OnePlus 8 plays Fortnite faster than any phone — or any console

(Image credit: Epic Games)

Fortnite isn’t the most technically demanding game, but on the bright side, that means you can run it at relatively high settings without a powerful gaming rig. Phone maker OnePlus seems keenly aware of this fact, and wants to use Fortnite to demonstrate the power of its new flagships, the OnePlus 8 and OnePlus 8 Pro. Both devices can now run Fortnite at frame rates up to 90 fps, which is a full 150% faster than either the PS4 or the Xbox One.

Information comes from a OnePlus press release, in which the company announced a partnership with Epic Games. Even though the ability to run Fortnite at 90 fps is the most interesting thing in the statement, the press release mostly highlights the Epic Games App and the OnePlus 8’s launch in India. Using the OnePlus-exclusive “Game Space” app, players can install the Epic Games app, which in turn lets them install Fortnite. This is, in theory, much easier (and safer) than the multistep side-loading process required by most Android phones.

However gamers choose to install it, the key takeaway is that Fortnite will run at a very high frame rate on the OnePlus 8 and 8 Pro, two of the best Android phones we've recently reviewed. On the surface, this is because of the OnePlus 8’s powerful specs, including a Qualcomm Snapdragon 865 processor, an Adreno 650 GPU and at least 8GB RAM.

While it’s not really possible to do an apples-to-apples comparison of console and mobile CPUs and GPUs, it’s worth noting that both the PS4 and Xbox One have 8GB RAM apiece as well. Smartphone technology has come a long way over the past seven years, and OnePlus' latest handsets are very powerful, even by premium smartphone standards.

It will be interesting to see whether Fortnite runs at a full 2400 x 1080 resolution while pulling 90 fps, though. Generally speaking, lowering resolution is one way to bump frame rate, and OnePlus 8 devices may prioritize the smoothness of gameplay over display resolution to achieve that 90 fps goal. Whether that matters will largely depend on the player, but it might be worth monitoring for those who have both a OnePlus 8 and an affinity for Fortnite.

While the OnePlus 8 and 8 Pro's specs are ideal for Fortnite, there’s still a fair question about how much it means for Android gaming overall. Fortnite is a popular game, but it’s also easy to play on almost any platform. There aren’t many other Android games that push systems to their limits, spec-wise, and at present, there’s no definitive answer to Apple Arcade: a subscription service that delivers premium, iOS-exclusive games.

Still, it’s good to know that Android has handsets powerful enough to give current-gen consoles a run for their money in certain respects. And, from the way the press release reads, the OnePlus 8 duo won't be the only phones in which you'll be able to experience Fortnite at that speed, as OnePlus and Epic say that they're only "the first line of smartphones able to run Fortnite on the Unreal Engine at 90 fps." That indicates that perhaps other high-end handsets, like the Samsung Galaxy S20 series, could eventually join OnePlus' ranks.

Nevertheless, if companies like OnePlus can leverage the power of their phones into providing an experience that players can’t get elsewhere, the mobile gaming landscape could get a whole lot more interesting. Well, at least until the PS5 and Xbox Series X blow them out of the water once again.

Marshall Honorof

Marshall Honorof is a senior editor for Tom's Guide, overseeing the site's coverage of gaming hardware and software. He comes from a science writing background, having studied paleomammalogy, biological anthropology, and the history of science and technology. After hours, you can find him practicing taekwondo or doing deep dives on classic sci-fi.