After years without one of the most popular games in the world, iOS and iPadOS gamers can finally play Fortnite again thanks to Microsoft and Epic Games bringing Fornite to Xbox Cloud Gaming and allowing everyone to play it without needing an Xbox Game Pass Ultimate Subscription.
As part of Microsoft’s “mission to bring the joy and community of gaming to gamers everywhere”, Fortnite can now be played on any iOS, iPadOS, Android phone or tablet, or Windows PC with Internet access through a web browser. It’s without needing to download or install anything, as long as you have a Microsoft account, which is an incredibly low access bar.
While this all sounds good and good, the Xbox Cloud Gaming service is still technically in beta, so it’s only available in 26 countries at the moment. You will also need a fast internet connection if you want smooth gameplay without any hitches or too much compression in Fortnite graphics.
Luckily for mobile gaming fans who aren’t too fond of Fortnite, in the Xbox Wire post announcing the glorious return of Fornite to iOS devices, Microsoft noted that they plan to bring more free games to the Xbox Cloud Gaming service in the future, however, there is currently no indication of what other free games will be available at this time.
Analysis: Finally freedom
Thanks to Epic Games and Apple engaging in a legal battle, Fortnite hasn’t been officially available on iOS devices since the app was pulled from the App Store in August 2020. However, there are a number of workarounds allowing iOS players to get their Fornite fix.
More recently, Nvidia’s GeForce Now made it easy for iOS gamers to play Fortnite through the Safari browser, similar to what Microsoft’s Xbox Cloud Gaming now allows users to do. However, players on free GeForce Now accounts were limited to only playing for an hour at a time on a fairly basic virtual machine.
While this has allowed iOS and iPadOS users to play Fortnite in moderation, it’s far from an ideal solution, as game time restrictions, not to mention the waitlist for the service, are pushing gamers up to the paid tiers of GeForce Now, which Microsoft thankfully isn’t. not do at this time as Fortnite is available to play without an Xbox Game Pass Ultimate subscription.
With more free titles promised for Xbox Cloud Gaming in the future, we’ll have to wait and see if free games truly remain free on the cloud, and if Microsoft is truly committed to its mission of making gaming more accessible to people around the world.