It’s a good thing that Fortnite Mobile allows you the option to play with only mobile users, or cross platform with those on other consoles or PC’s, because it’s extremely difficult to play the game well using the touch screen controls on your mobile phone.
Invites for Fortnite Mobile on iOS started going out yesterday and I was lucky enough to receive an invite to download and play the game on my iPhone X.
Here’s a tip for those that got the invite, make sure to open the link on your phone using Safari, and not another browser like Chrome. Chrome, or other browsers, won’t force the App Store to open and you won’t be able to download the game.
With that said, downloading the game was quick and painless. It comes in at around 2GB I believe, but downloaded in just a few minutes over wifi.
Fortnite Mobile Gameplay and Controls
The game itself looks and feels just like Fortnite on your PC or console does. The menus are the same, the graphics are the same, everything about the game is the same, except the controls.
As you would expect, controlling a first-person shooter (or in this case third-person shooter) on your phone is extremely difficult and hard to manage. Your phone doesn’t have nearly as many buttons as a controller or a keyboard, which means that virtual buttons must be placed in certain areas of the screen. And while Epic did a good job of positioning buttons in well thought out places, it still means that you have to remove your fingers from the screen in order to place them elsewhere. Unlike a controller where your thumbs are on the analog sticks the majority of the time, while you always have a finger on your ADS trigger and your fire trigger.
Because of the way the controls work on your touch screen device, it makes it much hard to move your character while shooting, or have any sort of agile gunfight with another player, or team. I’ve found that you’re either stuck in one place while aiming with your right thumb and firing with your left, or you’re strafing back and forth with your left thumb and firing with your right. It’s nearly impossible to strafe, aim, and fire all at the same time… let alone try to throw a jump in there, or try to build anything. So it’s a totally different dynamic to the gameplay.
Epic has thrown in a bit of an auto-aim assist to help those folks on mobile with the aiming issue, but it’s still not the greatest. I’m sure with a little practice, or maybe some crazy finger stretching, I’ll improve a little bit, but for the time being I’m absolute trash on Fortnite Mobile.
But most people are…
Everyone is still figuring out the best ways to handle the controls, and since there is no support for bluetooth controllers (currently), that means that the playing field is pretty level, and everyone has to resort to figuring out the difficult touch screen controls.
There will definitely be people that pick up bluetooth controllers once they are supported, which is going to cause a lot of people to scream that it’s unfair (like using a keyboard and mouse on a console), but it’s inevitable that it’s going to happen. If you plan on actually playing the game a lot on your phone, it’s probably best to invest in a decent controller you can use on the go.
We’ll do a write up on the best mobile bluetooth controllers for Fortnite Mobile once that feature is enabled for the mobile game, but for now it’s just touchscreen city for everyone.
Control issues aside though, Epic Games is absolutely crushing it when it comes to supporting Fortnite and building their community. PUBG is being left in the dirt as Fortnite continues with regular updates and expands on to every possible device it can… for free. I’m still a little upset that I paid $30 for PUBG on the Xbox One, but what can you do… Maybe the developers will eventually figure out how to fix the frame rate issues and tighten up the controls, but for now if I want my battle royale fix, I’ll stick with Fortnite.
And this isn’t a post meant to bash PUBG, because it looks absolutely awesome on a PC (which I haven’t played on myself), but based on my experience with the Xbox One version, it’s just a broken mess at the moment.
So if you’re looking for a cool way to pass the time on your phone, then Fortnite Mobile is a great way to do it. Outside of the controls, the only other complaint I have is that I find myself getting annoyed that I have to cut games early because I have things to do, ha! Fortnite isn’t something you can just fire up quickly while waiting for someone, or meeting someone… you need a dedicated 15-20 minutes to finish a round… if you end up alive at the end… of course you could just run in guns blazing and be done in a few minutes.