Fortnite: Everything you need to know about the battle royale hit

Fortnite Chapter 2
Fortnite Chapter 2 (Image credit: Epic Games)

Since its launch in 2017, Fortnite has quickly turned into one of the biggest video games on the planet, capturing the attention of celebrities and gamers alike. Here's everything you need to know about the battle royale before you go diving in.

What is Fortnite?

For those unaware, Fortnite is a battle royale video game, which pits 100 players against each other to fight it out to be the last one standing. The thing that sets apart Fortnite from other battle royales is in its building system, which forces players to learn how to become adept at building in order to come away as a winner.

Because Fortnite began as a tower defense title, players in Fortnite are able to pick various materials — wood, brick, and metal — and build objects in the game. Once you have some supplies you can start to build walls, slopes, and roofs to protect you from attack, or give yourself the advantage of the high ground. Unlike other battle royales that might just focus on shooting or moving in the right spot, Fortnite rewards players who master the art of building, making it a necessary tool to have in your arsenal of skills.

How do you play Fortnite?

Fortnite Chapter 2 Season 2 Battle Pass

Source: Epic Games (Image credit: Source: Epic Games)

Just like PUBG or any other battle royale, your goal is to be the last person 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 to a location of their choice. 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 other battle royales, you're able to carry more than two weapons with you, and also have access to a wide-range of other items, including grappling hooks, grenades that launch you into the sky, and traps that can take an enemy down almost instantly. Weapons themselves are color-coded to denote their rarity — from gray (common) to orange (legendary) — and the rarer the gun, the deadlier it is.

Every player also 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.

How do seasons work in Fortnite?

Fortnite has become known for its ambitious updates, as the folks at Epic Games continue to change the way Fortnite does things from time to time.

Similar to other battle royale titles, Fortnite implements a "season" in its game, with each season usually lasting around 10 weeks. Each season also comes with its own Battle Pass, allowing players to earn a large amount of new cosmetic items, including weapon skins, character skins, and even V-Bucks — the in-game currency — that can go toward the next seasons Battle Pass.

Typically, at the end of every season, an in-game event takes place that alters the map or ushers in the latest content for the game. Fortnite has become extremely well-known for these, with the latest being a Travis Scott concert that rocked the Fortnite world.

What are the in-game events?

As stated above, Fortnite has become extremely well-known for its in-game events. These range from concerts featuring mega popular artists all the way to partnerships with various brands like Marvel and Star Wars to bring new content into the game.

Generally, in-game events occur every couple of months, with one usually happening before a season ends in Fortnite and continuing the in-game lore that Fortnite has built up. For example, the latest (and biggest) event came when Fortnite Chapter 2 was announced, and featured the entire game getting sucked into a black hole before being spit out on a brand new map.

While some in-game events alter things in Fortnite drastically — like when a giant robot and monster fought it out and changed the map — some simply add new game modes. One of the most popular and critically acclaimed in-game events Fortnite held was its Avengers tie-in, where players could play as the actual Avengers and Thanos, and battle it out in an exclusive mode.

Where can I play Fortnite?

Fortnite Installation on Samsung

Source: Android Central (Image credit: Source: Android Central)

For anyone looking to try their hand at Fortnite, they don't have to look very far. The battle royale is available for nearly any and every platform you can think of. Currently, Fortnite is available on Windows, macOS, Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, iOS, and Android devices. There's a decent chance that no matter what type of console or phone you have, you will be able to play Fortnite on it.

Are there any differences between the Android and console versions of Fortnite?

Unlike many other battle royale titles that offer a watered down version of their games on mobile devices, Fortnite aims to offer the full version of the game on all devices. This means that there are no real differences between the mobile and console versions of the game, outside of the obvious controls.

When you download Fortnite on your mobile device, you'll sign in with the same Epic Games account you use on other platforms. From there, you're taken to the same exact game, complete with the same menus, options, and gameplay. Players on mobile devices are even often paired with PC players, making for some frustrating but very inclusive games.

What Android phones work with Fortnite?

For Android users looking to play Fortnite on their phone, you should have a solid chance of doing so. According to Epic Games, Fortnite is compatible with Android devices running 64-bit Android on an ARM64-processor, Android OS 8.0 or higher, minimum 4GB of RAM, and GPU: Adreno 530 or higher, Mali-G71 MP20, and Mali-G72 MP12 or higher.

If you're looking for some of the best phones to play Fortnite on, we've got you covered. When it comes to purchases on the phone, you can also check out our guide on limiting your child's purchases on Fortnite on both Android and PlayStation 4.

What's next for Fortnite?

Currently, the world of Fortnite is in a bit of a rocky place. Because of the rising popularity of other games and general dislike for some of the recent gameplay decisions, many players are wondering what's next for Fortnite. Fortunately, we should know more sooner rather than later.

Because Fortnite operates in a pretty cyclical manner, we should be seeing the end of Chapter 2 - Season 2 soon, and should be getting more information as for what's next. It's unknown exactly what Chapter 2 - Season 3 will bring, but fans can expect another in-game event with some changes to the map or gameplay to be on the horizon.

Marc Lagace

Marc Lagace was an Apps and Games Editor at Android Central between 2016 and 2020. You can reach out to him on Twitter [@spacelagace.