Parental Guidelines: What Is Fortnite And Is It Safe For Kids?

By Liana Keane | 3 weeks ago

One of the most popular video games played on smartphones, PCs and consoles is Fortnite. As of March 2019, more than 250 million people around the world were playing Fortnite. So, what is Fortnite and why is the game so popular? Most importantly, is the Fortnite safe for your kids to play?

What is Fortnite?

Fortnite

Fortnite is a video game you can play on Xbox One, PlayStation 4, Windows PC, Mac, Nintendo Switch, and smartphones. Released in 2017 by Epic Games, the survival game requires 100 players to fight each other until only one is left standing. To win and become the last one standing, strategic thinking is needed.

There are three versions of the game. You have the solo version called Save the World, the multiplayer version called Battle Royale and Fortnite Creative. Compared to the solo version, the multiplayer version is hugely popular.

How To Play Fortnite Save The World

Fortnite for kids

Fortnite Save the World is a co-op game. In the game, you can play as a single-player or in a team composed of up to three other players. The aim is to fight AI-controlled enemies. These enemies are known as husks. You also have AI allies who can help you with your missions. As a player, you can play with online friends on your PS4, Xbox One, Mac, or PC.

The missions involve defending locations against AI enemies or finding survivors and saving them from roaming monsters. In defense missions, you will be building fortifications and scouting for materials to create what you need.

Once you trigger combat mode, you will begin protecting your base. In the game, maps are randomly generated in each mission. This is in exception to the map where your home base is. Once in a while, you will return to home base or Storm Shield to increase its radius.

How To Play Fortnite Battle Royale

Fortnite parental controls

Fortnite Battle Royale is a free to play multiplayer game that offers fast-paced action of a third-person shooter. In Fortnite: Battle Royale, 99 players plus you skydive onto a small island. Each player is equipped with a pickaxe and must scavenge for more weapons while avoiding an electrical storm. Players also use the pickaxe to knock down existing structures and collect resources such as bricks, metal, and wood.

These resources come in handy when building walls, floors, and stairs for their fortifications. The safe structures protect players from the electrical storm. Why? The storm kills players outside the safe zone. When a player gets eliminated, the field of play gets smaller.

As such, players get closer together. If a player gets killed, other players will see updates on their screens. For example, “Player A killed Player B with a grenade.” To get started on Battle Royale, you can create an account on Epic Games or use your Google and Facebook accounts.

To play the game, you need to download Epic Games. Once you create your account, the system assigns you a random avatar. Every time you play the game, you get a new avatar. Gamers have the opportunity of selecting one of the following modes:

  • Solo
  • Duo
  • Squad

The game may pit as many as 50 players against 50 players and let them battle. It has a cartoonish aesthetic and no adult content or blood.

How To Play Fortnite: Creative

Kids creating in Fortnite

Fortnite Creative is the sandbox game mode. Here, players have the freedom to create anything on an island. For example, they can generate battle arenas and race courses. What you need to know is that Epic Games reviews these creations.

Epic rotates approved player creations and adds them to the Battle Royale map. The area where they get added is called “The Block.” All featured creations are available in the “Creative Hub.”

Why Do Kids Love Fortnite?

Fortnite free play

Fortnite is a survival game that offers a player the ability to kill 99 other players and even build fortifications.

Epic Games, the developers of Fortnite, regularly tease gamers with new offers, new ways to play, and updates. Available on multiple devices, Fortnite users have the opportunity of unlocking new items for free when they continue playing the game.

The game also has colorful animations and graphics which are appealing to younger users. It has a high degree of fun, especially when you factor in the social element of the game. Not only can players play solo, but they can team up with friends to not only fight but do things like dance. Each player’s avatar has dance moves they can make once the “Emote” feature gets activated.

Is Fortnite Safe for Kids?

Fortnite for kids

Fortnite is a fast-paced shooter game where players kill each other. But when they do, no matter the type of weapon used, the game does not show blood. Even in Fortnite: Save the World, no blood is shown when players kill zombies. All Fortnite violence is cartoon-like.

Battle Royale is free, unlike Save the World, which is available at $39.99. To have extras such as dance moves for the avatars, players have to spend money. One concern that parents have is the use of their credit cards to make in-app purchases without their permission. These purchases are expensive. In Epic Games terms and conditions, they state:

“When you provide payment information to Epic or its authorized processors, you represent that you are an authorized user of the payment card, PIN, key, account or other payment method specified by you and you authorize Epic to charge such payment method for the full amount of the transaction.”

Apart from using credit cards without permission, parents are often concerned about screen time and the game’s integration with social media platforms. Some parents worry that their kids will interact and make friends with predators. Others are concerned about the use of offensive language by older players on live chat and text chat.

Fortnite TL;DR

Fortnite safe for kids

Mobile games account for 43% of all smartphone use. Every week, 62% of people install a game in their smartphone. Of these, 78% are Android users. Currently, there are 2.5 billion active gamers around the world. In the US, 67% of people play games. The number of active PC gamers in the US is 52% compared to 41% on a console.

Fortnite is huge part of all that online activity. But it’s one of the few online places that’s actually pretty fun, safe, and competitive. Not only can kids learn to be creative while playing Fortnite, they can improve their hand to eye coordination. It has a PGEI rating of 12+, which parents must be aware of before allowing their children to play the game.

To ensure your credit card is not used by your child without permission, keep it safe. When it comes to screen time, experts recommend limiting it to an hour or two. You also have the opportunity of reporting players if they have crossed a line. To do that, you’d have to be monitoring your kids while they play, which is never a bad idea.

So, is Fortnite safe for kids? That depends entirely on what’s important to you. The biggest risk here seems to be in online interactions with other people. But if your kid is on Facebook, TikTok or Instagram like almost every kid is, then they’re already doing that.

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