Fortnite is now available to play through Xbox Cloud Gaming for free

Xbox Project xCloud games
Xbox Project xCloud games (Image credit: Matt Brown | Windows Central)

What you need to know

  • Fortnite is a hugely-popular free-to-play battle royale that is available to play on multiple gaming platforms.
  • On Thursday, Xbox announced that Fortnite is joining the growing Xbox Cloud Gaming library, and it's available now.
  • Players can stream Fortnite to any supported, browser-enabled device simply by signing in with their Microsoft Account.
  • Xbox is looking into bringing more free-to-play games to Xbox Cloud Gaming, and Fortnite is only the first.

Fortnite is one of the world's most successful games available today, and is actively played by millions of players. It's already available across almost the entire range of modern gaming platforms, but it can be difficult to access on mobile devices. On Thursday, Xbox and Epic Games announced a new partnership that makes it even easier to play Fortnite, no matter where you are.

Starting today, Fortnite is now available to play through Microsoft's Xbox Cloud Gaming. The service grants Xbox Game Pass Ultimate subscribers access to a vast collection of Xbox titles through the power of the cloud, and is available across Xbox, Windows PCs, Android, iOS, and more through the browser or app. With the addition of a free-to-play title like Fortnite, Xbox is changing things up and setting a new precedent.

You don't have to be subscribed to Xbox Game Pass Ultimate to play Fortnite through Xbox Cloud Gaming. All you need is a Microsoft Account (you can create an account for free, if you don't already have one), which you can use to sign into on any supported, browser-enabled device. You're able to play Fortnite completely for free using both touch controls or a compatible Bluetooth controller.

Notably, this means that Fortnite is once again available on iOS devices, as long as you're willing to stream it over the internet. Xbox Cloud Gaming is available through the browser on iPhones and iPads, as well as Android and Windows PCs, semi-ending the Fortnite ban on Apple devices. You'll need relatively capable internet in order to stream Fortnite, which is already an intense online-connected game, but you now have that option.

For a small subset of users, this may also mean that Fortnite can now be played on the Steam Deck, where it's not officially supported. Xbox doesn't explicitly mention Fortnite on Valve's handheld console, but Xbox Cloud Gaming is available on Steam Deck in a "testing" capacity. Players can access the streaming service through the browser and play the entire Xbox Cloud Gaming catalog from their Steam Deck.

Fortnite is the first free-to-play title Microsoft has added to the Xbox Cloud Gaming catalog, and it apparently won't be the last. The company is looking into adding other popular free-to-play titles in the future, further increasing the value Xbox Cloud Gaming has for gaming while on the move. There are already a lot of great games on Xbox Cloud Gaming, but Xbox seems intent on expanding that pool to new areas, starting with the addition of Fortnite. Xbox Cloud Gaming now boasts of over 10 million players, and Fortnite's arrival is bound to attract a few more.

Zachary Boddy
Staff Writer

Zachary Boddy (They / Them) is a Staff Writer for Windows Central, primarily focused on covering the latest news in tech and gaming, the best Xbox and PC games, and the most interesting Windows and Xbox hardware. They have been gaming and writing for most of their life starting with the original Xbox, and started out as a freelancer for Windows Central and its sister sites in 2019. Now a full-fledged Staff Writer, Zachary has expanded from only writing about all things Minecraft to covering practically everything on which Windows Central is an expert, especially when it comes to Microsoft. You can find Zachary on Twitter @BoddyZachary.