It’s the start of 2018 and we’re all eager to see what new games that are coming out and eager to see what the greedy Triple-A culture is plotting to wring their player base dry with endless microtransactions and online gambling. One of the best things that came out in 2017 is Battle Royale—a game genre pits tons of players in large maps and the goal is to be the last man standing.
But what are Battle Royale games? Battle Royale is a video game genre that blends survival game elements like scavenging, exploration with the last man standing gameplay. A large group of players or teams are thrown into a large map with little or no equipment. The players will then scavenge areas for weapons and supplies while engaging other players in combat or avoid them until you get a better position or have acquired decent gear. Over time, the play area of the map shrinks and this forces the players to move in close proximity and increases encounters. The last player or team left standing is the winner.
Battle Royale games are rising in popularity, so everyone is getting into the trend. Battle Royale games aren’t particularly new and they’ve been in the modding community for many years, but thanks to certain games, the genre became popular that other developers are making their own versions. 2018 is going to be an interesting year for Battle Royale, so if you want to be part of this popular genre, then you’ve come to the right place! We’ve got some interesting games that you may find, well, interesting!
Honey’s Anime is going to list 10 Battle Royale games that are currently available or games with a battle royale update/expansion that are worth checking out in 2018. The genre is fairly new, so we’re also going to include games that are still in Steam’s Early Access or in Beta, and promising upcoming Battle Royale games. Let’s jump right in… or this case… let’s paradrop right in!
10. Warface – Warface Battle Royale
- System: PC, Xbox 360
- Publisher: Crytek, My.com
- Developer: Crytek
- Release Dates: October 21, 2013
What, you never heard of Warface? No, the one you’re thinking is “Warframe”, a totally different game. Warface is a team-based coop shooter from developer Crytek–who made the first Far Cry and the Crysis series. Warface uses a free-to-play model and while there’s a competitive mode, the bulk of the game is centered around completing objectives with your team against AI opponents. While the game is nothing special with the same modes, weapons, gunplay, etc., Warface is still a fun distraction that won’t cost you a cent. Plus Warface feels like playing Crysis, so if you want a Crysis-like multiplayer that is still alive, then Warface is your game.
Like most games on this list, Warface is trying to cash in the battle royale craze by making a new game mode called, well, Battle Royale. This mode plays like any battle royale game, but Warface’s take on the gameplay is more fast-paced, only 16 players and matches end in just a few minutes instead of spending 30 minutes roaming around the map looking for equipment or camping for unsuspecting players. You could say Warface Battle Royale is an entry-level battle royale game that is easy to pick up and it’s free.
9. H1Z1 – King of the Kill
- System: PC, PS4, Xbox One
- Publisher: Daybreak Games
- Developer: Daybreak Games
- Release Dates: February 18, 2016
Once upon a time, there’s H1Z1, a multiplayer survival game set in a zombie-infested map that took inspirations from DayZ. You are dropped into hostile territory with no equipment and must scavenge for supplies and weapons in order to have a chance at survival. You fight zombies, fight other players and loot their corpses for that precious ammo, or form alliances. H1Z1 was touted as DayZ, but only better. Then the split happened, the zombie survival mode has branched off into a new game and H1Z1 became a battle royale game named King of the Kill.
Fan reactions were mixed and the community was split, but the fact of the matter is, H1Z1 is still a competent battle royale game that shares the DNA of PLAYERUNKNOWN’S BATTLEGROUNDS–both were developed (in this case, the development of H1Z1of King of the Kill game mode) by Brendan Greene. The only difference is H1Z1 is more arcadey compared to the more complex PUBG.
8. Counter-Strike: Global Offensive — Upcoming survival mode and “Go 4 the Kill” mod
- System: PC, Linux, Mac, PS3, Xbox 360
- Publisher: Valve Software
- Developer: Valve Software
- Release Dates: August 21, 2012
If there’s a game that’s likely to get a battle royale game mode, it’s the venerable Counter-Strike series. Given the gritty military-mercenary aesthetics of Battle Royale, it makes sense for a team-based tactical shooter like CS:GO to get a similar game mode.
