Fortnite has been one of the biggest pop-culture phenomenons of the past few years, with millions of players across multiple platforms. While it may seem like a kids’ game, this battle royale title is surprisingly technically heavy and can push even custom gaming PCs to the limit. With its cartoony graphics and flexible play, it also has a playful feel that appeals to gamers of all ages. But what is it exactly, and how does it work? This article covers what fortnite is, what it entails, and which platforms — as well as age groups — it’s best suited to.
For the uninitiated, fortnite is an online multiplayer video game that can be played on a desktop or laptop computer, a gaming system such as the Xbox, or even a mobile device. Its most popular mode, Battle Royale, pits up to 100 players against each other in a fight to be the last person (or team) standing. Players are dropped onto an island and must build shelter, weapons, and other equipment in order to survive. The game also includes a Creative mode, which allows players to design their own games and experiences, and a team-based mode called Save the World that involves fighting off zombie-like creatures.
Regardless of the mode, fortnite is played in teams of two or three, with players communicating via voice or text chat. This social element is appealing to many children, and it can help foster a sense of teamwork and friendship. In addition, the popularity of the game has led to the rise of YouTubers and other social media influencers who play it and provide tutorial videos on how to improve a player’s score.
While the primary battle royale mode does feature scenes of violence, it’s cartoonish and doesn’t result in any bloodshed or gore. However, there are some other scenes and characters that could disturb younger players, so it’s rated T for Teen by the Entertainment Software Rating Board (ESRB). Additionally, the game’s chat function is unmoderated and open to anyone, which can lead to conversations with strangers that could contain inappropriate language or even bullying.
Because fortnite is free to play and can be accessed on so many platforms, it’s easy for kids to get caught up playing. It’s not uncommon for them to spend hours a day on it, particularly if they’re competing in competitive events with their friends or trying to earn rewards through achievement hunts. This can have a negative effect on grades, sleep schedules, and social relationships, so it’s important for parents to be aware of how much time their kids are spending on the game and set limits accordingly.
For parents looking for a way to limit screen time, Fortnite has an in-game Parental Controls tool that can disable the in-game microphone and restrict in-game purchases. It’s worth noting, however, that this only applies to the main game mode — other modes still allow for in-game purchases. For parents looking for an additional layer of security, Epic has announced that it’s testing a new app that will give parents more detailed usage reports on the games their kids are playing.