Fortnite’s Battle Royale goes F2P next week [updated]

Update: Epic have been in touch to clarify that no, Fortnite Battle Royale won’t be standalone. It’ll be free within the Fortnite client while Actual Fortnite will remain paid until it launches in 2018.

The Battle Royale mode coming to Fortnite [official site] will become free for everyone whether they’ve bought the PvE campaign or not, Epic Games announced today. So far, playing the Battle Royale mode has required buying into the sandbox build-o-craft-a-shooter’s early access. But next week on Tuesday the 26th, everyone will be invited to play Battle Royale free while PvE remains paid. Fortnite Battle Royale will eventually sell cosmetic items and bits but it should initially just be free-free. As the old saying advises: plunk while the bat is hot.

Like Playerunknown’s Battlegrounds, Fortnite Battle Royale starts 100 players flying in a plane over a big map then has them parachute down to loot, shoot, and hopefully be the last one standing. Unlike Plunkbat, FBR has Fortnite’s base-building and whatnot. It also tweaks elements of the base game, making weapons and such more like the Plunkbat model. More changes are planned on that front.

Epic started public(ish) testing of Battle Royale within Fortnite last week and say it “worked better than we expected.” Time for the big time! “We want the game to reach as many players as possible, so we decided to release Battle Royale for free sooner than we anticipated,” they explained.

They insist that plain old Fortnite “is still in development” and they will continue to work on both its PvE and PvP sides. New modes and features are in the works, Epic say.

Compared to Fortnite, Fortnite Battle Royale should be monetised fairly pleasantly. Epic say they plan to sell cosmetic items and are thinking about stuff like the Compendium, Valve’s Dota 2 sticker album which offers challenges and prettybits. That sounds fair enough. When our Brendan Prematurely Evaluated Fortnite in its initial early access state, he found its torrent of systems prepped for free-to-play monetisation obnoxious and awful.

For folks already playing Fortnite Battle Royale, hey, expect more players and support for squads to arrive on the 26th. People who bought Fortnite to play Battle Royale (between September 12th and 19th) and might now be a mite ticked off are encouraged to contact Epic for a refund.


  1. TricycleThief says:

    Why should I stop playing PUB Gee for this?

    • Jjgddyuikbvff says:

      Who suggested you should?

    • pipja says:

      you don’t have to, but hey, it’s free for people like me who don’t wanna cough up 40$ for PUBG ;)

    • caff says:

      Well, I haven’t played it. But it seems to offer an environmental factor that PUBG can’t, i.e. destruct walls/construct things. It might be tosh for all I know, but at least graphically it looks alright and some of the streamers I’ve seen playing it seem to like it.

    • xvre says:

      It doesn’t run like horse shit, for once. Also, matches are faster and much more action packed, since camping is not a viable strategy, due to the colour pallet and the buildings being destructible.

      • Flopper says:

        The best feature this game adds is not being fucked by the circle. When it’s down to the final shrink and the other guy just happened to random in to perfect cover because the circle kept shrinking directly on him.

        Now you can just make cover instantly as long as you farm along the way. That’s one of the biggest flaws of PUBG is the RNG factor for cover. One minute you have great cover, then that RNG shrink and the other guy has great cover and you have to move.

        Now everyone can have great cover and the person with more skill can win. Granted I don’t like the massively inaccurate aim cones on everything other than a sniper rifle.

        I played the closed beta of the tower defense version for a year. Can’t wait to try the Battle Royale mode.

        • Prime-Mover says:

          Now everyone can have great cover and the person with more skill can win. Granted I don’t like the massively inaccurate aim cones on everything other than a sniper rifle.

          If I understand you correctly, then that predictability seems boring. The constant need for improvisation during the pubg endgame is what keeps it exciting. Sure, you can be the guy who gets screwed by the circle, but you can also be the guy who fought his way out of a shitty situation, and came out on top against all odds by using tactical awareness.

          • Raiyne says:

            PUBG is a great game, but the developer just needs to actually work on and refine the game itself. Early circles take way too long, and late game circles are way too short. Resulting in time constraints, panic and tactics flying out the window. 2 mins to advance a few hundred metres while there’s 3 other parties around you going in the same direction is just utter chaos. It’s not fun because there’s little room for strategy any more at the stage.

            I just think PUBG is really fucking up their development. Game has been stagnating for a couple of months now.

  2. Askis says:

    According to an email from Epic, for “valued members of the Paragon community” (I tried two matches against bots, then uninstalled) it’s actually out right now.

    • skyturnedred says:

      For people who have played Unreal Tournament too. Basically anyone who has played something through the Epic Launcher.

      • Amstrad says:

        Doesn’t seem like it’s quite that broad, no email for me and I’ve certainly played both UT as well as Shadow Complex. I’m also constantly using the UE4 development stuff.

        • skyturnedred says:

          I didn’t get an email, I just installed it from the Epic launcher.

  3. Pinga says:

    I think we can now safely include Epic in the list of PC developers that we used to call “epic” but haven’t really created anything original in the last decade (together with Blizzard, Valve and others).

    To think even Ubisoft have created more original content than those above.

    • Flopper says:

      You don’t have to be original to make good games. You have to know what people want. People want Battle Royale right now. Fortnite has a smooth game engine and great crafting system. I think it’s going to work out great for them.

      • metalangel says:

        This absolutely isn’t what those of us who have bought founder packs to support the development of this game had in mind… we bought on the strength of what was advertised so far (a co-op PvE game with building elements) and suddenly all Epic (and the rest of the interwebs) can talk about is this PvP mode that literally fell out of the sky because, from the sound of things, even Epic was bored of their own game and wanted a quick fix.

    • RuySan says:

      “Even Ubisoft”??

      Ubisoft are probably the big publisher who focus more on original, quality games: Rayman Legends, Grow Home, Call of Juarez: Gunslinger, Valiant Hearts, Might & Magic X (doing a blobber nowadays can be called inovative i guess).

      • skyturnedred says:

        I like how Ubisoft (at least used to) pump out sequels every year, which I assume allows them to do more interesting games on the side.

      • -Spooky- says:


        Right. Ubisoft using every “new” game feature, in every new game and / or franchise. Gimme a break here.

  4. racccoon says:

    This game will rock off the plunkybattys.