but you can also expect some ranged weapons as well. Coming from the experienced studio Techland, this is a ‘Brutal Royale’ game (as the devs describe it) where parkour plays a huge part. 12 players enter the zone, collects blood samples and only one leaves the arena alive.
Bad Blood has a nice twist to the Battle Royale formula, as it features a PvPvE kind of mix. Players will be fighting each other but also must deal with the zombies that are rummaging through the zone. This leads to several possibilities and strategies: will you let the zombies take care of that player while you collect the blood sample or are you going to use it to your advantage and finish him off, but putting yourself at risk? There are other interesting tactical options such as using electricity-based weapons during rain-filled sessions.
Early 2019 should see the free-to-play release, something that could give a healthy boost to a still diminutive player base.
4 – H1Z1
Despite all the turmoil that Daybreak is going through, especially during December 2018 with about 70 layoffs, there’s no denying that they nailed it with H1Z1. Well, apart from the complete chaos that was having one game, then splitting it into two – Battle Royale and Survival – and ultimately canceling Just Survive to focus on H1Z1: Battle Royale, the controversy surrounding the short-lived H1Z1 eSports League… Well, it’s been a messy year, to say the least.
However, H1Z1 is still alive and kicking, sporting a healthy player base that many BR games would kill for. It has solos, duos and fives, includes an Auto Royale mode focusing on cars – think notmycar if you will – and isn’t doing too bad for itself.
Of course, it now must deal with the heavy competition of a very similar game, one that is called…
3 – RING OF ELYSIUM
When you thought that after tons of dead-in-the-water Battle Royale copycats were all that China was able to churn out, here’s that Tencent goes and delivers a polished, clever and enticing mix of ideas from PUBG and Fortnite Battle Royale. Throw a few other nice touches in there and you have a winner.
First of all, the snow mountain map is what makes it stand out from the competition, but some releases already feature a second map in a tropical island. Focusing on the snow map for now, you have snowstorms, a clever way of shrinking the map in predefined regions through the threat of hypothermia instead of the tired circle, and the possibility of four players leaving in the helicopter instead of one – it’s so much rewarding to be one of the winning group than seeing victory escaping from our hands as it happens so often in other Battle Royale games. And then we have several vehicles to have fun with.
By trying to shake the genre, Ring of Elysium rightfully earns its place as one of the best Battle Royale games currently available.
2 – BATTLERITE ROYALE
From game mode to standalone release, Battlerite Royale left more than a few players worried about the fate of the original Battlerite. While it’s too soon to say if Stunlock Studios will be able to provide ample support to both titles, so far, they seem to be properly taking care of things.
What’s best is that Battlerite Royale didn’t turn out to be a half-assed attempt at cashing in on the Battle Royale craze. This is a game with merits, starting with the obvious – the isometric top-down perspective, while being done to death in MOBA games, isn’t very usual in the Battle Royale genre, at least so far.
There was a lot of work going into the game to make sure the battles were exciting, and while Champion balance still needs further improvement, gameplay is already fun, and the arena is diverse and quite large. By early 2019 Battlerite Royale will exit paid Early Access and become free-to-play.
1 – FORTNITE BATTLE ROYALE
What else is there to say about Fortnite Battle Royale that hasn’t been said before? Epic Games had a stroke of genius when it created this mode based on the overwhelming success of Playerunknown’s Battlegrounds and releasing it as free-to-play was the cherry on top of the cake.
Despite some futile attempts, no one could honestly call this game a copycat with a straight face. It’s not just the cartoon looks and the much more relaxed style, while still being incredibly competitive; it’s the building mechanics that separates it from Battlegrounds and any other recent Battle Royale game, for that matter. It was just the perfect timing, the regular updates and the crazy emotes that got people talking – and let’s be honest, a celebrity or two streaming it also helped a lot.
With a release in every major platform, mobile devices and cross-play – Epic Games even convinced Sony to let the PS4 join in the party –, there is no sign of Fortnite Battle Royale’s success slowing down anytime soon.
That’s our list of the best Free Battle Royale Games for 2018 and eventually for 2019, although you can expect some changes. We were dying to add Spellbreak to the top 10, but since this ‘Harry Potter Battle Royale’ is still in its pre-alpha stages, we had to refrain from doing so. Also, the developers are still unsure about the best business model, but this means that free-to-play is a strong possibility – they’d better!
BattleBeasts also seems truly interesting, and it’s guaranteed free-to-play. It almost looks like Guardians of the Galaxy: The Survival Battle Royale game – it’s set in another planet, there’s a space base and one of the characters is a bad-ass raccoon. How awesome is that?
You can also check Ashes of Creation's Battle Royale half, Apocalypse. It's currently in open beta, so give it a go to see if it's worthwhile.
We hope you enjoyed the top and as always, we’ll be on the lookout for more free Battle Royale games. No matter how much it hurts us.