Fortnite is one of the most popular video games in the world with millions of players across multiple platforms. It combines two genres that are big hits with kids, including battle royale and building. It also features social elements and a cartoonish look that isn’t as gory as other games, which appeals to younger gamers. It’s free to play and cross-platform, which means a player can log in on any device and pick up the game where they left off. It’s also become a favorite of video game streamers, who draw in large audiences and often promote the game.
Parents need to know that the game is competitive. In its core battle royale mode, up to 100 players are dropped into an island and must fight to be the last one standing in an ever-decreasing battle arena. It’s played in solo, duo, or squad formats. Players can use a variety of weapons to kill other players, and there are no health or stamina recovery systems to slow down the pace of the game. Players can earn in-game currency, called V-Bucks, as they play. They can also purchase in-game items with real money.
In addition to the core battle royale mode, there’s a co-operative mode called Fortnite: Save the World, where players fight off zombie-like creatures in an open world. It’s less competitive and more focused on building, but it’s still an immersive game that can lead to a lot of screen time. Kids can also interact with other players through voice chat, which could lead to them chatting with strangers online.
The Entertainment Software Ratings Board rates fortnite “T,” meaning ages 13 and up, but the Understood founding partner Common Sense Media recommends limiting play to ages 13 and older due to action violence and open chat. Kids with ADHD or other social-interaction challenges may need more limitations on their gameplay, and parents should monitor how long their kids are playing and make any necessary adjustments.
As with other games, fortnite can be addictive. The game can be challenging to stop, especially if a kid is achieving high scores and is surrounded by friends who are all playing. It can be difficult for children to step away from the game, and a bad loss can trigger anger or aggression.
Another factor that may be a concern for some parents is the fact that it’s possible to pay to get an advantage in the game’s main battle royale mode. This is referred to as “pay to win.” However, the vast majority of players cannot buy anything that gives them a strategic advantage in the main battle royale mode. There are only a few items in the game that you can buy with real money, and even those items don’t give you a significant edge over other players. You can also earn in-game items, like cosmetics for your character, by playing the game. You just have to work hard to unlock them.