Nintendo Switch Fortnite Guide: Controls, V-Bucks and Battle Pass
Everything you need to know about playing the world's biggest game on Nintendo's hybrid console.
Our Nintendo Switch Fortnite Guide explains the controls, team modes, building and cross-play account system, and includes links to all our most popular Fortnite content.
Leaked some time before E3 and then finally confirmed last night in Nintendo’s E3 Direct broadcast, Fortnite is now available to play on the company’s incredibly successful hybrid console. All of the content from the established platforms is available to enjoy on the Nintendo Switch and nothing’s been held back.
If you’ve somehow been living under such an enormous gaming rock in 2018 that you’re not familiar with Fortnite, we wanted to put together a quick guide for the new version of the game that’ll get you up and running in absolutely no time.
First of all we’ve got an overview of how the game actually plays and what your objectives are, then we’ve included insight into each area of Fortnite. We’ve produced a huge amount of guide content for the game over the last six months, and so we’ve linked out to some our most popular articles where it makes sense to do so.
Without further ado, here’s our guide to playing Fortnite on the Nintendo Switch.
What is Fortnite?
Fortnite is a game of two halves. There’s the player-versus-environment mode called Save the World, and then there’s the Battle Royale mode. This second side of the game is the one that’s been grabbing all of the attention in 2018, and it’s been the year’s biggest hit on PC, PlayStation 4, Xbox One and mobile devices.
The game starts with 100 players crammed into a party bus that’s flying high over a map filled with all kinds of cleverly designed locations. When you’re near the section you’d like to land on, you simply exit the bus and then half nosedive-half parachute your way down onto the ground.
From here it’s a frantic race against time to gather the most powerful weapons and armour you can lay your hands on, and eliminate any other players you come across before they can do the same to you.
When you die it’s back to the lobby, where you can queue up again for a new match. If you can somehow eliminate all 99 of the other players though, you’ll earn something called a Victory Royale and be declared the overall winner.
There’s one other key component to the map though. An ever-shrinking circle of fog is present, and if you don’t stay within the confines of the playable space you’ll quickly succumb to a deadly amount of damage.
This is the game’s way of making sure players don’t simply hide away and wait for an easy finish, and keeps players on the move and out in the open.
What team modes are available in Fortnite on the Switch?
Exactly the same modes are available in the Switch edition of Fortnite as there are on the other established platforms.
You can play in the Solo queue, which means you and you alone are responsible for surviving the onslaught. Alternatively you can queue up with a friend in the Duo mode, or team up with a handful of buddies in Squad mode.
Each team size requires a very different approach to combat, and we’ve put together some handy guides which will help you play to a high standard in each one:
Is building available in the Switch version of Fortnite?
Absolutely, and for better or worse it simply wouldn’t be Fortnite without this feature. As you roam the map looking for armour and weapons, you also want to use your pickaxe to harvest wood, metal and stone materials which can be used to build defensive fortresses.
These forts are particularly useful in the frantic end-game, where you’ll need to construct a primitive shelter of your own while simultaneously attempting to obliterate your opponent’s, and bag that elusive Victory Royale.
We’ve got some very useful building guides on the site, so have a look through the following links if you’re struggling to get on top of the crafting side of the game. The next section has details of the control system too.
What are the controls for the Switch edition of Fortnite?
They’re pretty similar to the other consoles, and you can actually find them tucked away in the settings section of the game’s main interface. If you want a quick reference for outside the game though, here you go!
How do I download Fortnite for the Nintendo Switch?
This is very simple. Simply fire up the eShop on your Nintendo Switch and then search Fortnite. Once you’ve found it in the search results, you’ll be able to install it.
The game is completely free to download and play, although note that there are some paid for cosmetic items, as well as something called a Battle Pass which we’ll explain below.
Can I use my PlayStation 4 Fortnite account on Switch
No, annoyingly. Assuming you choose to play Fortnite on Switch using an Epic Games account, you will not be able to make use of it if it’s previously been connected to a PlayStation 4 PSN account.
You’ll have no choice but to create a new account in this case, as Sony does not currently support cross-platform play for the title.
If you’ve played the game in the past on a mobile device or an Xbox One console though, then you can log in with the associated Epic Games account without any bother at all.
This is annoying because you likely won’t want to buy and level up two season Battle Pass purchases, but it’s completely unavoidable we’re sorry to say. Until and unless Sony chooses to change its mind, that is.
Is Fortnite free to play on Nintendo Switch?
If you want to play the game without spending a single penny, you’ll never be at a disadvantage. There are absolutely no “pay-to-win” elements involved and everyone’s on an even playing field at all times.
If you would like to customise the appearance of your characters though, you’ll need to purchase bundles of a currency called V-Bucks. With this currency, you can pick up new outfits and skins for your characters and equipment. Visit the in-game store to both buy and spend your V-Bucks
How do I get free V-Bucks in the Switch version of Fortnite?
It’s a little bit complicated. If you’ve created an account with Epic Games (the makers of Fortnite), and you have the Save the World game on a platform that it’s available on such as the PC or Xbox One, you can use that mode to unlock free V-Bucks for your Epic account.
(We exclude the PS4 from this list because of the lack of cross-platform support detailed earlier on)
This is achieved through completing PVE quests and also by taking advantage of daily log-in bonuses which reward free V-Bucks. Check our guide below if you’d like more information on all of the known methods for getting free V-Bucks in the game.
How does the Fortnite Battle Pass work on Nintendo Switch?
If you’ve played Fortnite on other platforms then you’ll be aware of something called the Battle Pass. Each season of competitive play (lasting approximately two months) introduces a new Battle Pass for players to work through.
Everyone gets a free version of the Battle Pass to upgrade, while a premium version is available if you buy it with real money that’s been converted into V-Bucks.
As you play games and earn experience points, you’ll gradually level up your Battle Pass. As you rise up the ranks, you’ll also unlock new cosmetic items which you can use to customise your game experience even further
As you’ve probably guessed by now, there are considerably more items to unlock through the premium Battle Pass than there are in the free one. The good news though is that if you decide to upgrade your pass mid-Season, all of your progress is instantly converted over to the premium version and the unlocked items become yours right away.
How do the weekly challenges work in Fortnite on Switch?
Each week a new set of challenges go live in Fortnite. This typically happens on a Thursday, although other days have been experimented with in the past. Still, at the time of publishing this article you’ll see them go live on Thursday morning in the UK.
The challenges might have you solving treasure clues to track down treasure, for example, eliminating enemies using a specific weapon type, or performing a certain emote in specified locations.
They change every week, but we produces guides to ticking each one off the list nice and quickly as soon as each new set goes live.
Note that the list of challenges is identical across all platforms.
That’s the end of the first edition of our guide to playing Fortnite on the Nintendo Switch!
If there’s anything you think we’ve missed and would like help with, just sound off in the comments and we’ll get back to you as quickly as we can. Alternatively you can search our enormous archive of Fortnite content using the search bar at the top of the page!