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August 4, 2018

Fortnite for Android: Everything you need to know

by John_A

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The hottest game of 2018 will be coming to Android soon.

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?

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.

All the big details

What is Fortnite?

Fortnite is what would happen if you combined two of the most addictive games out there — Minecraft and PUBG.

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 for 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.

When will it be available for Android?

Fortnite has been available for PC, Xbox One and PlayStation 4 for a few months now, and is now widely available on iOS devices after a brief invite-only beta.

There have been no firm dates set for an Android release by Fortnite’s developer, Epic Games, but they have said to expect Fortnite Mobile to launch on Android sometime this summer. For now, Android users can head on over to Epic Games, log in or create your Fortnite Account, and then let the developers know which device you plan to play on which will also add you to the mailing list to be informed when the game eventually drops.

Until then, at least we’ve got PUBG to tide us over.

Yeah, but I found this site that offered an APK file for…

Stop. The game is not out for Android yet, so any website you see offering a version of Fortnite for Android is a scam.

Since Epic Games announced the Summer release window for Fortnite on Android, a bunch of fake websites have popped up claiming to offer an early version of the APK. I’m not going to link to them but unless you see an announcement from Epic Games themselves or we report it here, don’t fall for the scam.

If you want to be notified from the developers as soon as the game is available, you can sign up at the Fortnite Mobile website.

Will it be free to play?

Epic Games has so far released the PvP Battle Royale game for free across all platforms including the mobile version for iOS. The console version also has 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.

However, the mobile version will offers in-app purchases for cosmetic items to customize 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. Wow.

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.

Will there be support for Bluetooth controls?

Epic Games has indicated that Bluetooth controller support will be coming later, 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.

  • Learn more about Fortnite Mobile

How does it compare to the PS4 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

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