Even Drake plays Fortnite – but WTF is it?

More than half a million people watched the rapper play 'Fortnite' last night

Last night, more than 600,000 people tuned in to watch Drake play survival co-op game ‘Fornite’ with top player Ninja – smashing the record for the highest number of views of an individual’s stream on video platform Twitch. The pair were joined by Travis Scott and NFL player JuJu Smith-Schuster later in the evening, with the four playing together in a team.

In the stream, Drake revealed that he has been playing ‘Fornite’ for a couple of months and watches Ninja during breaks from recording his latest album – the superstar also said he is a fan of pineapple on pizzas. But what the fuck is ‘Fortnite’? Here’s all you need to know.

When was the game released?

Although the concept for ‘Fortnite’ was first revealed at the 2011 Spike Video Game Awards (VGA), the game was not released until July 2017.

What’s the background to the game, and when is it set?

‘Fornite’ is a co-op fantasy survival game developed by Epic Games and People Can Fly. The game is set on modern day earth – but a worldwide storm has caused 98 per cent of the population to disappear. The chaotic storms engulf the globe, dropping zombie-like creatures onto earth, which attack the survivors. These survivors manage to build “storm shields”, which clear the storm clouds immediately overhead therefore stopping the zombie-like creatures from attacking, and construct survivor bases within these fields of safety.

How many people can play at once?

Up to four people can play together as a team in ‘Fortnite’. The game supports up to 100 players taking part in each battle in the “Battle Royale” mode.

What is the aim of the game?

There are two main modes of play – “Save the World” and “Battle Royale”. “Save the World” sees individuals or up to four player teams managing and operating out of these safe bases. Players are then tasked with going outside the bases using randomly-generated maps to find survivors; obtain resources; build fortifications to expand their “storm shield”; and collect weapons or set traps in order to fight the zombie-like creatures. Ultimately, the aim is to return earth to its previously habitable state. Players gain rewards through completing these missions to upgrade their characters, supports teams, and weapons arsenal, in order to take on more difficult tasks. Players can also buy, using real money, in-game currency to help achieve these upgrades – although this is not a requirement.

Meanwhile “Battle Royale”, which is what Drake played last night, sees individuals or up to four-man squads taking on other players – up to 100 can take part at once – to be the last man or group standing. Players start with just a pickaxe, but can scavenge for weapons, armour and resources.

What devices can you play ‘Fortnite’ on?

The game is published by Epic Games and has been released as a paid-for title on Microsoft Windows, macOS, PlayStation 4 and Xbox One. However, there is a free version using just the “Battle Royale” mode available on these devices. There is a cross-play system, too, meaning users on different devices can still team-up and play together. Epic Games has recently released a free version of the “Battle Royal” mode of the game for IOS devices, but you have to signed up to the ‘Fornite’ list and then sent an invite to download the app, and will be unveiling a version of this mode on Android mobile devices soon.