Every battle royale game you can play right now

Unless you've been living under a rock for the past year or two, you're probably familiar with at least one or two battle royale games. And you may have heard that big franchises like Battlefield and Call of Duty are readying their own takes on the genre. What you may not know, though, is that there are a lot more battle royale games outside of the top two or three. A whole lot more.

All of the games on this list share one thing in common: they're classic "battle royale" in that they're one-life, one-death fights to be the last player — or last team — standing. You get no do-overs. No respawns. If you're taken out, your game is over, and there's nothing more you can do but watch someone else win. They may share other characteristics, too — especially those that are heavily inspired by the breakout hits. But they all hold true to that one battle royale standard.

Read on below to learn more about every battle royale game you can play right now. Who knows — maybe you'll find your new favorite.

Arma 3's PlayerUnknown's Battle Royale

What is this madness, you ask? This doesn't look like PlayerUnknown's Battlegrounds. Is this some kind of trick?

No, it's not. Long before there was a PUBG, Brendan Greene — better known as PlayerUnknown — built a mod for PC military shooter Arma 3 called PlayerUnknown's Battle Royale. It was the success of this mod, along with the potential Greene saw in the battle royale space, that led him to get started on the standalone game that eventually became PUBG.

But Arma 3, along with the PUBR mod, is still up and running.

You can jump into PlayerUnknown's Battle Royale and see quite a bit of the inspiration for PUBG in it. Even back in 2015, the realistic portrayal of gun combat, along with the concept for an ever-shrinking red zone, were alive in PUBR, even if the mod itself wasn't quite as polished.

It's living history that you can still go out and play. Why not give it a try?

Rust: Battle Royale

Many games in this space learn from one another. That's the lesson you can glean from Rust: Battle Royale, which saw what PlayerUnknown's Battle Royale had done and wanted to offer its own take on the battle royale game mode.

And based on the million or so unique players, people like it.

Rust: Battle Royale, much like the PUBR mod for Arma 3, is not part of the base game. It's an independently developed mod made by a completely different team. The creators of Rust have nothing to do with its Battle Royale offshoot, and the developers who are working on it are currently waiting for new features to be added to the game so they can further their development.

That said, the folks at Intoxicated Gaming state that Rust: Battle Royale is "very much playable" right now, which means that, if you own Rust, you're a download away from jumping into some battle royale for free.

H1Z1

Zombie games make a good jumping-off point for battle royale mods. Perhaps it's the survivalist nature of these titles that lends itself so well. That certainly was the case for one of the earlier efforts in the zombie survival genre, H1Z1.

It's battle royale offshoot plays like a standard BR game, save for the amount of players in a match at any given time: instead of 100 players, it's 150. Otherwise, H1Z1 took a route very similar to that of Fortnite. It was originally set as a survival game in a world full of zombies — a world where scavenging, crafting, and fortifying a base were the keys to survival. But that game mode was spun off into its own IP called Just Survive. And the battle royale mode, which had been called H1Z1: King of the Hill simply became known as H1Z1 after that.

The Culling

The Culling, a 16-player battle royale game, has traveled a rather interesting road in terms of development. In the days before PlayerUnknown's Battlegrounds and Fortnite, it was a fairly popular battle royale game. But as the popularity of those other games grew, fewer people were playing The Culling. It led the team to start work on The Culling 2, which released in July 2018.

It stunk.

Players hated The Culling 2, and it couldn't come anywhere close to challenging PUBG or Fortnite. Rather than throw in the towel, though, the developers behind the game simply went back to square one. They pulled The Culling 2 from stores, started working once more on the original Culling title, and vowed to make the game free to play.

And so The Culling lives on, offering a fresh take on the genre for those who find large, 100+ player matches to be a bit too long for their tastes.

Realm Royale

Realm Royale is another battle royale game that spun off of another title, once existing as a game mode in the hero shooter Paladins. And not much has changed since Paladins: Battlegrounds made that name change and became its own thing.

The objective of Realm Royale, as it is with most battle royale titles, is to survive. Realm differs from the pack, though, by automatically breaking up players into squads of four. With 100 players per match, that means 25 teams are vying for the right to claim victory. And unlike some other battle royale games, Realm Royale has character classes. You can be an assassin, engineer, hunter, mage, or warrior — and each class has its own unique abilities and perks.

And perhaps the best part of Realm Royale? If you're gunned down by an opponent, you aren't forced to crawl on the ground hoping for a revive. Instead, you turn into a chicken, and can actually come back if you survive long enough in that state.

Darwin Project

If there's a battle royale game that screams Hunger Games, it's probably Darwin Project.

You, as the player, are dropped into the North Canadian Rockies and forced to scavenge for weapons and supplies. Ten other players share your fate, and will be searching and crafting right along with you to protect themselves and hopefully become the last participant alive.

