These shotgun variants can be categorized as semi-automatic shotguns that can only be fired as fast as their reload animation allows. The pump shotgun and lever action shotguns generally deal significant damage when your shot lands fully on your target. A popular strategy for these weapons when they are available in a Fortnite season is to fire a single shot off and then immediately switching to another weapon to finish off an opponent quickly. In the past that has sometimes meant swapping from one pump shotgun to another (known as the infamous “double pump”) but is most commonly an SMG or Assault Rifle for their solid accuracy and punishing rate of fire.
Tactical Shotgun, Primal Shotgun, Drum Shotgun, & Auto Shotgun
These shotguns are categorized by their fully automatic or unrestricted semi-automatic fire rate. These shotguns trade off the raw damage per shot of the Pump Shotgun variety for a higher rate of fire and often a larger magazine capacity. Automatic shotguns are great for taking on teams in close quarters and often serve the opposite role to non-automatic shotguns - acting as finishers rather than openers to gunfights. When available, we recommend opening gunfights at medium-close range with an Assault Rifle or accurate SMG and then swapping to an automatic shotgun like the Tactical or Drum Shotgun once you push in close for the kill.
The Heavy Shotgun used to act as a higher damage dealing Tactical Shotgun but in its last appearance in game before being vaulted again it became the only shotgun to fire a slug. This changed the Heavy Shotgun to something that was most effective when used at medium-far to medium-close range for high damage shots with a relatively solid fire rate considering the damage it would put out on a hit. The Heavy Shotgun may have ended up being a more niche gun in Fortnite but it was absolutely a fun time while it was around.
Double Barrel Shotgun
Essentially a semi-automatic shotgun with a two shot magazine. This shotgun packed a hell of a punch but at a shortened range compared to other semi-auto shotguns. If you enjoyed playing with shotguns in Fortnite or were just an old school fan of Mad Max you were without a doubt a big fan of the Double Barrel Shotgun when it was available.
Combat Shotgun & Ranger Shotgun
The Combat Shotgun and the Ranger Shotgun are the true semi-automatic variants for the shotgun archetype in Fortnite. If you had solid aim and a quick trigger finger these shotguns could destroy players at a close to medium-close range. Some seasons of Fortnite patched these guns to have a limit on their fire rate so they played more similarly to a faster Pump Shotgun. Regardless of the season or patch the Combat Shotgun and Ranger Shotgun found themselves in they would tend to be solidly average guns. Most players would prefer the damage of a Pump up close and an Assault Rifle for medium range so these shotguns would often only find use in niche circumstances.
We’re still scratching our heads as to when the Charge Shotgun would be preferred over any other weapon or shotgun variant. These shotguns charge up to release a more powerful blast than a standard shotgun but were often too slow to charge to be useful in a heated fight. The Charged Shotgun was fun to get the occasional surprise kill on a player that was too caught up in looting to realize you were right behind them. Otherwise they just fell flat compared to other shotgun variants that were available in the seasons the Charge Shotgun could be found in game. Maybe we’ll see the Charge Shotgun come out of the vault with some changes in the future that make it more fun to use in a more common gunfight scenario and we’ll be eating our words.
Dragon’s Breath Shotgun
The Dragon’s Breath Shotgun was the shotgun’s answer to players that could build a fort around you in the blink of an eye. Why risk using explosives at close range when you can light your opponent and their surrounding building on fire? The Dragon’s Breath shotgun was essentially a Tactical Shotgun with flame rounds that ignite any terrain, building, or player they hit. Great for tagging a slippery player that tried to build their way out of a gunfight and exceptional for putting your opponents best built plans to the flame.
One of the things that keeps us coming back to Fortnite again and again is the changes that are made to the game over time. Sometimes we get something completely new and other times we get a fresh new take on one of the classic weapons from past seasons. Regardless of what we get we know we’ll always be fans of getting up close and personal in our Fortnite games with a shotgun in hand. If you enjoyed this article and want to read more Fortnite content be sure to check out our other Fortnite articles below and check out the Fortnite game hub as your one-stop source for SCUF Fortnite content.