What It's Like to Play Fortnite on Switch

Immediately after Nintendo's E3 press briefing, I headed to the Switch eShop to download Fortnite so I could play it at my desk. After some initial hiccups, I found the game runs well, though it's a bit of a combination of the mobile and console versions.

My first issue was trying to sign in. Sure, getting into my Nintendo account was easy enough, but my Epic Games account was a different story. It's associated with my PlayStation 4, and Sony isn't being nice about cross-play. Unfortunately, I had to make a whole new account.

Once I got past that, though, Fortnite on the Switch was mostly smooth sailing. There were a few matchmaking issues when I started, but I attribute that to a surge of popularity.

When I got into my first solo match, my first impression was that the game looks more like the mobile version on Switch than on consoles. But I don't think most people will care — Fortnite isn't all about graphics. It plays, however, more like a standard console game. (It doesn't open doors for you automatically, for instance.)

The controls are well labeled and similar to the PS4 and Xbox One, so it's not too hard to get used to combat and crafting. I found that I'm a more accurate shot with the game's assault rifle on the DualShock 4's control sticks than the Switch's Joy-Cons, but it's a better experience than playing on my iPhone.

Save the World mode isn't there, but I played Solo and 50 vs. 50, with options for Duos, Squads, and Sniper Shootout.

Fortnite for Switch still has some codes in the menus and in the upper left hand corner of the game — a bit of the jankiness players have come to expect and love anyway. But one thing is clear: the Switch is an equal to consoles when it comes to playing Fortnite, just not looking at its best. But if you've been playing on your phone and want an upgrade, the Switch is a superior mobile option.

Andrew E. Freedman

Andrew E. Freedman is an editor at Tom's Hardware focusing on laptops, desktops and gaming as well as keeping up with the latest news. He holds a M.S. in Journalism (Digital Media) from Columbia University. A lover of all things gaming and tech, his previous work has shown up in Kotaku, PCMag, Complex, Tom's Guide and Laptop Mag among others.