- The Fortnite update is now available for iOS and Android users
- Party Hub can be controlled on a smartphone but used across platforms
- The move underscores Fortnite’s growth as a social platform
Epic Games has introduced a new ‘Party Hub’ cross-platform voice-enabled communication feature for Fortnite, its massively popular online multiplayer game. The Party Hub is available only for the mobile version of Fortnite on Android and iOS, but players on PCs or consoles can join parties, and anyone can continue a chat session on another device after starting one from their smartphone. This new feature lets players see which of their friends are online, and allows voice chatting even outside of matches. It can even be used on smartphones while the game itself is being updated.
Epic Games says that text messaging is coming soon but is not supported yet, and there is no mention of video capabilities so far. Party Hub builds on technology that Epic Games acquired when it bought the group video chat app Houseparty earlier this year.
You don’t actually have to be playing the game to use it, which expands the social aspect of Fortnite beyond the game itself. Android and iOS users will need to make sure that they are running version 10.31 of the game in order to see the new feature. Once updated, the app will show Party Hub controls at the bottom of the screen, which users can get to before launching into a match.
A party of friends can then jump into a match together if they want to. Some smartphones that aren’t capable of running the game will still be able to run the Party Hub feature. To transfer a party to a PC or console, the app simply has to be running while the user launches the game on another platform, and the party will be accessible there. To move to using the phone app while in a game on another platform, users can tap “Transfer Voice to This Device” to continue chatting.