Earlier this month, Epic Games announced that it was bringing its mega-popular title Fortnite Battle Royale to mobile devices, starting with iOS devices and then eventually adding Android players to the mix at some point in the near future as well. It had basically one promise: That Fortnite Battle Royale on mobile devices would be the same game as the console and PC versions. That means the same 100-player count, the game modes, weapons, and even "console-level graphics".
The crazy part is that Epic actually reached those goals.
This isn't a review of any kind, just some quick observations that I've picked up from my time playing the mobile version of Fortnite Battle Royale. I signed up for the mobile version of the game on March 13, one day after sign-ups went live on the 12. I got the official invite email on the 15 and I've been playing the game off-and-on ever since.
First, I want to say that I'm impressed with how stable the game is even when I'm playing on a less-than-great mobile connection. I've played this game mostly when I'm waiting for a movie to start (I get to the theater early), and in some of the auditoriums I have only like two or three bars. Even in those instances the games I've played have been stable -- maybe even more stable than some games I've played on the console version with a wired connection.
Going beyond the stable connection, though, I just have to say how impressive the game plays overall. I've only run into a few instances of rubber-banding (when your character runs forward and then snaps back), and lag with opening a door or picking up an item. Using the axe to take down buildings and other items rarely causes any stuttering of any kind. Overall, Fortnite Battle Royale on mobile plays like a dream.
If you haven't played FBR yet, here's a quick rundown: You drop into a game with 99 other players. You can do so by yourself, which leaves 99 enemies on the map (if the lobby is full). You an also drop in with a friend in Duos, or you can tag in with three friends for a Squads match. Once you're on the island, you go from one area to the next, looting buildings to find weapons, shields, and healing items. And then you choose either fight or flight as you try to get to that #1 spot and the Victory Royale. All the while there is an encroaching storm, shrinking down the battlefield so that all of the players are essentially forced to fight for the crown.
Fortnite's standout aspect isn't the battle royale nature, but the fact that you can collect resources (wood, stone, and metal) and then build items, like staircases and walls. If you've watched the game on PC then you've probably seen some players create some crazy towers. This happens on console, too, but not nearly as quickly. The mouse and keyboard combination just makes building easier on PC.
I've seen maybe one player-built construction in the mobile version of the game, and that has a lot to do with the controls. They are pretty easy, all things considered, but switching between your firearms and building isn't at all. In the games that I've played the players have all just resorted to straight out gunfights, foregoing the desire to build anything, and I imagine that has everything to do with the touchscreen controls.
I'll just say that I prefer this scenario. The building can be kind of a distraction in the other versions of the games, so I like the straightforward nature of the mobile version. I'll add that I imagine this will change in the future as people get comfortable with the controls, too. I'm sure building will be common in the mobile version soon enough.
One more thing: Playing on an iPhone X means the phone gets pretty hot while playing. Nothing crazy, but it's noticeable. I will say that I haven't noticed a huge impact on battery life, but that's just playing one game in one sitting. I imagine the battery life will get thrashed if you play for an extended period of time, which is just the nature of the beast, I guess, and probably won't be any different on any other phone.
I'm very happy with the mobile version of Fortnite Battle Royale, and if you like these types of games, and don't mind playing with touch controls, then I definitely think you should give it a shot.
Have you tried it yet? What do you think? If you're on Android, are you eagerly waiting for your time to play the game? Let me know!