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Fortnite Shotguns Tips Guide – Damage, Stats, & FAQ

If you are going to be successful in Fortnite you have to know how to fully utilize the shotgun! Our guide takes you through the steps you'll need to take to become a shotgun master.

The shotgun in Fortnite Battle Royale is one of the most important guns to get good with if you want to get better in the game. However, some people might find it to be inconsistent or are initially puzzled by how it works. Our shotgun tips guide will help you become better with this powerful weapon.

In a recent update, some of the gun rarity colors were changed. Instead of the tactical starting at green and ending at purple, it starts at gray and ends at blue. The pump shotgun now comes in green and blue varieties. You will still encounter these shotguns at the same rate and the damage has not been changed!

Fortnite Season 5 Shotgun Update Information

If you are like me and didn't immediately read the patch notes, then you might be confused with what's going on with shotguns at the moment. Here's a quick rundown on what has changed in the 5.0 patch.

  • Shotguns will now indicate how many pellets hit, visible within the reticle.
  • Adjusted shotgun spread patterns to be consistent with no random variation.
  • Heavy Shotgun now fires 10 pellets rather than 5.
    • Maximum damage for the Heavy Shotgun remains unchanged.
  • After firing a shotgun, another shotgun cannot be fired for a very short time.

The big thing is when you fire a shotgun ANOTHER shotgun cannot be fired for a short time. This mostly eliminates running two shotguns and switching back and forth between shots. Once you shoot and switch, you will see a little circular dial start filling on your screen. If you are seeing that, it means you cannot fire your shotgun until it is completed. You are going to be far better off just running an SMG or something else in your third spot.

Pellets are no longer random anymore. Each time you fire a shotgun now, it will always be in the same pattern. This should eliminate some complaints about shotgun's random damage nature and make them more consistent. They also added that you will see red pellets within your reticle showing how many pellets actually hit your enemy.

Fortnite Shotgun Damage Stats

The Double Barrel Shotgun had its damage nerfed slightly in the 6.0.0 patch.

  • Tactical Shotgun (Common, Gray): 67 damage, 134 max headshot damage.
  • Tactical Shotgun (Uncommon, Green): 70 damage, 140 max headshot damage.
  • Tactical Shotgun (Rare, Blue): 74 damage, 148 max headshot damage.
  • Pump Shotgun (Uncommon, Green): 80 damage, 160 max headshot damage.
  • Pump Shotgun (Rare, Blue): 85 damage, 170 max headshot damage.
  • Double Barrel Shotgun (Epic, Purple): 114 damage, 142.5 max headshot damage.
  • Double Barrel Shotgun (Legendary, Gold): 120 damage, 150 max headshot damage.
  • Heavy Shotgun (Epic, Purple): 74 damage, 185 max headshot damage.
  • Heavy Shotgun (Legendary, Gold): 77 damage, 192.5 max headshot damage.

Fortnite Shotgun Tips

Land Your Shots (Kid) on the DOT!

Probably the hardest thing to get used to or shake when you start playing is getting used to the crosshair. You have a dot in the middle which has four little parentheses at each corner. This area is generally where your buckshot will go when you fire, but ultimately you want to be targeting where the dot is or you'll be disappointed with the results. The spread on shotguns can be pretty random (particularly the tactical), but for the most part it is concentrated on the dot.

Aim for the Head

Pretty obvious but shotguns are meant to end a battle quickly so you don't take any damage. You can use a pump shotgun to 1-shot a person from any Health currently if you hit them in the face with a shot. This means even if you are 1-health and your opponent has every single Legendary item in the game, you still have a chance if you land that head shot!

Use Third Person View to Your Advantage

If you hear someone coming towards you in a building or area with cover, try to utilize the third person view which can allow you to sidestep out behind cover and headshot them. Be sure to have the shot lined up before you pop out so you can instantly fire!

Build Better and Smarter

The biggest key to dominating with the shotgun is utilizing your building skills. If you are close to someone then being above them and shooting downwards gives you a much better angle for getting a headshot and protecting yourself from them. It's tempting to just jump off the high ground and go for a finishing shot like Ninja, but it's better for the average player to hold the high ground and quickly peak and sneak a shot off rather than expose yourself to unnecessary damage.

If you get more advanced you can try putting up a wall between you and your opponent, and then edit a quick window in it so you can throw a shot at them when they don't expect it! You can also throw a pump shot at your enemy and quickly put up a wall to block their shot.

Fortnite Shotgun FAQ

Why does my shotgun sometimes do very low damage?

With the recent patch, there's no longer RNG to worry about when it comes to buckshot spread. You also get hit markers in-between your crosshairs, so if you notice you only hit a partial shot, that means you likely didn't do much damage. When you deal low damage like the common 9-damage meme, it usually means you only partially hit your shot. It could also be that you are too far away from your target, but that is more obvious.

