Fortnite is a game created by a company called Epic Games originally as a Horde Mode Survival game where you start with nothing, have to scavenge for gear and parts to build a fort and then work together to survive the night and protect yourself from zombie attacks. The story being that giant storms had ravaged the world and only a few areas remained where humanity could live -its up to you to defend them!
They then modified the game following the huge success of PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds to copy the battle-royale style gameplay and released a free to play battle royale mode of their own, with the fights taking place in the eye of the storms. It is on PS4, Xbox One and PC and recently has been released on Apple phones with some simplified controls.
In a Battle Royale game there are 100 players in each match, you can either play alone (solo) or as a squad usually of 4 players (team mode). You start off with little or no equipment (although you can unlock items to start with through playing and paying for them), climb aboard a ‘battle bus’ plane which flies them over an island where you choose when to jump off and parachute to the ground.
Once you’ve reached the ground it’s a mad dash to find armour, weapons and equipment and to start building your defences (forts and towers). The play area begins as the whole map but over time ‘the eye of the storm’ shrinks smaller and smaller and if you are outside of it you take damage until you get back within it or you die.
The game is won by being the last person or team standing.
It’s a fun game, the characters are ‘cartoony’ as is the violence. You don’t die, when you are ‘killed’ it just says you have been knocked out and it teleports you off the field where you can watch the rest of the match from the perspective of other players in spectator mode or you can leave straight away and start another game.
Parents be aware!
As you play you have challenges that allow you to unlock rewards – clothes and weapons – that you can be wearing when you start the game. This is where the microtransactions come in. You use real money to buy V-bucks, these can then be used to buy certain armour and weapons out of the in-game store. There is also the option to buy a season pass which lets you unlock various
pieces as you play over a set period of time.
Make sure you have set up your console to not allow microtransactions without the bank account holder agreeing to them!
Obviously it is an online game so you need to check the settings on your console and in game to ensure voice chat is only enabled for people on your child’s friends list.
Questions to explore character with:
First focusing on winning and losing and the feelings that can give rise to, these questions can be used for many games.
- How does winning make you feel?
- How does it feel when you lose?
- Do you think other people feel that way too?
- Does that change how you feel about winning, why/why not?
Fortnite specific questions:
- Why would someone set up the Battle Royale?
- What do you think is being offered to the participants to put themselves in danger this way?
- What do you think happens to the characters after they have been teleported away following being knocked out?
- What do you think happens to the winner?
Links to faith
Fortnite is set in a land ravaged by huge storms. Storms are used in the Bible to show God’s power, both his ability to create them – the story of Noah, and Jesus’s ability to stop them – Matthew 8:23-27, Mark 4:35-41, and Luke 8:22-25. You can use this to talk about storms and what happens when people are affected by them. Suggested questions:
- How would you respond in a crisis situation when a giant storm is coming your way?
- What if you didn’t know the storm was coming yet your neighbour started building a massive ark?
- People are affected by hurricanes, tornadoes and other natural disasters quite frequently – why do you think this happens?
- Jesus showed God’s ability to stop storms, do you think He still stops storms now?
In Fortnite characters are able to build forts to protect themselves. Jesus gave a parable of a builder:
24 “All who listen to my instructions and follow them are wise, like a man who builds his house on solid rock. 25 Though the rain comes in torrents, and the floods rise and the storm winds beat against his house, it won’t collapse, for it is built on rock.
26 “But those who hear my instructions and ignore them are foolish, like a man who builds his house on sand. 27 For when the rains and floods come, and storm winds beat against his house, it will fall with a mighty crash.”
Matthew 7:24-27 The Living Bible
In the game the map constantly shrinks so if you’ve built your defensive fort in the wrong place all that effort goes to waste! Suggested Questions:
- Why do you think building on stone is better than building on sand?
- Where’s the best place to build your forts?
- What happens when the storm reaches your fort? How does this link to what Jesus said?