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Latest update to Fortnite appears to fix its biggest performance issues

The hottest game of 2018 has finally arrived on Android.

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 16, 2018 — Update v5.21 addresses Fortnite's poor performance on most Android phones

On the same day that Fornite started rolling out for non-Samsung Galaxy devices, the Fortnite devs took to Twitter to acknowledge stability issues with the app on devices with 4GB of RAM — which describes almost all Android phones that Fortnite is currently available on.

That fix arrived with an update to v5.21, which appears to have addressed the abysmal frame rate issues and much of the frustrating performance issues that have plagued Fortnite through its first week on Android.

Other significant additions in the v5.21 update are a couple new game modes: Soaring 50's and Sniper Shootout. You can check them out for a limited time.

August 13, 2018 — Epic opens the Fortnite Android Beta to a ton of non-Samsung phones/tablets

Fortnite's short-lived exclusivity on Samsung devices has come to an end. After a few days of being limited to select Galaxy-branded gadgets, Epic's now expanded its Fortnite Android Beta to a heap of other phones and tablets.

You can find the full list below in the Where can I download the game? section, but some notable additions include the Google Pixel 2/2 XL, OnePlus 6, Razer Phone, and the LG G7.

If you haven't already received an invite to join the beta, head to Epic's website, enter your email to sign up, and wait for the invitation to come through.

August 10, 2018 — Google now warns players that Fortnite isn't available on the Play Store

Epic's decision to not release Fortnite on the Play Store is a controversial one for a lot of reasons — mainly because it gives crooks a field day with tricking people into downloading fake versions that serve to do nothing but cause trouble.

In an effort to combat this, searching for "Fortnite" on the Play Store now returns a message that reads, "Fortnite Battle Royale by Epic Games, Inc is not available on Google Play."

It's a small heads-up to let people know the legit version of Fortnite isn't anywhere to be found, and hopefully, it'll be enough to stop people from downloading bad actors.

Users will also see the warning pop up when searching for "Fortnite Battle Royale", "Fortnite Mobile", etc.

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 to 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.

Where can I download the game?

Since Epic Games has decided to release Fortnite for Android outside the confines of the Google Play Store, you'll need to download the Fortnite Installer APK to get the game on your phone.

Epic struck a deal with Samsung to make Fortnite available for select Samsung devices right now, so if you head to the Galaxy App Store on your Galaxy S9/S9+, Note 8, Galaxy S8/S8+, Galaxy S7/S7 Edge, Tab S3, or Tab S4 and search "Fortnite", you can download the 4MB installer to get the game on your handset right now.

If you own a non-Samsung phone, you can head to Epic's website and enter your email to sign up for an invite to the beta. The first round of invitations went out to users on August 13, and according to Epic's site, Fortnite for Android is compatible with the following:

  • Google Pixel 2 / 2 XL
  • Google Pixel / Pixel XL
  • LG G7
  • LG V35
  • LG V30 / V30+
  • LG G6
  • LG V20
  • LG G5
  • Essential Phone
  • OnePlus 6
  • OnePlus 5 / 5T
  • Razer Phone
  • Huawei Mate 10 / Mate 10 Pro
  • Huawei Mate RS
  • Huawei P20 / P20 Pro
  • Huawei Nova 3
  • Honor 10
  • Honor Play
  • Honor V10
  • Asus ROG Phone
  • Asus Zenfone 4 Pro
  • Asus Zenfone 5Z
  • Asus ZenFone V
  • Xiaomi Blackshark
  • Xiaomi Mi 5 / 5S / 5S Plus
  • Xiaomi Mi 6 / 6 Plus
  • Xioami Mi 8 / 8 Explorer / 8SE
  • Xiaomi Mi Mix
  • Xiaomi Mi Mix 2
  • Xiaomi Mi Mix 2S
  • Xiaomi Mi Note 2
  • ZTE Axon 7 / 7S
  • ZTE Axon M
  • ZTE Nubia Z17 / Z17S
  • ZTE Nubia Z11

How to download the Fortnite Beta on your phone

Is it free to play?

Fortnite for mobile includes the PvP Battle Royale game that's free to play across all platforms. The console versions have 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.

Having said that, there are some reasons to spend money in Fortnite. The best way to spend money is to buy a Battle Pass which gives you daily challenges over the span of a Fortnite Season (typically lasts 10 weeks) which let you unlock a ton of cool outfits, dance emotes, and other goodies to customize your character. You can also spend V-Bucks, the in-game currency, to buy cosmetic items for 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. Fortunately, nothing you can buy will give you an actual advantage in the game to prevent people from paying to win. In this case, its a matter of playing to look cool

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.

Where's the support for Bluetooth controls?

Epic Games has confirmed that Bluetooth controller support is coming, 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.

How does it compare to the PC or console 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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