Fortnite Battle Royale parents’ guide to keep kids safe while gaming

Need to know more about Fortnite – the latest gaming craze? Games expert Andy Robertson gives a detailed outline of the game and offers great tips for parents to keep children safe while playing.

Fortnite is the latest game for teenagers to flock to. It offers a knife-edge gun battle that requires practice, skill, teamwork and fast reactions. The challenge for parents is to mitigate risks and maximise benefits from Fortnite. Screen time, stranger chat, rage at losing and escalating costs can seem insurmountable but with the right advice, this is a game that parents can make healthy and valuable for their children.

What is the age rating for Fortnite?

In the guide, I provide a visual summation of the ratings information for Fortnite. In the UK the Video Standards council rate Fortnite as PEGI 12 for frequent scenes of mild violence. In the US the ESRB rate Fortnite as Teen only suitable for those 13 years and older. iTunes rates the game only suitable for children 12+ for Frequent/Intense Cartoon or Fantasy Violence and Infrequent/Mild Medical/Treatment Information. Parents know their children better than any rating body and can use this information to make an informed decision.

Monitoring who they are talking to

Along with suitability, it’s worth checking the online communication settings on the game to ensure children aren’t talking to strangers.

Managing in-app purchase on the game

The game has considerable in-app purchases that you need to be aware of as well, and set up passwords on credit cards associated with the system.

Setting time limits on Fortnite

Finally, it’s important to have some limits in terms of play time for the game. This is something you can agree with your child once you understand how the game works.

Ultimately, families will get the most out of the game where parents join in and turn it from something played in bedrooms to a game for the family room that everyone enjoys.

What’s new in fortnite?

As the popularity of Fortnite continues to rise, the game is being updated and expanded to keep players interested.

Most recently this has been the Season 4 Battle Pass. If your child rushed home from school to turn on the PlayStation or Xbox last month you can be sure it was to see what the developer had added to the game. The new Battle Pass has a superhero theme and a new narrative about the arrival of a comet that introduces a number of changes to map locations.

In-purchase ‘Battle Pass’

For parents, it’s important to know that although the game is free, to take full advantage of these expansions players need to purchase the Battle Pass. This then enables them to win new outfits, characters and clothing.

Although you can access some of the benefits with a Free Pass, children will need a paid Battle Pass for the best rewards. This costs 950 V-Bucks which translates to about £8 / $10. It’s also worth noting that when the next Battle Pass comes out the current one becomes obsolete.

Now available on iOS

The game is also now available to play on iOS devices. It will come out for Android phones and tablets later in the summer. Players can compete across these systems, although the player controls are quite different on each and can frustrate youngsters.

The game itself is also being changed with new weapons and equipment. Most significant is a new Jetpack that lets players fly and shoot at the same time.

While many of these tweaks will make more sense to players of the game than parents, it’s well worth keeping abreast of developments in the game to be aware of possible costs. It’s also good for parents to be able to talk to children about the game and how they are enjoying it.

More info

Andy runs a community of families who get weekly videos and discuss how they keep games healthy.

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