Fortnite is one of the most popular online games around, but with no dedicated Chromebook app how can you play it on a laptop running ChromeOS? We show you a couple of ways to get the game up and running on your device.
Is there a Chromebook version of Fornite?
While Fortnite is available on pretty much every platform around, including iOS (until Apple kicked it off), Android, macOS, Windows, PlayStation 4, Xbox, and Nintendo Switch, a notable exception is ChromeOS.
This could be due to the small number of relative users ChromeOS has for gaming or more likely because most Chromebooks these days can run Android apps and therefore have access to a working version.
How can I run the Android version of Fortnite on a Chromebook?
Getting Fortnite up and running on your Chromebook is a bit more convoluted than simply downloading an app, as you’ll need to enable the ability to install software from external sources and set up the feature that allows you to use Android apps on your device.
You should know from the outset that this is not recommended by Google and as far as we can tell the company doesn’t offer any support for Developer mode that enables the feature. So, if things so wrong with your machine there’s a very good chance you will have invalidated your warranty and be on your own in terms of fixing the mess.
It’s also true that this isn’t exactly the most stable way to achieve your goal, as many Chromebooks won’t be able to install the package needed for the game. You’ll want to have a device with at least 4GB of RAM but preferably more and check that you still have a fair amount of storage free too. Oh yes, and you’ll require an Android smartphone.
So, if yours doesn’t meet those requirements, or just fancy and easier life, maybe skip to the section that outlines using GeForce Now.
How to enable Developer mode on a Chromebook
Should you wish to take the risk, and don’t see we didn’t warn you, then the first thing you’ll need to do is enable Developer mode on your Chromebook. This wipes the locally stored data on your device, so be sure to back them all before beginning the process.
There isn’t a setting Developer mode. Instead, you need to reboot your machine by pressing the Power key and at the same time holding down the Esc and Refresh (the curved arrow found on the top row) keys.
After a short while you’ll see a message asking you to insert a recovery USB stick, don’t worry, you haven’t broken anything yet, just hold down the Ctrl and D keys to initiate Developer mode and Enter to confirm.
The Chromebook will reboot, you’ll be presented a rather worrying message about OS verification being off, but this is normal. Just press and hold Ctrl and D keys once more to complete setting up Developer mode.
Installing Android version of Fortnite on a Chromebook
There are a few steps needed to get a version of Fortnite on your Chromebook. We’ll give you the overview, as we really don’t recommend loading APK files on your device if they haven’t been filtered through the Google Play Store, but if you need precise step-by-step guides you’ll find plenty on YouTube.
Essentially, you’ll need to enable your Chromebook to install apps from Unknown Sources, then download the Fortnite Android APK file from Epic Games (the company that makes Fortnite) onto your Android smartphone.
With this done, plug your phone into your Chromebook, transfer the APK file and install it on your hard drive. That’s it, the game (if compatible) should now play on your device.
How to use Nvidia GeForce Now to play Fortnite on a Chromebook
The optimum experience for playing Fortnite on your ChromeOS laptop is to forgo weird modes and installations and instead opt for a verified service like Nividia’s GeForce Now. This is a game streaming service where all of the heavy lifting in terms of processing and graphics rendering are done on a remote server and you just play it through the Chromebook. A fast internet connection is necessary, otherwise you’ll have very glitchy gameplay, but if you have that in place then this is the way to play.
There are three main tiers for Nvidia GeForce Now. The Free tier is what is says, although you can only play for sessions that last one-hour and you’re often bumped down the queue to allow paying members to step in front. It’s not ideal, but certainly a great way to test-drive the service without having to spend any money.
If you want more time and less waits between matches, the Founders tier costs £4.99/$4.99 per month and gives you priority access and extended sessions. At the time of writing there was also a special offer that gives you six-months of the Founders tier for £24.99/$24.99, which gives you one month for free.
To get up and running, create a free account then download the Chromebook software. After that, just follow the instructions and you’ll be fighting it out in the arena in no time.
Bear in mind, Fortnite isn’t the only game you’ll have access to, as GeForce Now has hundreds of titles including the Far Cry series, The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt, League of Legends, the Assassin’s Creed series and many more.
One of the advantages of GeForce Now is that you can also use a gamepad to play, so take a look at our pick of the best PC controllers to make sure you give yourself the edge on your online rivals.