iPhone version of Fortnite: a beginner’s guide to the game, how to download and play it
Rapper Drake made the game famous, and it’s become the biggest in the world today, but you must be invited to download it – so how do you get the game and how do you play it? We have all the answers for you here
The biggest game in the world right now is Fortnite, a goofy, cartoonish game with a deadly serious premise: 100 players are dropped on an island full of weapons, and the last person alive wins.
More than 45 million people have already played Fortnite on consoles and PC, and that number is about to grow far larger – the game is slowly trickling out to Apple device owners around the world.
Hip-hop superstar Drake is playing it; he recently joined the shoot-’em-up adventure with players including video-game star Ninja on Twitch and the broadcast drew 628,000 viewers, far outpacing the previous record of 388,000, according to the live streaming video platform.
Since the game is played online, Fortnite on iOS is scaling up slowly so it doesn’t crash due to a sudden influx of players. As such, you must be invited to download the game on your iPhone.
So you want to download and try Fortnite – but where do you begin? We’ve got the answers for you.
How do I get Fortnite on my iPhone?
The answer is simple: go to epicgames.com/fortnite and cough up your email address. As soon as the game is capable of handling more players, and your number comes up, you’ll get an invitation to download the game on your iOS device of choice.
Beware: Fortnit e on iOS only runs on a handful of Apple devices, and you need a strong, consistent internet connection to play. The following Apple devices are supported: iPhone 6S/SE, iPad Mini 4, iPad Air 2, iPad 2017, iPad Pro devices or later.
That means any phone from the iPhone 6S/SE through to the iPhone X, the most recent iPad Mini, the most recent iPad Air, and the most recent iPad/iPad Pro models. Any Apple device running Fortnite needs to have iOS 11 installed.
Now that you have the game, what is Fortnite?
Fortnite takes something familiar – shooters – and twists it in a subtle way to make it fresh.
If you own a game console, chances are you’re familiar with shooters – be they first-person (like Call of Duty) or third-person (like Gears of W ar). Fortnite falls into the latter category, with your character’s avatar taking up prominent screen space.
The goal, in the broadest sense, is simple: you have one life, and winning means survival, but living through the cartoon violence of Fortnite is difficult, as there are a few dozen other players also trying to be the last person alive, and they’ve got weapons.
Like the games that inspired Fortnite – PlayerUnknown’ Battlegrounds, H1Z1, and more – Fortnite is based on a single, large island with an ever-shrinking habitable area. If you’re outside that area, your health begins to drain until you’re dead. In this way, players are forced together rather than being able to hide. It’s important to aggressively go after the enemy, but also, watch your back.
What makes Fortnite unique?
Fortnite is often compared to another popular shooter, PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds. There’s good reason for that: they’re very similar.
The first thing you do in Fortnite is jump out of a purple flying bus and parachute down to an island. The island is full of distinct regions, and it’s littered with resources: guns, explosives, med packs, shields, and various materials (wood, brick, metal).
With nothing other than a pickaxe, you desperately need resources to survive. This is a nearly direct mirror of the experience in PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds.
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But there are major differences right off the bat. Rather than just picking up weapons and healing kits, Fortnite also has a construction element to it. Thus why you’re picking up materials – stuff like wood, brick, and metal. Alternatively, you can use your pickaxe to mine the materials yourself, like you would in Minecraft.
The world is destructible, so with every swing of your pickaxe you'll wear down whatever object you’re striking – whether it’s a tree or a brick wall. There are loads of parallels between the two games, but Fortnite is immediately distinguished by this crucial difference.
How do I play it?
You might be wondering how Epic Games managed to turn a console and PC multiplayer shooter into a mobile game without changing its core functionality. The mobile version of Fortnite can even be played cross-platform with friends on PC and console.
The answer, unfortunately, is virtual buttons. Fortnite on mobile is controlled by putting your fingers directly onto the screen. You can drag your thumb around on the left side for movement, and you can drag your thumb around on the right side for aiming.
At the moment, there’s no way to use a Bluetooth game pad with Fortnite on mobile. “We don’t support controllers at initial launch. Later, we plan to support such controllers,” Epic Games told us.
If you’re looking for more precise controls, Fortnite can be played on Xbox One, PlayStation 4, PC and Mac – for free – with game pads and mouse/keyboard set-ups.
What if I have an Android phone?
For now, Android owners can’t play Fortnite on mobile. The game is said to be coming to Android “in the next few months”.
But if you want to be among the first people to learn about Fortnite on Android, you can also sign up with your email to be alerted when it happens.