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Review: Fortnite on Android brings authentic battle royale to (most of) the rest of us


Epic Games announced today that it is launching the beta for Fortnite battle royale on Android, starting with select Samsung devices. The Samsung devices will go live today with a wider Android beta beginning in the coming days. Epic timed the announcement with the reveal of the latest Samsung Galaxy Note 9 smartphone, giving players with access to Samsung Galaxy devices first access to the popular free-to-play game, which is already out on the PC, consoles, and iOS devices.  Purchasers of the new Samsung Note 9 or Galaxy Tab S4 will get access to the new Galaxy outfit. As Epic Games announced earlier, the Android version will not be available for download on the Google Play store, which charges a 30 percent commission. Rather, saying it wants a direct relationship with players, Epic said that players can download it from from Epics web site instead. You can sign up on the link at Fortnite.com. Fortnite has been an enormous success on iOS devices, with more than 100 million downloads and $160 million in revenue in less than six months. It is the same game on Android, and Epic Games CEO Tim Sweeney said in an earlier interview with GamesBeat he is proud of that achievement, fulfilling the promise that the game will work on any platform. I played the game on a Samsung Galaxy S9+, and I was about as bad at it as I was playing Fortnite on the PC. Playing on the touchscreen required an adjustment, as its a fast-moving game where you have to have good reaction time to shoot a player who comes out of the blue. I played a number of games so that I could get familiar with the controls and gameplay, but I havent progressed that far up the ladder. Its FortniteYou can do anything that you want to do in Fortnite on Android, just as you can on other platforms. You start out in a lobby with 99 other players. You can pick up a gun and practice shooting. Then you parachute into an island that is filled with houses, buildings, trees, and loot to grab. You pick up a gun and start shooting, but a circle on the map keeps shrinking and you have to move to stay inside of it or face death from the mysterious Storm. All the while, you have to keep looking around for other players who are trying to take you out. You can also play a 50 versus 50 mode or team up with friends. Its a fun, party-like environment with zany shopping carts and rocket launchers in a big world. Easy targetingAs with the iOS version , you dont have to be an expert at controlling whats happening on the screen. If you point your gun at a target, you engage the auto fire option, where the gun fires automatically when a target is in its crosshairs. You can also take it off the auto fire and tap on the fire button, shooting when you want. I did this in my duel with a rival, who fortunately had not yet picked up a gun and was armed only with a pick. Movement is also fluid and fast, and you can set it on auto run if you want. Cross playFortnite on Android supports full cross play and cross progression with PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch, the PC, Mac, and iOS. Of course, you probably dont want to play the touchscreen version against someone with the lightning fast controls of a PC mouse and keyboard. But its the thought that counts. Its so easy to die and hard to controlIf you have a game controller that you can attach to your phone, thats probably the way to play Fortnite on Android. Otherwise, youll find that its hard to control. You can hold down the screen with your left finger to move. You use this finger to move forward or sideways. And you use your right finger to look up or down or sideways. But you find you quickly run out of fingers if youre trying to target someone and shoot and move at the same time. Meanwhile, someone who has the drop on you can stop, pause, and shoot you. As with the game on other platforms, youll find that someone can shoot you quickly, and youll never know what hit you. I enjoyed playing Fortnite on Android for the novelty of it, and this version makes it fun to play while youre on the run. You need a good Internet connection and a decent device. Sweeney estimated that Fortnite would like run on 300 million or so Android devices. It wont run on low-end smartphones, and you need to have the latest version of the Oreo operating system. Those are some severe restrictions. Its not ideal to play on a smartphone, as it has the same challenges that any shooter on mobile has. But the game fulfills its promise of playing a game anywhere, anytime, on almost any device. Its also the same fun battle royale game that the whole world has come to love. Keep in mind that the game is not yet final and will receive updates. But its playable now. Score: 85/100. Note: The beta is currently supported on the following Samsung Devices: Samsung Galaxy: S7 / S7 Edge , S8 / S8 +, S9 / S9+, Note 8, Note 9, Tab S3, Tab S4. Epic Games provided me with a Samsung S9+ phone to play the game. Later on, the beta will be playable on: Google: Pixel / Pixel XL, Pixel 2 / Pixel 2 XLAsus: ROG Phone, Zenfone 4 Pro, 5Z, VEssential: PH-1Huawei: Honor 10, Honor Play, Mate 10 / Pro, Mate RS, Nova 3, P20 / Pro, V10LG: G5, G6, G7 ThinQ, V20, V30 / V30+ Nokia: 8OnePlus: 5 / 5T, 6Razer: PhoneXiaomi: Blackshark, Mi 5 / 5S / 5S Plus, 6 / 6 Plus, Mi 8 / 8 Explorer / 8SE, Mi Mix, Mi Mix 2, Mi Mix 2S, Mi Note 2ZTE: Axon 7 / 7s, Axon M, Nubia / Z17 / Z17s, Nubia Z11

Samsung’s Fortnite exclusive will expire before the Note 9 even launches


Fortnite is making its way to Android, but not until Samsung device owners get a stab at it first... for a measly couple of days. At the Samsung Unpacked event on Thursday, the Fortnite team announced that Samsung users will be on the receiving end of an unusually short exclusive, ending well before the Galaxy Note 9 is released near the end of the month. In the next few days, the game will be made available for all other supported Android devices, so Pixel users and others wont have to wait too long to start building forts and cracking open pink llama piñatas. According to a spokesperson for Epic Games, the company has yet to disclose exactly when the Android beta will be fully released. At the event, it was announced that it would be out in the next few days, meaning it would be widely available before the Note 9 even hits the market. As of today, people who own the Galaxy S7 or any other newer device can already sign up to play. Android is the last major OS to receive the game; players on the Nintendo Switch, Xbox One, PS4, PC, iOS, and macOS have already been able to play for months. There are still some exclusives for Note 9 users, though, so dont get too disappointed. Those who play on the device when it comes out on August 24th will receive new in-game skin called galaxy. If you preorder it, youll have the opportunity to pick up an extra 15,000 V-bucks, too.