Skip to main content

Fortnite for Android tidbits: Banning players, Google losing $50 million in revenue, blocking rooted users

Fortnite is easily the most popular game in the world right now, and the hype surrounding its Android release has been tremendous. Yesterday, Epic Games finally announced that Fortnite’s beta on Android was starting, but there’s a lot of information that floats under the radar that you might not have known. So, let’s take a closer look…

Google is going to miss out on $50 million thanks to APK distribution

One of the most frustrating parts of the Fortnite release on Android is how it is being distributed. Epic Games has decided to skip the Google Play Store and instead offer the game as an APK download on its website or through Samsung’s Galaxy Apps store. While that’s a danger for users, Google is also going to lose out big time on this deal.

Sensor Tower reports that, in 2018 alone, Google is going to miss out on $50 million in revenue. The game’s iOS release saw massive numbers of around $180 million since its launch, $100 million of which was within 90 days of launch. Apple saw a $54 million cut from its 30% fee on in-app purchases.

We expect that once Fortnite rolls out to the full compliment of supported Android devices, its launch revenue on the platform will closely resemble the first several months of App Store player spending. There is a chance that it will even surpass what we’ve witnessed thus far, based on factors such as the game’s increasing popularity, the growing impact of each new season’s Battle Pass on revenue (these release every 10 weeks), and the potential for players in countries where both Google Play and the iOS version are not available to directly download the APK and spend in the game.

Epic Games can permanently ban your phone from playing Fortnite

Since Fortnite on Android is available as an APK, it’s not all that difficult for talented developers to get their hands on the app and modify it. This can be used to bypass device restrictions or even to trick users into downloading a fake version of the game.

Because Fortnite isn’t distributed through the Play Store, Epic Games can be a bit relaxed on how the game is built, in this case avoiding the API restrictions Google sets. Fortnite targets Lollipop’s API, meaning that the game can still access information that can’t be changed, giving Epic a way to permanently ban a specific device. As some Reddit users pointed out, hardware bans are totally uncommon for Epic, and on Android it could result in something that cannot be worked around.

Google warns users that Fortnite isn’t available on the Play Store

While Epic’s move to push Fortnite as an APK isn’t doing Google any favors, Google is making an honorable move and steering users away from downloading clones of the game on the Play Store. Searching for Fortnite on the Play Store brings up a notice that Fortnite isn’t available on Google Play. Kudos Google.

Controllers don’t work… for now

Gaming on Android is pretty flexible, and quite a lot of games offer support for a controller. Fortnite, though, does not support a controller or a keyboard. The possibility of that coming in a later update is entirely possible, but for the time being everyone is going to be on the same playing field with touchscreen controls only.

Rooted users need not apply

Interestingly, Epic Games has also opted to block rooted users from playing Fortnite on Android. The game employs SafetyNet, which is a little weird considering that it isn’t available through the Play Store, and blocks any device that is rooted. Users on Reddit have already run into the issue. Epic also warns that bans may apply to users who attempt to bypass this check.

‘Save The World’ isn’t coming to Android any time soon

Fortnite’s Battle Royale mode may be the one that has taken the world by storm, but the original version of the game that lets you save the world from the storm is what started it all. “Save The World” mode is an optional, paid version of the game which pits a team of players against challenges to, well, save the world. The game mode is available on consoles and on PC, but it won’t be coming to the Android version any time soon, just like the iOS version.

Note 9 pre-orders get 15,000 V-Bucks and an exclusive skin

Samsung’s Fortnite exclusive isn’t going to be nearly as long as we thought, but Note 9 buyers are still getting a couple of welcome bonuses. This includes 15,000 V-Bucks for those who pre-order the phone ($150~ value). It also includes an exclusive character skin called “Galaxy.”

Check out 9to5Google on YouTube for more news:

FTC: We use income earning auto affiliate links. More.

You’re reading 9to5Google — experts who break news about Google and its surrounding ecosystem, day after day. Be sure to check out our homepage for all the latest news, and follow 9to5Google on Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn to stay in the loop. Don’t know where to start? Check out our exclusive stories, reviews, how-tos, and subscribe to our YouTube channel



Avatar for Ben Schoon Ben Schoon

Ben is a writer and video producer for 9to5Google.

Find him on Twitter @NexusBen. Send tips to or encrypted to

Ben Schoon's favorite gear