Fortnite Battle Passes RANKED
by Whitney Meers
Fortnite is a free game, but most players seem to agree that it’s worth it to shell out the V-Bucks each season for the Battle Pass. At just around $10, casual players can load up on emotes, skins, gliders and pickaxes without having to spend 2,000 V-Bucks on a single skin just to digitally cosplay as a lizard-like swamp beast. That’s right, Moisty Merman!
With season 7 arriving tomorrow, we thought it would be a good time to look back at Fortnite’s Battle Passes and see which have withstood the test of time. Which pass will bring home a Victory Royale?
Ranking systems need ground rules so the results don’t seem totally subjective, even though in our case, they are definitely subjective. There isn’t an exact science to it; these are just our favorites. We looked at each season’s Battle Pass rewards and considered things like variety, creativity and general silliness. We tried not to put too much emphasis on item rarity because, quite frankly, you don’t need another person telling you the Black Knight is extremely rare and therefore the best thing ever to happen to gaming. There are hundreds of those articles already, and you can read them all…. after you finish this one, of course.
Now, before we adorn one of these passes with the almighty Tomatohead salad tong crown, we’re going to need to hand out a few dunce caps.
#6: Season One
To be fair, Epic Games didn’t start its Battle Pass format as we know it until Season Two. But, in our roundup of Battle Passes, we had to mention Season One since it paved the way for everything you know about Fortnite.
Fortnite rose to mainstream popularity sometime in late Season 2 or early Season 3. Maybe you were into it before it was cool, or you just jumped on the bandwagon after the Drake stream. In any case, this was still well before every kid at school was bragging about their Tomatohead skin. And, unless you’re one of the chosen few who started playing at the very the beginning, you probably don’t know much about the game’s first season.
The relative handful of people who were playing Fortnite at the time can tell you there was no Battle Pass. But, that doesn’t mean players couldn’t snag some loot.
So, what could you get in Season One? Well, not much. If you’re a true Fortnite O.G., you’ll recall that certain level milestones would unlock skins and items. You might even have a highly coveted Mako Glider, which was was a complimentary reward for reaching Level 25 during the season (9). But, you’ll also remember you’d have to drop some V-Coin to attain other cosmetics, such as the Renegade Raider, unlockable at Level 20 or the Raider’s Revenge pickaxe, unlockable at Level 35.
At 1200 V-Bucks for the skin and 1500 V-Bucks for the pickaxe, it’s no wonder these items are incredibly rare. Back then, you had both a smaller player base and a pricey microtransaction reward system, so only the die-hards got in at the ground level. And, while that pickaxe is pretty awesome, it’s not the aesthetics that make people desire these items today… it’s their rarity.
All things considered, it wasn’t that great of a season overall. So, we’re sending Season One back to the Battle Bus, where we’d love to watch it sink to the bottom of Leaky Lake.
#5: Season Three
In many ways, Season Three was magical. Some say this was the game’s tipping point. It was around this time that the game blew up on Twitch and was memed into infamy after that legendary Ninja/Drake stream.
But, Battle Pass-wise, it kind of… meh.
On the plus side, Season Three had some pretty rocking emotes. That Take the L dance has since taken the world by storm. But Season Three also brought us the Rust Lord. Personally, we don’t believe this homage to Star-Lord from Guardians of the Galaxy deserves all the hate. It’s just a normal skin that happened to be unlockable at Level 23 — kind of a cool thing for a casual gamer or anyone really into GotG. Unfortunately, the lowly 23 tier reward garnered the wrath of the internet, creating a universe where your life was meaningless if you hadn’t levelled beyond ol’ rusty.
Those who reached max tier made off with The Reaper, which was the likeness-but-not-really-because-we-don’t-want-to-get-sued of John Wick. The character itself is pretty awesome… but unfortunately, a lot of the Season Three try-hards and wannabes gave this skin a bad name.
