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How to install Fortnite for Android

The Party Bus is finally ready for Android users.

Jason Cipriani/CNET

Ready to play some Fortnite on your Android phone? Of course you are. Everyone is!

The free-to-play game that's taken the world by storm is finally available for Android users, but the installation process is a bit… wonky. Before diving into the instructions below, make sure your device is on the compatibility list. 

Epic Games, the maker of Fortnite, has opted not to list the game in the Play Store for reasons I won't get into here. What you need to know is that in order to get Fortnite on your Android device, you'll have to sideload it. If that's an intimidating term, good, it should be. Sideloading apps on an Android device is inherently dangerous, but with a little bit of extra work, you should be alright.

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Invites

If you don't own a Samsung Galaxy device, you'll have to wait a bit before you can start playing. Epic will begin sending out invites after a short exclusivity period for Samsung users expires. Visit Fortnite.com/Android on your phone to request an invite to the beta. A few minutes later, you will receive an email asking you to preinstall Fortnite so you're ready to play once you receive an invite.  

Samsung devices

You'll need to download the Fortnite Installer, which then installs and keeps Fortnite up to date. To grab the APK (a fancy term for Android app file), open your device's browser and enter Fortnite.com into the address bar.

Samsung Galaxy users can exclusively install Fortnite for the next few days and are given the choice to install the Fortnite Installer directly from Epic Games or through Samsung's Galaxy Store.

samsung-fortnite-installation-process

Screenshots by Jason Cipriani/CNET

I suggest using the Galaxy Store option, as it's safer and less for you to manage. With the Fortnite website open on your device, tap Play Free Now followed by the Samsung button on the next page, then follow the prompts. Eventually, you'll need to grant Fortnite Installer storage permissions in order for it to actually download the game itself.

Once the process is complete, you can launch Fortnite and let the game download more assets before you can play. It's important to leave the Fortnite Installer on your phone, as that's how the game will receive updates in the future.

Non-Samsung devices

warning-android-fortnite

Screenshots by Jason Cipriani/CNET

For those who don't own a Samsung device, but do have a compatible device, the process is going to be a little different for you. First, you'll need to request an invite from Epic Games via Fortnite.com/Android. A few minutes later, you should receive an email asking you to preinstall Fortnite so you're ready to go once your account is invited to join the battle. 

Tap Get Started in that email and then Download. At this point, you should see a security warning letting you know it's not safe to download and install APKs from unknown sources. In this case, as long as you download the APK directly from Epic Games and not a random website, it's OK to grant Chrome the necessary permissions to download and install the Fortnite Installer. Follow the prompts and finish installing Fortnite. 

android-fortnite-security

Screenshots by Jason Cipriani/CNET

After the installer and game are up and running, the installer will show a notification on your device. It's a reminder from Epic Games that you should go back and revoke Chrome's permissions to install apps from unknown sources. Tap on the notification to go directly to the settings page. Next, select Chrome then toggle the slider to the Off position.  

The only thing left to do is sign into Fortnite, then wait for Epic Games to email you the official invite. Patience is a virtue, or so they say.

Originally published on Aug. 9.
Update, Aug. 13: Added instructions for all Android devices.

Fortnite: Everything you need to know.