Fortnite on Android: Everything You Need to Know

By Collin MacGregor 10 Aug 2018 0

Android users are finally able to find out what all this fuss is about regarding Fortnite. Or you play it on PC and are finally looking forward to being able to play a match on the go. Either way, your time has come!

Beta invites will be rolling out to people over the weekend, with anyone owning a Samsung device (S7 or higher) getting priority access for the moment. The list of supported devices is modest, but they're being very strict about it. If you’re new to Fortnite and not sure what the hell is going on, we’ve put together this handy guide to get you started…

Installation

Fortnite on Android is by-passing the Google Play store completely, requiring users to download an apk file directly from Epic. This is what is sometimes referred to as ‘side-loading’, and usually requires you to change a security setting to allow app installations from ‘unknown sources’.

On a Samsung Galaxy S6 (Our Editor tried testing to see if he could get in the beta despite not having a supported device. Spoiler: he couldn’t) for example, you can start running the install and it will automatically take you to relevant setting. It will also allow you to check a box that creates an exception only for that specific install, leaving your device protected.

Fortnite Install

It’s worth noting that what you’re actually downloading is an app called ‘Fortnite Installer’, which then checks to see if your device is supported. If it is, you can then pre-load the game on your device and start playing whenever you get given access, which will be via a separate email.

fornite android iconWith the technical bits out of the way, let’s talk gameplay tips & tricks…

SMGs Are Your Best Friend

With the recent nerf to the 'double pump' shotgun tactic, SMGs have risen as the dominant force in Fortnite. Even though assault rifles can output a healthy amount of damage, accurately aiming with them on a phone is very tricky.

Given you are restricted to a smaller screen, trying to land headshots can be a frustrating experience. Fortnite’s touch controls aren’t that intuitive, especially if you have bigger fingers. SMGs, on the other hand, are still quite useful when fired from the hip and don’t require a ton of precision. A lot of this is thanks to the high fire rate of the guns and their ability to quickly dispatch targets.

Fortnite Mobile 1

Additionally, the Drum Gun - despite the recent nerf - is still /very/ powerful on mobile. Always bring a Drum Gun with you if you have the chance. It shreds buildings, which is extra effective on mobile since people cannot place walls down as quickly. This weapon also offers a good amount of damage, so you should be able to rapidly eliminate opponents. Finally, remember to always carry a shotgun with you because they are still very useful when playing on mobile. The new double barrel is quite dangerous given the sheer damage potential it offers.

The only weapons we advise on avoiding - at least until you're familiar with the controls - are sniper rifles. While they are really good for taking out players, hitting someone at a distance can prove difficult.

BE AGGRESSIVE

One of the biggest mistakes new mobile players make is they are too passive when it comes to engaging enemies. We strongly discourage this behaviour since you can easily be overwhelmed by a player willing to fight. When you get into a battle with enemies, be aggressive and attack their position. Weapons like the Compact SMG, Drum Gun and LMG are great for ripping apart structures. Since “spam building” is less of a tactic on phones, most users will be left out in the open for easy pickings.

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Once you get a handle on the controls, work on quickly assembling ramps over your enemies position. This not only gives you a height advantage but renders your foe’s cover useless. The only time we don’t recommend rushing into a fight is if you’re both in the same building. It’s very easy to safely peek around corners, so enemies can just wait for you before springing their trap. In this case, take your time and methodically check the building so you don’t get ambushed.

DON'T BE AFRAID TO BUILD

The single most important mechanic to master in Fortnite is building. Whether you’re on console or Android devices, constructing cover is critical to your survival. There are a lot of people who don’t build and simply try to use the environment for protection. Using hills and buildings as cover can save your life, but eventually, you’ll need to build some walls.

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To build, select the tool icon in the bottom right corner at the end of your item bar. This will swap to your build menu, where you have to manually tap which tile you want to use. Once selected, you can tap the screen to place your structure of choice. However, if you hold your finger down and turn, you can assemble a box around you. After this is done, add a ramp so you can look over at your foe.

It's vital to go into the mobile version of Fortnite accepting that you can't build. The speed and general feeling of building are wildly different than on a PC. Because of this, it may take a few hours before you've obtained a strong understanding of how to quickly make cover. Start small and work on just rapidly building a small box for cover. Getting fancy is an easy way to get killed, especially if your opponent knows what they are doing. If you're looking for more tips, we have a dedicated building guide you should check out - the mobile meta is pretty consistent across iOS and Android.

MOVING WILL BE AWKWARD AT FIRST

As mentioned above, there are a lot of icons that crowd your screen, which can be quite awkward for those of us with big thumbs. This means the positioning of your fingers will factor into your overall combat effectiveness. Try to always keep your right thumb in the bottom corner so you don't accidentally tap the jump or crouch button. Only move this thumb when you want to jump, crouch, swap items, or fire at foes.

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You're going to have stilted movements - especially if you're just starting - so save yourself some trouble by using the Auto-Run feature. To enable this, double tap on the virtual joystick to force your character to run in a straight path. This is great for evading the storm and scanning the horizon when moving between locations.

ATKs are also really useful on mobile since they can quickly get you from place to place. Since players have slower reaction times on mobile, it's completely possible to drive up to someone, get out, mow them down, and drive off. If you see an ATK, make sure to grab as soon as possible.

USE PLAYGROUND MODE

Playground Mode is a special game type that lets you run around an empty island and freely build without concern. Make sure to take advantage of this mode and use it as a way to train yourself. Playing on mobile is quite different, so having an island to yourself is fantastic for learning how to build, move and shoot. Before you even hop into a game, make sure to jump into the Playground.

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Since materials and weapons are plentiful, you can quickly begin understanding how Fortnite's mobile version works. This mode is also wonderful for finding the right sensitivity and learning how to use the Turbo Build functionality. Playground is typically available for a month or two, so don't put off getting some practice in!

If you do get into the Android beta, let us know how you're finding it!

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