Fortnite's controversial Battle Royale mode is now live

Fortnite Battle Royale, the 100-player last-man-standing mode that caused such consternation and heartache at PUBG studio Bluehole, is now live and free for everyone. The 1.6.3 update released today also brings Duos and Squad match types that enable players to square off in pairs or groups of up to four, three new weapons, and an array of tweaks and bug fixes. 

Four-player Squad matches are live now, while the two-player Duos will be activated once there are enough players to support matchmaking in both modes, Epic said. Teams can be filled by inviting people on your Friends List, or through the "Fill" option, which will automatically top it up. Other relevant points: 

  • When your health falls to zero you’ll be “down but not out” (DBNO).  Your squadmates only have a short amount of time to revive you before your health bar drains.
  • You can see your team members’ status on the HUD, including Health and Shields.
  • Use the map to place location markers which are visible to your team and will display on the compass at the top of the HUD.  Keep an eye out for markers from your squad!
  • Cooperate with team members to build awesome defensive structures!
  • Friendly-fire is enabled, so be careful where you aim! Intentionally attacking squadmates violates the code of conduct.

The new update also enables Supply Drops, which will occasionally deliver crates filled with weapons and equipment to the battlefield. The new Scoped Assault Rifle is a lot like the base model but with a scope—hence the name—and is best used against medium-to-long targets, while the Tactical Submachine Gun is a rough-looking piece with a high rate of fire that's best at medium ranges. And finally, there's the Zapotron, which can fire short bursts of electric blasts or one big zap—but kind in mind that ammo for this beast "is extremely limited."

We took a closer look at Fortnite Battle Royale earlier today, which you can dig into right here. I won't spoil it for you, but I will say that you probably don't want to uninstall PUBG just yet. The full FBR patch notes are available at

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Andy Chalk

Andy has been gaming on PCs from the very beginning, starting as a youngster with text adventures and primitive action games on a cassette-based TRS80. From there he graduated to the glory days of Sierra Online adventures and Microprose sims, ran a local BBS, learned how to build PCs, and developed a longstanding love of RPGs, immersive sims, and shooters. He began writing videogame news in 2007 for The Escapist and somehow managed to avoid getting fired until 2014, when he joined the storied ranks of PC Gamer. He covers all aspects of the industry, from new game announcements and patch notes to legal disputes, Twitch beefs, esports, and Henry Cavill. Lots of Henry Cavill.