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 playtime 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.
With Fortnite Chapter 2 just recently launched, it includes a brand-new map for the wildly popular ‘Battle Royale’ mode. The creators of Fortnite – Epic, have removed a ton of weapons from the game to simplify the game’s fire fights. Players will also see a brand-new map, more water-based activities, upgraded character skins and a more streamlined arsenal of weapons, this Fortnite is promising to be the best yet.
There also is a new split-screen feature allows two players to enjoy the game’s ‘Battle Royale’ mode on the same screen. Split-screen gameplay is only available on PS4 and Xbox One versions.
While the battle pass existed in the first chapter, Fortnite: Chapter 2 makes it easier to track your progress with on-screen notifications while you play, and the goals seem to be a bit easier to achieve overall. Epic is also planning rolling changes to Fortnite’s $40 ‘Save the World’ game mode that lets players team up to take on waves of computer-controlled enemies. The game’s competitive tournament series for hardcore players will begin again soon, and “Chapter 2” introduced a ‘Squad Arena’ mode for players to team up and play in more serious matches.
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 / $9.50.
Available on iOS and Android devices
The game is also now available to play on iOS and Android (Only available to download from the Fortnite website). 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.