Two-factor authentication, often referred to as “2FA” by hip internet kids, is one of (if not the) strongest tools available for protecting your Fortnite account. By requiring an additional login confirmation from a secondary account and/or device, 2FA systems prevent nefarious actors from remotely accessing your bank account, email inbox, or indeed, even your Epic account. Considering that most of us have credit card/Paypal info linked with our Epic accounts, keeping that data confidential has never been more important — especially since the Epic Store’s footprint continues to gain relevance and, by extension, attract hackers.
Lucky for you, setting up 2FA on your Epic account is a five minute process, and you’ll even get some free Fortnite goodies for doing it. (Yes, even you, Save the World players.) You can even pick between an email-based 2FA system or one that uses an authenticator app, depending on how you want to live your life. Let’s get started.
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Step 1: Verify Your Email Address
If you created an Epic account for Fortnite, but never got around to verifying the email address you used to sign up, you’ll need to do that before anything else. (Move on to Step 2 if this doesn’t apply to you!)
Access your Epic account settings by clicking here and signing in. You should be presented with the menu above, which will allow you to update your Epic account’s associated email address if necessary, and then re-send the verification email. Once received, the email should contain a verification link that must be clicked to complete the process. (Note: If your screen doesn’t look like this example, try clicking on the “General” tab on the left to ensure that you’re viewing the proper menu.)
Step 2: Choose a 2FA Method
Once you’ve got your email squared away, return to your account overview and click the “Password & Security” tab on the left. This will take you to a page that handles both password changes, and setting up 2FA. Scroll down, and you should see two bright blue buttons waiting for you to make an important choice: Email, or app?
Both methods substantially increase the security of your Epic account, but we recommend using an authenticator app over email if possible, for a few key reasons. Yes, in practice sending a verification code to your email address is basically like sending a verification code to an app on your phone, but email verification is only as secure as your email account is. If your email were to become compromised — by say, using the same password for your email as you do for any for anything else — black hats could just log into your email and get the authentication code when prompted.
Now, if your email account has its own 2FA system enabled, receiving Epic’s authentication codes via email should be just as secure as receiving them through an authenticator app. That said, we still prefer using an app, as it removes a few steps from the process. Instead of opening an app to authenticate your email to get a code, you can just get the code straight from the app. Epic currently supports Google, Microsoft, LastPass, and Authy authenticators, so you might have an eligible authenticator already installed.
At any rate, personal security is personal, so go with what you’re most comfortable with.
Step 3-A: Enable Email Authentication
If you decide to go with email, just click all up on that “Enable Email Authentication” button. You should immediately be shown the below prompt, which informs you that a code has been sent to the email address associated with your Epic account. Open a new tab/window and log into your email, and Bob’s your uncle. If you haven’t received the email after a few minutes, check for it in your spam folder — just don’t click on anything else while you’re in there! The spam folder is a dark place full of malicious contagions and should not be taken lightly.
Once you’ve got the code, head back to your account and plug it into the box. Hit “Continue,” and you should be all set! From now on, any time you (or anyone else) tries to log into your Epic account, they’ll first have to input a code sent to your email address. You can tell the Epic launcher to remember a device for a certain amount of time, which causes it to ignore 2FA protocols for login attempts from that phone/computer/refrigerator, but this should only be done on devices that you own and are the sole user of.
Step 3-B: Enable Authenticator App
If you choose to go the app route, you might already have one of the four supported authenticator apps already installed. If not, head over to your device’s app store and grab one — Google’s Authenticator is likely to be the most useful for most people, since most folk use gmail nowadays. But! If you’re already using LastPass for password management, or have a Microsoft account for Xbox stuff, those are fine choices as well. Once you’ve got the app of your choice installed, click on the “Enable Authenticator App” button to be greeted by the prompt below.
This prompt contains a QR code specific to your Epic account, which is why it has been obscured in this example by the cheeky pig from Funky Barn. This prompt must stay open until you enter the security code — closing it and opening it back up would generate a new QR code, and you’d have to start over. Anyway! All of the authenticator apps supported by Epic have a plus sign somewhere on their main interface, which will bring up the app’s QR code scanner. Point this at the code on your screen, and the rest of the process should take care of itself. You should then be presented with a security code to enter back into the website, after which this prompt will appear:
And that’s it! From here you can generate a set of backup security codes, which are one-time use codes in case of an emergency. If your phone is stolen, for instance, one of these codes can be used to log into your Epic account and change your authentication information. Just make sure to store these codes securely; we recommend writing them down on an honest-to-goodness piece of real, actual paper.