What is the Best Shotgun in Fortnite?

Season 3 has brought with it a metric ton of new changes. From a flooded map, annoying Marauder NPCs, sharks, and Aquaman… there’s a lot to digest. And like any huge meal, it’s best to go about it in bite-size chunks rather than scarf it down whole, so join us while we dig into one of Season 3’s more controversial changes first: the shotgun meta.

Fortnite Chapter 2 - Season 3 | Splashdown Launch Trailer

How many shotguns are available in Fortnite right now?

We’ve got some bad news for fans of the Pump Shotgun: Everybody’s favorite pump-action KO artist is going into the vault this season. In its place is the brand new Charge Shotgun. Alongside the newcomer, the only other shotgun available this season is the familiar Tactical Shotgun. Though it shoots pillows now. Figuratively.

Oh, and there’s another bit of bad news for our shotgun-toting brethren: the shotgun headshot multiplier has been nerfed significantly (it’s like Epic has something against the TAC shotgun or something).

What Shotguns Are Available in Fortnite Chapter 2 Season 3?

1. The Tactical ShotgunTAC Shotgun GIF

Tactical Shotgun Stats (Common to Legendary)

  • DPS: 106.5 – 124.5
  • Damage: 71 – 83
  • Fire Rate: 1.5
  • Magazine Size: 8
  • Reload Time: 6.5 – 5.8
  • Structure Damage: 50 -68

Tactical Shotgun Playstyle and Gameplay Tips

Because the tactical shotgun sports full auto, with the fourth highest firing rate of all shotguns current and previous, it’s an excellent tool for suppressing your enemy.

While it lacks the stopping power of the Charge Shotgun, the Tactical Shotgun makes up for it with versatility and leniency. Sure, for advanced players with pinpoint accuracy, the high-risk, high-reward playstyle of the Charge (or the Pump, may it rest in peace) might make more sense. But the Tactical Shotgun’s full-auto allows for defensive maneuvering, suppressive fire, and is more forgiving of less-than-stellar aim. This makes the tactical shotgun an excellent generalist; a jack of all trades, by excelling nowhere, it lacks any glaring weaknesses either — and is the more noob-friendly of the two.

2. The Charge Shotgun

Fortnite Charge Shotgun

The replacement for the pump shotgun comes with slightly lower base damage than its predecessor but, fully charged, packs a serious wallop. Some players love the new charge mechanic. Many seem jarred by it. Most just want the pump shotgun back so they can flick again.

Whatever the case, in case half the map disappearing underwater didn’t tip you off, Epic seems to be pretty adamant about changing up the meta — starting with the staple Pump-SMG loadout. Not only is the Pump vaulted but the Charge Shotgun has gotten a lot more dev-love than any other in its class. Not only is it the first shotgun to come in all six rarities, but the mythic version, Kit’s Charge Shotgun, happens to be a drop from one of the new bosses.

Charge Shotgun Stats (Common to Mythic)

  • DPS: 68 – 86.7 (Fully Charged: 102 – 131.75)
  • Damage: 80 – 102 (Full Charged: 120 – 155)
  • Fire Rate: 0.85
  • Magazine Size: 3 -5
  • Reload Time: 4.8 – 3.8
  • Structure Damage: 50 – 62 (Fully Charged: 74 – 94)

Charge Shotgun Playstyle and Gameplay Tips

While a lot of pro players were certainly ticked off about the Charge Shotgun and high-impact changes to the shotgun meta, in the weeks since Season 3’s launch, some have been starting to warm up to the wrecking ball-like possibilities of the new weapon. The fact that a fully charged headshot with the mythic version does an absolutely crazy 232 damage probably helps.

But it takes some adjustment. Though the charge mechanic is the flashy new toy in the toy chest, we recommend players fight the urge to spam it every shot. Use it situationally. While a full charge increases the damage by a juicy 50%, it also takes 1.7 seconds — which we know is an eternity in close-up 1v1.

Thus, charging up to full is best used offensively when you can get the first shot off or have the element of surprise on your side. Otherwise, opt for uncharged or partially charged shots.

Otherwise, you can end up the equivalent of the boxer constantly over-extending in search of a one hit K.O. and getting pieced up by light, peppering jabs instead.

The other thing to watch out for when using the charge shotgun is your old, Pump-action instincts. Flick shots no longer work the way they used to. The charge mechanic creates a slight delay between the trigger pull and release, even with uncharged shots. So opt for more methodical, less reflexive shots as you get yourself used to the new weapon. Consider lowering the sensitivity for a bit to help the adjustment.

So… what is the best shotgun in Fortnite?

We’re going to go out on a limb here and say the Charge Shotgun.

Yes, it takes some getting used to. Yes, it has a smaller magazine. And, yes, it is more unforgiving than the TAC. But once you’re fully acclimated, the Charge shotgun can be a devastating weapon that rewards precision and timing extremely well.

If you know how to use it.

Whereas the TAC is an all-rounder. It’s merciful on the newer players. It feels stable. But unfortunately successive nerfs have left it pretty underpowered compared to the newcomer. In the hands of an experienced player, the offensive output and Time to Kill for the Charge is almost incomparable. It just boils down to the fact that the Charge hits a little too hard and the TAC has been nerfed a little too much.

What do you think of the Charge? Can it ever fill the shoes of the Pump or is it doomed To be a thing of fleeting novelty that can’t be vaulted soon enough?

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Will Heydecker is a writer, screenwriter and illustrator who still likes dragons. As part of his bitter war against adulthood, he likes to distill art, gaming, technology, and entertainment info into digestible topics people actually enjoy reading.