Epic Games launched its hit battle royale Fortnite on Android devices in 2018 with one big problem: it was exclusive to phones made by Samsung for a few days to help bring the new Samsung Galaxy Note 9 to market.
At the time, future players had to deal with a waiting list and / or a restrictive list of qualified Android phones. These days it’s a lot easier, but you still have to download it straight from Epic. (Epic CEO Tim Sweeney said it was basically about Avoid paying Google’s 30% discount on in-app purchases.) Epic uses its own website and a Fortnite Installer to distribute the game more widely to all compatible Android devices.
Here’s a step-by-step breakdown to make sure you’re ready and understanding the best way to start playing. Fortnite on Android. But before we get down to business, a brief warning:
Avoid the Play Store
First of all, don’t download anything from the Google Play Store or any third-party web source. Epic has made it clear that it is only distributing Fortnite on Android through its own website and through Samsung’s Galaxy Store. Game search on the Play Store you will get a simple message “No results”. (The searches originally returned a special warning from Google reading: “Fortnite Battle Royale by Epic Games, Inc is not available on Google Play “due to concerns about bogus versions loaded with malware.)
Download the installer then the game
Due to the unique distribution model here, you will need to download two separate apps. The first will be the Fortnite Installer, which is the official APK file that then installs the game.
To do this, you may need to disable special permissions in your Android settings that allow you to download third-party apps, depending on which version of Android you have and your existing security settings. After that, you’ll have to go through a series of download sequences that are a bit more complicated than installing your standard app.
Here is an overview of the steps to follow:
- If you have a Samsung phone, you can go to the Galaxy Store to download installer for Epic Games. You can then go to step 6.
- Otherwise, go directly on the Epic website. You will find a page suggesting that you visit fortnite.com/android on your phone or scan a QR code.
- Whichever method you choose, you’ll be taken to a page that gives you instructions on what to expect. You will also get a pop-up window for the installer; press “Open”.
- You will likely receive a security advisory stating that your phone is not allowed to install unknown apps from this source. Tap âSettingsâ. A page titled “Install unknown applications” will allow you to switch to “Allow from this source”.
- You will then be asked if you want to install the application. Press “Install”. When you get the âInstall Applicationâ pop-up, tap âDoneâ.
- The installer will appear on your home page and in your phone’s apps list as Epic Games. You may also receive a download notification for the APK. Tap the icon or the APK notification.
- You will arrive on a page with the Fortnite graphic. Tap on it, then tap “Install.”
- You will probably receive this message again about installing unknown applications. Again, tap on Settings and turn on “Allow from this source.”
- The app will install, load updates, and open.
Once done, you should be able to start Fortnite, log into your account and start playing. In the past, Epic has advised users to keep the Fortnite Installer, as it will be responsible for updating the game with new fixes.
Update October 20, 2021 at 11:50 a.m.ET: This article was originally published on August 13, 2018; the game installation process has been updated.