It’s been nearly two years since Fornite first launched a mobile version of their most successful game and their decision to go cross-platform continues to pay off big time. With the release of Chapter 2 in late 2019, the Android and iOS versions of the battle royale are consistently cashing immense revenues for the U.S. based game developer. Although the PC and console releases are almost identical to one another, the mobile one isn’t. In fact, we argue that Fortnite mobile is much more welcoming to newbies such as ourselves.
Despite our vast experience in the FPS genre (nearly two decades of shooting stuff on PCs and consoles) we’ve always been hesitant to try Fortnite. There’s something about playing with the environment that has always intimidated us. But even we will admit that, having tried our hand in building several defensive forts in Fortnite mobile, we couldn’t help but notice how fun it is. Nowhere to hide? No problem. Make something. Then, make your comeback. That’s pretty cool if you ask us.
In this article, we’d like to give you an in-depth look at how Fortnite Mobile is different from the PC version and how you should go about it as a beginner.
Visuals and Screen Layout
Despite using the same engine, Epic’s game designers had to consistently scale down the way that Fortnite Mobile looks in order to deliver a smooth in-game experience capable of cross-platform play. There’s only so much space and processing power that can fit in a mobile device, so a trade-off was necessary. Since the number of polygons was reduced, the mobile textures are greatly simplified. Although this won’t really impact new players, those who have tried the regular version will definitely see the difference. Don’t get us wrong, it still looks awesome.
As the developer team indicated on their Android technical blog, they’ve had their fair share of difficulties in adapting the game to this particular platform. Still, a decent public version was available by late 2018. What’s surprising is that even with the lowest performance settings, the view distance is overwhelming. In the past year, there have been consistent improvements in terms of graphics, gameplay, and more. The aspect ratio of the screen is slightly different, since the most comfortable way to play a game on a smartphone is in landscape mode.
One thing that hasn’t changed since the mobile release is the HUD layout. Having played PUBG Mobile and CoD: Mobile, we’re (sort of) used to the buttons getting in our way. Almost all mobile devices are built with touchscreen technology, so your controls have to be on your screen. We don’t like it anymore than you do, but there’s no other way. If you’re new to mobile shooters, it takes a bit of time to get accustomed to this set-up. Still, we guarantee it’s not as bad as it looks. Pun intended… maybe?
This is why most gamers prefer to use an emulator with this game genre. The more you can see around you, the less likely it is that you’ll die. By removing your fingers from the screen and onto the keyboard/mouse, you increase your odds of seeing an enemy take cover behind an obstacle or trying to flank you from a side. Sadly, Fornite won’t let you do this, either.
Shooting and Building on Low FPS
Unless you have a recent, high-end mobile device or you’re on iOS, the FPS drop will be noticeable when compared to the PC version. Another significant concern is your Internet connection. We don’t recommend you play it on mobile data unless you’re in a place where you can access a constant 4G connection or higher. Naturally, Wi-Fi yields the best results, although we’ve had our fair share of oddities. If the Wi-Fi is fishy, make sure your router isn’t from the early 2000s.
The aim-assist does more in Fortnite Mobile than on consoles, which is a much-needed addition. The world itself is huge and, without this nudge in the right direction, you’ll be shooting astray more often than not. Of course, you won’t be able to compete with console or PC players, despite the possibility to join in their lobbies, as they have superior accuracy and speed on their side. You’ll be relieved to know that they can’t join in mobile games, although the reverse is possible. Mobile players prefer to stick to mobile-only lobbies anyways, so… maybe the whole cross-platform play was a bit unnecessary here?
Admittedly, building is a bit more difficult on a mobile phone. However, the turbo-build option comes in handy, as it greatly speeds up the process. Even so, the pace of putting down a complex structure does not reach the nitrous speed of PC/console servers, which we find makes the game a bit more newbie-friendly on the mobile side. While some have gone as far as to play with 4 fingers at a time, the skill gap isn’t as tremendous as what you’ll experience on the traditional battle royale servers.
Another awesome addition are the on-screen notifications. Since sound capabilities on mobile devices are quite limited, the devs added a series of visual indicators that let you know whenever someone is shooting at you or is running in your vicinity with the help of specific cues on your HUD. This neat feature also removes some of the tension in those end-game and/or close-range encounters. We just want to take this moment and appreciate that Epic Games doesn’t want us to be scared to death by a close-up Pump looking for revenge.
To help speed up the gameplay, every time you try to break something down in Fortnite Mobile, a blue circle will appear on the object. Tapping the circle will give you a significant speed boost to collecting mats and making your way through things. Pretty helpful when half of the server decides to land in Salty.
Throw Your Weight in Fortnite Mobile
Finally, an awesome, greatly-underrated feature of the Android and iOS versions is the ability to throw (yeet) opponents. All you have to do is get close to a downed enemy that’s not yet finished off, then click and then drag them into the direction you want to toss their crawling selves. Needless to say, things can get quite ridiculous in duos and squads. It’s going to be raining bodies everywhere.
To ensure that there are 100 players in each match, the server will add a number of bots. While not as adept at shooting and building as players are, they do behave quite erratically at times – for instance, running in a direction irrespective of being shot at, while never jumping or strafing to avoid gunfire. Since there’s no guilt for killing them, bots make for a tremendously fun and useful aim practice. Overall, Fortnite’s mobile release seems to be just as successful as its PC and console version. So, what are you waiting for? Get into a game and chuck some people around.