Fortnite returns to iOS through Xbox Cloud Gaming, available for free

Fortnite on iPhone
Fortnite on iPhone (Image credit: iMore)

What you need to know

  • Fortnite was infamously banned from the Apple App Store, resulting in a legal battle between Epic Games and Apple.
  • Over 18 months later, Fortnite is finally returning to iOS and iPadOS devices, but it's not coming through the App Store.
  • Players can now stream Fortnite via Xbox Cloud Gaming through their browser, and it's completely free to do so.
  • All you need is a Microsoft Account, and then you can play Fortnite with touch controls or a Bluetooth-enabled controller.

Fortnite is one of the most popular games in the world, and it functions well on mobile devices thanks to its integrated touch controls. However, the massively successful battle royale title has been noticeably absent on Apple's mobile devices for over 18 months now, thanks to a long-running battle between mega-corporations Epic Games and Apple. On Thursday, this is finally changing: Fortnite is returning to iOS (but not in the way it was before).

Epic Games and Xbox have partnered up to make Fortnite available through Xbox Cloud Gaming, a move that not only sets a precedent for free-to-play titles on Microsoft's gaming service, but also ensures Fortnite players can access the game anywhere they play, including iOS and iPadOS devices. This announcement ends the ban of Fortnite from Apple devices, although the game is still not available from the App Store or in a native format.

Instead, players can stream Fortnite to their iPhone or iPad through the browser, by using Xbox Cloud Gaming. Unlike the hundreds of other games available through the service, Microsoft doesn't require you to have an Xbox Game Pass Ultimate subscription, either, meaning anyone can access at least one of the best Xbox Cloud Gaming games without whipping out the credit card.

As Fortnite is a free-to-play game, it is completely free to stream through Xbox Cloud Gaming. All you need is a free Microsoft Account and For more information on supported Apple devices and other relevant details, be sure to check out our guide on how to set up Xbox Cloud Gaming on iOS and iPadOS. As the game is streaming over Microsoft's Xbox Cloud Gaming servers, you will need a decent internet connection to enjoy a comfortable experience. You can play Fortnite with its integrated touch controls, or you can connect a supported Bluetooth controller.

Zachary Boddy

Zachary Boddy is the Minecraft Expert and a News Writer for Windows Central, Android Central, and iMore. They have been gaming and writing for most of their life, and have been freelancing for iMore and its sister sites since 2019, with a focus on Xbox and PC gaming. You can find Zachary on Twitter @BoddyZachary.