Battle Royale games

Before The Royale

In recent years, the Battle Royale genre has taken off spectacularly thanks, in part, to the runaway success of Fortnite—a game that has come to define a generation of young gamers. The history of the battle royale doesn’t start with Fortnite though. In fact it goes back a long way.

A Royal Battle

The original “battle royal” was a special kind of sporting fight involving a large number of boxers or wrestlers. It was a free-for-all, “royal rumble” style event match that that went on until only one was left standing. Aside from the clear resemblance in the name, the battle royale video game match shares a lot of basic elements with its physical combat ancestor—many start the match but only one can win, and spectators are guaranteed an exciting time

The Battle Original

While the roots of the match may go back a long way, it first appeared in truly recognizable form in the iconic Japanese movie of the same name. Battle Royale was a phenomenon. It spawned a whole sub-genre of media and drew worldwide audiences that most Japanese language movies only dream of, as well as launching the careers of the relatively unknown actors that starred in it.

All that despite being a dystopian action-thriller so violent that nobody dared release it in the U.S. until a decade later.

Battle Royale follows the plight of a group of high-school students, sent to fight to the death on an abandoned island as punishment for their generation’s delinquency.

The movie featured many of the core features of the battle royale video game, namely;

  • An ever-shrinking circle to play the game in. Those outside the circle quickly die
  • Many players with only one winner allowed
  • Players start with the same, very limited, equipment
  • They can scavenge items from random locations. The items’ value varies widely
  • They hunt each other with limited information
  • They can take items from any players they kill

It was a huge hit, name-checked by directors like Tarantino and appearing on numerous “best of” lists and has left a lasting cultural legacy, not least in the name and the form of the game mode we now know and love. As you’ve probably realized if you’ve seen them, Battle Royale was a big influence on the Hunger Games series, which used the same basic format to build an epic.

Battle Royale Video Games

In gaming, the Battle Royale genre may be relatively recent, but the “last man standing” concept has been around for generations, as you know if you’ve ever played Bomberman. There’s something classic about the “one-versus-all” story that you can’t help but be drawn into. The odds may be against it, but that just makes you want your character to win all the more!

You can see the beginning of true Battle Royale modes as far back as the early 2010s. They took the form of mods to the multiplayer, large-map online survival games Minecraft and ARMA 2. These early Battle Royale games were, in some ways, a kind of Hunger Games fan fiction. The early mods to Minecraft in particular followed the movie closely and all players started with a choice—scramble and fight towards a store of high-value equipment in the center, or head for the edge of the map in the hope of finding loot somewhere quiet.

Mods of Mods

But it wasn’t until a mod to 2012’s now-legendary Day Z, which itself was a mod to Arma 2, that you could really see the ingredients of the online battle royale game. The mod was called Battle Royale, the modder was called Brendan Greene, better known by his online name, PlayerUknown.

The game would go on to be known as PUBG: Battlegrounds, embodying Greene’s vision of what a battle royale should be. It was a huge success, leading in a short time to the creation of Fortnite Battle Royale, a game which matched its stellar sales numbers for years before finally eclipsing them.

The Game That Was Really a Genre

Today, thousands of companies are taking the Fortnite template and adapting it to various genres. Even Nintendo le royale genre, turning the puzzle game on its head as a battle royale game with Tetris 99.

The battle royale game mode is a natural fit for online competitive gaming and streaming. The randomness of the starting conditions and the possibilities for emergent play are huge and make the games as exciting to watch as they are to play.

Today, you’ll find a wide range of battle royale games in every genre and on every platform, each with its own player-base of devoted fans. Whether a shooter, a survival game or something abstract, the question is always the same: Will you come out on top?

Battle Royale Games On Gamepix

On Gamepix, you’ll find dozens of the best free battle royale games, all running perfectly on any web-capable device. These battle royale games run directly from your browser, so there’s nothing to download or update, ever.

As these games are perfectly suited to quick bursts of pick-up-and-play action, they are right at home here and can be enjoyed by anyone anywhere.

So, whether you’re catching a few precious minutes to yourself during your lunch break, relaxing on the home computer after work or school, or letting off some steam during the daily commute, our battle royale games are here to lend a helping hand (or grenade launcher).


Are battle royale games free?

Some of them certainly are and all of the online battle royale games here on Gamepix are completely free! Our battle royale games work on any device that has a web browser and include Voxiom Battle Royale and Squid Race

What does “battle royale” mean?

In video games, a battle royale is any online, multiplayer play in which many individuals and/or teams compete in a knockout battle to be the last team or person standing. Battle Royales are usually played on a map that gets smaller over time, pushing the surviving players into closer proximity with each other to make sure the final moments of the game are extra spicy!

What are the most popular battle royale?