Fortnite hasn't been available on Apple's App Store or the Google Play Store for 17 months. While the game isn't expected to return to either store anytime soon, it seems players will soon be able to drop on the island once again on their phones and tablets (unless they already use a sideloaded version on Android or play console versions remotely).
NVIDIA and Epic Games have teamed up on a mobile version of the battle royale that's playable through GeForce Now. A desktop version is already available on the service.
A limited-time closed beta will get underway next week to test server capacity, graphics delivery and touch controls. NVIDIA has opened registrations and it will grant users access to the beta in batches over the next several weeks. You don't need a paid GeForce Now membership to take part. If you're able to secure a spot, you'll be able to play Fortnite through Safari on iOS and the GeForce Now app on Android. NVIDIA and Epic haven't set an end date for the beta as yet.
When NVIDIA enabled GeForce Now on iOS via the web in November 2020, it said it would eventually give iPhone and iPad users access to Fortnite again, though it and Epic were building a touch-friendly version first. Android and iOS players can use a Bluetooth controller if they'd rather not use touch controls while swinging around the map as Spider-Man.
Apple and Google yanked Fortnite from their respective stores in August 2020 amid a battle with Epic Games over in-app payments. The publisher sued both companies, alleging they were engaging in anti-competitive behavior. The Apple case went to trial last year. A judge ruled Epic didn't prove that Apple was violating antitrust laws.
Both sides appealed against aspects of the outcome. Apple won a last-minute stay from having to implement App Store changes that would force it to let developers direct users to alternative payment methods and bypass the 30 percent cut it takes from in-app payments. In any case, until all court appeals are exhausted, a process that Epic CEO Tim Sweeney said could last several more years, Apple won't let Fortnite back onto the App Store.