Fortnite mobile players trying to party up with friends now don’t need to shout across the room for call-outs. Early this morning, Epic released the Party Hub, a voice chat options for those mobile players whose friends might be in a car or at Starbucks (please don’t play loudly in a Starbucks, though).
There are a ton of interesting nifty features for players opting to use the app. For one, not every teammate in the “party” actually has to be playing a Fortnite match at that moment. They just need to be logged into the game. This reinforces Fortnite’s position as a social hub a little bit more.
Players looking to mix-and-match their platforms are also in luck. If a player wants to switch from mobile to another platform, they just need to launch the game on their preferred platform. The party will automatically be synced onto the new platform, and the mobile app can be shut off. Or, if you prefer to use the mobile app instead, you can leave the Party Hub up on mobile. And if there’s a mixed bag of platform users in a party, the Party Hub will allow cross-chat too. You might need to finagle with the settings a little bit, though.
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However, for all the bells and whistles that Party Hub already has, there’s no text chat in Party Hub yet. (Epic stated on their FAQ that “work is in progress for this functionality.”)
It’s likely that these features are meant to keep players on Epic’s native platforms instead of elsewhere. The other options for voice chat while playing Fortnite on mobile were apps like Discord and Skype. But this could also be good news for parents concerned about their kids’ safety; for its powerful social and communication features, Discord specifically is known to be a somewhat predatory space through its public channels. Party Hub will probably keep Fortnite socialization insular.
Many are speculating that this is the first major Fortnite release from Houseparty, an app that calls itself a “face to face social network.” Essentially, it’s meant to be a more consumer-friendly Skype, and a multi-platform Facetime. Epic Games acquired the app company earlier this year. Other than the acquisition, the two apps don’t have any known official cross-pollination at the moment.
Party Hub comes free with the Fortnite mobile client, and can be acquired through the latest update right now.