Now that Fortnite had made a name for itself in the gaming ethos, lots of newer players weren’t afraid to throw V-Bucks at the game for the status kick. And so, the John Wicks grew like an invasive fungus. Many of the players hadn’t actually leveled to tier 100, so you had total noobs pretending they’d earned the right to drop Tilted every time. The Epic team later addressed this ability to buy top status by adding specific customizations for people who earn certain levels of XP rewards. I’m guessing they also wanted to set the grinders apart from kids with access to their parent’s credit card.
While there were a few other things to love, such as the Dark Matter back bling and the Elite Agent skin, this Battle Pass also had a lot of filler. That’s why we’ve ranked Season Three as the worst official Battle Pass.
#4: Season Five
We liked Season Five’s summer theme; I’ll miss it now that it’s cold outside. But while it offered an impressive array of items and skins, it was still lacking overall.
Some of the skins and items just weren’t that cool. A lady lifeguard in a skin-tight uniform? A wooden glider that was waaaaay too loud to deploy? Hitting 91 tiers to get a “Fancy Basketball” when you already have a basketball that works perfectly fine? Nothing really caught my eye.
And then there’s Drift. Of course, some people really like Drift — and, with its tiered progression, there are a lot of different versions of this fellow.
But at the end of the day, Drift is a weird-looking cat dude in a mask. At his max tier, he looks like a demonic cult member who got lost on his way to an ancient summoning ritual. Compare him with our crazy Season Six werewolf bro and you’ll see that Drift is the guy who fell into a goth phase after realizing he could never be Dire.
On the other hand, Ragnarok is pretty awesome. But, to be fair, at his base form, he’s just your ordinary shirtless weirdo.
In any case, we can’t even begin tell you how little we care about the 2 + 2 = 4 Calculated emote. Who saw the popularity of the Get Hyped dance followed it up with an emote of someone doing a math problem? It just doesn’t add up!
Then, there’s the Gentleman’s Dab. You didn’t need to invest in the upgraded Battle Pass to get this emote, which almost seems like a cruel joke. It’s like they gave a free lame move to make non-Battle Pass holders feel morally obliged to invest in something — anything — that wasn’t a dab.
It’s worth mentioning that as part of the Season Five Battle Pass, you also had the option to partake in the game’s birthday celebration. That was pretty cool, at least for anyone who’s into getting sniped at while dancing in front of cakes and whatnot.
Season Five… while we appreciated your effort, you still let us down.
#3: Season Two
Season Two was the birth of the Battle Pass as we know it. Some people think this pass was the best, and will fight to the death to defend it.. We can give it well-earned kudos for being Epic’s first attempt at a Battle Pass. But, when you really dig in, and you’ll find it left plenty to be desired.
Unlike the Battle Passes that would launch in the future, this one had only 70 tiers, compared to 100 tiers in the following seasons. Fewer tiers means fewer rewards… but that’s not a deal-breaker as long the rewards aren’t just banners and emoticons. That kind of stuff seems like filler, just there appease you until the next decent reward.
As some people have noted, the season’s Battle Pass was kind of B.S. since people who purchased it midseason were at a disadvantage. At a certain point, there was no way you could max out without purchasing additional tiers. Your opportunities to earn Battle Stars were too limited! Contrast this with other seasons which were still fairly challenging, but provided more leveling flexibility. You could do Battle Pass challenges, daily challenges and XP boosts to move more quickly through the ranks.
If you were a Season Two Battle Pass holder and you managed to work through the tiers, you’d find yourself rewarded with the Black Knight skin. This skin screams that you’re a longtime Fortnite player — or that you know a shady eBay reseller. In any case, the Black Night isn’t just a skin… it’s an identity. Rock it, and other players will bow at your feet, begging for mercy! Actually, they’ll just target you as a pro and try to knock you down immediately, then laugh about it with the three people watching their Twitch streams. However, it remains arguably one of Fortnite’s coolest skins.
