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A Major Warning About Downloading 'Fortnite: Battle Royale' On Android

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Fortnite: Battle Royale.Credit: Epic Games

Fortnite: Battle Royale is finally out on Android. Or at least, sort of: the game is now in a closed beta on Samsung devices, with an expanded beta on other devices coming soon and a wide release to follow. Developer Epic Games CEO Tim Sweeney announced the launch at Samsung’s Unpacked event yesterday, marking the last major platform for the world-conquering Battle Royale game. If you’re looking to download it, however, you should be a little more careful than you might be with other games, for one major reason.

Fortnite will not be available on the Google Play store. In order to download it, you need to go to Fortnite.com and download the Fortnite Installer, which will take over the process for getting the game on to your phone. It’s an unconventional move for a game as big as this, and it’s motivated by a desire to avoid paying Google 30% of the game’s substantial revenue and to have more direct control of the game’s distribution and operation.

That doesn’t mean it isn’t without risks, both for the publisher and for players. Google Play is not without its security problems, and people have tried to pass off malware disguised as Fortnite before. Here’s what you should know: if you download something that looks like Fortnite from Google Play, it is not Fortnite. If you download something called Fortnite from a website besides Epic Games, it is not Fortnite. If you do literally anything besides the exact instructions laid out in this blog post or in an email from Epic Games, you are not downloading Fortnite. Before you download anything or change any security features, double-check the URL of the site you’re getting it from.

And if you have younger kids that play Fortnite but may not be up to speed on how to avoid this sort of thing, install it for them before they have a chance to download the wrong thing.

In order to install Fortnite you’ll need to give your phone permission to "side-load" applications from sources other than Google Play. The prospect of an Android user already primed to disable that security feature is an exciting prospect for malware distributors, and you can bet that there will be a ton of people trying to pass off fake Fortnite installers.

Epic is hoping that customers will be savvy enough to avoid the pitfalls that come with a more open ecosystem in the same way that they have on PC and Mac, where Epic also bypasses popular storefronts to sell directly to consumers. And most consumers will be able to make this work without too much trouble. It will, however, require a bit more attention.

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Fortnite: Battle Royale.Credit: Epic Games

Fortnite: Battle Royale is finally out on Android. Or at least, sort of: the game is now in a closed beta on Samsung devices, with an expanded beta on other devices coming soon and a wide release to follow. Developer Epic Games CEO Tim Sweeney announced the launch at Samsung’s Unpacked event yesterday, marking the last major platform for the world-conquering Battle Royale game. If you’re looking to download it, however, you should be a little more careful than you might be with other games, for one major reason.

Fortnite will not be available on the Google Play store. In order to download it, you need to go to Fortnite.com and download the Fortnite Installer, which will take over the process for getting the game on to your phone. It’s an unconventional move for a game as big as this, and it’s motivated by a desire to avoid paying Google 30% of the game’s substantial revenue and to have more direct control of the game’s distribution and operation.

That doesn’t mean it isn’t without risks, both for the publisher and for players. Google Play is not without its security problems, and people have tried to pass off malware disguised as Fortnite before. Here’s what you should know: if you download something that looks like Fortnite from Google Play, it is not Fortnite. If you download something called Fortnite from a website besides Epic Games, it is not Fortnite. If you do literally anything besides the exact instructions laid out in this blog post or in an email from Epic Games, you are not downloading Fortnite. Before you download anything or change any security features, double-check the URL of the site you’re getting it from.

And if you have younger kids that play Fortnite but may not be up to speed on how to avoid this sort of thing, install it for them before they have a chance to download the wrong thing.

In order to install Fortnite you’ll need to give your phone permission to “side-load” applications from sources other than Google Play. The prospect of an Android user already primed to disable that security feature is an exciting prospect for malware distributors, and you can bet that there will be a ton of people trying to pass off fake Fortnite installers.

Epic is hoping that customers will be savvy enough to avoid the pitfalls that come with a more open ecosystem in the same way that they have on PC and Mac, where Epic also bypasses popular storefronts to sell directly to consumers. And most consumers will be able to make this work without too much trouble. It will, however, require a bit more attention.

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