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Here’s how popular Fortnite is in 2023 and how many people play it

Fortnite Chapter 4 Season 3 splash

Though it doesn’t have characters as iconic as Sonic the Hedgehog or Mario, Fortnite became one of the most recognizable brands in video games for a time and remains popular to this day.

The battle royale genre exploded in popularity in the late 2010s. The DayZ mod for Arma 2 spawned a genre unto itself with PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds exploding in popularity to the point where it became the biggest game on Steam. Other standalone releases like Apex Legends and spin-off game modes such as Counter-Strike: Global Offensive’s Dangerzone came out trying to take a share of the emerging market.

Despite facing many solid competitors, none have come close to matching the popularity and success of Fortnite. Here’s everything there is to know about the game, and what made it such a hit.

What is Fortnite?

Fortnite is a third-person shooter developed by Epic Games. There are multiple versions of Fortnite, but the game is mostly known for its Fortnite: Battle Royale mode where 100 players are dropped onto an island and need to fight to survive.

The game sets itself apart from other competitive shooters through its building system and survival elements. Fortnite allows players to build structures using a set of prefabricated walls, floors, and ceilings. This allows the rapid construction of bases during combat, which makes for frantic skirmishes.

Alongside Fortnite: Battle Royale is the original Save the World mode where players team up to battle AI-controlled enemies. There is also a slew of alternative game modes created by both Epic Games and fans that allow users to experience the game in different ways.

How many people play Fortnite?

Fortnite is estimated to have a monthly unique user count of over 200 million players, with concurrent user numbers typically over 3 million.

Though Fortnite doesn’t have the mainstream visibility it did back in 2019, the game remains one of the biggest in the world by any measure. Epic Games isn’t entirely forthcoming with how many people are playing Fortnite and it’s unclear how Fortnite’s demographics are broken down, but numerous outlets have reported that the game still attracts hundreds of millions of players on a monthly basis. Epic occasionally gives definite numbers, though the last official tally came in 2020 when it was revealed that the game hit over 15 million concurrent players during one of its Marvel-themed events:

Having 3 million users online at any given moment is an incredible number. For the sake of comparison, tactical shooter Counter-Strike’s all-time player count peak was about 1.8 million players as of the shuttering of Counter-Strike: Global Offensive. If Fortnite enjoys a steady concurrent player count above 3 million users, that would mean that more than 50% more players are on Fortnite at any given moment than the biggest day in Counter-Strike history.

In fact, the highest peak for a game ever seen on Steam at any point was the 3,236,027 concurrent players seen on PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds in January 2018. If the estimates are right, that would mean that Fortnite’s baseline is about the same as the all-time high of any game on Steam.

Is Fortnite dying?

Fortnite remains highly popular despite seeing its visibility drop off to some degree.

Though major retailers don’t have dedicated Fortnite toy aisles anymore and the game isn’t dominating Twitch the way it used to, it still enjoys possibly the largest player base of any game in the world. Its player count dwarfs the entirety of Steam, and only juggernauts like League of Legends have a chance of matching or exceeding its popularity.

Batman x Fortnite skins with Catwoman

This phenomenon isn’t unusual. Though games like Pokemon GO became pop-culture sensations, their player base grew even after the buzz surrounding its launch faded. Fortnite remains strong, and will likely remain one of the biggest games on the market for years to come. It also continues adding new skins based on massive IPs ranging from The Witcher to Batman to Naruto.

Why do kids like Fortnite?

Fortnite has become popular with children thanks to its focus on social gaming and accessibility.

Though Fortnite can be played individually, the game is best known for its multiplayer modes. Players can join up in parties of two, three, or four, and hop into a game almost instantly. There are other game modes and lobbies that can allow even more people to hop into a game and play. This allows a group of friends, or even an entire classroom to join a session.

Just as important is the fact that Fortnite is made to be playable for almost everyone. While many competitive games are available on one or two platforms and may require an expensive gaming PC, Fortnite is available on every major gaming console, PC, and Android devices. The game can also run smoothly on weaker hardware, meaning players can jump in even on a Nintendo Switch or cell phone.

Fortnite is popular in large part due to its accessibility across multiple gaming platforms.

There are many different competitive multiplayer shooters on the market that enjoy varying degrees of popularity. Titles including the Counter-Strike series, Apex Legends, PUBG: Battlegrounds, and Call of Duty: Warzone are all free to start and are widely available. The area where Fortnite greatly exceeds the competition is how easy it is to get started, and how easy it is to play with friends.

Fortnite Jonesy dropping

The full experience can be enjoyed on every major console, including past-gen consoles and the Nintendo Switch. Not only that but while other games will segregate their mobile players from consoles and PC players with standalone versions of the game, PC players and mobile players can actually party up in Fortnite. 

Not only that but Fortnite is very easy to run on PC. While competitors like PUBG: Battlegrounds and Apex Legends require relatively strong PCs, Fortnite runs well even on outdated hardware. Epic Games has done a brilliant job of making its game easy to start, and the regular content updates have given players plenty of reasons to stay.

Is Fortnite one or two players?

Fortnite Battle Royale is a 100-player game, where 100 players are dropped into a combat zone until just one team survives. Players can compete individually or in groups of two, three, or four. Fortnite can be played by either one or two players on a single device, depending on the platform. 

On PC, Nintendo Switch, and mobile devices, Fortnite can only be played by one player. On Xbox and PlayStation consoles, two players can play together in a party via split-screen co-op. Unfortunately, there is no workaround that allows the game to be played by two players on a single PC, Switch, or mobile device.

Why isn’t Fortnite in app stores?

Fortnite publisher Epic Games has been in a lengthy battle with Apple and Google, which has resulted in the game being removed from app stores on both Android and iOS devices.

In 2020, Fortnite added the ability to purchase V-Bucks directly through the game’s app at a lower cost than purchasing them through Apple’s App Store or Android’s Google Play Store. The move allowed Epic to evade the 30% “tax” taken by Apple and Google off the top of every transaction made through their app stores. Apple and Google claimed that this was a violation of the stores’ terms of service and pulled Fortnite as a result.

Fortnite has remained available on Android devices through direct installations and through other app stores, most notably the Samsung Galaxy Store. The game became available on iOS devices in 2022 through Xbox Cloud Gaming. Fortnite on Xbox Cloud Gaming is also available on Android devices.

Can you get free V-Bucks in Fortnite?

Players can often get V-Bucks for free in Fortnite through its battle pass and other events. 

That said, promises of free V-Bucks are often phishing scams. Players should be very wary of any entity promising V-Bucks outside of Epic Games’ official channels or through the game itself.

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Written by Steven Rondina

Steven Rondina has been playing video games since he was a toddler and appreciates every genre out there. He has earned the platinum trophy in every Soulsborne game, is regularly Master Ball-ranked on the competitive Pokemon ladder, and has spent thousands of hours missing shots on Dust 2.

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