All over the country, kids are taking to their bedrooms to put on their headsets and get lost in the cartoon-style game Fortnite. While many hours are being put into this game, the question parents are asking is, is it safe? Here’s some ways you can be sure.
Like most online games, Fortnite has a chat option in the game so that players can talk to each other. This can be a major part of the game for some kids, as playing and chatting with their friends makes them feel included.
Unfortunately, there can also be some nasty people that want to try and take advantage of this. You can’t realistically monitor every word that’s being said, but you can keep an eye on the conversation by having them play it out loud, rather than through a headset or headphones. That way, you’ll be able to hear if there’s anything strange going on with someone they don’t know.
Fortnite does have an in-game text chat option, but most players ignore it because it’s hard to type and play at the same time. Make sure you know how to block and report any players that are making your child uncomfortable.
The version of Fortnite most kids are playing is the free one - Battle Royale. Players are dropped onto a map where they’re pitted against 100 other players to see who can survive the longest. It can be done on their own, or as part of a team, and that’s where the problems can start.
Kids want their team to win and it can be world-ending when they don’t. To avoid the meltdowns, tantrums and toy-throwing, it’s important that your child understands they might lose sometimes, and that it’s ok.
Fortnite has been given a PEGI rating of 12. There’s a bit of violence (since the aim of the game is to kill the other players) but there’s no blood or gore and the cartoonish graphics are bright and engaging.
Kids under 12 probably shouldn’t be playing, but it’s up to the parents to make that decision. The PEGI website has lots of information if you want to know more about the ratings.
Fortnite has a free version, but there’s also some stuff you can pay for in the game. It can be troubling if a massive bill drops through your door - no matter how awesome your child thinks their character looks now.
We’ve got a Parents guide to VBucks (the currency in Fortnite) so you can figure out whether your child really needs the stuff they’ve been pestering for. ‘Microtransactions’ and ‘loot boxes’ are things you might hear more about too (both can lead to big bills). Click the link to read more about them.
Hopefully that's helped you get to grips with Fortnite and how to keep your kids safe while they play. If you need any more help, contact Team Knowhow experts.