According to the game updates and patches dating back early 2016 and onwards contained several references to new equipment like compound bows, adrenaline shots, medic kits, armor, etc., unknown CS:GO DLCs are listed in the database and variables that contained the word “survival.” Is the CS:GO team preparing to unleash a new game mode that focuses on survival? And is this CS:GO’s answer and insurance to the game’s relevance now that PLAYERUNKNOWN’S BATTLEGROUNDS took the number one spot as the most played game on Steam with millions of active players daily?
The potential of having a Battle Royale game mode within CS:GO is high, and with the game’s stability, large user base, and influence in the pro-gaming scene, this new game mode is gonna breath new life into the game and get more players who are interested in Battle Royale games. But for now, all we can do is wait for the eventual game mode to get the official announcement. However, if you’re impatient and want to experience a Battle Royale experience in CS:GO, then look no further because the Battle Royale mod “Go 4 the Kill” is the best mod for the job.
The mod is still in development, but it’s playable where players are dropped into a huge map and has gameplay tweaks and additions to make it more Battle Royale-ish like an inventory system, map, some gun tweaks like bullet drop, accuracy penalties, etc.. So if you happen to own CS:GO (chances are you have), then give this mod a shot.
7. Paladins: Champions of the Realm – Paladins: Battlegrounds
- System: PC, MAC, PS4, Xbox One
- Publisher: Hi-Rez Studios
- Developer: Hi-Rez Studios
- Release Dates: February 23, 2017
It’s easy to dismiss Paladins as an Overwatch clone, but if you dig deeper, Paladins is a team-based hero shooter with a ton of customizations that drastically changes the roles of a champion from a tank to a support or ganker. No hero is similar in every match so that makes every gaming session feel different. And to further differentiate itself from Overwatch, Paladins has recently introduced a battle royale mode called Paladins Battlegrounds. And if Hi-Rez Studios play their cards right, Paladins will be the first battle royale hero shooter—last man standing gameplay mixed with playable champions with unique abilities.
So how does a hero shooter work in a battle royale format? The game mode is still in development, but what we have seen so far is players have all the abilities of the champions at the beginning of the match, and you upgrade your stats by using cards found in loot chests spread around in small towns. These stats cards ranging from more armor, more HP, faster health regen, etc.. that gives you an edge and play a specific role. The rest is your typical battle royale formula of a slowly shrinking battlefield, scavenge for gear and eliminating the opposition to be the last man standing.
Currently, the game mode is restricted to 4-man teams, but Hi-Rez Studios has commented that 2-man teams and solo modes will be available in future updates. So far Paladins: Battlegrounds is shaping up to be an interesting take on the battle royale formula and it’s free to play. Now that we think about it, do you think Overwatch will make a battle royale game mode?
6. Dying Light: Bad Blood
- System: PC
- Publisher: Techland
- Developer: Techland
- Release Dates: Q1 2018
Dying Light is the best zombie game you’ve never played because to a lot of people, Dying Light is just another zombie apocalypse game that has done to death. But upon closer inspection (or actually give the game a shot), Dying Light is a first-person, action survival game that mixes traditional zombie killing like in Left 4 Dead, to creative ways of dispatching the undead like in Dead Rising, and parkour gameplay that lets you traverse buildings like in Mirror’s Edge.
Dispatching zombies have never been fun… until you reach nighttime when the hordes of undead are far more vicious and relentless. Another charm of Dying Light is Techland’s dedication to polishing the game and providing countless updates while listening to their fans. So what if those fans ask for a battle royale-like mode in Dying Light, while retaining the game’s gameplay of smashing zombie skulls and parkour action? You get Dying Light: Bad Blood.
Bad Blood is an upcoming standalone multiplayer game set in the Dying Light universe that takes cues from other battle royale games while implementing their own mechanics. In Bad Blood, you and five other players are dropped into a hostile, zombie-infested area where you must collect blood samples to earn a seat in the evac chopper. Use your parkour skills to traverse the city for weapons to stop other players from achieving the same goals. You can form temporary alliances to take on zombie bosses or against other players and when the time comes, you stab your ally in the back and steal their collected samples for yourself.
