A parents guide to Fortnite: what is it and why is my kid obsessed?

Pic via fortnite_wiki
Pic via fortnite_wiki

HEY parents! The Minecraft craze is over – phew you say – isn’t that a relief?

Don’t get too excited though, a new game craze has come along to take its place – Fortnite.

It’s the game that all preteens, teens and even some adults (including rapper Drake) are playing – about 45 million people in total.

But what is Fortnite?

We went to the source to find out.

Noah (the author’s 11-year-old son) is an avid gamer who plays Fortnite as much as possible.

Recently, he even racked up a $35 bill on his mum’s credit card (which his mum stupidly handed over).

Here’s his take on the game and why in-game microtransactions are essential to his happiness.

Firstly – what is a microtransaction?

Fortnite is a free game, but that hasn’t stopped it from making $126 million in February.

The developers did this through microtransactions.

Kids like Noah buy digital goods with V-bucks.

It isn’t essential to buy V-bucks to win the game, but like a pair of Vans sneakers in real life, I’m told they make your character look awesome, which ups your coolness factor socially.

Fortnite is a mix between a shooter game and a building game 

It is available for free on PC, Playstation, xBox and iPhone with an internet connection. The game is coming to Android soon.

Parents should turn off microtransations when their kids are playing on Smartphones and make sure they have a password on in-game purchases.

Everyone playing the game’s battle royale mode starts out with a basic character 

This character flies down from the sky, with 99 other people, into the map holding only a pickaxe (the pickaxe can be upgraded using V-bucks).

The Fortnite map via fortnite_wiki

The pickaxe allows the character to collect resources from their surrounding environment.

Destroying a tree will give you wood, rocks stone etc.

Some characters are better at gathering resources than others.

The best players will be able to gather resources and build massive structures which provide shelter and become sniper nests to pick off other players.

By the end of the game characters will be weaponised machines of destruction – weapons are found hidden in buildings dotted around the map.

There is no blood or gore in Fortnite though.

You will hear a lot of shouting from your child. This is because Fortnite is a social game, there are invite only squads in Fortnite – your child can use a mic to talk (shout at) members of their squad.

Noah is part of a squad made up of school and footy mates. The banter is apparently what makes the game fun.

The mic can be turned off.

A “storm” pushes the characters closer together until they are forced to take each other out.

If your child needs to do their homework, or chores, each game only lasts 15 minutes. So “I’m in the middle of a game” is not an excuse for not getting jobs done.

Playing Fortnite can even become a career

A gamer called Tyler ‘Ninja’ Blevins makes $500,000 per month playing the game on Twitch – a video game streaming service.

However, if you’re still concerned about what your child is playing, the best way to feel comfortable about any game is to pick up a remote and play it yourself.

You will die and you won’t win, because you’re a noob, but at least you’ll know what your kids are going on about.