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Fortnite: Battle Royale
A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this app.
What parents need to know
- Parents say
- Kids say
What's it about?
While the mobile version of FORTNITE (like its PC and console cousins) is set after "The Storm," an apocalyptic event in which 98 percent of the world's population simply vanished, the sole focus here is on the game's "battle royale" fight, in which players compete solo or in pairs and teams to be the last one standing. To do so, they'll need to gather resources, build refuges, and successfully assassinate other players. Players can compete against not only other mobile players, but also those on consoles and PCs.
Is it any good?
Fast-paced action and accessible gameplay are the obvious reasons why Fortnite is the most popular game around these days. It's ridiculously fun and designed to encourage gamers to engage with each other, keeping sessions short. That means it's easy to jump in and out of battles, which is perfect for mobile players. Exploring the map and gathering resources is actually fun, as is trying out different strategies to see what works best for you -- whether that's hiding on the outskirts of the map and avoiding conflict until the very end or running into action, guns blazing. And, should you die, you can either automatically shadow the person who killed you or jump out to the lobby and immediately join another game.
Inventory management is slightly confusing, but it's easy to grasp after a few sessions. And Epic Games wisely didn't include voice chat or text chat among players, meaning parents don't have to worry about their kids being exposed to inappropriate language or other content. But the highlight of the game, for many, is the ability for mobile players to compete with those on consoles and PCs. It's a fun addition, though it has flaws, since players on those platforms have a speed advantage that make them much more likely to win a battle. Fortnite is a game of speed -- and the fact is that mobile devices, even the most recent, can't compete with dedicated gaming machines. Bottom line: If winning affects your enjoyment of the game, it's best to stick to other systems, but if you're in it for fun and to improve your skills, the mobile version is a terrific alternative.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about violence in video games. Fortnite has bloodless cartoonish violence, but you're still constantly shooting players. Is that OK?
Talk about teamwork. How do you play to win but also foster sporting behavior in games? For kids looking for help on this topic, check out our Q&A on teamwork.
Discuss moderation and screen time. Fortnite is a game that encourages you to play again and again and again, but when is it time to put it down and play outside?
For kids who love action
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Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.