Fortnite’s Battle Royale mode released for free


“DIY Left 4 Dead” game, Fortnite [official site], has released its Battle Royale mode for free via the Fortnite client. Developers Epic Games have also added new weapons and features including crate drops and support for groups of 2-4, along various fixes for the (still paid-for, until the game releases) PvE mode.

While Brendan wasn’t hot for Fortnite itself in his early access review, with its repetitive loops and “free-to-play trashtrappings”, the PvP mode won’t currently try to sell you anything and might be worth checking out. Especially for freesies.

If you haven’t heard of ’em yet, Battle Royale games take the scenario from the cult classic film Battle Royale and swap the actors out for video game players. Fortnite’s interpretation of that set-up features the building mechanics that are central to the main game, meaning you can make your own shed to whimper inside rather than having to search one out.

You’ll have to download the Epic Games Client Launcher if you want to play Fortnite’s BR mode, which you can grab here. If you bought Fortnite between September 12th and 19th, remember that Epic are offering a refund for anyone who only wanted access to the new mode – which was not initially planned to go free so soon.

Fortnite’s new mode isn’t the only Battle Royale game in town, and it certainly won’t be the last. It is, however, the only one to attract ire from Plunkbat developers Bluehole, who as we’ve already reported have raised concerns about similarities. As Alice said then and I’ll say again now, Fortnite’s Battle Royale mode just isn’t similar enough to warrant that kind of behaviour. Bluehole also took issue with Epic Games using the name ‘PUBG’ in their marketing material.

In an exhausting interview with PC Gamer, Bluehole have since refocused their objections to be about, ummm… well. While they do claim that it’s not the game mode itself they take issue with, it feels as if Bluehole are upset over Epic making something they kinda sorta believe should be licensed. They also raise the ‘issue’ that both Fortnite and Plunkbat are made in the Unreal engine, which is owned by Epic. The only scenario where that’s a problem for Bluehole is if Epic somehow do something to Unreal that’s good for Fortnite’s BR mode but not Plunkbat, which seems unlikely.


  1. DingDongDaddio says:

    “You’ll have to download the Epic Games Client Launcher if you want to play”

    Nice try Epic! I’m out!

    • caff says:

      It’s worth downloading if only to play the community-built latest Unreal Tournament. It’s excellent deathmatch and deserves more players.

      • Unclepauly says:

        Agreed. I played it until I couldn’t find any games to join. It’s one of the smoothest shooters out there imo.

      • AutonomyLost says:

        I remember checking the status of that last year and finding it to be in a development phase. With maps and everything available to play, of course, but it looked to be an ongoing project a la EA and I figured I’d wait until it was all properly spit-shined before I’d take part. What’s UT looking like now? I used to be a damn fiend for that game in the early 2000s and would love to experience the overhaul.

  2. Kitsunin says:

    You know, I really wouldn’t mind a version of Plunkbat which didn’t completely and utterly fail to run playably on my computer (literally the only game I’ve ever had this problem with…)

    Erm, but Fortnite still looks…mediocre, though I never played since the Asian server, and therefore never played the game in any playable state. At any rate I can hardly imagine a mode made as pretty much an afterthought will be particularly good? Guess I could just try it…

  3. something says:

    Looks like it’s Pay to Win. Buyable items include heroes, weapons, inventory slots and XP boosts, some of which is listed as exclusive. I think it very unikely that a game with that sort of asymmetry will have much success recreating the feel of Battlegrounds.

    • dejawho says:

      That’s the PvE mode. The Battle Royale mode doesn’t have anything to buy at the moment, as far I understood it

      • something says:

        Ah, I see. That’s the advert that comes up on the launcher anyway. As soon as I see that sort of thing, I lose the will to investigate further, but thanks for clarifying.

      • Askis says:

        Yup, nothing to buy atm.
        You’re assigned a random character model for each round, the only (forced) customization is that after winning once, your glider is replaced with a metal umbrella, so you can feel like bloody Mary Poppins for 30 or so seconds each round.

        • Blackrook says:

          I quite like feeling like Mary Poppins with my hard won umbrella.
          Tried it because it was free and quite liked the fast/cartoon nature. But not sure I’ll keep playing until they get some stats and other custom ‘winnable’ skins bits to make winning or placing high feel worth it.

          • Artist says:

            When youre so much in need of any achievement, I can give you a pad on the back when you win..??!

  4. racccoon says:

    WELL DONE EPIC! No FRIGGIN STEAM!! Yippeee!! .. Downloading now … :)

  5. neilervin says:

    Does this mean I can download a restricted version of the game for free only to play the BR mode? Because that’s what I want.

  6. Crusoe says:

    I’m playing it and it’s fantastic fun. Building a mini bunker on top of a hill and defending it solo or in a team?

    Hell yes, and the destructible terrain is great fun too