Fortnite on Android plays just as well as you’d hope

Fortnite for Android was released Thursday during Samsung’s Galaxy Note 9 reveal. And at least until Monday, it’ll be available exclusively on Samsung phones.

Installing the game will take a few unexpected steps, since Epic Games is skirting the Google Play store in favor of the Samsung Games Center, but once you boot things up, rest assured that your favorite battle royale title made it to Android intact.

I had a chance to play a few games on a Galaxy S9 Plus, and I found that Fortnite easily runs as smoothly as it does on the iPhone, with crisp graphics and controls that manage to work as well as any third-person shooter could using on-screen controls. Everything from the Battlepass to squads to the in-game items is identical to what you’ll find across every version of the game, so Epic is continuing its efforts for parity as it maintains cross-play across most platforms.


Sarah Tew/CNET

The biggest potential sticking point was the battery drain. I started with my phone battery at 85 percent. By the end of about an hour of play, Fortnite and the screen recording that was running simultaneously brought the phone’s charge all the way down to 23 percent. More testing will determine if the screen recording is more to blame, but still, such a significant drop means you may want to bring a portable charge for longer mobile sessions.

Check out all Android phones that will run the game when the exclusivity ends.

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