Should you use ADS (Aim Down Sights) with the shotgun?

In most situations you shouldn't use this. It slows you down and is unnecessary in most close range fights. Often you are jumping around or quickly peaking out to take a shot. However, if you are in kind of a close to mid-range battle and have the time to lineup the shot then yes it does improve your accuracy and tightens the spread of the buckshot. Pump shotgun is also much better at this, it has a larger range and can do more damage.

Which shotgun is the best?

In a more recent patch, the pump shotgun had its headshot multiplier reduced to 2x and its base damage dropped down a bit. It also has a pretty significant delay when being switched to from another weapon. This makes the pump shotgun pretty much the worst option right now. You can still pick the blue pump over the gray tactical, but after that I would opt for the tactical shotgun.

The Heavy Shotgun is the best shotgun right now. It does the most damage, and has a pretty decent fire rate. Due to the nerf to running double shotguns, you will normally be firing a shot with this and switching to an SMG or the Drum Gun.

Are Shotguns Overpowered (OP)?

At the moment, they are not overpowered and some might be a bit underpowered (pump). You currently can't run the double shotgun, and no shotgun can do 200+ damage anymore. The meta has definitely started to move away from the shotgun dominated one that we've known for so long. If this is a good thing or not remains to be seen.

About the Author

Lifelong gamer and builder of websites, Evident is the site admin for Pro Game Guides.

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  1. Can you possibly explain why the grey tactical shotgun in a 1v1 battle did 64 on full torso shot, 53 on a head and torso shot, 53 on leg/foot shot and 23 on full torso shot? What is wrong, am I missing something, did something change? Help because epic only says we are still in the beginning stages.

    1. It’s all about how much of your shot hits the person. Each small projectile does damage, so with your headshot you did less damage because you only partially landed the shot. What you listed is a pretty common scenario, damage can be all over the place because the spread is random and your aim might have been off.

    2. This happens when the bullets spread out from the gun because the tac has a higher bullet spread than the pump, so unless you are body to body all the bullets will never hit them

  2. It does require skill. If you miss you have to build to better position yourself so you do not die. Now it is obsolete since you can now just spam with a tac like a trash can.

  3. Crybabies like you ruin the game, pumps were high risk high reward. No ones telling you to go up to somebody and engage in a pump fight, the game has a unique building feature. But for those of us who have the balls to go into a shotgun fight a 223 with a pump to either myself or the person im shooting is fair. Close range combat shouldnt require multiple shotguns to the head. Lower skill gap now for noobs like you.

    1. I think it’s funny you call me a crybaby when all I suggested was a slight reduction in damage. I’ve always been a fan of the pump and have an aggressive playstyle, but it should be obvious to everyone that it was slightly overpowered. The pump largely made the heavy shotgun obsolete, so now with this change it makes it more viable. The skill gap is now HIGHER due to the nerf, you have to hit multiple shots instead of just one… Not to mention the majority of the time you can still one-shot people because most players aren’t at 200 hp.

      1. Well i think they shouldnt do so much damage because when i shoot someone in the head with a blue pump for 7 and they one hit me theres something wrong

        1. That just implies that you are bad. If you hit someone for 7 you didn’t hit him with enough pellets. Plus now there isn’t any random pellet deviation.

    2. Lower skill gap haha lower skill gap is being at 3 health and getting that lucky shotgun headshot that takes no skill at least shotguns are more consistent now haha

  4. I agree with all points made however one thing, the heavy shotgun only coming In yellow and purple I think thet it needs a less OP version in a blue one

    1. The heavy shotgun is just the devs way of making a shotgun thats legendary for the pump. Like the Scar for the regular AR, or the Fmas for the burst AR.

  5. Pump relies too much on luck any noob can just fire a shot at close range and if they r lucky one-shot-kill. Only BA sniper should do over 200 damage to head

      1. If you miss you die? That means you are not good. Any decent player knows that after the first pump shot you either switch to another weapon or place a wall to block the enemy’s shot. “The pump requires skill”, you made me laugh.

      2. So you’re saying any decent player with aim should be able to take out an entire squad with just two pumps because they’ve played years of other shooters since they were kids and they can aim not to mention the RNG in the game sometimes even if you get the perfect shot it’ll 196 instead of 200 pumps are fixed now you can still do a ton of damage without it just now takes skill because if you don’t land your shots now the tactical has a chance to outshine it with the faster firing speed.

  6. The fact that u acknowledge the shotgun being the best gun in the game shows it too op and broke a common pump 200 damage to head but a gold rocket launcher does not let’s get real epic no weapon in the game should one tap any body for 200 unless it is a gold bolt to the head exspecially pumps due to the fact no matter if you aim or hip fire the spread is the same so not all pellets should hit one part of the body unless your directly on them and aiming right at body location need to get your team on this asap and fix a major flaw in the game