Is Fortnite Coming Back to the App Store?

Apple users can finally play Fortnite again after more than a year.

After Epic Games took on Apple in an attempt to circumvent its in-app purchases back in 2020, we saw the hugely popular battle royale get the boot from the App Store—much to the dismay of Fortnite account owners that use Apple products around the world. To summarize what happened in Epic Games’ and Apple’s brawl, a court case ensued, and after months of courtroom chatter, Apple came out as the victor. The ending was that Apple was under no obligation to allow Fortnite to return to its App Store. Many assumed that that was the end of the story, but Epic and Nvidia had other plans than to let Apple get their way.

What the Fuss is All About

Apple first removed Fortnite from the App Store in August 2020, when Epic Games decided to add a new option to their Fortnite Item Shop that allowed players to purchase Fortnite’s premium currency, V-Bucks, directly from them. According to Apple, this new option was not allowed as it bypassed the 30% cut of purchases made on the App Store platform. The “loophole” Epic had created was a violation of Apple’s terms.

Shortly after, the debacle began. Following Apple’s decision to remove Fortnite from their App Store, Epic Games decided to release a video showing a parody of Apple’s most famous commercial and file a lawsuit against the company. During this time, Google followed suit and pulled Fortnite from its Play Store.

The battle between the two corporations was lengthy. After a very public trial and much deliberation, the judge ruled that Apple cannot prevent developers from including external links that direct customers to purchasing mechanisms. Or, to put it simply, Apple can’t tell the devs—regardless of what application they have on the App Store—what to do regarding how they make money through it. Sadly, this still led to Fortnite being barred from the App Store, and the battle royale may be unavailable natively on iOS devices for at least five years.

Fortnite is Back On Apple Devices…Sorta

Many Apple users assumed that playing Fortnite on their devices would no longer be possible after the court case ruling, but Nvidia and Epic Games had other plans. As of now, Fortnite is back on the iPhone and iPad. Well, not officially—you still can’t download the game through the App Store. Instead, you can play Fortnite on the Apple products you own via Nvidia’s cloud-based game streaming, GeForce Now. GeForce Now can be accessed through Apple’s Safari browsers.

After more than a yearlong absence, the companies—Epic Games and Nvidia—worked to develop a touchpad-friendly version of Fortnite for mobile devices that you can play through cloud. A closed, limited-time beta for Fortnite on mobile rolled out in late May 2022, and subscribed to the cloud-gaming service were able to register.

Do I Have to Pay Up?

The best part of being able to play Fortnite on your Apple device again is that you don’t need to shell out some money to do it. Yes, there are premium subscriptions available, but there’s also a free tier that allows you to play a plethora of games free of charge. The only caveat is that you can only play for up to an hour (at a time); if you want to play Fortnite for more than an hour, you might want to consider subscribing.

Is it Worth Subscribing?

You might argue that Fortnite has been available in online streaming services for quite some time now, and you’re absolutely right. Besides being available on GeForce Now, you can download the game through competing apps such as Xbox Cloud Gaming. However, the GeForce Now version is different because it’s fully optimized for mobile gaming. This version of Fortnite has full touchscreen controls, just like it used to be back then. Essentially, the release of Fortnite on GeForce is the closest you’ll get to having that native iOS experience for your iPhone or iPad. Everything’s pretty responsive, too, due to the combination of Epic and Nvidia’s collaborative effort and the impressive low-latency technology that comes with it. During the beta testing period, there were over 500,000 participants that joined in on the fun.

It’s safe to say that it’s worth getting a GeForce Now subscription if you want the best experience using your Fortnite account on one of your Apple products. Many have claimed that it feels like you’re playing the battle royale locally (provided that you have fast enough internet speeds). If you’re still on the fence about it, we recommend trying the free version of the game for about an hour to experience how fluid it runs.

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