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Fortnite: Battle Royale is finally available on the Nintendo Switch. After a surprise reveal at the Nintendo E3 2018 conference, players were able to start downloading and blasting each other in massive 1 vs 100 battles just hours after the announcement. We’ve been digging into Fortnite on Switch, and there are a few things you really need to know before you play.
Even if you’re an experienced Fortnite players, you might now know everything about the Switch version. It isn’t a wildly different version from the PC, PS4 or Xbox One, but it isn’t quite the same either — this isn’t a huge departure like the version for iOS and Android. That makes this the most faithful mobile version of the game available — as long as you’ve got a constant internet connect.
#10: It’s Everything You Expect From Fortnite: Battle Royale
You can still form parties with friends, play in teams, and use any skins you’ve unlocked on PC / Xbox One / Mobile. If you’ve linked accounts, you can play with friends on those systems too. The Battle Pass is still the same, and your progress will remain if you’re using the same account. This is a full feature port with no huge changes — if you’re looking for a mobile version of F:BR, this is your best option yet.
#9: Battle Royale Is Still Free, Paid ‘Save The World’ Isn’t Available
Naturally, Battle Royale is still the free, massive multiplayer game it’s always been. You can spend real money in the in-game store, but everything you unlock is cosmetic. If you just want to play the game and don’t care about skins, that’s totally free forever. Unfortunately, unlike on other systems, you won’t find the co-op ‘Save The World’ portion of the game, and there are currently no plans to port it over.
#8: If You Played On PS4, You Can’t Play On Switch
Unfortunately, if you’ve ever played on PS4, you won’t be able to log in to the Nintendo Switch with the same account. Sony doesn’t allow Crossplay between platforms, so you’ll have to make a new account if you’ve logged in even once on the PS4. That means you can’t keep your stuff. It’s really annoying, and even with a new account, you might have trouble logging in. Go to Settings and delete the save file for Fortnite if you attempted to login with your PS4 account to login with a new account on the Switch.
#7: Skins Transfer Across Systems, V-Bucks Don’t
If you’ve been playing primarily on a single system, here’s something you might not have realized. Skins and cosmetics you’ve unlocked are shared across all systems. That means you can unlock a skin on Xbox One and use it on PC / Mobile. That’s true here — any skins you’ve unlocked can be used on Nintendo Switch, but V-Bucks are unique to each system. You can’t use V-Bucks you’ve purchased on mobile or PC on Nintendo Switch, or vice versa.
#6: The Graphics Took A Small Hit
The graphics aren’t quite as clean on the Nintendo Switch as they are on PC / PS4 / Xbox One, but you’ll obviously see a pretty huge improvement over any other mobile versions. The resolution is lower, pop-in is more aggressive — you’ll see lots of objects appear as you run around, but the important stuff you’ll be able to see far away. Stuff like buildings and towers and walls. Thanks to the smaller screen, it’s all much less noticeable undocked.
#5: The Framerate Isn’t A Silky Smooth 60 FPS
Along with the graphics, the FPS took a hit in the transition to Nintendo Switch. For the most part, you’ll have a solid framerate that doesn’t fluctuate too much — until you start dealing with those massive 50 vs 50 battles with large structures being built and destroyed. In my testing, the framerate is pretty good, but it’s not a solid 60.
#4: Joy-Cons Work, But The Pro Controller Is Better (And Motion Controls Are Coming!)
The Joy-Cons aren’t the world’s most accurate controllers, but they work just fine for Fortnite: Battle Royale. The controls are ported to match the PS4 / Xbox One controllers almost exactly, and the game is automatically set to the Combat Pro control style. If you really want to be a pro, you’ll probably want to upgrade to a Pro Controller. The Joy-Cons work, but the D-Pads aren’t the best for blitzing your opponents. Motion Controls are promised, but it might be awhile before they’re implemented.
#3: You Need A Constant Internet Connection
Like other online only games, you’ll need a steady internet connection to play. If the internet disconnects, you won’t be able to access Fortnite: Battle Royale at all. Online multiplayer games are free for now, but you’ll need a subscription to Nintendo Switch Online on September 1st. It costs $19.99 a year for a subscription, so it shouldn’t break your bank. Until then, enjoy free online multiplayer.
#2: Play 50 v 50 To Learn The Ropes
Even if you’ve been playing Fortnite for a very long time, I recommend jumping into the kiddy pool to practice first. From the lobby, select the 50 v 50 gamemode. It’s the most lenient early in a round, and you’ll have plenty of time to test the controls, construct things, and take some potshots at the enemy team.
#1: Bought The Wrong Item In The Store? You Have Three Lifetime Refund Requests
Here’s something I wasn’t aware of, but it’s pretty helpful if you’re starting a new account, or if you’re a parent sharing your account with a child. If you spend your hard-earned (or hard-bought) V-Bucks on the wrong item, you can get a refund. Go to the Settings and scroll to the Account tab on the right.
From here, you have three refund requests. No questions asked. You can get a refund for anything you’ve accidentally (or a child has accidentally) purchased. Just don’t do it too often. After using your three requests, you might be stuck with that mistake purchase. Only request refunds for honest mistakes, and please don’t rope innocent babies into your cyberpunk schemes.