Fortnite is one of the most popular titles in gaming history. That popularity hasn’t saved it from a less-than-friendly relationship with Apple, though. It’s not on the App Store anymore, but can you play Fortnite on Mac? In short, yes, but with some caveats.
Macs aren’t famous for their gaming abilities, but that’s changing. The new M1 Pro chips are 70% faster than their predecessors, and more games keep adding Mac support. If you want to use yours to play Fortnite, though, you may need a workaround.
Can You Play Fortnite on Mac?
Yes, you can play Fortnite. However, the Mac port of the game is stuck in Version 13.4 — more than 10 patches behind the most current update. That’s because of an ongoing feud between Apple and Epic Games, Fortnite’s developer.
Epic sued Apple in 2020, claiming it violated antitrust laws by requiring users to download apps and make payments through its App Store. The developer didn’t like this practice because the App Store’s commission cuts into their profits. Since then, the companies have been in and out of court, filing various proceedings against each other with no real end in sight.
Amid this drama, Apple took Fortnite off the App Store, and it’s still unavailable on the platform. You can still play Fortnite on Mac by downloading it from the Epic Games Launcher, but Apple has restricted Epic’s ability to update it. As a result, you can’t play the newest version of the game.
How to Download and Play Fortnite on Mac
If you don’t mind sticking with an outdated version, downloading and playing Fortnite on Mac is fairly straightforward. If you have the Epic Games Launcher downloaded, open it, search for Fortnite and click “Download.”
You can also download Fortnite directly from their website if you don’t have the launcher installed. Click “Epic Games Launcher,” and it’ll download the software you need to search for, download and play Fortnite.
The easiest way to run Fortnite after downloading is to create a desktop shortcut, which Epic will ask to do during installation. If you’d rather keep your screen clear, though, you can use the Epic Games Launcher. Open it, click “Library” on the left-hand side, and you should see Fortnite in your list of games. Click it to play.
What You Should Know Before Installing Fortnite
Just because you can play Fortnite on Mac this way doesn’t mean you should. If you go this route, you’ll have to accept some major concessions.
Being stuck in Version 13.4 means more than losing out on new content. You’ll only be able to play with others also running the outdated build. That means matchmaking will take a while, and you likely won’t be able to crossplay with friends playing on console or PC.
You’ll also miss out on ten-plus updates worth of bug patches, so the game may not run as well as you’d like. Perhaps the biggest downside is you won’t have access to V-bucks or the Item Shop. You could see that as an advantage — it may save you roughly 100 bucks if you spend like an average player — but these in-game purchases are a big draw for many users.
The Solution: Cloud Gaming
Thankfully, there’s another way to play Fortnite on Mac. Cloud gaming services provide a convenient workaround if you have the budget and internet speed.
Cloud gaming platforms like Xbox Cloud Gaming or Nvidia’s GeForce NOW emerged as a way to play new titles on hardware that couldn’t otherwise support them. Instead of running the game locally, they run it remotely on high-end computers. That means you can use them to run non-Mac versions of Fortnite on a Mac, as you’re technically using a different computer.
This solution isn’t perfect, either. First of all, you’ll need a solid internet connection. Xbox recommends a minimum of 20 Mbps, which will only be enough if you can consistently get those speeds with low ping.
Secondly, cloud gaming isn’t free in most cases. Xbox Cloud Gaming will run you $16.99 a month. GeForce NOW is free if you only play for an hour but upwards of $9.99 monthly above that.
Xbox Cloud Gaming
In most cases, you need a Game Pass Ultimate subscription to use Xbox Cloud Gaming, where those 17 bucks a month come in. However, if you only want to play Fortnite on Mac, you can do so for free. You’ll only be able to play in your browser, but you only need a free Microsoft account and an internet connection.
Start by making a free Microsoft account with an Xbox profile, which Microsoft will walk you through. From there, go to the Xbox Cloud Gaming website and search for Fortnite. Connect a controller if you’d rather use it than your keyboard and mouse, then launch the game to start playing.
If you already have an Epic account you’ve used to play Fortnite, link it to your Xbox account. Epic has some straightforward instructions on how to do so. From there, you can play the latest version of the game with all your friends and all the V-bucks you could want, even on Mac.
Playing Fortnite on Mac with GeForce NOW is a similar process. Start by making a GeForce NOW account and choose which tier is best for you. There is a free option, but more expensive tiers come with better performance and longer sessions.
Unlike Xbox Cloud Gaming, this version of Fortnite is available on GeForce NOW’s dedicated app, not just in-browser. You can download this software from the GeForce NOW website.
Once you have an account and the app, search for Fortnite and boot it up. You can connect your Epic account in the “accounts connected” tab under “My Library” in your Nvidia account menu.
Play on the Platform You Want
Many people will tell you can’t play Fortnite on Mac, but that’s not necessarily true. While the native Mac version has some substantial issues, cloud gaming offers a nice alternative.
With these steps, you can play the version of the game you want on the platform you wish to. You don’t need a PC or an Xbox to play Fortnite. If you know how to work around the system, your options are much broader.
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