[Education] Ranged Weapon Engagement Distances

Fortnite Battle Royale Halloween 1024x576 - [Education] Ranged Weapon Engagement Distances

The following write-up is (primarily) to give you a better idea of ranged engagement distances within Fortnite and the impact this has on weapon damage output. <
Here's an image representing the PB distances


  • The higher tile distances (7.00, 48.83) have been left out intentionally due to scale reasons
  • In defensive missions, 'purple storm cloud' locations are approximately 10 tiles away from whatever the objective is that you're defending (e.g. an ATLAS, a Van, a Shelter)
Tiles Number (in image) Example Weapons
0.50 1 Melee weapons, Shotguns like: Maverick, Thunderbolt
0.75 2 Shotguns like: Room Sweeper, Tigerjaw
1.00 3 Pistols like: Dragon's Breath, Viper, Shotguns like: Backbreaker
1.50 4 Assault Rifles like: Bobcat, Hydra, Silenced Specter, Pistols like: Founder's Revolt, Haywire Storm, Judge
1.80 5 Shotguns like: Longarm Enforcer
2.00 6 Assault Rifles like: Gravedigger, HackSAW, Lynx, Nocturno, Siegebreaker, Pistols like: Bald Eagle
3.00 7 Assault Rifles like: Tiger, Snipers like: Super Shredder


If you're curious about your own weapons you can go look up the values on In the earlier table you can see that damage drop is not necessarily the same between weapons even if they seemingly have the same PB and LR values (MR is different). This variation makes it a nightmare to plot/visualise (given the sheer number of weapons and variations) so I'm not going to do so. It might come as a surprise to some players how close they actually need to be to get the most damage out of some of the more popular weapons you see mentioned on the subreddit.


Just as a reference, using a generic hero loadout (e.g. Pathfinder + Recon Scout) and hitting 0% headshots with best in slot perks against a physical target, no vulnerabilities and conditional status active, at the PB distance (for maximum damage)

  • Bobcat = 673.110 DPS (Perks: (1x) 45% Dmg to Conditional, (1x) 30 Crit Rating, (2x) 135% Crit Dmg)
  • Tiger = 506.893 DPS (Perks: (1x) 75% Reload Speed, (1x) 30 Crit Rating, (2x) 135% Crit Dmg)


Mosts of the posts you'll see on this subreddit will use these maximum damage values without factoring in damage drop over range. If we did factor in damage drop due to distance and did the same thing at 7 tiles from target

  • Bobcat = 673.110 * 0.2 = 134.622 DPS
  • Tiger = 506.893 * 0.7 = 354.8251 DPS


Distance from target (for the majority of ranged weapons) will influence your damage output significantly. If you take a CQC weapon like a Bobcat and attack beyond CQC range your damage is going to drop off significantly. At 3.5 tile distance (just 2 tiles further than optimal) you've already lost 30% of your damage.

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  • How many players have you seen in game fighting in CQC with a Bobcat?
  • How many players have you seen in game no-where close to CQC and still using a Bobcat anyway?


Engaging from beyond the distances the weapons were designed for can make amazing weapons seem extremely weak and the game UI really doesn't do a good job of letting the player know that.

In defensive missions


If you understand the spawn mechanics as listed above it should be abundantly clear that

  • It is in your best interest to keep husks alive for as long as possible (so they contribute to the husk cap and stop spawns entirely, if you just outright kill them they'll just just queue up for a respawn)
  • If you're going to kill off a bunch of husks you're better off doing it in a massive group, rather than sequentially one at a time (since there's a cap on how many will spawn each interval)
  • You should position your defenses (your hero, or your buildings/structures) somewhere between the 10 tiles that need to be traversed from the spawn to the objective.


When and how you choose to engage the husks will be determined by your teams defensive set up. Maybe you'll wait until the optimal engagement distance for your weapon, maybe you don't really care and you'll just spray husks down as soon as you have line of sight, engagement distances be damned.


Whether you're capable or not of achieving the best possible performance with a weapon is something that only you can know and be in control of. Heroes are not fixed position turrets and they can close distance if so desired.

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Horde Bash is returning in 5.0 and (if it's anything like last time) you probably won't have the luxuary of crafting a near unlimited number of weapons. You might want to think about the engagement distances on your weapons and what their effective ranges are. If you're using a Bobcat, you might want to leave the Blasters to your teammates instead of tickling away at it and wasting your precious ammo. Maybe you'll craft a Tiger instead to take advantage of the fact it has some of the best engagement distances and damage output of all Assault Rifles in the game.


At the end of the day select the weapons that you feel comfortable with for your playstyle and make sure you learn and understand how to get the most out of it. The majority of the time it really won't matter but you don't want to end up in a scenario that is time sensitive and not perform when you need to. Here's a video of the Epic team losing Horde Bash at the very last moment. If you didn't participate in the last event watching the video will give you a good idea on how the event is likely to play out (with some minor changes, like mini-bosses and less waves).

Original link

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