It’s no secret that Fortnite is the biggest game in the world right now. Thanks to its whimsical take on the now inescapable battle royale genre, Epic Games’ multiplayer behemoth has slowly established itself as a bona fide, parent-bothering gaming phenomenon. It’s not hard to see why it’s so popular. Not only is it a ton of fun, but crucially, it’s free, and playable on every current generation games console. Yet, unlike the genre’s forefather, PUBG, Android gamers have been left out of the Fortnite fun. Until now.
Yes, Fortnite is playable on Android right now… as long as you own the right Samsung device. While the beta will be airdropping its way onto other compatible Android devices in the next few days, Fortnite will be a Samsung exclusive from now until August 12th.
So the key question is, how does it run?
Fortnite Android Performance
Much like the Nintendo Switch version, Fortnite Android runs at a locked 30 frames per second. Testing the beta on the latest Samsung tablet, the Note 9, visually this was very much what you’d expect from a mobile Fortnite. In terms of visual fidelity, it wasn’t quite as crisp as Epic’s Switch port, but it still looked fairly impressive.
Interestingly though, the game allows you to change graphics setting in order to squeeze the most out of your phone or tablet. Much like a PC game, players can choose between low, medium, high and epic graphics settings in a bid to boost performance.
Weirdly though while you can drop visual fidelity, so far, the beta doesn’t seem to let you raise the frame rate past 30fps. If you want to really give your opponents the upper hand, however, you can choose to lower the target frame rate, with the menu giving you the option to lock the action at 10 or 20 frames per second.
How Does it Control?
The idea of swapping buttons for touchscreen never sounds appealing to console players. But hats off to Epic, as it’s done a pretty solid job with the control scheme on Fortnite Android.
With an onscreen icon in the left-hand corner becoming your virtual analogue stick and a double tap triggering autorun, navigating Fortnite’s brightly lit world feels fairly intuitive. The area we were most concerned about though was the building. Surprisingly, that too feels fairly hassle-free. Simply tab the building tab, select your chosen construction project and hit the action icon in the right-hand corner.
As you may expect, shooting feels a little more fiddly than on PC or console, with projectile shots either tied to a single ‘fire’ button — or if you tweak the settings — you can assign those BRAP BRAPs to a generic right screen tap. Likewise, jump and crouch have their own little icons, making playing Fortnite Android feel instantly intuitive when you first dive in.
Thoughtfully, the way you interact with the world has been streamlined too. With simply tapping on chests and items sending the contents and spoils floating directly towards your on-screen avatar.
I HAVE AN ANDROID … so How and When Can I Play it?!
If you own a Samsung Galaxy S7, S7 Edge, S8, S8 Plus, Note 8, S9, S9 Plus you can dive into the action right now. From August 12th though, Fortnite Android will play nicely with the following handsets:
- Google: Pixel / Pixel XL, Pixel 2 / Pixel 2 XL
- Asus: ROG Phone, Zenfone 4 Pro, 5Z, V
- Essential: PH-1
- Huawei: Honor 10, Honor Play, Mate 10 / Pro, Mate RS, Nova 3, P20 / Pro, V10
- LG: G5, G6, G7 ThinQ, V20, V30 / V30+
- Nokia: 8
- OnePlus: 5 / 5T, 6
- Razer: Phone
- Xiaomi: Blackshark, Mi 5 / 5S / 5S Plus, 6 / 6 Plus, Mi 8 / 8 Explorer / 8SE, Mi Mix, Mi Mix 2, Mi Mix 2S, Mi Note 2
- ZTE: Axon 7 / 7s, Axon M, Nubia / Z17 / Z17s, Nubia Z11
As we’ve mentioned before, Fortnite will be one of the first games ever to completely bypass Android’s primary marketplace the Google Play Store. Instead, you’ll have to download it through Epic’s site and download its very own launcher.