The premise is promising and unique and it’s a fitting addition to Dying Light’s already massive game. If you own Dying Light and curious what the new multiplayer game is like, you can go sign up a global playtest that is happening very soon.
5. Minecraft — Hunger Games
- System: PC, MAC, Linux, Xbox 360, Xbox One, PS3, PS4, Nintendo Switch, 3DS, Wii U, PS Vita, Android, iOS
- Publisher: Mojang AB
- Developer: Mojang AB
- Release Dates: May 10, 2009
Minecraft is been known to be one of the best sandbox games ever made. You explore the wilderness for materials and food and survive against the vicious wildlife and the elements. You can build a kingdom starting with a block of dirt, erect vast villages, manage farms, create a massive fortress filled with traps, and rooms for you to stay in, or simply make gigantic sculptures of anything like your favorite anime and video game characters. And naturally, the Minecraft community has made countless servers for you to explore and interact. Be it helping someone recreate the Starship Enterprise, or help recreate the City of Troy for everyone to live in, and eventually invade in. You can create anything in Minecraft and we mean ANYTHING. The only limit is your own creativity.
Long before battle royale games were a thing, there was Minecraft’s Hunger Games, or sometimes called Survival Games. In these custom servers, players fight each other for survival by running to the wilderness and scavenge for food, crafting materials, weapons, and armor, and then once you’re all equipped, you go hunt for other players--some of which are still finding equipment--and be the last man standing. The level of violence in these Hunger Games servers are on the cartoonish side, so if you want to play battle royale with your kids or family, then Minecraft’s Hunger Games is the best non-offensive alternative. And be sure to avoid servers with a UHC (Ultra Hardcode) tag on them.
Yeah, Minecraft isn’t exactly new, but with the popularity of battle royale games, the Hunger Games are getting more exposure and at least you have the option to play battle royale on a game that’s literally on every platform and accessible to anyone.
4. Grand Theft Auto Online – Motor Wars
- System: PC, Xbox 360, Xbox One, PS3, PS4
- Publisher: Rockstar Games
- Developer: Rockstar North
- Release Dates: November 18, 2014
Grand Theft Auto Online is the multiplayer component of Grand Theft Auto V where players engage in various missions, activities, or generally screw around with 30 other players. Within GTA Online, there is a game mode called Motor Wars, and its concept is similar to battle royale games, but the difference is, vehicular combat takes center stage.
Motor Wars is a team-based battle royale game mode where you and your team must find weapons and vehicles and explore the battlefield to eliminate the enemy teams. Players paradrops to the specified location, scavenge for weapons, commandeer vehicles ranging from armored cars to trucks with gun turrets, and eliminate the opposing teams. But be careful, the cars can withstand punishment, but they can’t withstand rocket launchers. And running on foot is risky because, quite frankly, human flesh + armored car = a dead person.
This game mode is more fast-paced and won’t take much of your time compared to other battle royale games, and it’s perfect for anyone who just wants a quick vehicular slaughter with friends.
3. ARMA III – PlayerUnknown’s Battle Royale Mod
- System: PC
- Publisher: Bohemia Interactive
- Developer: Bohemia Interactive
- Release Dates: March 5, 2013
ARMA games are the premier military simulators for PC, and the latest iteration of the series is ARMA III. ARMA III, and like its predecessors, is a massive open-world sandbox game where players engage in military objectives, combat, rescue, evacuation, and many more. Be warned, ARMA III isn’t an arcade shooter and if you think you can go lone wolf ala Call of Duty, you will die in the first few seconds. ARMA III is a simulator with realistic mechanics like bullet drop, positional audio, fatigue, stamina, environmental hazards, and many more. If Call of Duty is a game for kids, then ARMA III is a game for adults.
The lifeblood of the ARMA series is its content creation engine that lets players create unique military scenarios and mods for a more varied experience. In fact, the survival games you played over the past few years were born from ARMA III like H1Z1, DayZ, and even PLAYERUNKNOWN’S BATTLEGROUNDS (known as PlayerUnknown’s Battle Royale Mod). The mod versions of these games, especially the Battle Royale mod, are still available and is still being played by a dedicated fanbase.
