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Fortnite mobile on Android comes to Google Play 18 months later

(Image credit: Epic Games)

Fortnite mobile is now available on Android's Google Play store, a year and a half after it first became available on Android through alternative means.

You can head to Google Play (opens in new tab) and start the download right now. It's the same version of Fortnite that was playable by downloading an installer from Epic before, complete with built-in cross-play support for multiplayer with other platforms. You can still download the separate installer on Android (opens in new tab) if you prefer, though it's not clear if that will remain the case in the future.

Why did you have to go through all those extra steps to install Fortnite mobile on Android before if you can just get it through Google Play now? The short answer is money: by avoiding Google Play, Epic was able to avoid giving Google a 30% cut of the revenue it made from Fortnite players on Android. The long answer includes business and philosophical differences between Epic Games and Google about the proper place of a digital platform holder.

"After 18 months of operating Fortnite on Android outside of the Google Play Store, we’ve come to a basic realization," Epic said in a statement given to The Verge (opens in new tab). "Google puts software downloadable outside of Google Play at a disadvantage, through technical and business measures such as scary, repetitive security pop-ups for downloaded and updated software, restrictive manufacturer and carrier agreements and dealings, Google public relations characterizing third party software sources as malware, and new efforts such as Google Play Protect to outright block software obtained outside the Google Play store."

Epic said it hopes that Google will revise its policies to let developers "compete on a level playing field" in the future. All that business-to-business drama aside, the end result is that you should now have a much easier time installing and playing Fortnite mobile on Android.

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Connor Sheridan
Connor Sheridan

I got a BA in journalism from Central Michigan University - though the best education I received there was from CM Life, its student-run newspaper. Long before that, I started pursuing my degree in video games by bugging my older brother to let me play Zelda on the Super Nintendo. I've previously been a news intern for GameSpot, a news writer for CVG, and now I'm a staff writer here at GamesRadar.