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Fortnite

Fortnite: Battle Royale is a free multiplayer survival action game, available on a range of devices. The game features up to 100 live players who are dropped onto the game map and compete to be the last player standing, by killing all other players. Within the game, players can communicate with each other via public, private or voice chat. Whilst the game is free to download, players can make in-game purchases to help boost their performance or character persona.

Official age rating

This is a PEGI 12 Game.

Fortnite has been given a PEGI 12 rating for frequent scenes of violence of a more graphic nature between human like characters. There are no age verification methods used when creating an account, so ensure your child has entered their correct date of birth to benefit from some of the safety settings.

Find out more about age ratings in our A parent and carer’s guide to age ratings of apps and games.

How children and young people use the app

Fortnite is a fun action-based game with vibrant colours, humorous dialogue and a huge range of regularly updated customisations. The main aim is to stay alive and become the last-standing survivor, to do this you need to kill you competitors. The range of different maps you may be dropped into and the variety of customisations available prevent the game from becoming repetitive and boring. Young people can play with their friends or other strangers online. To succeed in the game, players must develop their shooting skills and strategic thinking to win against their other opponents. Players can also collect resources and build structures to maintain their survival. There are several different modes that young people can play in: ‘Solo’ allows 100 players to fight against each other; ‘Duo’ is where 2 teammates compete against 49 other duos; ‘Squads’ involve three teammates competing against 24 other teams; and ‘Soaring 50’s’ is where you and 49 other players battle against 50 other competitors.

Potential risks

Content

Fortnite does feature violence when players are in battle, ultimately killing each other in order to win. However, the animation of the game is rather cartoonish, and the violence is not bloody or gory, for example, when another player dies - they simply vanish. There is a less violent play experience in the Party Royale section, which has no killing or dying. The in-game chat function is often where players may come across inappropriate content in the form of bad language or mature content. Work through the parental controls menu to set the relevant controls to suit your child and ensure they know how to report other players if they find their behaviour inappropriate.

By restricting who your child can access on the platform, your child is less likely to experience language or behaviour that is not suitable for their age.

Connecting with others

As with other multiplayer games, players in Fortnite will play against other players of different ages from around the world. Explore the parental controls within the settings menu to limit the interactions your child can have with other players. Speak to your child about the risks of chatting with strangers and explain the importance of not sharing any personal or identifiable information with other players within chats. Encourage them to tell you if they have been asked more personal questions or to chat privately using a different app.

Parents should also be aware that some gamers use third party chatting apps like Discord to chat whilst gaming. Ask your child if they are using any additional chatting apps whilst playing and check who they are communicating with. It may be helpful to know that although chatting is an appealing part of this game, it is not essential to play.

User behaviour

Fortnite has its own set of community rules, which all players must adhere to in order to play. Players who deviate from the expected behaviour risk being removed from the game. Speak to your child about what is appropriate behaviour when playing a multiplayer game and ensure they know how to report inappropriate or offensive behaviour.

Design, data and costs

Fortnite has considerable opportunities to make in-app purchases, so ensure you have changed the appropriate settings to limit spending within the game. Whilst the game can be played without additional purchases, most players aim to purchase at least the ‘Battle pass’, which costs 950 V-Bucks (approximately £8). This pass enables players to win other items for their character. Fortnite have also started collaborating with famous musicians to make customisations based on their image or inspired by their music that they can buy and use within the game. For fans of these artists, these additional purchases are appealing, and new customisations are generally frequently introduced in the game. Speak to your child about in-app purchases and ensure they understand that real money is used to make purchases within the game. It is also important to check that the game is not linked to your bank cards or financial details.

Each match in Fortnite lasts around 20 minutes, which can make it easy for players to take part in multiple matches and keep extending their playing session. Work with your child to set realistic timeframes or gaming rounds in which they will be allowed to game and also times when they take a break.


Tips for keeping your child safe

  • Fortnite benefits from a ‘Parental controls’ section within the settings menu.

    To set ‘Parental controls’:

    • Select the setting menu and choose ‘Parental controls’.
    • You will be asked to choose an email address that will be used to make any changes to parental controls. It is advisable to use your personal email address.
    • Set a 6-digit PIN code that will be used to access the parental controls.

    You can also look into the settings menu on the individual device your child uses to play Fortnite to access further privacy settings.

  • Within the ‘Parental controls’ menu, there are a range of options to choose from to help manage content and interactions.

    Parental control menu options:

    • Can see mature language
    • Can accept friend requests
    • Non-squad members can see your name
    • Can see non-squad member name
    • Voice chat
    • Weekly playtime reports
    • Text chat

    Simply toggle to option to either on or off as appropriate.

  • You can report players who may be bothering you or behaving inappropriately on the platform.

    To report a player:

    • Click on the settings menu and select ‘Reporting/feedback’.
    • Select ‘Report a player’ and then work through the listed options to submit your report.
  • Within the ‘Parental controls’ menu there is the option to receive ‘Weekly playtime reports’. Fortnite also recommends selecting the ‘More settings’ button to learn about playtime restrictions for the platform or device your child is using to access the game.

    You can also manage the parental controls for the Epic Games store, which will help manage further purchases.

    To adjust ‘Parental controls’ for the Epic Games store:

    • Log in to your account and select the account name.
    • Select the ‘Manage account’ option and scroll down to ‘Parental controls’ in the ‘General settings’ menu.
    • Select ‘Manage store settings’.
    • From here you can navigate through the different options by toggling the relevant buttons.

Key features and terminology

  • Multiplayer

    This mode allows you to play with other people. This can either be with selected friends or with other players you may not know.

    PVP

    This refers to player vs player combat.

    Chat

    The chat function allows players to communicate with each other. Note that the age rating does not reflect the content included within the chat function, as this is user generated.

    Creative

    Included free with battle royale, creative mode allows players to design their own island where they can create their own games and rules for their friends or other people to play.

    AFK

    This stands for ‘Away from keyboard’. This gaming term is used when players need to step away from the game for a short time.

    V-Bucks

    The Fortnite franchise has its own in-game currency known as ‘V-Bucks’. Players can use this currency to purchase different items within the game.

    Skins

    ‘Skins’ are basically outfits that can be purchased by players to change the look of their character.

    Emotes

    ‘Emotes’ are dance moves or other actions that players can unlock or purchase for their character to perform during gameplay.

    Back Bling

    This is a backpack or other item that a player can purchase for their character to wear on their back.

General tips

Epic Games has a popular ‘Live events’ feature which attracts millions of viewers. These events typically include concerts and in-game promotional launches and whilst some are scheduled, others are spontaneous. Events tend to be family-friendly, but it is worth checking the ‘News’ section on the Fortnite site to note upcoming events.