Now, why play the mods rather than play the other games instead? Firstly, you can play all of them using one base game, and secondly, if you want a pure gameplay experience with no microtransactions, and play against a dedicated fanbase, playing them on ARMA III is the only way.
2. Fortnite – Fortnite Battle Royale
- System: PC, PS4, Xbox One
- Publisher: Epic Games
- Developer: Gearbox Publishing
- Release Dates: July 21, 2017
Fortnite has two modes: Save the World and Battle Royale. Save the World is a PvE mode where players must work together to gather resources, build fortifications, set up traps, and fend off the relentless undead horde. Think of it as a mix of co-op, survival, base building and tower defense all rolled into one game mode. This particular game mode is still in development, but you can still play it via a paid early access. The other mode, Battle Royale, however, is available to play, it’s on multiple console and PC platforms, and it’s absolutely free to play.
Fortnite Battle Royale has all the basics like the lounge where you interact with the other players and messes around until you all aboard the Battle Bus (which is essentially a bus strapped on to a hot air balloon) once 100 players are in. You all drop down to one huge map with nothing except your trusty pickaxe, scavenge for weapons and defeat everyone to win in a shrinking battlefield. Basic resource gathering and building gameplay got ported over from Save the World to barricade buildings, create cover on the fly and, with enough wood, you can build sky bridges to flank other players, or snipe players from afar, or just a funny way to move around without getting seen.
The art style of Fortnite sets it apart from other battle royale games with gritty graphics and dreary color palettes. Fortnite uses cartoonish and colorful designs used in other games like Team Fortress 2, Paladins, Overwatch, or animated films like you see coming from DreamWorks and Pixar so the characters you use are more expressive and look visually different from other characters.
1. PLAYERUNKNOWN’S BATTLEGROUNDS
- System: PC, Xbox One
- Publisher: PUBG Corporation
- Developer: PUBG Corporation
- Release Dates: December 21, 2017
PLAYERUNKNOWN’S BATTLEGROUNDS or PUBG started as a mod for the ARMA game series, and while it didn’t invent the battle royale game mode, PUBG pioneered the genre and brought it to heights no one expected. PUBG is the very game that made battle royale so popular in gaming today. While some games have cartoony graphics, less violent, has fewer mechanics, gimmicks, or focused more on vehicular combat, PUBG remained unchanged, true to its roots as a survival mod in ARMA and the Japanese film Battle Royale, where the concepts of battle royale were inspired from. Yes, PUBG has removed multiple aiming stances, bleeding, fatigue and among others from the mods, but in turn, PUBG is more streamlined with less busy work while keeping elements like weapon recoil, bullet drop, slow healing or revival, and randomness of the weapons and final location.
You paradrop in the huge map and it’s every man for himself. It’s kill or be killed. Scavenge for the essentials like weapons, ammo, backpack to carry more stuff, armor for protection and some decency, and find a vehicle to quickly travel to the next abandoned town or avoid getting hurt by the ever-shrinking field. You have to cautious because there are 99 other players on the map hiding inside buildings, patrolling the main roads in vehicles, they’re behind the thick foliage waiting to snipe unsuspecting players. Show no mercy, take what you can, stay out of sight, take out everyone and be the last man standing.
And there you have it! These are the games that are worth checking out or worth playing in 2018!
There’s no denying PUBG has introduced a new game mode that was common in other games as mods or an optional multiplayer mode to the mainstream. In some respect, PUBG is another success story like Counter-Strike and Dota 2—they were once mods that eventually shaped the gaming landscape. But really, the true innovators in gaming are the gamers themselves. If gaming didn’t have passionate people who love the art, then gaming will slow down into a stagnant mess where greedy publishers put out the same games over and over again, and are too afraid to try new things because in doing so will hurt their pockets.
What do you think of our list? Are there any battle royale games out there that are worthing checking? Please be sure to share them by leaving a comment below!