The hottest game of 2018 has finally arrived on Android.
Fortnite has been blowing up lately. Millions of people have become obsessed with the game, both as players and just watching popular Twitch streamers play the game.
Interested to learn more about what the heck Fortnite is all about? Just keep reading.
What's new with Fortnite?
September 4, 2018 — New "High Stakes" heist mode launches this week!
You have to give the Fortnite developers credit for continuing to add creative new modes to the game. Coming in the v5.40 update expected to start rolling out tomorrow, players will be able to check out a new game mode, "High Stakes".
The new squad-based mode tasks your team with tracking down one of four safes scattered through the map. In each safe is a special jewel statue which you must collect and then outrun and outgun your opponents as you make your way to a getaway van. The new game mode was previewed at PAX West over Labor Day weekend and is expected to go live on September 5.
August 23, 2018 — More mobile bug fixes arrive with Fortnite Update v5.30
Epic Games has announced the latest major update to Fortnite that tweaks some aspects of gameplay, introduces a new game mode, and provides some much-needed fixes for the mobile version of the game. You'll now be able to find a "Rift-To-Go" item that lets you teleport above your current location and bust out your glider, or check out Score Royale Limited Time Mode (LTM), which offers a new way to compete as players loot and eliminate other players to earn points.
But most importantly, the graphical settings for mobile appear to be fixed along with some improvements for controlling vehicles and building. Here's the full list from the mobile patch notes:
- Players must now select a preferred fire mode before proceeding to matchmaking.
- A dedicated button to powerslide while driving has been added to the UI.
- The button for exiting a vehicle will now always remain consistent.
- Turbo building will no longer be interrupted by switching structure types.
- Fixed camera jitter while moving and looking simultaneously.
- Fixed an issue where settings would appear in-game lower than intended resulting in missing shadows and lower image quality.
August 16, 2018 — Update v5.21 addresses Fortnite's poor performance on most Android phones
On the same day that Fornite started rolling out for non-Samsung Galaxy devices, the Fortnite devs took to Twitter to acknowledge stability issues with the app on devices with 4GB of RAM — which describes almost all Android phones that Fortnite is currently available on.
We have seen reports that some players on 4GB Android devices are encountering an issue causing poor performance. This is due to multiple background applications running--leaving the device without enough memory for Fortnite. We are investigating and working on a fix!— Fortnite (@FortniteGame) August 14, 2018
That fix arrived with an update to v5.21, which appears to have addressed the abysmal frame rate issues and much of the frustrating performance issues that have plagued Fortnite through its first week on Android.
Other significant additions in the v5.21 update are a couple new game modes: Soaring 50's and Sniper Shootout. You can check them out for a limited time.
August 13, 2018 — Epic opens the Fortnite Android Beta to a ton of non-Samsung phones/tablets
Fortnite's short-lived exclusivity on Samsung devices has come to an end. After a few days of being limited to select Galaxy-branded gadgets, Epic's now expanded its Fortnite Android Beta to a heap of other phones and tablets.
Hey Android owners! We're excited to open up the #FortniteAndroid Beta to more devices starting... TODAY!— Fortnite (@FortniteGame) August 13, 2018
Check your email as the first wave of invites have started to go out. Not signed up yet? Head to our website for more info: https://t.co/AvolyySFZ1 pic.twitter.com/DuW5yzpcqd
You can find the full list below in the Where can I download the game? section, but some notable additions include the Google Pixel 2/2 XL, OnePlus 6, Razer Phone, and the LG G7.
If you haven't already received an invite to join the beta, head to Epic's website, enter your email to sign up, and wait for the invitation to come through.
August 10, 2018 — Google now warns players that Fortnite isn't available on the Play Store
Epic's decision to not release Fortnite on the Play Store is a controversial one for a lot of reasons — mainly because it gives crooks a field day with tricking people into downloading fake versions that serve to do nothing but cause trouble.
In an effort to combat this, searching for "Fortnite" on the Play Store now returns a message that reads, "Fortnite Battle Royale by Epic Games, Inc is not available on Google Play."
It's a small heads-up to let people know the legit version of Fortnite isn't anywhere to be found, and hopefully, it'll be enough to stop people from downloading bad actors.
Users will also see the warning pop up when searching for "Fortnite Battle Royale", "Fortnite Mobile", etc.
August 9, 2018 — Fortnite Beta for Android is officially live, exclusive to Samsung Galaxy devices until August 12
In spite of all of those clickbait ads you've probably seen over the past several months, the Fortnite Beta was officially announced today at the Samsung Unpacked event alongside the Samsung Galaxy Note 9.
Samsung and Epic Games have teamed up to make Fortnite exclusive to Samsung Galaxy phones until August 12, at which point the beta will be opened up to other Android devices. If you've got a Samsung Galaxy S7 or better, you can download and start playing Fortnite on your phone right now!
