How to download Fortnite for Android after Epic Games blocked mobile app from Google Play

Players can only install the beta version of the hit game from one place – or risk 

Anthony Cuthbertson
Monday 13 August 2018 14:51 BST
Trailer for Fortnite season 5 - Worlds Collide

Fortnite Battle Royale has finally come to Android, with players of the popular game now able to download a beta version of the mobile app for a range of phones and tablets. But it's not as easy as simply visiting the Google Play app store.

The release comes after Samsung were given the exclusive rights to Fortnite for its Galaxy devices, following the launch of the Note 9 smartphone.

Epic Games, Fortnite's developer, has decided to not make the popular game available through Google Play, meaning Android users could be more exposed to online scammers seeking to make a profit with fake versions.

The Android launch of the game is instead only available for download exclusively through Epic's website. Hopeful players will need to sign up for an email invite from Epic Games, though this typically only takes a couple of days to receive.

Epic Games made the beta version of Fortnite available for download across all Android tablets and phones
Epic Games made the beta version of Fortnite available for download across all Android tablets and phones (Epic Games)

The reason for keeping it semi-exclusive is to iron out any potential issues with the game ahead of a full roll out.

"We will send you an email invitation with a link to download and install the Fortnite Installer as soon as you can play," Epic Games says on its website. "Thanks for your patience!"

It is available here for the Galaxy S9, Galaxy S9 Plus, Note 8, Galaxy S8, Galaxy S8 Plus, Galaxy S7, Galaxy S7 Edge, Tab S4, Tab S3, as well as the Galaxy Note 9. It is also available on Google Pixel phones, the Essential Phone, as well as numerous devices from Asus, Huawei, LG and OnePlus.

Epic Games CEO Tim Sweeney explained his company's decision to not use Google's official platform, claiming that the tech giant took a disproportionate cut of the sales through its store.

"Epic's goal is to bring its games directly to customers ," Mr Sweeney told Eurogamer. "We believe gamers will benefit from competition among software sources on Android. Competition among services gives consumers lots of great choices and enables the best to succeed based on merit."

The 30 per cent share that Google takes is exactly the same as the cut Apple takes through its official App Store, which Epic Games uses to distribute Fortnite for iPhones and iPads. Unlike Google, however, Apple has much tighter controls over which apps and software can be downloaded to iOS devices.

One of the reasons for these restrictions is to prevent iPhone and iPad users from downloading malicious apps that could pose a cyber risk.

The popularity of Fortnite means hackers have targeted players of the game with scams, aiming to infect their computers, consoles and portable electronics with malware.

Last month, researchers at game-streaming platform Rainway uncovered a computer virus spread via links embedded in the description of YouTube videos offering Fortnite players free units of the in-game currency V-Bucks. At the time the virus was reported to YouTube and Epic Games, more than 78,000 people had been affected.

The prospect of free in-game currency has tempted 78,000 Fortnite players to download a virus
The prospect of free in-game currency has tempted 78,000 Fortnite players to download a virus (Fortnite)

Separate research suggests scammers were earning almost $1 million annually from Fortnite players. Imperva researchers uncovered an online campaign that made $93,000 in one month though online advertising revenues generated by players clicking on ads in the hope of earning free V-Bucks.

"When something seems too good to be true, it probably is," a blogpost accompanying the research stated. "The perpetrators are abusing the fact that online players of Battle Royale games may be very eager to get free in-game currency and items, and are willing to go to pretty risky lengths to get hold of them."

Epic Games' decision to not make Fortnite available through Google Play will likely see cyber criminals continue to lure players to fake versions of the game.

Fortnite players are advised to take care when downloading mobile versions of the game and only install the app directly from Epic Games' website.

Join our commenting forum

Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies


Thank you for registering

Please refresh the page or navigate to another page on the site to be automatically logged inPlease refresh your browser to be logged in