Fortnite game for kidsYou have probably heard about Fortnite, from your child or their friends. If you’re wondering if it’s all right to let your kid join the action, here’s what you should know about this wildly popular video game.

It’s More than Fortnite

The original game called Fortnite has been around for some time. But the craze started when Fortnite Battle Royale was introduced. This free, multi-player version involves about 100 players in a match. In a wide landscape, players collect objects to protect themselves in battle against sinister creatures. The objective is to be the last one standing. You can enter a match by yourself, with a partner, or with a group, but no matter which setting, you’re still playing with other people. Common Sense Media suggests this game for ages 13 and older, but with the appropriate parental controls it can be an option for tweens who want to play a less-violent video game.

Build Things, Shoot Things

My pre-teen defines Fortnite Battle Royale as Minecraft with guns. Players can build structures to defend themselves, attack others or just get around obstacles. You can collaborate with your squad, creatively problem-solve and just plain have fun. Because it’s a third person shooting game, players don’t see from the point of view of someone shooting or being shot. There is no gore. This is as mild a shooting visual as you’ll get in a video game.

You Can Play with What You’ve Got

Fortnite Battle Royale is unusually accessible, meaning you can play on multiple platforms. Currently, options include PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Windows, Mac, and mobile devices. There is no need to buy special hardware or additional devices in order to play, which is a relief to many parents.

Explore Different Modes

Fortnite Battle Royale offers special modes. Some are available for limited times and others may become permanent modes. Right now, Playground Mode enables a player to play with up to four friends only. For an hour, this foursome can explore, build, or battle. If you are not keen on the idea of your child playing with or against strangers, this is a great mode for them to try the Fortnite experience with peers in a private way.

It’s Free, Mostly

Players can buy “v-bucks” which are used to pay for character icons, dances, and accessories for their characters. A battle pass is also available for $10, which can unlock additional elements and accessories for players, depending on how many challenge requirements they meet.

Chat is Part of Gaming

Part of the fun of playing with friends is that you can chat with them (“Oh no! Look out!”) during the course of a match although you may all be in different places. But chat can be open within the entire cast of Battle Royale players, so you’ll need to be cautious about stranger communication. You can easily turn off voice chat in the Settings menu.

20 Minute Matches

Matches in Battle Royale last for 20 minutes. However, a match will be shorter if your player is eliminated. Because the matches are finite, it’s easy to manage time spent on it. The allotment could be, for example, two matches, no matter how long your player lasts. Then, make plans to get your player active IRL (in real life) at one of the best playgrounds in Atlanta.

–  Jayson Faupel contributed to this article

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