Fortnite has always let you chat to your teammates and other players over a headset, but thanks to a collaboration with the app Houseparty it now lets you go one step further and video chat while in the game.
For now it only works on PC, PS4, and PS5 – and you will need to have your phone handy with you while you play – but if that sounds good then here’s how to get started.
What you need to video chat on Fortnite
As already mentioned, the first thing to bear in mind is that you have to be playing on PC, PlayStation 4, or PlayStation 5. Other platforms may be supported in the future, but so far that’s it.
You’ll also need to have either an Android or iOS phone or tablet with the Houseparty app installed.
How to start Fortnite video chat
As a perk for connecting your accounts, you’ll get the free Rainbow Fog Wrap gifted to your Fortnite account.
Once the accounts are connected, open Fortnite on your PC or PlayStation console and have your phone or tablet to hand – make sure it’s in a stable position where the selfie camera can see your face fully. You might need to prop it up against something on your desk or table to make this work.
You’ll then need to join your friends in the Houseparty app as normal, and once you do their video feeds will appear within the game on the left-hand side and you can carry on chatting while you play. It’ll crop video to focus just on people’s faces, and automatically insert a Fortnite-themed background too.
Fortnite video chat safety features
Since Fortnite has a large audience of young players, Epic and Houseparty have made sure to include a few safety features.
First up, bear in mind that Houseparty itself is designed for people 13+, and you have to be that old to create an account.
Epic has added a toggle for the Houseparty video chat option into Fortnite’s parental controls, so concerned parents can simply turn the option off entirely if they’re worried.
The only people that can join a chat room are the friends of people already in it, which limits how large a group can appear. At any time people in the group can also tap the padlock icon in the Houseparty group to prevent anyone else from joining – and can also unlock it at any time to let more people in.
It’s also easy to block specific people from the chat – just tap on their video in the Houseparty app and select ‘Block’.
Within Fortnite, there’s also the option to report a specific player’s behaviour by going into Settings, and then ‘Reporting/Feedback’.
Will Fortnite video chat come to Xbox, Switch, or mobile?
We don’t know! All Epic has said so far is that the company will “let everyone know if we’re able to support more platforms in the future.”
That’s a bit uncertain, but unless Sony has signed an exclusivity deal for PlayStation it seems very unlikely that the option would never turn up on other platforms – you might just have to wait a while.
Of course, with the game no longer officially available on iPhone at all, and Apple and Epic locked in an intense legal battle, it's a safe bet that video chat won't be coming to Fortnite on iOS any time soon.