All Fortnite game modes, explained

Fortnite is like one of those ATARI cassettes that had 50 mini-games in them.

Image via Epic Games

There’s more than one way of playing Fortnite, and all of them are fun in their own right. While the most competitive players may focus on the Arena mode and tournaments, Epic Games usually introduces limited-time game modes (LTMs) featuring new mechanics with each major patch.

Not only are these game modes a nice way to blow off some steam, but they also come with various challenges that reward players with XP. Even if players don’t enjoy a certain game mode, playing it a few times will be enough to complete their quests.

Epic introduces completely new game modes here and there, but there is a decent number of them and they rotate in and out of the game with each season. These game modes can be divided into three categories: LTMs, live events, and competitive game modes.

Players will only have so much time to play in the LTMs since they rotate out of the game after a certain period. These game modes usually feature countdowns next to their names, so you’ll know when it’s time to say goodbye.

Competitive game modes can be considered as limited-time cups and tournaments that usually award the top players with cash. These game modes tend to have strict rules and you should read them carefully if you’re looking to participate. Though the ruleset will look similar at first sight, some may have fine prints, and not reading them thoroughly can cause you to get disqualified.

Live events are Fortnite’s crown jewel since they tend to bring out the best that Epic Games has to offer. Some live events will feature real-life celebrities, while others will blow players’ minds with astonishing cinematics that will shed light on all the unknowns in a season’s storyline.

Here are all the game modes that have been available in Fortnite so far. The list is likely to grow over time, but some of these existing game modes can also make comebacks. The list includes core game modes like Solos, Duos, Squads, Trios, Battle Lab, Party Royale, and Team Rumble alongside more unique ones that only become available for limited periods.

All Fortnite game modes, explained

In 2022, there have been very few returns of the special modes that were previously popular in Fortnite. Instead, Epic Games has focused on evolving the Battle Royale and Creative modes.

