The developer of the wildly popular battle royale game Fortnite launched their own battle against Apple and Google this week.
In a well-orchestrated series of moves, Epic intentionally broke the rules of the App Store and Google Play, which resulted in Fortnite being kicked out of both stores… and in response Epic file lawsuits against Apple and Google in an effort to force the companies to change the rules.
The legal battle could have serious implications for the relationship between app stores and developers. But for now there’s one set of people caught in the crossfire — gamers.
There’s currently no official way to download, install, and play Fortnite on an iPhone. But if you have an Android device, you can still do it… just not through the Play Store.
Here are two ways to do it:
- If you have a Samsung phone, search for Fortnite in the Samsung app store (or just click on this link to Fortnite in the Galaxy Store).
- If you have any other Samsung device you can use sideload the Epic Games App.
That second method involves jumping through some hoops:
- Visit fortnite.com/android from your phone.
- Tap the Get it on the Epic Games App option.
- Your phone will download an APK installer.
- You can tap the notification that lets you know EpicGamesApp.apk has been downloaded to start the installer, or find the app in your downloads using a file manager app.
- Tap the APK file to start the installation.
- If you’ve previously installed an app downloaded from the browser, it should ask if you want to install (click the install button). If not, you may have to allow installation of apps from unknown sources for your web browser.
- Once the Epic Games app is installed, open the app and tap Fortnite.
- On the following screen, tap Install.
During the install process, you’ll probably see a pop-up message letting you know that Epic Games does not have permission to install apps. If that happens:
- Tap Settings
- On the following screen, slide the toggle to Allow from this source
- Tap Install on the following screen.
It should take a moment or two for the app to install… but you’re still not quite ready to play the game yet, since there’s another 3.6 GB of data to download. The first time you open the Fortnite app, you’ll have to log into your Epic account or create a new account, and then you’ll be greeted with another download button.
Epic advises that you’ll need to keep the app open while that data downloads. This may take a while depending on the speed of your internet connection. When the installation is complete, you should be able to start playing Fortnite on your phone.
Overall installing Fortnite without going through an app store is a bit of a hassle. But at least it’s possible… if you have an Android device.
Note that you may want to return to your phone’s settings to disable installation of apps from unknown sources from the browser if you don’t want to run the risk of accidentally installing malware downloaded from the web in the future.
It’s always a little riskier to download and install Android apps and games from sources other than the Play Store, since they aren’t subject to Google Play’s security scans. But it’s not like malware has never ended up on the Play Store, and downloading the game straight from Epic’s servers should be relatively safe… although there’s always the chance that Epic could be hacked or that you might accidentally download a fake version of the Epic Games app from a third-party source.