August 3, 2018 — Epic confirms that it won't be offering Fortnite for Android via the Google Play Store
It's official, folks. A few days after rumors started piling up, Epic has confirmed that Fortnite for Android won't be offered on the Google Play Store. Instead, users will have to download the game directly from Epic's website.
Talking to The Verge, Epic CEO Tim Sweeney said:
Epic wants to have a direct relationship with our customers on all platforms where that's possible. The great thing about the Internet and the digital revolution is that this is possible, now that physical storefronts and middlemen distributors are no longer required.
In addition to having a more direct relationship with players, Epic's second reason for bypassing the Play Store is that it won't have to hand over 30% of all sales from in-game purchases to Google. According to Sweeny, "30 percent is disproportionate to the cost of the services these stores perform."
Sweeny also went on to say that Fortnite for Android will be available globally except for China. However, Epic is currently working on finding a way to bring both the iOS and Android version of the game to the country at some point in the near future.
July 30, 2018 — Fortnite for Android might not be on the Play Store and require a manual APK download
Just a few days after it was reported that Fortnite will be launching as a limited exclusive for the Galaxy Note 9, we now have some interesting details about how the Android app will be distributed.
The folks at XDA recently took a look at the source code on Epic's official website, and while doing so, came across some instructions telling people how to download the Android port. Specifically, it talks about going to Epic's site and downloading the game's APK file there rather than doing so through Google Play.
With a move like this, there are a few important things to point out.
First off, while manually downloading APK files isn't all that difficult, it does require you to accept downloads from unknown sources (possibly making yourself vulnerable to security threats) and can be a clunky process for users that aren't familiar with doing so. On the flip side, Epic gets to avoid Google's 30 percent cut from all in-game purchases.
It's still unclear if this process will be set in stone for the game's foreseeable future or just during its exclusivity to the Note 9, but all these details should be explained in just a few short days.
July 16, 2018 — Season 5 Battle Pass has begun, still no official Android launch date set
We're midway through July and still no word from Epic Games as to when specifically Fortnite will be released for Android this summer.
Meanwhile, the Season 5 Battle Pass has begun for all other platforms that Fortnite is available on, which either means that the Android version is imminent or we're going to have to wait for this season to wrap up and hope it's released ahead of Season 6. Battle Pass seasons typically last around 10 weeks, which would mean Season 5 should wrap up around the third week of September which lines up nicely with the Autumnal equinox and the official end of summer.
Speculation on the Fortnite forums is rampant, with some posters confident the Android version will be released imminently in the coming weeks, while others are prepared to wait until September. We'll be sure to let you know as soon as a more concrete date is set.
May 18, 2018 — The Android version will be here "this summer."
Fortnite's iOS version has been out for a hot minute now, and to ensure the experience is as good as can be, Epic outlined a heap of improvements coming to the game — including a customizable HUD, voice chat, improved controls, and more.
You can read through all the changes here, but the most exciting news has to do with Fortnite's Android release. Epic notes that the game will be here "this summer", and while that's not as specific as we'd like, it's still a step in the right direction.
All the big details
What is Fortnite?
Fortnite offers a free 100-player Player Vs Player (PvP) Battle Royale game mode. Just like PUBG, you're dropped onto the large island map and must arm yourself and outlive your competition. But in Fortnite, you always start out armed with a pickaxe which can be used as a melee weapon or to harvest raw supplies for building walls, ramps, and shelters.
It certainly adds extra layers of strategy to the format, creating essentially a perfect storm of addictive gaming action that's as fun to watch as it is to play. Oh, speaking of storms all the action takes place in the eye of a deadly electrical storm meaning you can't just hunker down and hide out the whole game. You got to keep moving.
How do you play the game?
Just like PUBG, your goal is to be the last man standing — with up to 100 players involved in each match, that's no small task.
Each game starts with the players jumping out of the flying "Battle Bus" and parachuting down onto a giant island. Once landed, you must loot nearby buildings for items, guns, and ammo to defend yourself and attack other players.
You also need to keep an eye on the map, as every few minutes the storm closes in on the play area. If you're caught in the storm, you slowly die so you do not want to forget to regularly check where you are on the map. Eventually, the play constricts to a tiny area for the final showdown between the remaining players — there can only be one winner!
Unlike PUBG, you're able to carry more than two guns. Instead, you're limited to the number of weapons and items you can carry at one time. Also, guns are color-coded to denote their rarity — from grey (common) to orange (legendary) — and the rarer the gun, the deadlier it is.
Then there's the crafting element. Every player starts out with a pickaxe which can be used as a melee weapon or used to break down trees and buildings to harvest the raw resources. You can then use these raw resources to build your own structures, whether it be a defensive wall to provide cover from an advancing enemy, a set of stairs to reach the second floor of a building or your own watchtower to snipe players from across the map. The resources you mine will determine the strength. Steel is stronger than brick, which is stronger than wood.
