Fortnite iOS Early Review Roundup: A Mobile Smash

If you had any fears about Fortnite: Battle Royale not playing well on mobile, you can probably rest easy.

The iOS beta version of Epic Games' insanely popular online shooter is starting to enter the wild, and the impressions have been highly positive.

The mobile version of Fortnite: Battle Royale is the same exact game you'll see on PS4, Xbox One and PC, and even supports cross-platform play with those versions. According to folks that have gotten their hands on it, Fornite on mobile is an astonishingly faithful mobile port, even if there are some kinks to work out when it comes to the game's touch controls and audio.

Here's what the critics are saying so far.

The Verge

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Tom Warren of The Verge calls Fortnite on iPhone "an exciting look at the future of mobile gaming."

Warren noted that the game ran well on both an iPhone X and iPad Pro, with no noticeable framerate issues. He also praised the special visual indicators for the mobile version, which allow you to pick out where enemy gunfire and footsteps are coming from, even if you don't have headphones in. Warren did, however, point out that the touch controls can feel a little clunky, and that it it's hard to aim at moving opponents "without the speed or maneuverability of a mouse or controller."


GameSpot's Chris Periera was similarly positive on the mobile version of Fortnite, but also had similar gripes with the controls.

"The touch controls have proven somewhat difficult -- there's a lot to manage without any physical buttons, though there is some generous auto-aim," he wrote. "Performance seems fairly good, though there is a noticeable visual downgrade from other versions."


Jason Parker from Cnet seemed quite impressed with Fortnite mobile, but noted that the experience is "far from perfect."

Parker praised the game's console-quality graphics, stating "the first thing I noticed was that the map looked pretty amazing from up high -- there was plenty of detail, even if it was on a much smaller screen." However, he also lamented the lack of directional audio from the PC and console versions of the game, and pointed out that a handful of sound issues made it hard for him to hear opponents coming.


Forbes' David Thier focused largely on Fortnite mobile's visuals, driving home just how faithful the game is to the console experience.

The game is recognizable from the moment you boot it up: there's your character in the same lobby you've seen a thousand times before, even wearing the same loot and bearing the same progression if you've been playing with an Epic Account, " wrote Thier. The reviewer did note that the mobile port carries over some of the same technical hiccups as the console and PC version, but was ultimately confident enough to call it "the best recreation of a console experience that I've seen on iOS or Android."

MORE: Fortnite Cross-Platform Guide: Who You Can (And Can't) Play


Like most reviewers, Brian Crecente over at Rolling Stone's Glixel praised Fortnite mobile for being a faithful recreation of the core game, but had concerns over the controls.

Crecente calls the new visual indicators a "small but very welcome addition to the game," and called the experience "beautiful." However, he did note that he "can't imagine a player ever being able to quickly build and shoot at enemies while jumping, like most players do on console and PC." So while Fortnite will ultimately support cross-play with those platforms, you might want to stick to mobile-only matches at the start.

Michael Andronico

Mike Andronico is Senior Writer at CNNUnderscored. He was formerly Managing Editor at Tom's Guide, where he wrote extensively on gaming, as well as running the show on the news front. When not at work, you can usually catch him playing Street Fighter, devouring Twitch streams and trying to convince people that Hawkeye is the best Avenger.