Hands On: Testing Fortnite on iOS Using GeForce NOW

Fortnite has been unavailable to play on the iPhone and iPad since Apple banned it from the App Store in August 2020 amid an ongoing legal battle with Epic Games, but the battle royale game is coming back to iOS devices thanks to Nvidia's GeForce NOW gaming service.

GeForce NOW is a browser-based gaming service that will allow ‌iPhone‌ and ‌iPad‌ users to play Fortnite using Safari, and it's getting close to launching. Nvidia has been working with ‌Epic Games‌ to bring Fortnite to the browser since November 2020, and in January, the two companies announced a limited time beta that's happening before the official launch.

We've been able to get into the Fortnite beta to see how gameplay works through a browser, which is going to be the only way to play Fortnite on Apple devices for the foreseeable future. Fortnite runs as it does on mobile devices for the most part, with touch controls available as well as controller integration so you can play with a Bluetooth controller if preferred.

Gameplay was decent for the most part, considering that this is still a beta test. There are still some kinks to work out, but in general, it's similar to the prior version of Fortnite on ‌iPhone‌ and ‌iPad‌.

Using Fortnite through GeForce NOW requires signing up for the beta at the current time, and it is a closed beta which means not everyone will be able to play. You can sign up for the waitlist, and you'll get an email if and when you're granted access.

If you do get in, all you need to do is sign up for a GeForce NOW account, which is available for free, though there are higher-quality paid accounts available starting at $50 for six months. From there, sign into GeForce NOW, add a link to your Home Screen, and link it to your ‌Epic Games‌ account.

After those steps have been completed, Fortnite will be an available game to play in the closed beta section of the GeForce NOW website. We have a full rundown of how it works in the YouTube video up above, along with a demonstration of what gameplay is like.

Apple has made it clear that it has no intention of allowing Fortnite back into the App Store while the ‌Epic Games‌ lawsuit is ongoing, and the legal battle could span years. Apple said that it would not consider requests for the reinstatement of the ‌Epic Games‌ developer account until the court's judgment is "final and non-appealable," and both ‌Epic Games‌ and Apple are appealing the initial ruling at this time.

Apple is well within its rights to deny the reinstatement of the ‌Epic Games‌ developer account as the court found that Apple's termination of the account was "valid, lawful, and enforceable" after Epic breached its contract with Apple by adding purchase methods that defied ‌App Store‌ rules.

Top Rated Comments

kalafalas Avatar
14 weeks ago

Well, it kinda works but lags, simply because Safari isn’t optimized for 3D.

It’s just a matter of time till Apple uses it position to gatekeep the browser, too.
They will stop optimizing Safari(webkit) for 3D, and sabotage the performance of browser based streaming games that way, and probably even slow down the traffic going through PrivateRelay.

It‘s about time for third-party browser engines through sideloading.
Browser Game streaming in its current form is not a decent workaround gatekeepers.

Luckily the final judgement hasn’t been spoken, yet.
There is no 3D happening here, it’s a video feed being sent from a remote PC doing all the rendering. Browser should be identical to a native app when using a controller, the on-screen controls may not be as nice in html/css.
Score: 10 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Aoligei Avatar
14 weeks ago
Fortnite not available on iOS? No problem. I have Android phone. Even if Google bans on its Play Store, I can always sideload.

The flexibility of Android is why I will not be Apple exclusive. I will continue buy iPhone, but I will never give up on Android.
Score: 9 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Piggie Avatar
14 weeks ago
Interesting review thanks.
I do wonder if Apple are doing the right thing here.
On the one hand, they get the satisfaction of banning Fortnite from their app store.
However, using this method means Apple users may find other games they wish to play via Geforce now, and hence not within Apple's own system.
Feels bit like Banning a TV Show many like, but then forcing them to use a different service to get the show back, where they may then find other shows also.
Perhaps better to keep your users on your system, and not force them elsewhere?
Score: 9 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Madmic23 Avatar
14 weeks ago

Well, it kinda works but lags, simply because Safari isn’t optimized for 3D.

It’s just a matter of time till Apple uses it position to gatekeep the browser, too.
They will stop optimizing Safari(webkit) for 3D, and sabotage the performance of browser based streaming games that way, and probably even slow down the traffic going through PrivateRelay.

It‘s about time for third-party browser engines through sideloading.
Browser Game streaming in its current form is not a decent workaround gatekeepers.

Luckily the final judgement hasn’t been spoken, yet.
If Safari is optimized or not for 3D, it doesn't matter. GeForce now is just sending a video stream, like a YouTube video, but live and interactive. For Apple to cripple this, they'd basically have to cripple web based streaming video, which seems like a bad idea.

A browser based game engine would be a great idea though, because then the game would truly run locally, and could easily be sideloaded.
Score: 8 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Realityck Avatar
14 weeks ago
It's nice to see a another method to play the game finally. Its also shows the potential of how game developers can market a game not using the Apple App Store via GeForce NOW.
Score: 6 Votes (Like | Disagree)
mi7chy Avatar
14 weeks ago
Sideloaded would be better.
Score: 5 Votes (Like | Disagree)

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