Fortnite is one of the most popular — and controversial — video games in the world. It combines two genres that kids love, building and battling, with a cartoonish look that makes it less gory than some other popular video games. Its free (although it does have in-game purchases) and multi-player gameplay creates a social element that can pull players in. And it’s available on multiple platforms, including PC, PlayStation, Xbox Series X/S and Nintendo Switch, as well as mobile devices. It also supports cross-platform play, so a player on one device can face up to a friend on another – a unique feature in the gaming industry.
But, with so much going on in fortnite, it can be hard to keep up. That’s why we created this guide: to help parents understand what fortnite is and how it works, how to play it safely with children, and why kids (and adults) are so obsessed with it.
For those who don’t know, fortnite is an online multiplayer video game developed by Epic Games. Players can download it for free on a computer, gaming system like the Xbox, or even a smartphone. Players then join up with other players to battle or collaborate in an open world. Fortnite has many game modes, but its best-known mode is Battle Royale. In it, players drop into the map on their own or in teams of two or three, alongside 99 other people. They then try to find weapons and construction materials and fight each other until only one person or team is left standing.
The game is free to play, although players can use in-game currency called V-Bucks to purchase items. V-Bucks can be earned in a variety of ways, including by completing challenges or purchasing them with real money. The game’s success has been attributed to its flexibility and willingness to adapt to player needs, as well as the popularity of its “battle royale” style of gameplay inspired by other games like PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds. The game is updated on a weekly basis — an impressive example of how online video games are increasingly being sold as a service, rather than a single-player product.
Parents should note that fortnite’s Battle Royale mode is rated T for teen by the Entertainment Software Rating Board and, like most multiplayer video games, it has an unmoderated chat function. This could put some children at risk for exposure to inappropriate language or bullying, so it’s important that parents monitor their child’s gameplay. Parents can also set appropriate time limits for gameplay. And since multiplayer games typically last only about 30 minutes, it’s easy to pull a child out of a match before they get too engrossed. And if your family has more than one device, the in-game cross-platform features can make for a fun group gaming experience.