Fortnite’s Best Shotguns: Is The Pump Shotgun Still King?


Depending on who you ask, there’s either a war against Fortnite’s shotguns or they’re now well balanced. With the removal of double pump, damage to structures, and one-shotting a fully shielded opponent now no longer a thing, it’s a topic of conversation that’s not going to go away any time soon. With Fortnite’s season 5 meta seemingly favouring SMGs, an argument could be made that Epic are trying to push players away from their dependence on shotguns for close-ups.

However, no matter how much Epic may fiddle with shotguns, it’s hard not to imagine them being a part of everyone’s loadout from now until the game’s bubble final bursts — whenever that may be. With there now being four different options (excluding variants) in the game, it’s time to look at Fortnite’s best shotguns and see which one comes out on top, the one that you should always make room in your inventory for.

Bear in mind that the information below is accurate at the time of writing; Epic may decide to change things again on a whim. Also remember that none of Fortnite’s shotguns are out and out bad, just that some are more useful than others in wider variety of situations.


4. Double Barrel Shotgun

Fortnite Double Barrel Shotgun

Rarity: Epic/Legendary
Max damage: 143/150

The newest Fortnite shotgun is also probably the most polarising. While its power cannot be denied, offering the chance to kill shielded enemies with two quick shots to the head, only having two shots before having to reload is a killer, as well as the reload time being a bit on the long side. The damage fall-off is also atrocious, so any engagement from more than a few feet away is never wise.

Still, it’s a danger in the hands of anyone who knows how to use it, particularly in the early game. In the late game when everybody is building wild structures, it’s a bit risky as if you miss or just don’t connect as you should, you’ll have to swap to your SMG pretty swiftly. If you have a dependable aim, however, the Double Barrel could be a monster.

Pros: crazy damage when up close and personal.
Weaknesses: useless at any range whatsoever, two shells before reloading, long reload time.


3. Tactical Shotgun

Damage: 148/140/134
Rarity: Rare/Uncommon/Common

The Tactical Shotgun should be the go-to for any Fortnite beginners as it offers quick blasts up to eight times and can do some chunky damage. That is, of course, if the RNG gods are in your favour: it seems to be the most likely shotgun to give low numbers for what should be big hits. It’s become notorious for doing damage as low as 6 for what seems like a fairly robust shot.

Its relatively low damage compared to all of the other Fortnite shotguns also means that it cannot be considered the best option, though it’s deadly in the early game. When you’ve just landed in Tilted Towers and have enemies all over you, its quickfire shooting could make it a life-saver. Also, if you’re a terrible aim, you get more than enough chances to atone for your sins.

Pros: up to eight shots, quick to fire, very strong in the early game
Weaknesses: low comparative damage, 6


2. Pump Shotgun


Damage: 170/160
Rarity: Rare/Uncommon

The unofficial mascot of Fortnite has had a tough time of it lately, going from the game’s most sought after weapon to something that could feasibly be swapped out for something else. The nerf to the double pump method has hurt it considerably, but make no mistake: it’s an absolutely beautiful boy in the right hands.

The current meta consists of having a Pump and an SMG: the former to demolish shields and the latter to finish off the job. You can eliminate even the best of players with this method, though the Pump Shotgun can also be a curse in less experienced hands. Thanks to a slow rate of fire, missing one shot can mean you’ll miss your chance at a Victory Royale so it’s a bit of a lottery for newer players.


1. Heavy Shotgun

Fortnite Heavy Shotgun

Rarity: Epic/Legendary
Max damage: 185/192

Fortnite’s Heavy Shotgun is a strange one. When it was first patched in, it was hard to justify equipping it over a Pump, but now more and more people seem to be opting for it, perhaps thanks to the Pump losing a lot of what made it so great. The Heavy is packed with pellets, meaning that you have a decent chance of landing at least some of them. You never really know with Fortnite.

Another thing going for the heavy is that its range makes it useful for most close-quarters to mid-range combat. Its perfect for wearing down opponents when you have the high ground, as well as for getting in a quick shot on a retreating enemy. With seven shells to play with before you need to reload, the Heavy Shotgun is a good all-rounder that Epic would be wise to just leave as it is.

Want more Fortnite? If you’re just starting out, we have some fairly straightforward beginner’s tips to stop you being on the receiving ends of Fortnite’s best shotguns. As it’s such a large part of the game, you’ll also need some building tips once you’re acclimated with the fundamentals.

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