We are still waiting for our invite to participate in the fun of playing Fortnite on iOS, but in the meantime, there are plenty of others who have the chance to check it out. So many, in fact, that it has become the top most downloaded iPhone game in the US, and the second most downloaded app across all categories. So, how is it faring? Surprising well, it seems, though the real question is how mobile players are going to fare against their advantaged PC gaming brethren.
It seems counter intuitive to play a game like Fortnite on a mobile screen, trading a keyboard and mouse combination for taps and touch gestures. But dang it all, Epic Games has apparently figured things out. The general consensus so far is that the control scheme on touchscreens is actually pretty good. To make things easier, there are virtual buttons for jumping, crouching, selecting items, and building.
There is also a joystick to aid with movements, though for the most part, players have been navigating by sliding their left thumb and using the right thumb for aiming. In addition, the game allows you to autorun by double-tapping the joystick while controlling the direction with your right thumb.
From the reviews we have read, most agree that maneuvering and shooting takes some getting used to, but after that initial learning curve, the controls end up being better than expected. Still, we have to imagine that PC players are going to wipe the floor with mobile players, generally speaking. It will be fun to see a spattering of inevitable videos of mobile players dominating, but we would be surprised if that was the norm.
To help level the playing field, Fortnite on iOS comes with some extra features, namely audio cues that have been turned into visual cues so you can see where footsteps or enemy gunfire is coming from. Some people might cry foul over this, but if PC players end up mowing down mobile players as expected, it shouldn't be a big deal.
The other big aid to mobile gamers is help with aiming. We have read mixed experiences on this—some say that getting kills is still difficult, especially from far away, while others claim they play very well on mobile with assisted aiming. It will be interesting to see how it all plays out once more users are brought into the fold.
For now, Fortnite is invite-only on iOS; you can join a waiting list if you're eager to play as soon as possible. Epic Games also plans to bring Fortnite to Android devices sometime in the coming months.