Fortnite for Android is miserable without a controller


In Epic’s undying thirst to get Fortnite up and running on any and every platform that can handle it, I’ve realized something — Fortnite just isn’t meant to be on everything. It’s an important game for many reasons, the biggest of which being it’s the first game with enough clout to help tear down the cross-platform play barriers that have kept us from the ultimate gaming utopia.

However, for all but the most desperate of Fortnite players who want to survive the storm during every waking hour of every day (an unhealthy schedule for sure), it’s simply not worth playing on mobile. We’ve already made that painfully clear in our review of the mobile release, but there’s one point that bears repeating and beating on like a dead llama: the controls flat out suck.

We need Bluetooth controller support, and we needed it a fortnight ago.

There’s just too much to Fortnite’s elaborate control scheme to properly translate it to a touchscreen. You have to run, turn, shoot, jump, reload, rearrange, mine resources, switch weapons, manage inventories — and all of that is before you even get to building structures. Imagine doing all of these things and needing to do them at a pace so fast that even those playing on keyboard and mouse have trouble coming to grips with it. That’s a moot point if you’re playing in mobile-only lobbies where everyone is on a level playing field, sure, but it helps underscore the point that I’m trying to make: Fortnite is miserable to play on a touchscreen. Period.

That’s why we so desperately need Bluetooth controller support, and we needed it a fortnight ago. (Yes, I made that joke. Sue me.) Fortnite is still tough to play with a controller as evidenced by the many control scheme changes we’ve seen on console, but it’s still eons better than poking away at the janky mobile rendition.

Thankfully, Epic does have plans to bring Bluetooth controller support to Fortnite for Android, and on that day it will be a much better game to recommend for those wanting to play it on the go. Fortnite is still in beta on Android so Epic does have a reasonable excuse for rushing this thing out of the barnyard, but we’re still calling them out if only to drive home the point that this absolutely needs to happen, and hopefully happens sooner rather than later. There will still be the other blights we touched on in our review — namely performance hiccups and the general issues that come with playing on a much smaller display than you’re used to — but at least it won’t totally suck like it does right now.

If you’re as turned off by Fortnite’s mobile controls as we are, resist the urge to play it when you’re jonesing, and instead spend your time figuring out which mobile controller you’re going to use once Epic delivers the goods. We’ve got a great list for you right here, and you can even start eyeing your PlayStation 4 and Xbox One controllers if you already have those handy.

Fortnite for Android: Everything you need to know