Fortnite: Battle Royale is coming to Android. iOS users have been playing a touch-enabled mobile version of the popular battle royale title for months, but Android users have been working with only “summer” as a release date for a long time. Well, it’s summer, and Epic CEO Tim Sweeney just announced the launch of the Fortnite: Battle Royale beta on Samsung phones at an event held by the handset manufacturer today. If you want to sign-up for access to the beta, here are the instructions. Once you’ve got an invite, however, things aren’t as simple as you might think. Read on for how to download and install it.
Fortnite: Battle Royale will not be available on the Google Play store, where most Android users get most of their apps. Android is an open platform, and the storefront is not a requirement, unlike with iOS and the Apple App store. The Google Play store, like most digital storefronts, takes a 30% cut of all developer revenue that runs through it. That might work for a small shop that can’t publicize, host or operate its game or app on its own, but Epic is betting that it’s own technical operation and the name recognition behind Fortnite will be enough to allow it to strike out on its own.
To start with, it’s a closed beta and exclusive to Samsung phones for right now, with more devices being added to soon. You’ll still be able to download it if you’re not signed up for the beta, but you won’t be able to sign in and play unless you got the email from Epic confirming access to the beta. But I’ve had a test device and run through the install process, so here’s how it works.
To start, you need to go to Fortnite.com and click “Play Free Now.” If you’re doing this on an Android device, you’ll be taken to the appropriate page. You’ll have the choice to download the Fortnite from either Samsung or Epic Games, so pick one of them.
After you download, go to open it. If you haven’t already enabled side-loading on your device, it will ask you to do so. That means it will take you to a settings menu where you can give the phone permission to enable apps downloaded through chrome. If you want to run Fortnite, you’ll need to give it access.
Note: be careful about this, and don’t go downloading a ton of other apps unless you know what you’re doing with all of this. If you have kids, be extra careful and maybe disable that permission at the end of this process.
After that, you’ll be able to open the Fortnite app. It will download some more data to get ready to play, and after that it will be just like Fortnite on any other device. If you have permission to log into the beta, just enter your Epic ID and get playing.