After Fortnite developer Epic Games took on the behemoth that is Apple by trying to circumvent its in-app purchase system back in 2020, the hugely popular game was booted off the App Store – much to the dismay of mobile gamers around the world.
An epic court case ensued, pun intended, and after months of courtroom chatter, Apple largely came out the winner. It meant that Apple was under no obligation to allow Fornite to return to the App Store, and it didn’t.
While many assumed that was the end of it, Nvidia and Epic Games had other plans in store, and today is the day that Fortnite officially returns to the iPhone and iPad.
Well, maybe not officially, as you can’t go to the App Store and download the app.
Instead, you can play Fortnite using Nvidia’s cloud-based game streaming service, GeForce Now, which is accessible via the Safari browser on all iPhones and iPads.
There are premium subscriptions available, but there’s also a free tier that allows you to play a variety of your favourite PC games free of charge for up to an hour at a time, so there’s no need to pay for access.
You’d be right to point out that Fortnite has been available on GeForce Now – and competing apps like Xbox Cloud Gaming – for some time. What makes this different, however, is that it’s a mobile-optimised version of the game complete with full touchscreen controls, just like it used to be.
Essentially, today’s release brings Fortnite as close to the native iOS experience as iPhone and iPad players will likely ever get. It’s just as responsive too, thanks to a combination of Nvidia’s impressive low-latency cloud tech, direct collaboration with Epic Games and, of course, a thorough beta testing period that saw over 500,000 participants join in the fun.
I’ve been trying out this touch-enabled version of Fortnite for the past few days, and been impressed by how fluid the experience feels. The touch-screen controls are responsive, the in-game menus are easy to navigate and, of course, the gameplay is just as exhilarating as ever.
It’s also the small details, such as the game stretching right to the edges of the screen (something that’s not a given with cloud-based games) that complete the experience. It really does feel like it’s running locally on your phone – as long as you’ve got a fast enough internet connection.
It’s worth noting that while this is exciting for iOS gamers, the touchscreen functionality is coming to Android devices at the same time.
There are benefits to Fortnite on GeForce Now aside from touchscreen connectivity, especially when it comes to updates. While most users will have to sit and wait for an update to download and install when a new season is launched, Nvidia takes care of that remotely, meaning you’ve always got instant access to the game with no long waits for updates to install.
As well as the free tier mentioned earlier, GeForce Now offers a Priority and RTX 3080 tier. The £8.99/$9.99 per month Priority tier, as the name suggests, gets you priority access during busy periods along with RTX 20-series power, while the top-end £17.99/$19.99 per month RTX 3080 tier is powered by Nvidia’s latest 30 Series GPUs.
That’s high-end PC-level gameplay, on practically any smartphone, tablet or PC.
The top-end subscription also gets additional benefits like [email protected] streaming on PC, and 120fps gameplay – including Fortnite – on supported Android smartphones. Let’s just hope the high framerate gameplay makes the transition to iOS sooner rather than later.
You can read more about how the cloud gaming service works.
How to play Fortnite on iPhone & iPad
Sign up to Nvidia GeForce Now – either a free or paid tier, it’s your preference.
Link your Epic Games account in the GFN Settings menu.
Head to the GeForce Now mobile site on your iPhone or iPad.
Tap the Share button, and tap Add to Home Screen.
Open the shortcut on the Home Screen, log in and tap Fortnite.
Enjoy touch-enabled Fortnite!
What are you waiting for? I’ll see you on the Battle Bus!
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