But there's another aspect to Darwin Project. It's not simply survival for survival's sake, but for entertainment.

While fighting for their lives, players must also impress a live audience, which has the ability to vote for its favorite players. And those in the match must also curry favor with the Show Director, an additional player who pulls the strings from behind the curtain. Those two caveats add psychological elements to the game that you might not find in your standard battle royale shooter, which could be a nice change of pace if you're burned out on the typical formula.

SOS

Those who prefer to stalk their prey will find a home inside SOS: Battle Royale, a game that puts less of a focus on military-esque combat and more on your environmental awareness.

Every match starts out with 32 players, who land on La Cuna Island with one mission in mind: live. And while you can absolutely go the PUBG route of scavenging up some guns and getting to work, there are also quite a few melee weapons that can help you get the job done more quietly. Not only that, but things like footprints show up where players have recently passed through, which means you can silently tail someone around the island and wait for the right moment to strike.

SOS became free-to-play in June 2018, and now relies on microtransactions in the form of outfits and other cosmetics for revenue. As the battle royale market gets more crowded, this is likely a trend that will continue.

Surviv.io

Here's something you probably weren't expecting to see on this list: a 2D, top-down battle royale game that doesn't have all the bells and whistles, yet still manages to capture the fun and excitement of the genre's best games.

Its name is Surviv.io, and it only requires a web browser to play.

Surviv.io takes what the big-name games do right and simplifies it to the extreme. There are still scavenging elements, requiring players to search the map for weapons and other helpful items. And players still have the looming threat of a constantly shrinking playable space to worry about. But there is no post-match "loot," like skins or emotes, to speak of here. The object of the game is to win, and once you do that — or if you're knocked out — you can quickly get into another match and give it another go.

For a game developed by only two people, Surviv.io is pretty darn good.

Cuisine Royale

Even the name of this battle royale game must intrigue you a little. Cuisine? Cuisine as in food? It is, indeed, and your knowledge of kitchenware will go a long way in helping you stay alive in this one.

Cuisine Royale takes the battle royale concept and asks, "What if your armor pieces were kitchen utensils?" It's an idea that originally started as an April Fools gag by the developers of Enlisted, and much to their surprise, people actually wanted it. So here it is.

At its core, Cuisine Royale is still a 30-player battle royale title that operates in a similar way to most games in the genre. And there are still guns in this game. But you won't find helmets here, or bulletproof vests. To protect your head, a large pan will have to do. And a waffle iron will have to cover your legs.

At the least, it's a fun spin on the very serious shooters in the space.

Rules of Survival

If you thought Fortnite: Battle Royale was trying to recreate PUBG, then Rules of Survival might blow your mind. The similarities are stunning, so much so that PUBG Corp actually filed a lawsuit against the game's developer, NetEase Games.

Looking at the two side by side, it's not hard to find a lot of commonalities. Players start each match by parachuting out of a plane and onto a map littered with supplies. Rules of Survival uses the same shrinking safe zone that PUBG and so many other battle royale games utilize. But what really seems to have Rules of Survival in a pickle is its use of chicken as a sort of victory trophy. It's hard to argue that wasn't copied directly from PUBG.

All this hubbub probably wouldn't have occurred had Rules of Survival not been an iOS game, and had it not beaten PUBG to iOS devices. But it did, and PUBG Corp is not happy.

All that aside, Rules of Survival is still downloadable on mobile, at least for now.

Islands of Nyne

Islands of Nyne is one of those rare battle royale games that does something completely and truly different than most of the others — at least where it's theme is concerned.

You see, most of the battle royale titles put players in the same situation. They're on an island or some other earthly location, and they must search for weapons and supplies in order to outlive everyone else. Islands of Nyne, though? It's a sci-fi shooter. And it grabs hold of that sci-fi inspiration and doesn't let go.

The battle arena in this instance isn't a normal-looking island. It isn't even on this planet. Instead, it's a place called Terra Fictus — a slightly terraformed space coliseum. Movement in the game is quicker and more arcadey than other battle royale games. Weapons have a more futuristic look to them. And time has been spent building a sci-fi story to tie everything together.

Plus, it's all in first-person, which makes it a lot faster-paced than most of its competition.

Stand Out

So you want the fun and action of a battle royale game, but you want it in VR? Look no further than Stand Out, a game that makes use of either the HTC Vive or Oculus Rift to really immerse you in a battle royale experience.

On its face, there's not a whole lot that helps Stand Out … well, stand out. The game has a very PUBG look to it, and you won't find much difference in the way matches in the two games play out. Events take place on a big island full of stuff that helps you stay alive, and the objective is to outlive everyone else.

