Fortnite on Android: All the info on its unconventional release in one place

Fortnite is a global sensation. In just one year, it’s amassed 125 million players including celebrities like Drake, Joe Jonas, Finn Wolfhard, and even Roseanne Barr. There are already international tournaments happening.

Although Fortnite is out now for PC, Mac, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch, and iOS, it hasn’t yet made it to Android. And while the release of Fortnite for all the other platforms has been pretty run-of-the-mill, the expected Android release is going to be anything but.

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We know that Epic Games — the publisher of Fortnite — is adopting an incredibly unconventional strategy for Fortnite on Android, which is likely leading to confusion and misinformation. We thought it would be helpful to bring all the factual information (and credible rumors) we have seen so far into one article.

Hopefully, this will answer any questions you might have!

How to play the beta for Fortnite on Android

Fortnite Battle Royale Epic

As of right now, no beta for this game exists. If you Google “fortnite android beta” you will come up with some results that make it seem like there is a beta out there. However, anything you download that claims to be a beta version of Fortnite for Android is illegitimate — and probably trying to push malware or some kind of scam.

In no uncertain terms, there is no way to play Fortnite for Android yet, so don’t download anything until you hear otherwise.

Fortnite release date for Android

Epic Games hasn’t released any information about when Fortnite for Android will see the light of day.

There is a very credible rumor that the initial launch of Fortnite for Android will be exclusive to the Samsung Galaxy Note 9, which Samsung will launch on August 9. If that is true, we expect the Note 9 to hit store shelves on August 24, which would thus be the first day anyone could play Fortnite for Android.

Assuming that the Note 9 exclusive is real, the exclusive is expected to last for 30 days, which means from August 24 until the end of September only Note 9 owners will be able to play Fortnite for Android.

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After that 30-day time period, there is another rumor that other Samsung flagships — like the Samsung Galaxy S9 — will then have an exclusive to the game. This separate Samsung exclusive could last anywhere from 30 to 90 days, if it is happening.

If that is also true, it could potentially be December before anyone who uses a non-Samsung Android phone will be able to play Fortnite.

These Samsung exclusives are only rumors at this point, and we will likely know the full details this week when the company launches the Note 9. Stay tuned.

Fortnite for Android supported devices

If you don’t own a recent Samsung flagship, will you even be able to play Fortnite? That’s a good question, and luckily we have some clear answers.

According to the official Fortnite website, these are the devices that will absolutely run Fortnite for Android:

Google Pixel 2/Pixel 2 XL
Huawei Mate 10/Huawei Mate 10 Pro
Huawei Mate 10 Lite
Huawei Mate 9/Mate 9 Pro
Huawei P10/P10 Plus
Huawei P10 Lite
Huawei P9
Huawei P9 Lite
Huawei P8 Lite 2017
LG V30/V30 Plus
Motorola Moto E4 Plus
Motorola Moto G5/G5 Plus
Motorola Moto G5S
Motorola Moto Z2 Play

Nokia 6
Razer Phone
Samsung Galaxy A5 2017
Samsung Galaxy A7 2017
Samsung Galaxy J7 Prime 2017/J7 Pro 2017
Samsung Galaxy Note 8
Samsung Galaxy On7 2016
Samsung Galaxy S9/S9 Plus
Samsung Galaxy S8/S8 Plus
Samsung Galaxy S7/S7 Edge
Sony Xperia XA1/XA1 Ultra/XA1 Plus
Sony Xperia XZ
Sony Xperia XZs
Sony Xperia XZ1

If you don’t see your phone on the list, don’t freak out: this might not be a full documentation of the phones that can play the game. For example, where is the OnePlus 6? The Sony Xperia XZ2? The LG G7 ThinQ? These are all phones with flagship specs that are either as good or better than a lot of the devices on the “official” list.

However, the release strategy for Fortnite for Android is extremely unconventional (we’ll get to that more in a minute) so it is very well possible that the list above is the definitive list, at least for now. But we think it’s more likely that that is an example list and nothing more.

Where is the Fortnite for Android Play Store listing?

You can search all you like for the Fortnite for Android listing on the Google Play Store — you won’t find it. The reason for that is because, unbelievably, Epic Games will not release Fortnite for Android on the Play Store.

Instead, you’ll install Fortnite for Android via a new Epic Games launcher that you will have to install on your Android device direct from Epic.

This is similar to how one installs Fortnite on a PC: you download an installer from Epic Games and then launch the game via the installer.

