Epic makes big promises for Fortnite on mobile, but one thing’s missing

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Fortnite mobile controller
If you don’t already have an MFi controller, get one!
Photo: Killian Bell/Cult of Mac

Epic Games is preparing a number of big features for Fortnite Battle Royale on mobile.

In its “State of Mobile” update published today, the company promises voice chat and statistics are coming this summer — along with Android support. But one key feature, which we’ve all been patiently waiting for, is missing from its list.

Fortnite has been a huge success on mobile since it landed on iOS back in March. Epic hasn’t revealed exactly how many players it has on iPhone and iPad, but the company is raking in millions of dollars a day from the mobile version alone. It is on track to earn $500 million this year.

Fortnite keeps getting better on mobile

It’s no surprise, then, that Epic has made big improvements to Fortnite on iOS since its debut. Players have seen countless enhancements to performance and stability, as well as new features like the ability to customize the game’s virtual controls.

What’s more, Fortnite on mobile has received exactly the same content updates as its console and PC counterparts — on the same day — with new weapons, equipment, and skins.

Epic is now promising more big things for the summer.

Fortnite is getting voice chat and stats support

Two key features currently missing from Fortnite on iOS — voice chat and the ability to track statistics — are on the way. Mobile players will finally have the ability to communicate with friends, regardless of the platform they are using.

“We know that communication is key when you’re squadding up for that Victory Royale, so we’re working to bring voice chat to mobile,” Epic says. “On top of that, you’ll be able to chat with your teammates regardless of platform!”

We had feared that statistics wouldn’t be added to mobile. In its most recent update, Epic removed the inactive stats button from the lobby menu altogether, while mobile wins still aren’t added to your combat record. But it seems that was just a temporary measure while Epic irons out the kinks.

“We are working to improve our stats servers so we can handle many more players, including those on mobile,” it says. “We’re looking to enable this sometime this summer, once we are confident the improvements are performing up to our expectations.”

Fortnite will see more performance tweaks

Epic is also promising further improvements to performance and stability. It has identified areas in which performance can be enhanced and is now “fixing code to optimize the experience.” This includes improving graphics quality, as well as adding a battery saver mode.

Stability remains one of the company’s “chief concerns,” and it insists that it is working to fix crashes and other issues with every update it rolls out. Epic asks players to use the Feedback option inside Fortnite to report any persistent problems.

Epic is also working to address the size of the Fortnite game file so that new players on iOS don’t have to download such a large package from the App Store. The file will be compressed, without impacting performance, over the next few updates. Patches will also get smaller.

Fortnite will get more control improvements

Fortnite’s virtual controls have been dividing players since its debut on mobile. Some have gotten used to them and can enjoy the game perfectly well on the go. Others are screaming out for wireless controller support, which Epic promised back in March.

Well, there’s good news and there’s bad news. Epic says it will continue to make improvements to Fortnite’s virtual control system — but it doesn’t mention support for physical controllers in its State of Mobile update. This is completely ignored.

That’s really worrying. It suggests controller support isn’t a priority for the game, but it should be. We understand that there are complications and hurdles Epic needs to overcome, but an update on its progress would have been better than nothing.

Epic may have decided against adding physical controller support to Fortnite mobile altogether, which would be an incredible shame. Players on iOS are already using shady third-party hacks to add controller support themselves, and this will be even easier on Android.

Players who avoid those hacks for fear of having their Epic accounts compromised are now at a huge disadvantage when playing on mobile. It’s obvious when you come up against an opponent who is using a controller, and you don’t stand a chance at beating them. It spoils the experience.

Fortnite lands on Android this summer

Here’s to hoping we’re worrying about nothing and that we’ll get an update on controller support before Fortnite lands on Android. Speaking of which, Epic says Android users will be able to enjoy the game when it finally hits the Play Store this summer.