Epic’s refusal to pay Apple for in-app purchases has kept Fortnite off the App Store for quite a while now, leaving iPhone and iPad users without a stable way to access the battle royale game. That’s finally changed, as of May 4 — Xbox has added Fortnite to its collection of free games accessible on the Xbox Cloud Gaming platform.
Xbox Cloud Gaming is, for the uninitiated, a way in which anyone at all can access Xbox games (a curated catalog of them) without actually owning a console. Players can stream these games right from Xbox’s servers to essentially any internet-connected device with a web browser. Some titles are free, while others require a Game Pass subscription to play.
Cloud Gaming’s broad compatibility makes it an ideal solution for playing AAA titles on your iPhone or iPad. And now that Fortnite is available for free, there’s really nothing stopping you from logging into the game from Apple devices. Here’s how to get started:
Create a Microsoft account
This is really the only prerequisite here, and you can completely skip it if you already have a Microsoft login. Just head over to signup.live.com — you can use any email address for this, though Microsoft also gives you the option of creating a new one on its servers.
Add Cloud Gaming to your home screen
Xbox Cloud Gaming doesn’t have a dedicated app for iOS. The company has instead opted to use a more compatible web app, which you’ll need to add to your iPhone’s home screen before you get started.
- Navigate to xbox.com/play on your iPhone’s Safari browser.
- Click the “Play for Free” button beneath the Fortnite banner.
- Click “Get Ready to Play.”
- Follow the pop-up instructions: Tap the Share button and select the “Add to Home Screen” option. Save the new shortcut.
Launch the Cloud Gaming web app
Now you’re all ready to actually load up Fortnite.
- Open the new “Cloud Gaming” icon on your home screen.
- Click the “Play for Free” button.
- Log into your Microsoft account.
- Navigate to the Fortnite section again and click the new “Play” button.
Choose your controls
Once Fortnite has loaded from the Xbox servers, your iPhone will default to using touch controls, which requires no additional hardware. Touch controls will work fine for the casual player — the Cloud version of the game has been optimized for it — but more hardcore players will probably want to spring for a dedicated controller.
If you own a current-gen Xbox controller, you can pair that up with your iPhone via Bluetooth. Otherwise, Xbox recommends buying a Backbone One, which has an ideal Xbox button setup.
With your Cloud Gaming web app up and running, you can create (or log into) an Epic account to save your progress, though the game is also playable without logging in at all. Now you can play Fortnite on your iPhone or iPad wherever you are — as long as the internet connection is stable enough to stream the game, that is.