Hands-on with Fortnite Battle Royale on iOS
I was lucky enough to receive my invite to Fortnite Battle Royale on iOS; here’s what I think of the game that everyone is talking about!
The popularity of Epic Games’ Fortnite Battle Royale has been growing ever since its release, and when the company announced last week that the game would be coming to iOS, the reaction was extreme excitement. Interestingly enough, even though I play all sorts of games all the time, Fortnite was never on my radar until the mobile launch announcement. So, when I signed up for an invite to the iOS version of the game, I didn’t know what I was getting myself into.
It’s been less than 24-hours since I have downloaded Fortnite on my iPhone, and while I don’t feel comfortable giving a complete review of the game (especially since all the features aren’t live), I can give you my initial impressions.
An absolutely amazing port
As I mentioned before, I haven’t played Fortnite Battle Royale on any other system; however, I have watched streamers and YouTubers play the game a lot, and I can definitively say that this is the best mobile port of an AAA console/PC game I have ever played.
I’m not sure how Epic Games pulled it off, but Fortnite runs so smoothly on my iPhone and looks so beautiful, that I’m still in shock everytime I load it up. Other than the controls (I’ll touch more on those later), it feels like I’m playing on a PC. I have probably played somewhere around 30 matches already and have never experienced a single glitch, hiccup, frame-rate drop, or any other malfunction which for any game is a huge victory, let alone a game in a limited release/soft launch.
Of course, your mileage may vary when it comes to performance, I have played all my games on my home Wi-Fi network, which is relatively fast, and my iPhone 8 Plus is pretty new hardware. Not to mention that the Fortnite servers may have some issues as more people are added. Nevertheless, I’m very impressed with how well it runs.
A few key differences
Epic Games said that the mobile version of Fortnite would have everything that the PC and console versions have, and even though as of right now not all features are live, it certainly appears that once the game is up-and-running at full capacity that you’ll be getting the full experience. There are a few changes that Epic Games made to the mobile version to make it more on-the-go friendly that I believe are truly brilliant.
How often do you play mobile games with the sound off? In a game like Fortnite, where hearing footsteps of other players and gunshots are a huge advantage, playing without sound would be pretty hard; however, Epic Games was smart and came up with a clever way to mitigate this issue.
Sound indicators pop up on the screen whenever someone is shooting a weapon or moving around. These not only give you a direction of which way the sound is coming from but also indicate how close those sounds are to your location. This is an extremely smart way to make the game playable without sound if you want or need to, which embraces the heart of what mobile gaming is all about; taking your games with you wherever you roam.
A noob’s experience
With the launch of Fortnite Battle Royale on iPhone being my first time playing that game, it probably goes without saying that I absolutely suck. There’s a definite learning curve to Fortnite, and in the iPhone version, it starts by learning the controls.
On-screen controls for dual-stick shooters have never been my favorite in mobile games; however, the controls for Fortnite Battle Royale on iOS are pretty darn good. Everything has felt pretty responsive and the buttons on the screen for actions — such as jumping or crafting — don’t take up too much real estate, meaning you can still see what you’re doing. I do hope that Epic Games eventually brings MFi controller support to the game because I think it would enhance the experience even more, but once you learn how to do everything, you should feel confident enough to play.
The battle royale style of game is extremely popular, but it may not be for everyone because it can be pretty repetitive. Every match is on the same map and in the end, you always are doing the same things almost in the same order. Finding weapons and items, running to the safe zone, and attempting to eliminate everyone else you see. Of course, Fortnite’s crafting system is a cool addition to the formula, being able to build walls and other structures in between your enemy almost instantly certainly spices things up. Repetitive doesn’t mean necessarily mean bad; I just think its important for gamers — especially newbies to the game like me — need to be aware that it’s a little repetitive in nature.
So far, I have been extremely impressed with Fortnite, and it’s grabbed me way more than I thought it would.
There’s no doubt in my mind a big reason why I love it so much is just how well its produced. It looks and feels like AAA console game, and that’s so hard to do on mobile. Plus, Epic Games took the time and thought about how mobile gamers play games and took steps towards making the experience even better for that on-the-go mentality — I love that.
All in all, Fortnite Battle Royale does so much right that it’s pretty much impossible not to recommend that you sign up for an invite to the game.
Are you playing Fortnite on iOS?
Do you love it, hate it, or are you still waiting to try it? Let me know in the comments down below!