How to build the perfect battle royale game

Earlier this week we posted a survey asking you to help us create the perfect battle royale game. We got 4,958 responses, wow! A big thank you to everyone who took our survey. Let's take a look at the results and see what we've got before the final circle closes in.

There are a lot of aspects to cover when it comes to battle royale games, but the title is a good starting place. Obviously, we need a great name for our game to kick things off, and we provided a list of words for you to choose from that could combine into an evocative and descriptive name. Naturally, we're throwing a colon in there: it ain't a cool game unless it's something colon something else

Picking the top five words and combining them worked pretty well when you helped us build the perfect FPS, Rising Dark Shadow: Apocalypse Protocol, so we did the same with our BR game. Your top five choices are Royale, Battle, Endgame, Arena, and Final, and after a little reshuffling we get:

Final Battle Arena: Endgame Royale

We could also go with Battle Royale Arena: Final Endgame, which I'm partial to since 'Final Endgame' is so enjoyably redundant. Endgame Battle: Final Arena Royale or just Final Endgame Arena: Battle Royale work too, sort of, almost.

The next five most popular words were Zone, Survive, Survival, War, and Kill. That's a bit tougher to work with, unless we start adding more punctuation. War Zone Survival: Kill, Survive? Survival Zone: Survive War; Kill? Okay, those are pretty awful.

Here are some titles I built entirely from suggested words or phrases readers added to:

Squad Standoff: Tournament Extreme
Ultimate Killfight: Gladiator Rumble
Camping Bandwagon: 'Yet Another Battle Royale'

What should the map look like?

Not much ambiguity here: 32.7% felt the map should take place in a post-apocalyptic city. Meanwhile, 18.1% want to play BR in a fantasy realm, 15.3% want a huge multi-level building (as in Dredd or The Raid), 13.8% would like it to take place on an abandoned island, and 10.7% are keen to play on a space station.

If we combine those as we did the title, we get something great: A massive multi-level Dredd-style building in a post-apocalyptic city on an abandoned island in a fantasy realm! I don't know where the space station fits in. Maybe it crashed onto the island, causing the fantasy apocalypse and the abandonment of the island. (This is why elves shouldn't build space stations.) At any rate, some of these line up pretty well with some of the ideas we had for new PUBG maps.

How long should rounds last?

It's perhaps not surprising that nearly half of responses indicated that rounds should last between 20-40 minutes, as that's typically the case with most battle royale games. What is a bit interesting (if you happen to be making a BR game) is that nearly 40% are in favor of shorter rounds (between 10 to 20 minutes), as compared to only 6% who think matches should last longer than 40 minutes.

I'm beginning to lean toward shorter matches myself. While there can be a lot of tension in drawn-out PUBG or Arma BR matches, there can also be a lot of, well, waiting, and sometimes flat-out boredom. The VR battle royale game called Stand Out I played yesterday had much shorter rounds which kept things feeling pretty lively (plus you could grab weapons out of people's hands, which kept things pretty ridiculous).

Other results

How should players enter the map at the beginning of the round? A decisive 33.5% of you chose to arrive in the battle royale arena in a pod like how Superman came to earth. I concur that this is the best option: scorching through the atmosphere, digging a massive charred furrow into the earth, then being adopted by a kindly couple and raised on a farm.

14.4% were happy with parachuting, 13.6% think Uber is the way to go, 10% would like to simply spawn in at a random location, and 9.3% would like to be dropped by a giant bird—which would fit in kind of nicely with our fantasy theme, I think.

Other notable suggestions for arriving on the map:

  • Wingsuit
  • Being hatched from an egg
  • Fired from a cannon
  • Riding a tiny unicorn
  • Delivered by storks
  • Everyone starts in the middle (like Hunger Games)
  • Icebergs (?)
  • Inside a loot box
  • Being birthed by a giant cat
  • Like a mole, from the dirt
  • Mom's minivan

Moving on, 100% of responses were "No" when asked if the game should include loot boxes. Though that was the only option to choose, we still feel it's pretty accurate.

Meanwhile, the closing circle of doom should be comprised of children holding hands and singing off-key according to 17% of responses. While this would be pretty difficult to render in a game, it would certainly motivate players to move their asses (or at least turn their sound off). Other favored choices were mobs of zombies (15.4%), poison gas like in H1Z1 (14.2%), boiling lava (12.5%) and an electrical field (10.7%).

And, PUBG-style, we presented a choice of food-related phrases winners would see at the end of the round. 37% chose "You didn't die, so here's a pie!" which is pretty decisive, not to mention delicious. Here are some of your custom entries:

  • You've survived like a beast, so enjoy your feast! 
  • You aren't dead meat, here is your beet! 
  • Have some linguine, you killing machiney...? 
  • Now eat who you killed, recently grilled!
  • The noobs are dead; Now eat this banana bread!! 
  • The odds were in your favour, so here's some flavour! 
  • You da Killa - your ice cream's vanilla! 
  • You got your wish, have some fish! 
  • You have won, have a bun! 
  • Your face didn't get shot off, here's some stroganoff? 
  • You Survived the Ring, Now Dine like a King! 

Thanks to everyone who took part in the survey! When Final Battle Arena: Endgame Royale leaves Early Access in 2024, the pie is on us.

Christopher Livingston
Senior Editor

Chris started playing PC games in the 1980s, started writing about them in the early 2000s, and (finally) started getting paid to write about them in the late 2000s. Following a few years as a regular freelancer, PC Gamer hired him in 2014, probably so he'd stop emailing them asking for more work. Chris has a love-hate relationship with survival games and an unhealthy fascination with the inner lives of NPCs. He's also a fan of offbeat simulation games, mods, and ignoring storylines in RPGs so he can make up his own.