A battle royal game is a genre of video games that mixes the exploration, survival, and scavenging components of a survival game with last man standing gameplay. The games of battle royale challenge a lot of players, starting out with minimal equipment, to seek for armor and weapons, as well as get rid of other opponents all while avoiding being trapped outside of "safe area" that’s constantly shrinking. The last player in the game is the winner. The name for the genre is taken from the Japanese film Battle Royale of 2000.
The origins of the genre came from mods for online, large-scale survival games such as ARMA 2 and Minecraft, before becoming their own standalone games. While PlayerUnknown's Battlegrounds, which was released in early 2017, was not the first case of a battle royale game, the fast popularity of the title, with more than ten million units sold within six months of its first release, popularized the battle royale format.
Battle royale games are usually played by many individual players or a number of small squads (up to four or five players). In each match, the main goal is to be the last player or team standing by getting rid of all other opponents. A match begins by placing the player-characters into a huge map space, which may allow players to have control of where they begin or it may have a random distribution instead. Everyone starts with minimal equipment but during the game, players can customize the appearance of their character. There are weapons, vehicles, armor and other items beneficial for players randomly scattered around the map. To find these items players need to search the map while trying not to get killed by other players. The "safe area" of the map is shrinking around a randomly selected point throughout the match, forcing players into smaller spaces and increasing the chance of player encounters. Players outside the safe area take damage and can die. The match is over when only one player or team remains. The game typically provides a reward of in-game currency to all players based on how long they survived.
The random item placement, starting point nature, and safe area reduction lend the battle royale genre to challenge players to think fast and react quickly and develop strategies throughout the match as to be the last player/team standing.
In addition to standalone games, the concept of battle royale may also be present as part of one of many game modes within a larger game or may be applied as a user-created mod created for another game.
There are many different modifications that can be implemented atop the basics of the battle royale. For instance, Fortnite introduced a 50-versus-50 player mode in its Battle Royale game. One of the two teams are assigned to the players, and they work with their teammates to collect weapons and resources towards constructing defense as the safe area of the game decreases, with the goal to get rid of all the players on the other team.