You may not have to shoot your way out of a deserted island, but battling with a child hooked on Fortnite can, at times, feel like an overwhelming struggle. Don’t worry! There are lots of simple, non-confrontational ways you can keep this phenomenal fighting game under control. Here’s our parent guide to Fortnite.
What is Fortnite?
Fortnite is a very popular online video game that was launched in 2017. There are a few different versions, but the best-loved one is Fortnite Battle Royale, which can be played for free on Playstations, Xboxs, Macs, PCs, Nintendo Switches, iPhones, iPads and Android devices.
In this game, 100 players skydive onto an island, collect gear, and fight against each other, as a toxic storm shrinks the playing arena, pushing opponents closer together. The final survivor wins.
Is Fortnite safe for kids?
It might sound pretty violent, but the fighting is more cartoonish than gory. It definitely isn’t an all-ages game, but there are plenty of more disturbing ones out there. In the UK it has a 12 age-rating. In the US it’s rated Teen, which means its content is judged to be suitable for players aged 13 and up.
However, age aside, there are a couple of other issues worth picking out in a Parent’s Guide to Fortnite. The game makes money via in-game purchases. Players can buy Fortnite currency, V-Bucks, as well as battle passes, vehicles, dance moves, and ‘skins’, which change the look of a player’s character. You don’t need to buy anything to play the game, but Fortnite does encourage spending.
Fortnite also lets users talk to each other while they’re playing, so if kids accept friend requests, they can end up chatting to a whole lot of different people via the game.
What about my child talking to strangers on Fortnite?
It can be a worry. Back in 2018, the NSPCC said that one in four children had been contacted by someone they didn’t know while playing. However, Fortnite’s developers do let parents take charge of this too. Epic Games parental controls for Fortnite enable you to restrict mature language in the game’s text chat facility, as well as block friend requests, turn off voice and text chat, and restrict the visibility of a player’s name. Again, it’s all PIN protected.
How to manage paying for things on Fortnite, via Fortnite parental controls
Don’t worry! Pretty much every device you play Fortnite with offers you a way of controlling or stopping payments.
Managing parental controls for the iPhone and iPad
You can disable all in-app purchases in your child’s iPhone and iPad via its settings.
Managing parental controls on the Playstation
On Playstations, there are parental controls to limit spending, check here
Managing parental controls for the Xbox
Fortnite parental controls Xbox are pretty straightforward. The Xbox also has parental control features that let mums and dads decide on purchases.
Managing parental controls on PCs and Macs
Fortnite parental controls for PC and Mac are pretty easy to grasp too. If your child is playing via a PC or Mac, you can use Windows or iOS parental controls to do the same thing.
Managing parental controls via Epic Games own store
Fortnite’s developers, Epic Games, also give parents the power to control spending and social interaction in the game, via the Epic Games store, again via PIN-restricted parental-control settings.
Managing spending via RoosterMoney
Also, you could connect these accounts to your child’s Rooster Card, and transfer over just enough for the thing they’d like to buy. Find out more about managing your child’s Playstation account via the card here; for more on the ways to manage an Xbox account via the card, go here.
What if my child is playing Fortnite too much?
If you really want your son or daughter to cut down, you can restrict playtime via many devices’ parental controls. However, you might develop a better gaming relationship with your child, if you played the game with them, and talked about their habits. Fortnite Battle Royale games don’t last that long; experienced players might stretch a round out to half an hour, but newbies often only last a few minutes. After gaming together, it might feel a bit easier to talk about how your kids could put limits on game time, the do’s and dont’s around online spending; and when they might be able to switch off a little more often. In fact, you could work new goals into a reward chart.
One final point worth bearing in mind in this parent guide to Fortnite: there is some evidence that Fortnite, having grown phenomenally over the past three years, is waning in popularity. Gaming fads come and go. Don’t be too surprised if your child ends up playing it quite a bit less, of their own accord.
Teaching kids about money
Rather than see Fortnite as a threat, why not use the game as an opportunity to teach your kids about money? You can connect up a Rooster Card up to plenty of the payment accounts, and discuss with your son or daughter how much they have, and how much they’d like to spend. Setting spending goals and limits helps children appreciate the value of money. You could even talk about how a free game like Fortnite makes money. The game took $1.8bn in revenue last year. If there’s one winner here, it’s certainly the game’s developers.
How do you manage Fortnite with your kids? Let us know at firstname.lastname@example.org and it might get featured in a future blog!