Fortnite finally launched as a beta on Android devices alongside the Galaxy Note 9 launch on August 9 in New York. We tried the game, which was exclusive to certain Samsung flagships until August 12, on our Galaxy S9 Plus, and well, here are my first impressions of the battle royale game that has been taking the world by storm.
Fortnite Beta on Android: Compatible Devices
At launch, the game was kept exclusive to certain Samsung flagships including the Galaxy S7, the S8, and the S9 pair. The game was also available on the Galaxy Note 8 and the Note 9, along with the Galaxy Tab S3 and Tab S4.
As of now, the game can be installed in over 40 supported Android devices, with more planned to be added in the near future. You can check out the full list of supported devices here.
Fortnite on Android: The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly
Considering that this is a beta, I obviously wasn’t expecting much from the game in terms of graphics, or stability, or both. However, I was pleasantly surprised by the fact that the game manages to be as much fun on mobile as it is on the PS4 or the PC (I’ve not played the game on the Nintendo Switch or Xbox One, but it’s safe to assume the experience is pretty much the same). The graphics are noticeably worse here, but that’s probably because its a beta and I’m sure things will get better as the game rolls out to more devices. I’ve played Fortnite on iOS as well, and the graphics there are amazing, so I’m sure Android will get there too. Anyway, moving on…
From the home screen itself you’ll feel right at home with Fortnite on Android if you’ve ever played it before. Everything is the same, the options are where they’ve always been, you can invite friends, you can check out the Battle Pass, challenges, locker, and the store in the same order. There’s even all of the modes here. You can play solo, duos, or squads, and for anyone who’s not acquainted with Fortnite’s game modes, you can also play in 50v50 mode, Playground mode (where you drop down on the island to learn and explore without any points, and respawn if you die), and Steady Storm where the storm circle keeps moving constantly.
Epic has taken everything from the PC (or the console) version of Fortnite, and ported it over to Android, with the control scheme being the only thing that’s new. I played a couple of games on mobile and I honestly loved it. Dropping down to Tilted from the Battle Bus is obviously something I’d not have done had this not been a 50v50 mode and as is usual in any game of Fortnite, Tilted was the most populated landing zone barely giving me enough weapons to be satisfied with. Tilted Towers is basically the Pochinki of Fortnite, only much worse because it’s so much smaller, which means you’ll be fighting on all sides at the same time. Don’t go there unless you’re either good enough (I’m not), or you have a death wish (I don’t).
Anyway, getting out of Tilted towards the circle was when I came across my first building challenge, and man is it tough on mobile! Personally, I find it difficult to build as fast as some people do on PC as well, but on mobile, building is a task even more daunting than anywhere else. First you tap on the building icon to switch from your weapons to building, and then you tap and choose the thing you want to build (roof, floor, stairs, walls, traps). Once you’ve selected that, you tap to actually build it. It’s quite a lot of taps, and I’m sure by the time you build up a ramp to gain high ground, you’ll be shot down…
That, by the way, brings me to one of the great things Epic has done with the mobile port of the game — auto fire and aim assist. Aiming on a touchscreen isn’t an easy task, and Fortnite’s gun mechanics are considerably weird even on PC, so I’m glad they allow users to turn on auto fire on mobile. It’s a polarizing topic, I’m sure; auto-fire can be considered unfair, but I don’t think so. Epic has done quite a remarkable job with creating the control scheme on mobile. The controls are intuitive, and while the building mechanism is difficult, I can’t blame Epic for that, because this is definitely the best way to implement a building mechanism on mobile.
My only real complaint with the game right now is about the graphics. The graphics certainly make it feel like Epic rushed to release this game in time for the Note 9 launch, but thankfully that’s something I’m sure will be improved as the game comes out of beta. It’s only a matter of time.
Fortnite Beta on Android: A Great Game that’s a Little Rough Around the Edges
All things considered, the Fortnite Beta on Android is a really well done port. As the game rolls out to more devices, and inevitably comes out of the beta phase, I’m sure Epic will fix the issues related to graphics and the frame rate, and I’m sure as I get accustomed to building on mobile, it’ll be a little easier to do (though not quite enough still). Have you played the Fortnite beta on Android yet? If so, how did you like it? Do you think it’s something you’ll wait for? If you’ve not tried it yet, you can register for an invite here.