But something has to be said for taking that formula and trying it in VR. It's not the first VR shooter, for sure, but it at least serves as a proof of concept as to whether or not the battle royale genre makes sense there.

Survival Games

Let's not pretend that Survival Games is something other than what it is, which is a battle royale shooter that is definitely supposed to look like Minecraft. The question is, can it scratch that same itch for fans of Mojang's crafting title?

Based on the available features, it certainly looks like it might.

Survival is key to just about any battle royale game, but Survival Games ups the ante a bit. The world you jump down into changes every time you play, which means you're constantly on your toes. And a map editor enables you to create your own combat arenas if you so choose. Add to that the craftable and destructable buildings and terrain, and you have what amounts to a little piece of Minecraft inside a battle royale game.

Those who are bored of the more realistic-looking BR titles might find some joy in the blocky models and crafty world of Survival Games.

ARK: Survival of the Fittest

ARK: Survival Evolved introduced the world to the dinosaur survival genre. It only makes sense, then, that its battle royale-focused offshoot, ARK: Survival of the Fittest, would keep those behemoths in place. Large animals are ARK's specialty, after all, and getting those kinds of creatures in a battle royale game? That's not something anyone else is doing.

The end result is a game where you aren't just endangered by your enemies — nature can do you in, too. But you can also use nature to your advantage.

Creatures in ARK can be tamed and utilized as vehicles. And there aren't just dinosaurs: you'll also find enormous apes and dragons. And on the features side, ARK's battle royale spinoff offers several different modes, whether you want to go it alone against 71 other players or squad up to better your odds.

Just remember to keep your head on a swivel. You're never truly safe in the world of ARK.

Warface: Battle Royale

Who knew that Crytek was still making games? It's apparently the development studio behind the game Warface: Battle Royale, and the publishers are My.com — a company that you can ultimately trace back to Russian email service Mail.ru.

If you're thinking that this already doesn't sound good, you're not alone.

To its credit, Warface doesn't look bad. It's graphically on par with just about any other game in the genre. But Crytek didn't do much to set this game apart from anything else. It's feature set is a pretty bland list of stuff you can find in any other battle royale game. And if your game has to tout "every man for himself" and a playable space that grows smaller over time, you're really doing the bare minimum to compete as a battle royale title.

Totally Accurate Battlegrounds

The name of this game should be an immediate indication of silliness (not to mention inaccuracy). Totally Accurate is totally sarcastic, and in Totally Accurate Battlegrounds, realism is thrown out the window in favor of goofiness and satire.

But don't fret: there is still a battle royale game in here, even if it's not the realistic shooter you'd normally get.

Totally Accurate Battlegrounds is all about crazy physics, whether they're showing up in the way your character moves or in the way he or she uses a weapon. Arms flail, legs wobble, and guns hit extra hard. And the "storm" or "zone" mechanic that so many battle royale games use is replaced by a wall in the center of the map that builds up and, eventually, blocks you from entering. It's something different, which is always a good thing in a genre full of copycats.

If you want a ridiculous time, Totally Accurate Battlegrounds can probably deliver it to you.

PlayerUnknown's Battlegrounds

It would be impossible — and quite frankly, irresponsible — to assemble a list like this one without the game that put the genre on the map, even if it didn't invent it. It's PlayerUnknown's Battlegrounds, and in early 2017, it was all the rage.

PUBG puts an emphasis on tactics. You drop out of a plane, land on solid ground, and scavenge for weapons first. But after that, you (and any teammates, if you're playing in squads) will have to use your brain, seeking out shelter and enemies while keeping a careful eye on the shrinking map. And Battlegrounds is pure shooting: no other mechanics or gimmicks get in the way. Once you're within reach of your Chicken Dinner, it's just your gun against someone else's, and that fact is what's kept PUBG popular — even though another battle royale game has come along to challenge its status at the top of the heap.

Fortnite: Battle Royale

At its start, Fortnite was yet another zombie game, a survival-focused third-person shooter with a whole bunch of crafting and building. But that version of the game didn't take nearly as well as its free-to-play battle royale mode, which launched in the middle of 2017.

Now you'll be hard-pressed to find someone who even remembers what the original Fortnite looked like. Fortnite: Battle Royale is a monster game, and since its release, it's been taking over the world.

Fortnite: Battle Royale is, for all intents and purposes, a PlayerUnknown's Battlegrounds clone. Much of its gameplay borrows heavily from PUBG Corp's shooter, though the crafting elements of the original Fortnite still remain, giving the game its own unique twist. The ends of matches are frantic build-a-thons, where players construct forts while trying to gain the higher ground over their enemies. And because Fortnite: Battle Royale is free to play, it relies more heavily on microtransactions like skins and emotes.

Fortnite basically owns the battle royale space right now. It's inescapable. If you play it, you'll find out why.