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But downloading and installing software from the internet is a normal occurrence on Windows and Mac computers, so gamers are used to that. For most gamers though, installing an Android game means going to the Google Play Store; most don’t know of any other way.

Epic Games will list instructions for how to download and install the Fortnite for Android launcher by using a security toggle in Android settings that allows users to install apps from outside the Play Store.

While this setting has been a feature of Android for years, most users likely don’t know it even exists. What Epic Games will do is train users on how to install apps from third parties, which could open the floodgates for users to unknowingly download and install malware from all over the internet. It is a controversial move, for absolute sure.

Why won’t Fortnite for Android be on the Google Play Store?

The CEO of Epic Games told Variety that the primary motivation for the unconventional release strategy of Fortnite for Android is to maintain “a direct relationship with our customers on all platforms where that’s possible.”

However, he also gave a secondary motivation that is much more likely to be the real reason you won’t get Fortnite for Android from the Play Store: Google’s 30 percent cut of all profits from products on the Play Store. Here is what CEO Tim Sweeney had to say on that point:

We’re motivated by economic efficiency. The 30 percent store tax is a high cost in a world where game developers’ 70 percent must cover all the costs of developing, operating, and supporting their games. There’s a rationale for this on console where there’s enormous investment in hardware, often sold below cost, and marketing campaigns in broad partnership with publishers. But on open platforms, 30 percent is disproportionate to the cost of the services these stores perform, such as payment processing, download bandwidth, and customer service. We’re intimately familiar with these costs from our experience operating Fortnite as a direct-to-customer service on PC and Mac.

Will Fortnite for Android come to the Play Store in the future?

According to Epic Games’ CEO Tim Sweeney, the publisher communicated with Google prior to announcing its plans to release Fortnite for Android outside of the Google Play Store. He was not clear on what Google thought of the plan but says that Google was aware before the announcement.

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Sweeney said that he hopes to work with Google to make sure that players stay safe when downloading content that’s not from the Play Store. “Google built Android as an open platform, and we’re eager to work closely with them to further Android as a platform that brings console-quality games to smartphones,” he said.

Google has yet to comment on the Fortnite release strategy.

How much will Fortnite for Android cost to download?

Fortnite HUD Epic

As with Fortnite on other platforms, downloading Fortnite for Android will be totally free. After downloading and installing, you can play the game as much as you like without having to pay anything.

There will be optional in-app purchases though which players can buy to customize and upgrade their gaming experience. This is how Epic makes its money off Fortnite (rumored to be $300 million per month).

Will Fortnite for Android only pit players against other Android users?

Epic Games says that all versions of Fortnite will feature cross-play and cross-progression capabilities. This means that all players on any system — including Android — can fight together.

However, as with the iOS version of Fortnite, players will have the ability to opt-out of full cross-play and only fight against other mobile users to ensure a more even playing field. This is because a player armed with a keyboard and mouse (or PS4 controller) will likely mop the floor with players on mobile device touchscreens.

Will controllers and keyboards work with Fortnite for Android?

No, at least not at first. Epic says that it intends to prevent Android gamers from using any peripherals to keep things fair amongst other Android users. Eventually, this could change and players could hook up controllers, keyboards, and mice to Android devices. But at first, it will be all-touchscreen all the time.

How many people will be playing Fortnite for Android when it gets released?

Fortnite Battle Royale art Epic Games

Assuming that Samsung will have the exclusive rights mentioned earlier in this article, there likely won’t be too many players at first, at least on Android. But once the exclusives go away, Epic anticipates there will be about 250 million Android players.

This is double the amount of players the game has currently, which is 125 million.

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That might seem like a huge jump, but it’s actually not that much when you remember there are over 2 billion Android devices in the world. However, only a fraction of those users care about Fortnite and only a fraction of those users will own a device capable of playing the game.

Therefore, it’s a safe assumption to make that you will be playing against hundreds of millions of people when Fortnite for Android finally lands for the whole world.

Will Fortnite come to VR or AR, either on Android or something else?

Epic says that it currently has no plans to bring Fortnite to VR or AR platforms, but that it is “thinking a lot about AR and VR possibilities.”

Is the “Save the World” functionality coming to Android?

As of now, Epic Games says it has no plans to bring the Save the World functionality of Fortnite to either Android or iOS. Save the World is expected to remain a PC/console perk and not a mobile feature.

NEXT: Fortnite might not come to the Google Play Store, and that’s a horrible idea

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