Why Apex Legends isn’t the Fortnite killer

Fortnite probably isn't going anywhere soon.

Image via Respawn

Apex Legends is already a huge game. It came out of nowhere a week ago as “just another battle royale game” and then, three days later, already 10 million players registered and an average of one million concurrent players.

Developer Respawn and publisher EA also invested a lot in getting major Twitch stars to stream the game. Big names on the platform like Tyler “Ninja” Blevins, Michael “shroud” Grzesiek, and Benjamin “DrLupo” Lupo signed contracts with both companies to stream Apex to their viewers.

Most of these streamers generally stream Fortnite. Ninja is the biggest name on Twitch right now, and Respawn getting him and others to stream Apex instead had a huge impact on Fortnite’s numbers in the streaming platform, which had a third of the Apex hours watched on Feb. 5.

Other streamers have been criticizing Fortnite and its developer Epic Games, saying the game isn’t fun anymore. Turner “Tfue” Tenney, Ali “SypherPK” Hassan, and Ali “Myth” Kabbani are just a few of the Fortnite streamers who have been criticizing the game’s current state to some extent while playing Apex in some livestreams.

The huge success of Apex among players and streamers combined with criticism from influencers towards Fortnite has left people wondering if Apex will kill Fortnite.

But while Apex can really hurt Fortnite’s average number of players and Twitch statistics for good, it’s unlikely that it will kill Fortnite and turn it into a runner-up in the battle royale race. Here’s why.

Fortnite is more accessible

Fortnite is available on almost any platform you can think of. PC, console, and mobile players can enjoy the game and play it together at anytime. Since the game is not too intensive for low-end processors and graphic cards, more people are able to run Fortnite and play it.

For PC players, Apex Legends requires a good PC build to run smoothly. Players who can run Fortnite on their build with no big tweaks might need to make several adjustments to Apex to increase their FPS.

Also, Switch and mobile players still have no idea when they’ll be able to play Apex Legends, which keeps an entire group of battle royale players away from the game.

Fortnite’s basic mechanics are easier to understand

Yes, we know new players or people who aren’t familiar with games can be crushed by proficient builders when playing Fortnite, but that’s an advanced mechanic.

All you need to understand when you start playing Fortnite is that there are weapons with different rarities, and that you have limited space in your inventory to grab them. You can destroy almost anything to harvest material, with which you can build structures. These are the basics.

In Apex, you also have weapon attachments of different rarities that affect certain characteristics of the weapon you’re using. You have characters with their own skills and mechanics that make them unique, each with a passive, an active, and an ultimate skill. That may not sound like a lot to an experienced player, but it might be too much information for a casual player.

Since Fortnite has fewer things players have to worry about when playing, it’s easier to start and more friendly towards newcomers and casual players.

Fortnite is family-friendly

Despite Fortnite being a shooting game in which you kill other people, its cartoony art and visual effects look less aggressive or real than that of Apex Legends, which even has violent ways of fishing off an opponent. Of course none of this matters to a grown-up player who’s used to pulling off fatalities in Mortal Kombat or blowing people’s heads with a shotgun in Grand Theft Auto, but how real the violence in a game is matters to many parents. For instance, Apex Legends’ age rating is 16, while Fortnite’s  is 12. Yes, plenty of kids younger than 12 and 16 will find play both these games, and many parents won’t care either way. But the number of parents who do care and prefer their kids to play Fortnite will provide yet another minor advantage to the game. 

Fortnite’s microtransactions are simple and don’t involve gameplay content

Fortnite has a single currency: V-Bucks. Players can acquire them by either playing the game or buying them with real money. The only things you can unlock with V-Bucks are new cosmetic items that don’t unlock any new feature or character and work only as a visual change.

Apex Legends microtransactions are complex enough to write a guide about them. The game has three currencies, loot boxes, a featured item shop, and characters you can only unlock by either playing the game a considerable number of matches or by buying them. They have skills and features that aren’t seen in free characters, which means players don’t have access to all gameplay mechanics available in Apex Legends on the go.

That means casual players will have a really hard time unlocking new characters if they want to play Apex Legends for free. In Fortnite, they don’t have to worry about that.

All these reasons collectively mean that Fortnite: Battle Royale is more friendly towards newcomers and casual players than Apex Legends. Those who are curious about playing Apex Legends might run into a few issues and hurdles before they can run the game, understand it, or get involved with its microtransactions. Fortnite is easier to run and understand, and puts casual and hardcore players at equal footing regarding the resources they can choose before playing, since there are no different characters or classes to unlock.

But that doesn’t mean Fortnite is better than Apex, or the other way around. This just means that Apex has a lot to work on before it overcomes Fortnite’s incredible player numbers.