Fans of Fortnite, the popular video game, recently flocked to join a live online event to mark the end of season 2 and the release of the latest version: season 3. The servers hosting the live event hit full capacity within 1 minute, as 12 million players took part. Another 8.4 million watched via live streams on YouTube and Twitch.y flocked to join a live online event to mark the end of season 2 and the release of the latest version: season 3. The servers hosting the live event hit full capacity within 1 minute, as 12 million players took part. Another 8.4 million watched via live streams on YouTube and Twitch.

What is Fortnite?

Fortnite was launched in the summer of 2017, quickly becoming a huge success among children and young people. In 2020, Epic Games, who own Fortnite, announced that there are currently 350 million registered users.

Fortnite: Battle Royale features up to 100 gamers, playing individually or as part of a squad. The aim of the game is to stay alive striving to be the last player remaining after the others have been killed. 

Fortnite features cross-platform play between a range of devices, including on desktop computers, gaming consoles (e.g Xbox, Playstation and Nintendo Switch), smartphones or tablets. This means that children in your care can play on Xbox against someone playing on a mobile device.

Fortnite has a PEGI rating of 12. But as with many games of this shooting type, a number of children younger than 12 play, so it’s important that parents are aware of the safety concerns that have been raised, and how to help their children play safely.

Persuasive Design

The nature of the game is to stay alive, which has proven to be addictive for those who play. To sustain interest in the game, Fortnite periodically introduces new seasons and chapters, changes the map and introduce new elements to the game like the latest release of season 3.

As with most games, updates are released regularly and Fortnite uses visually pleasing cartoon-like graphics to generate engagement. If you allow children in your care to play the game, it is important to be mindful of healthy screen time limits to ensure children don’t spend too much time playing.

Make sure you take advantage of Fornite’s Parental Controls, where you can adjust settings to filter inappropriate language, auto decline friend requests, disable voice and text chat, hide names from random players and generate weekly playtime reports.

Game Privacy Settings

It’s important to use appropriate privacy settings, as this will help control who can engage with your child:

  • Public: anyone can join your game

  • Friends: only friends can join ( make sure to deselect the option to allow friends of friends)

  • Private: only the player who started the game can send invites to other players

Top Tips

  • Don’t be afraid to make your own account and play Fortnite to see how it works. Make yourself a squad leader and add the children in your care to a private game. This means any friend requests will need to be approved by you.

  • Remember there is live unmoderated chat between players, so show children in your care how to mute their headset. This will help stop anyone from making contact with your child.

  • Advise children to never share any personal information, e.g their phone number, real name, address, school and or any club names they attend.

  • Fortnite earned $1.8 billion in 2019. Fortnite’s revenue is generated through in-app purchases so make sure children in your care know to ask for your permission before purchasing anything in the app.

  • Remember there are new items for purchase being added regularly, which would explain such high spending.

  • Check out our video on loot boxes on our Safeguarding Hub & our lesson on PEGI ratings on our Home Learning Hub.

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