#FreeFortnite CupThe #FreeFortnite Cup was organized by Epic right after the feud between Apple and Epic kicked off. It’s quite similar to most tournament game modes where players earn points based on their placements and depending on how many enemies they take out.
50v50The 50v50 game mode features two teams of 50 players. The storm in this game mode is more lethal and there’s more loot to make up for the teams’ sizes.
Air RoyaleThe Air Royale game mode sweeps players’ feet off the ground and places each squad on a plane. Everyone will be a part of a fighter plane in the Air Royale game mode. While a player will be tasked with flying the plane, others will be stationed on the wings and try to take down other aircraft.
ArenaArena is the name of Fortnite’s ranked ladder. There are a few additional mechanics that differ from regular Fortnite matches and aim to make the matches more competitive.
BarebonesBarebones can be considered as Fortnite’s take on Call of Duty’s Hardcore mode. Some parts of the UI will be disabled in this game mode, making players rely on their senses.
Battle LabsBattle Labs is one of the core game modes in Fortnite and it allows players to play against each other in a mode that’s similar to regular matches. Players respawn after death in Battle Labs, making it a decent choice to practice new techniques.
Beach AssaultBeach Assault is a unique game mode where players are divided into attackers and defenders. As its name suggests, this game mode takes place on a beach and attackers will try their best to breach into defenders’ zone.
Blitz!Blitz is like a classic game of Fortnite that may have had one too many energy drinks. In Blitz, you’ll run faster with your pickaxe and even glide faster, causing matches to last relatively shorter.
BountyBounty is a chaotic game mode where you’ll be tasked to hunt down specific players while someone else will also be out there who’ll also be chasing you down.
Catch!Catch! is one of the few game modes that doesn’t feature any guns. You’ll only be able to use consumables and explosives.
ClassicClassic is the perfect mode for OG Fortnite players since it features the guns that were available during the early days of the game and none of the new additions. 
Close EncountersPlayers get to battle each other in a close-quarter setup with jetpacks in Close Encounters.
CreativeCreative allows players to create their own games and maps, making it a place for both fun and competitive training. Fortnite also often hosts partnered musical experiences with Soundwave Series.
Diplo @ Party RoyaleThis was a limited-time Party Royale event with Diplo on the stage. Players who participated in this game mode got the chance to see Diplo’s Fortnite concert.
Disco DominationIn Disco Domination, the only weapons players will have are their dance moves. Players will get to participate in dance-offs in dance floors that spawn around the island.  
DuosDuos game mode is one of the core parts of Fortnite and it allows parties of two to play against each other.
Final FightFinal Fight features a timer at the end instead of a shrinking circle. The team with the most number of players alive gets to win at the end.
Fly ExplosivesIn Fly Explosives, players will get to move around in Jet Packs and throw explosives.
Food FightFood Fight features Fortnite’s two restaurants, Durr Burger and Pizza Pit. Players are tasked with protecting these restaurants’ mascots.
Food Fight: Deep FriedThe Deep Fried version of the Food Fight adds rising lava into the mix. 
Ground GamePlayers are limited with fewer building materials in Ground Game.
High ExplosivesHigh Explosives only features explosive weapons and crash pads.
Horde RushHorde Rush features waves of cube monsters and players get a minute to gear up for each wave.
Hype NiteHype Nite is a tournament mode that awards players with Hype points based on their placements.
Hype Nite+The plus version of Hype Nite awards players with more Hype.
Kenshi Yonezu @ Party RoyaleThis was a video premiere event featuring Japanese singer, Kenshi Yonezu.
One ShotOne Shot is a sniper-only game mode where players only have 50 hp and reduced gravity.
Party RoyaleParty Royale is one of the core game modes of Fortnite. Most live Fortnite events take place in this game mode.
PlaygroundPlayground was an old core game mode. It allowed a maximum of 16 players to practice on a private island.
Save the WorldFortnite’s original mode allows the player to takes on hordes of monsters and build special defences to ward them off. While it doesn’t get the same love it once got, STW still gets quality of life updates periodically.
SlideSlide is one of the more slippery game modes in Fortnite. Each player starts the game with ice blocks on their feet and a grappler. The ammo is also unlimited in this game mode.
Sniper ShootoutThis is a sniper-only game mode. Revives will be turned off in Sniper Shootout and you’ll go back to the lobby even if you’re playing with a squad.
Soaring 50sSoaring 50s is a 50v50 game mode that has a lot of mobility tools available.
Soaring Solos/Duos/SquadsSoaring versions of the regular game modes. Players will be able to deploy gliders when they fall.
Solid GoldAll weapon drops will be Legendary in Solid Gold.
SolosSolo is one of the core game modes that matches players against other solo players.
Soundwave SeriesThis is a featured series that Fortnite hosts in Creative to showcase different musical talent from across the world. It’s usually held every few months.
SquadsYou’ll be able to team up with up to four players in Squads.
Steady StormThe zone continuously shrinks down in the Steady Storm game mode
Team RumbleTwo teams of 16 players go against each other in a Deathmatch style in the Team Rumble game mode.
Team TerrorTwo teams of 32 players go against each other while monsters will spawn with each new circle.
Teams of 20Teams of 20 features five teams of 20 players in a classic format.
Teams of 33Teams of 33 features three teams of 33 players in a classic format.
The Floor Is Lava!The Floor is Lava is usually an addition to other game modes. When you see this tag expect hot lava to come out of the ground, which will damage you upon contact.
The GetawayTeams are tasked to find a Jewel on the map and take it to the Getaway van.
Trailer Premiere At Party RoyaleA movie premiere at the Party Royale game mode.
TriosA classic game mode where players can play as trios.
UnvaultedPlayers will only have access to vaulted weapons in the Unvaulted game mode.
We The People @ Party RoyaleWe The People was a Party Royale event with guest speakers giving a series of conversations that advance the dialogue around race in America.
Wick’s BountyThis was a Bounty-type event that went live with the release of John Wick 3: Parabellum.
Wild WestWild West is close to the regular game mode, where players can only use weapons like Hunting Rifles, Shotguns, and Dynamites.

About the author

Gökhan Çakır

Strategical Content Writer and Fortnite Lead for Dot Esports. Gökhan Çakır graduated as an industrial engineer in 2020 and has since applied his analytical and strategic thinking to many endeavors. As a natural-born gamer, he honed his skills to a professional level in Dota 2. Upon giving up on the Aegis of Champions in 2019, Gökhan started his writing career, covering all things gaming while his heart remains a lifetime defender of the Ancients.