The Season 2 Battle Pass had a lot of other cool things, too. There’s the exclusive Worm emote and the awesomely awesome Sparkle Specialist skin. Sure, there were shortcomings, but there was also a lot to love. Other seasons have more emoticons that we’ll barely ever use, banners that don’t matter that much to us and spray paints that are fun for like, a day. But that’s just quantity over quality. Those passes don’t all offer quite as many items that pack a punch.
This placement was a close call. We considered ranking this pass second until we remembered this is where were first saw the Floss dance. Flossing is only entertaining if you’re ten. If you have videos of yourself doing it, be sure we’re planning to use them to embarass you in front of your first boyfriend or girlfriend in a few years.
#2: Season Four
Season Four gave us Carbide and Omega, both of which offered additional modifications upon reaching XP goals. A maxed out Omega is straight-up someone you don’t want to mess with. It already looks intimidating and anyone with this top-tier, maxed out skin worked to get to Level 80.
Additionally, beating all the Battle Pass challenges would unlock The Visitor skin (38). All together, these things gave us more bang for our V-Bucks than previous seasons. You could no longer just buy your way into a solid reputation — you now had to truly earn it.
Source: Fortnite Wiki
But as much as we love skins, we’re also suckers for dances. At tier 64, you’d land the Hype dance, which we’ve seen in stadiums, viral videos and just about anywhere else you can find people who spend too much time playing Fortnite. It also gave us the ridiculousness that is Orange Justice, a move that many have tried to recreate, yet are nowhere near as successful as the young man who created it. While we’ve only ranked this pass second here, it definitely places first had we been ranking based on dances alone.
Of course, it also gave us Zooey, who is universally hated… possibly because she looks like one of the kids at Willy Wonka’s chocolate factory got thrown into a chocolate mixing pipe with an Oompa Loompa. But, we like candy too much to hate Zooey. And, if you’re one of those weirdos committed to life without sugar… well, live your truth, my friend.I’ll be enjoying this delicious oversized lollipop that serves double duty as a pickaxe.
#1: Season Six
Epic seems to have truly taken player feedback into consideration as it crafted the Season Six Battle Pass. It’s a culmination of all the best things previous Battle Passes had to offer, and then some. Skins are deeper and more complex, and there are plenty of opportunities to earn bonus rewards.
One of the coolest aspects of this season is the addition of pets. Now, as dangerous as it would be to bring an innocent little pet pal into battle, having my emotional support dragon by my side makes me happy as I skydive out of the Battle Bus.
Bonesy and his buddies let me live in a fantasy world where I got all the cool parts of owning a pet without having to walk it or pick up its poo. That’s definitely worth bonus points.
Giddy-Up is so bulky he looks physically uncomfortable and I’d definitely avoid talking to DJ Yonder if I met him at a party. Nonetheless, this season reigns supreme in terms of fun and creativity.
We have the badass Calamity, the first female levelable character in the game to date. We also love our morbid mortician Dusk, and Dire is the obvious star of the show. He’s a literal beast!
But it’s not just our weirdly handsome werewolf friend who makes us celebrate this season. Quirky things like the Dusk Wings back bling and the Oregon Trail-esque covered wagon glider add some spunk to the season.
We could do without the Slitherin’ emote, but we’re just too into that Running Man move to blow this pass’ rank over a silly dance.
We’re also thankful for Fortnite’s music packs this season. If I had to listen to that same load-in music much longer, I think I would have gone crazy!
Given the context of a spooky backdrop that explores the twisted, strange and macabre, it’s no wonder we’ve crowned the Season Six Battle Pass victor of the Battle Pass Battle Royale.
Every Battle Pass has pros and cons, but only one can be the victor. For us, Season Six’s Battle Pass represents a massive leap in the quality of cosmetics over the course of the game’s short life. Which season do you think had the best Battle Pass?