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In August 2018, Fortnite came to a small number of Android phones. Wiih a slew of new phones and Fortnite Chapter 2, we wanted to revisit the process of installing Fortnite on Android.


Charlie Wagner/CNET

In October, Fortnite Season 10 ended with a devastating black hole that destroyed everything and left the game in flux for an extended stretch of downtime. But the battle-royale shooter returned as Fortnite Chapter 2, complete with a new map, mechanics like weapon upgrades and a wealth of other changes. With the continued popularity of the game and as new phones with better specs are released that can run the game, we thought it was a great time to review how to install Fortnite on Android phones like the Samsung Galaxy S10 ($891 at Amazon) or Google Pixel 4.

Epic Games, the maker of Fortnite, offers the game on the PS4, Xbox One, Mac, PC, Nintendo Switch ($311 at Walmart) and iPhone ($815 at Amazon). But you won’t find the game in the Google Play store because Google takes a 30% cut of all in-app purchases, which Epic was unwilling to pay. Apple does the same thing in its App Store, yet it actually has the game.

In 2018, Epic’s CEO Tim Sweeney told TechCrunch, “On open platforms like PC, Mac and Android, Epic’s goal is to bring its games directly to customers. We believe gamers will benefit from competition among software sources on Android.”

Epic came up with a clever albeit risky way to get the game onto most Android phones without going through Google’s app store: Sideload it. If you’re not familiar, sideloading is when you install an app from anywhere but the official app store; in this case Google Play. It requires you to sidestep security on your phone to install the app, which could make your device vulnerable to malware or viruses. And that’s a pretty big downside. For me, no game or app is worth that kind of risk. And yet, the growing popularity of Fortnite allows Epic Games to go this route.

Read more about the security problems Fortnite had on Android and why it’s unlikely the game will ever come to the Google Play store

Here is the overview of loading Fortnite onto an Android phone: install Epic Games APK, install Epic Games app, install Fortnite app, install Fortnite. Watch the video below to follow step-by-step.

Determine if your phone is Fortnite-compatible

Unfortunately, not all Android phones can handle Fortnite. Here’s what you need to run Fortnite: 

Android 8.0 or newerAt least 4GB of RAMAbility to run 64-bit appsOne of the following GPUs: Adreno 530 or higher, Mali-G71 MP20, Mali-G72 MP12 or higher. 

Basically, you need a higher-end phone like a Galaxy S8 ($319 at Amazon) or newer, or an LG G5 ($280 at Walmart) or newer. In other words, a budget phone like the Motorola Moto G7 ($296 at Walmart) won’t cut it.

If you go to Epic’s website from your Android phone, there is a list of supported devices.

Download Epic Games APK file

To start the process of getting Fortnite onto your phone, you need to get the EpicGamesApp.apk file. By the way, “APK” stands for Android Package Kit and is used to distribute and install apps.

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Go to the Epic Games website to download the EpicGamesApp.apk file.


Charlie Wagner/CNET

There are a few ways to get it. If you’re on a Samsung phone, go to the Galaxy Store app and download it there. If you have a newer Sony Xperia phone, there should be an icon on the home screen. Otherwise, from your phone’s browser search for Fortnite Android and go to Epic’s website. Tap the yellow Download button and follow the prompts. By the way, on a Mac of PC, you can go to Epic’s Android page and use the QR code to get the same APK file.

Download the Epic Games Android app

1. Start to download the EpicGamesApp APK file. A warning will pop up asking you to approve the download.

2. Open the APK file by going into the downloads folder of your browser (like Chrome Downloads) and tapping the EpicGamesApp.apk file. A pop-up will warn that “for your security your phone is not allowed to install unknown apps from this source.”

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This is likely the most risky part of installing Fortnite. 


Charlie Wagner/CNET

3. You’ll be prompted to update your browser settings to allow you to open the APK file — “Install unknown apps – allow from this source.”

4. A pop-up window that reads, “Do you want to install this application? It does not require special access.” Approve to download the Epic Games app.

Download Fortnite app

1. Open the Epic Games app and tap on the Fortnite banner.

2. You’ll either have the option to install the Fortnite app or be told that your device isn’t compatible.

3. Assuming your device is compatible, tap the Install button.

4. A pop-up window will inform you that the game needs to take up space on your phone.

5. Allow Epic access to your device’s photos, media and files. The Fortnite app will install. This can take a few minutes.

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This is one of several “install” button you’ll encounter during the process.


Charlie Wagner/CNET

6. A security window about Epic Games will pop-up. You’ll have to enable “allow from source” in order to install Fortnite.

7. Another window will appear, prompting you to install Fornite. Click Install.

Install Fornite for Android

1. Open the Fortnite app and enable the app access to your storage, contacts and microphone.

2. If your phone is running a new version of Android, like the Pixel 4 running Android 10, you might see a window pop up letting you know that Fortnite was built for an older version of Android.

3. Log in to your Epic Games account.

4. Finally, you’ll be asked to install the meat of the game, which occupies 5.63GB of storage.

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The final install button will download 5.63GB worth of files for the game.


Charlie Wagner/CNET

5. Play the game.

6. Fortnite might need to download additional hi-res photos. But other than that, you should be good to go and play Fortnite!

You won’t be prompted to do this, but once you’re up and running, it’s a good idea to disable “allow from source” installs. Doing so will help prevent some malware and viruses from getting a foothold.

For more on Fortnite, here’s what new in Chapter 2.

http://www.cnet.com/


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