The latest update to the game for the Season 5 Battle Pass has introduced a slew of new map areas and gameplay features including the All-Terrain Kart (ATK) which let you and your squad move around the map faster than ever before. You can read more about the latest tweaks in the full release notes.
Where can I download the game?
Since Epic Games has decided to release Fortnite for Android outside the confines of the Google Play Store, you'll need to download the Fortnite Installer APK to get the game on your phone.
Epic struck a deal with Samsung to make Fortnite available for select Samsung devices right now, so if you head to the Galaxy App Store on your Galaxy S9/S9+, Note 8, Galaxy S8/S8+, Galaxy S7/S7 Edge, Tab S3, or Tab S4 and search "Fortnite", you can download the 4MB installer to get the game on your handset right now.
If you own a non-Samsung phone, you can head to Epic's website and enter your email to sign up for an invite to the beta. The first round of invitations went out to users on August 13, and according to Epic's site, Fortnite for Android is compatible with the following:
- Google Pixel 2 / 2 XL
- Google Pixel / Pixel XL
- LG G7
- LG V35
- LG V30 / V30+
- LG G6
- LG V20
- LG G5
- Essential Phone
- OnePlus 6
- OnePlus 5 / 5T
- Razer Phone
- Huawei Mate 10 / Mate 10 Pro
- Huawei Mate RS
- Huawei P20 / P20 Pro
- Huawei Nova 3
- Honor 10
- Honor Play
- Honor V10
- Asus ROG Phone
- Asus Zenfone 4 Pro
- Asus Zenfone 5Z
- Asus ZenFone V
- Xiaomi Blackshark
- Xiaomi Mi 5 / 5S / 5S Plus
- Xiaomi Mi 6 / 6 Plus
- Xioami Mi 8 / 8 Explorer / 8SE
- Xiaomi Mi Mix
- Xiaomi Mi Mix 2
- Xiaomi Mi Mix 2S
- Xiaomi Mi Note 2
- ZTE Axon 7 / 7S
- ZTE Axon M
- ZTE Nubia Z17 / Z17S
- ZTE Nubia Z11
Is it free to play?
Fortnite for mobile includes the PvP Battle Royale game that's free to play across all platforms. The console versions have a paid game mode called Save The World that's Player vs Environment (PvE). Save The World plays more like Minecraft, where you're harvesting more resources and stocking up on loot to survive waves of AI enemies in a sort of tower defense-style of gameplay.
The PvE mode will not be available in Fortnite Mobile due to CPU limitations and, frankly, it's the PvP mode that everyone is crazy for so that's quite alright with us.
Having said that, there are some reasons to spend money in Fortnite. The best way to spend money is to buy a Battle Pass which gives you daily challenges over the span of a Fortnite Season (typically lasts 10 weeks) which let you unlock a ton of cool outfits, dance emotes, and other goodies to customize your character. You can also spend V-Bucks, the in-game currency, to buy cosmetic items for your player and people sure have been buying stuff. According to this report from Sensor Tower analtyics, Fortnite Mobile players spent more than $1 million during the first 72 hours of its release on iOS. Fortunately, nothing you can buy will give you an actual advantage in the game to prevent people from paying to win. In this case, its a matter of playing to look cool
So, to answer the question, you have the option to spend money on Fortnite if you want a cool looking character, but the game is free to play and you won't need to pay to win.
Where's the support for Bluetooth controls?
Epic Games has confirmed that Bluetooth controller support is coming, but as of right now only touchscreen controls are available.
Is it cross-platform?
Epic Games have indicated that you will be able to play Fortnite across all platforms. Your Fortnite profile can be connected to all the platforms you play on so you can add to your stats however you connect to the game.
Don't be worried about getting mismatched as the one mobile player in a server of PC and console players. If you're playing solo on mobile, you will only be matched up against other mobile players. If you join a squad with friends playing on another platform, then that squad will be matched against a multi-platform population, essentially making cross-platform play opt-in.
How does it compare to the PC or console version?
If the iOS version of Fortnite is anything to go by, the Android version will enjoy feature parity with all other platforms, including PS4, PC, Xbox One, and Nintendo Switch. There will be minor differences to account for the form factor, such as (hopefully) support for Bluetooth controls, on-screen controls for those not using a controller, and certainly toned down graphics capability. But if you want to jump in for a quick game of Battle Royale, you won't need to worry about playing a vastly different game. Fortnite on Android is still Fortnite.
Are you hyped for Fortnite?
We'll be sure to let you know when the game launches for Android. Until then, you can create your Epic Games account and start playing on one of the other platforms to start getting a handle on the game