Your child probably hasn’t stopped talking about it. But what is Fortnite, is it suitable and should you be spending money on it? Take a look at my parent’s guide to Fortnite.
It appears we have let a monster into our house. And when I say we, I mean me. You see, just under a year ago, one of my friends convinced me to download a free game. He told me it was the best game ever and I would soon be hooked. I’m not convinced on the best game ever tag, but I have certainly played a lot. Unfortunately, my children caught me playing one evening and they too have now become fans. My son will not stop talking about Fortnite, even to my wife who has no idea what he’s talking about. At his football training, the kids seem more interested in talking about how many kills they got the night before, rather than kicking a ball.
And we don’t seem to spend more than a few days without telling my son he is banned from playing Fortnite. Although it is also quite a good bargaining tool when it comes to homework.
It appears that we have it easy in our house though, as Fortnite has been cited as a reason for divorce in 5% of cases in the UK. There’s still time though…
What is Fortnite?
For those of you that don’t know, Fortnite is an online game for up to 100 players. The game is set on an island with the idea of one player being the last one standing. Players can eliminate each other in different ways, but the most common is by shooting. There are various different modes available to play such as solo, duo, teams of 4 or even teams of 50.
Is it safe for kids?
The game is rated as ’12’ as it involves guns and explosives. However, unlike other games, there isn’t any graphic violence. I can understand if you don’t want your child to play, but I know plenty of primary school aged children that do. If you do allow your child to play, it’s other people you need to worry about. Playing a solo game, you don’t co-operate with others and will not be able to hear anyone else. However, if you team up with others and they have a microphone, they will be able to speak to you. This could be a 4-year-old girl or a 40-year-old man. They could live in the U.K. or be from Poland. The fact is, you don’t really know who they are. My son is only allowed to team up with his friends from school.
Do you have to spend money?
Nope. The game is free to download and you can enjoy playing without spending a penny. Your hard earned cash will not help you win or make you a better player.
With that said, Xbox will require you to have an Xbox Live Gold account if you want to play. The Gold account lets you play your games online, which is essential for Fortnite. Nintendo Switch and PlayStation owners can play for free.
Why spend anything?
Fortnite has an online currency called V-Bucks. V-Bucks can be exchanged for items such as skins (outfits to you and me), dances and other items. These items don’t really do anything and are for aesthetic purposes only but kids seem to enjoy them. The thing your kid will really want is the season pass.
What is a season pass?
A season pass gives you a lot more to do in the game. Instead of just trying to win and being the last person standing, you get lots of extra missions. It adds some variety to the game and if you complete these missions and you will be rewarded with extra items (such as the above-mentioned skins). A season usually consists of 10 sets of missions which are released weekly.
How much does a season cost?
So… A season will cost you 950 V-Bucks, whilst buying a 1000 V-Bucks will cost you £9.99. In real terms, that means a season costs about £9.50.
But the good news is you don’t have to shell out every time a new season is released. Completing missions doesn’t just reward you with extra items, but also more V-Bucks. In fact, every season you can earn up to 1500 extra V-Bucks. That means that once you have enough V-Bucks for one season, you will never have to buy more. So once you have the first season pass, you generate V-Bucks for free. Of course, this does mean that your child has to be disciplined with their spending. Good luck with that.
Away from the season pass, individual items aren’t so well priced. For example, some skins cost 2000 V-Bucks. That means it will cost your child just under £20 to run around in a new costume. Which they will probably get bored of within a week anyway.
Check your settings!
Make sure that any purchases that your child makes from their console/phone/tablet need a password. Some devices will allow you to keep on buying once you have made your first purchase. You don’t want a nasty shock when you receive your monthly bank statement. Check online for your device’s settings if you’re not sure. You don’t want to end up like this woman from Wales whose son spent £1000!
If you have any questions, feel free to ask in the comments box below.