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What is Fortnite, and why is it so popular?

What is Fortnite, and why is it so popular?

Ever since 2017, Fortnite has been one of the biggest names in online gaming. You’ve almost definitely heard the name, but you may be wondering what the game involves.

Whether you’re a parent concerned about whether Fortnite is appropriate for your children or just curious as to what all the fuss is about, our guide has all the information you need.

Table of contents

What is Fortnite, and how is it played?

Why is Fortnite so popular?

Is Fortnite appropriate for kids?

What is Fortnite, and how is it played?

Fortnite is an online video game created by Epic Games with six game modes. The most well-known of these by far is Battle Royale.

In Battle Royale, up to 100 players are dropped onto a map, either alone or in teams of up to four, to battle it out. By exploring the map, players can find weapons and resources to help them survive, build defences and eliminate competing players.

As the round continues and more players are eliminated, a poisonous storm surrounding the map draws closer, shrinking the area survivors can hide in to stop the gameplay from slowing down. Players win and gain a Victory Royale by being the last person or squad standing.

Fortnite also has several other modes:

  • Save the World: In this mode, players team up to gather resources and protect a base from zombie-like “husks”.
  • Creative: A sandbox game that allows players to generate items from Battle Royale and use them to build their own games.
  • Lego Fortnite: A survival game using Lego figures
  • Rocket Racing: A racing spin-off of the game Rocket League
  • Fortnite Festival: A rhythm game where players play instruments in time to popular rock songs

Why is Fortnite so popular?

Fortnite Battle Royale Collection Leviathan Mini Figure Solo Pack


Fortnite has millions of fans around the world and has become a genuine cultural phenomenon. But what is the secret to its success?

Without a doubt, it is at least in part due to how easy it is to play, both in terms of its availability on consoles and playing a match. 

Where can I play Fortnite?

Fortnite is available on all major game consoles, as well as Windows, Macs and most phones, and cross-platform compatibility means you can play with your friends, no matter what platform they’re on. It’s also free to play, so there’s nothing stopping prospective players from giving it a go.

How long are Fortnite games? 

The gameplay is simple but immersive, and the short 20-30-minute matches mean players can quickly drop back into games if eliminated. The game is also continually updated, so there’s always something new to bring players back in for more.

As the game has grown, its prominence with streamers on social media sites such as YouTube and Twitch has created more fans, including celebrities like Drake and Marshmello. This has led to special in-game promotions, including virtual concerts and film events, bringing in even more players of all ages, genders and abilities, even those who aren’t typically interested in video games.

Is Fortnite appropriate for kids?

Nerf Super Soaker Fortnite Pump-SG Water Gun Blaster

Fortnite is more appropriate for children than realistically violent games like Call of Duty, thanks to its cartoony graphics and lack of blood. However, Fortnite is still rated 12+ by PEGI so there are still some risks to be aware of for younger players.

Voice and on-screen chat

Like most multiplayer games, Fortnite allows players to talk to each other through voice and text chat. This chat is unmoderated, so there is a risk that your children may be exposed to inappropriate language, cyberbullying or scammers looking for personal information.

It is important that your child understands what to do when faced with inappropriate behaviour online and that they should never hand out personal details online. You should also make sure your child knows what to do if their account is compromised.

For younger children, you can use the game’s privacy features to set who they can talk to and form groups with. As a default, they are set to Everybody but can be limited to Friends Only, Friends & Teammates or even Nobody to fully disable chat.

In-game purchases

Fortnite itself is free to play, but the game does contain ‘V-Bucks’.

What are V-Bucks in Fortnite?

V-Bucks are an in-game currency that can be used to make purchases, such as cosmetic items and skins, to change the appearance of characters and weapons.

V-Bucks can be earned through gameplay but can also be purchased for real money, which the game encourages. This can lead to a sense of pressure for players, making them feel like they have to buy V-Bucks, especially if they want to keep up with other players who have a lot of skins.

It isn’t uncommon to find that children have spent over £100 of their parent’s money on Fortnite, sometimes without even realising it.

If you are worried about your child over-spending on Fortnite, make sure they play on a device you haven’t saved your card details on. 

Instead, you can link gift cards to the game. These provide a much easier method to limit spending and can be a great incentive for your child by using V-Bucks as a reward for good performance at school or completing chores.

You could also allow your child to purchase V-Bucks with their own pocket money to help give them a greater sense of independence and teach them about financial responsibility.

Whatever you choose, be sure to talk to your child about responsible spending and make sure they know not to trust any websites offering to sell V-Bucks for personal information.

Excessive Playing

The urge to play “just one more game” has been one of the keys to Fortnite’s success. However, this addictive quality can be dangerous, especially for young gamers who may become invested in the game to the detriment of other things like exercise, socialising and schoolwork.

As a parent, it is important to set reasonable boundaries for how long your child can play. A great way to do this is to create a ‘gaming contract’ with your child to define how long they can play for and what requirements they need to meet, e.g. completing homework first and eating with the rest of the family. 

By encouraging your child to help you set realistic goals for their contract, you’ll make them feel more invested and more likely to stick to the contract than if you set the terms yourself.

Fortnite at Toys for a Pound

Now that you’ve read our guide, you should have all the information you need to make sure you and your children have a fun, exciting and safe time in the world of Fortnite.

Of course, Fortnite is now much more than just a game, having expanded into a whole world of merchandise too. You can find a selection of Fortnite toys in our Toys for Boys section so that your little ones can keep the fun going offline as well.

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