If you're a console or PC gamer, you may be quick to ignore the mobile version of Fortnite Battle Royale. The lower graphics and the switch to touchscreen controls may be enough reason to dismiss this version of the game. But don't be so quick to judge — there are actually some clear advantages to playing on mobile.
While it's true the other platforms are superior in many ways, the mobile edition does take full advantage of the tools available to it. Some improvements are true of all mobile games, but most benefits are specific to the mobile version created by Epic Games. These changes help mobile users enjoy a similar experience despite the limitations of the platform.
Instead of using a button to open doors in Fortnite Battle Royale this process is automatic for mobile users. This allows faster movement and keeps you ready for gunfights, as your thumbs don't need to move away from the movement and aim controls.
This automatic interaction is also extended to items. For consoles and PC players, ammo is automatically collected — but for the mobile version, all items are included, even weapons.
Unlike other platforms, we use our phones in various types of situations including some which we can't have audio on. However, for a game like Fortnite Battle Royale, audio is key for detecting enemies and finding the location of chests. To compensate, Epic Games (Fortnite's developer) added a visual indicator which both informs you of the different situations and the direction they are coming from.
Chest, footsteps, and noise are all shown around your aim reticle. For each interaction, the indicator is specific and easy to identify. While this is necessary for those playing with audio off, it also provides a critical advantage in gunfights. Knowing what direction your enemy is coming from will allow you to better prepare for the potential fight. Hearing noise such as gunfight can allow you to avoid unnecessary situations as you work to survive. And knowing the direction of chests significantly reduces the time looking for them, increasing your odds of finding better weapons and items to aid in your survival.
A critical part of Battle Royale mode is building and editing structures. What you build and how fast you do it will be a key component to your placement in the match. And with touchscreen controls, this can be done faster than navigating with an analog controller.
Unlike console where you need to scroll through the different structures using buttons, with iOS, you can just select the structure you want automatically. With editing, selecting the tiles is much faster, too, as tiles can be selected directly.
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Piggybacking off the last advantage, the touchscreen does offer some advantages over controllers or a mouse and keyboard. Navigating is normally easier, since scrolling through the menu isn't always needed. Instead, you directly touch the option you want, taking away one step.
One example of this in how you switch weapons. Rather than scrolling through the weapons, you can simply tap the weapon you want and switch to it directly. While PC maps the weapons to specific number keys by default, for some users, simply touching the weapon will be faster than finding the corresponding number key.
This advantage is one that iPhone gamers only hold over Xbox One users. Microsoft requires its users to have Xbox Live Gold, its $60 online service, to play Battle Royale mode. This isn't the case for iOS users (or for the other platforms). Downloading the game requires no additional cost to play, just an active data connection.
Until Epic Games brings Fortnite Battle Royale to Android or the Nintendo Switch, there is no official way to play on the go besides using your iPhone or iPad. Unlike consoles and PC players where you are stuck to the confines of your home, mobile users can play wherever they want, which also increases the total time they can play. Whether on the bus, train, at work, or at home, you can always play a game.
There were an estimated 90.1 million iPhone users in 2016, with that number projected to have increased in the years following. That is a large number of potential users who can now play the game — for context, Xbox Live had 59 million users by the end of 2018.
With so many more players flooding in, you should be able to get into games quicker and make new friends faster. Another upshot here is that the influx of novice users should lower the skill level of the average player, making competition even easier for seasoned Battle Royale vets. And, in the upcoming months, Android will also gain access to the app, further increasing the pool of users.
While the mobile version isn't perfect, it does offer some advantages over the other platforms. We are by no means telling you to stop playing on console or PC, but our hope is that after reading this article, you may give the mobile version a chance. What do you think of Fortnite Battle Royale? As a PC or console gamer, do you enjoy the mobile experience? Share your thoughts in the comments below.