clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Fortnite on the Nintendo Switch is exactly what you’d expect

How is portable Fortnite when you have actual hardware controls?

playing Fortnite on the Nintendo Switch Nintendo

Fortnite launched on the Nintendo Switch today and, despite a rather huge problem with player accounts, it’s a good port of a popular game. But how much do you have to give up to take the game on the road?

It turns out, not much. There is an appreciable loss in sharpness and detail if you’re moving from a standard console or even a middling gaming PC to the Switch, but I was surprised at how quickly my eyes got used to the fuzzier visuals and the shimmer that was visible around the edges of things in the world. The frame rate can also be uncomfortably variable depending on what’s happening on the screen, and trying to read the text in some of the menus between matches can be tricky when you’re playing in portable mode.

But this won’t be news to anyone who has played the iOS version of Fortnite, and the addition of true console-style controls makes all the difference. This feels like a portable version of the game where you don’t have to segregate yourself to only playing with folks who are also on mobile devices. While keyboard/mouse players have the expected advantage over everyone else, the Switch version should keep you mostly competitive against other console players.

I’ve brought it up before, but the fact that Fortnite allows you to use a standard headset for voice chat with other players is a huge deal, and makes Nintendo’s use of a mobile app for voice chat seem even more ridiculous.

Oh, by the way, you won’t be able to play on your main account if you’ve ever played on the PlayStation 4, and if you play your main account on the Switch, you won’t be able to play on the PS4 later. This is a real thing, and it’s ridiculous.

It’s also interesting that Epic Games has no plans to bring the Save the World game mode to the Switch version of Fortnite. It seems like the company knows just how small the demand is for that part of the game. I’m not sure what that says about the future of Save the World, but this decision doesn’t seem like a big loss for this version of Fortnite.

Either way, there really isn’t a reason to not download it from the Switch eShop and give it a try; Fortnite is a free game, and it stays enjoyable for a very long time even if you never pay for the Battle Pass. The account issue is the biggest problem with the port right now, and we can only hope that it’s resolved soon. Other than that, this is exactly what you’d expect from a Switch version of Fortnite: The visuals are a bit downgraded, but it’s very playable and a lot of fun to play where you can grab onto a strong Wi-Fi signal.

Sign up for the newsletter Sign up for Patch Notes

A weekly roundup of the best things from Polygon