Fortnite is an incredibly popular video game available on several different platforms—including PlayStation, Xbox, Nintendo Switch, and Android. Fortnite is an action-strategy game where players battle other characters (either controlled by the game itself or other online players) in an open-world environment. The game offers two different modes: “Save the World” and “Battle Royale”. Fortnite exploded in popularity because developer Epic Games made its most popular mode free-to-play, which helped capitalize on the newest trend of games with Battle Royale modes. In Fortnite’s Battle Royale mode, 100 players compete to survive the Storm and kill other online players to be the last one standing. According to a May 2021 report from Statista, Fortnite has become a worldwide phenomenon with more than 350 million users as of 2020. While shooting is an integral part of the game, one aspect that sets Fortnite apart from other similar games is that it includes features enabling players to build structures—increasing strategy and offering different ways to protect yourself without just shooting other players. Younger children are also more drawn to Fortnite due to its unique, cartoonish art style. Apex Legends is another multiplayer Battle Royale game that offers similar features to Fortnite and the same risks and recommendations also apply.
The Entertainment Software Ratings Board rates Fortnite “T for teen” for ages 13 and up.
- No blood or gore is ever present in the game.
- Fortnite does not glorify violence like other popular shooter games.
Children can communicate with people around the world using the voice or text chat.
- No age-verification is needed to create an account.
- Profanity, hate speech, and other inappropriate language are frequently heard in the chat.
- In addition to the unmoderated game chat, anyone watching gameplay on streaming platforms like Twitch and YouTube can also be exposed to inappropriate behavior.
Fortnite can be very addictive—especially for younger children.
- Battle Royale matches last about 20 minutes, which can increase the difficulty of managing screen time. Children can get caught in the “one more” cycle where they start a new match immediately after one ends and there is no way to pause a multiplayer game once in the middle of a match.
- Fortnite has a continuing storyline with different seasons of new content as well as live events to try to entice users to keep playing for fear of missing out.
Due to its cartoonish art style that doesn’t glorify violence (with no blood or gore present), Fortnite is a safer alternative to shooter games for younger children. Any game, app, or website that features online chat capabilities can create a direct channel for strangers to interact with children. However, users can mute, block, and report individual players. Parents can also turn off the voice chat option. Fortnite also offers 3 levels of privacy settings: Public, where anyone can enter a player’s online group; Friends where only friends can join a group; Private, no one can enter a user’s group without being invited by the user themselves. We strongly suggest that children only communicate in the chat with safe friends that they know in real life. If a parent or caregiver is not entirely sure about whether the game is appropriate for their child, we recommend playing the game yourself or watching videos of gameplay.
Want To Learn More?
For more information about Fortnite, check out Common Sense Media’s Parents’ Ultimate Guide to Fortnite. For guides on parental controls for the game, check out Bark’s instructions on How To Set Up Fortnite Parental Controls and FamiSafe’s guide to Set Fortnite Parental Controls.