Playing Fortnite on a Chromebook with a Controller
Want to play Fortnite on chromebook with controller? this game has become one of the most popular games in the world, with over 350 million registered players as of 2022. Its unique build-and-shoot gameplay has appealed to gamers of all ages. While Fortnite is best experienced on a high-end Windows gaming PC or dedicated gaming console like the PlayStation 5 or Xbox Series X, it is possible to play the game on a humble Chromebook laptop as well.
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Overview of Playing Fortnite on a Chromebook
Chromebooks are affordable laptops running Google’s Chrome OS operating system. They are great for web browsing, document editing, media consumption, and light gaming, but generally lack the power for high-end AAA gaming.
However, with the right setup and some compromises, you can enjoy Fortnite on a Chromebook using these methods:
- Cloud gaming – Services like GeForce NOW allow you to stream graphically intense games like Fortnite over the internet to underpowered devices. This offloads the heavy lifting to servers in the cloud.
- Remote desktop – You can remotely access a more powerful Windows or Mac computer on your local network or over the internet using the Chrome Remote Desktop app.
- Android app – The Android version of Fortnite works on select Chromebooks capable of running Android apps.
The rest of this 2000 word guide will cover the steps to play Fortnite on a Chromebook using the above methods, along with the limitations you may face.
System Requirements for Cloud Gaming
Cloud gaming utilizes technology like Nvidia’s GeForce NOW to let you play Fortnite by streaming it from Nvidia’s servers over the internet to your Chromebook. This allows you to play games your Chromebook would never be able to run natively.
To use GeForce NOW for playing Fortnite on your Chromebook, you need:
- 64-bit Chromebook: Cloud gaming requires a 64-bit Chromebook with 64-bit Chrome OS. 32-bit Chromebooks are not supported.
- Processor: An Intel Core M3 7th-gen or later, or a Core i3, i5 or i7 processor is recommended. Budget devices with lower-end ARM, Celeron or Pentium chips may struggle.
- RAM: At least 4GB RAM is required. 8GB or more is better for a smooth experience.
- Graphics: Intel HD Graphics 600 or better is recommended. Entry-level Chromebooks with basic integrated graphics will have a laggy and pixelated gaming experience.
- Internet: You need an internet connection with speeds of at least 15 Mbps for 720p at 60 FPS. Faster speeds like 25+ Mbps are better for crisp 1080p quality.
- Chrome browser: Update your Chrome browser to the latest version 77.x or above.
As long as your Chromebook meets those system requirements, you should be able to enjoy a decent Fortnite experience via GeForce NOW cloud streaming.
Connecting Controllers to a Chromebook
The next step is to connect a game controller to your Chromebook so that you can properly control Fortnite using thumbsticks and buttons rather than touchpad and keyboard.
Fortunately, Chrome OS supports a variety of wired and wireless controllers:
|Connect with Xbox Wireless Adapter
|Xbox Series X/S
|Connect with Xbox Wireless Adapter
|Connect via USB or Bluetooth
|Connect via USB or Bluetooth
Connecting a Wired Controller
Connecting a wired gaming controller to your Chromebook is plug-and-play simple. Just connect your Xbox, PlayStation or third-party controller via the USB port and it will automatically be recognized.
To confirm the controller is properly connected, visit Gamepad Tester sites like Gamepad Tester and check that all buttons/sticks are recognized when pressed.
Connecting a Wireless Controller
For wireless controllers, you need to pair them to your Chromebook via Bluetooth:
Step#1. Go to Settings > Bluetooth.
Step#2. Put your controller into pairing mode (the method varies by controller, check its manual). The controller will flash or blink to indicate pairing mode.
Step#3. On your Chromebook, select your controller from the list of available Bluetooth devices to pair it.
Again, visit Gamepad Tester sites to ensure all inputs register correctly once connected wirelessly over Bluetooth.
Installing and Playing Fortnite on a Chromebook
Now that your Chromebook is ready with proper controller connectivity, it’s time to actually install and play Fortnite. As mentioned earlier, there are three ways to do this:
Cloud Gaming with GeForce NOW
Step#2. Sign into your GeForce NOW and Epic Games account.
Step#3. From GeForce NOW’s game library, install Fortnite.
Step#4. Once installed, launch Fortnite, adjust your controller and graphical settings as desired, and start playing!
With cloud streaming, the game runs fully on Nvidia’s servers. Your Chromebook is simply receiving a compressed video stream of the gameplay so even lower end models can smoothly handle Fortnite. However, factors like internet speeds greatly impact overall gaming performance.
Remote Desktop Gaming
Step#1. First, enable remote desktop access on a Windows 10 or 11 gaming PC that already has Fortnite properly installed from the Epic Games launcher.
Step#2. On your Chromebook, install and set up the Chrome Remote Desktop app.
Step#3. Access your gaming PC remotely from the Chromebook using the app.
Step#4. Launch Fortnite on your gaming PC. The video, audio and controller inputs will be streamed over the internet to your Chromebook.
With remote desktop gaming, gameplay and visuals are far superior since Fortnite itself is running on capable gaming hardware. But your internet connection plays an even bigger role. Lag and video compression can heavily deteriorate the experience.
Step#1. Check if your Chromebook supports Android apps. If so, install them.
Step#2. Open the Google Play Store and install the Fortnite app.
Step#3. Launch the app and sign into your Epic Games account.
Step#4. Connect your controller either wired via USB-C or wirelessly over Bluetooth.
Step#5. Adjust any necessary settings and start playing!
The Android version has downgraded visuals compared to the Windows and console editions but can run smoothly on Chromebooks with Android app support. Gamepad controls also work well. But you miss out on the full Fortnite experience offered on platforms like the PlayStation 5.
Limitations of Playing Fortnite on a Chromebook
While all three methods outlined above work, they come with inherent limitations that prevent the full gaming experience compared to a proper gaming laptop or console.
These limitations include:
- Visual quality: You will have to compromise on resolution, textures, shadows and other graphical settings. At best you may get playable frame rates at 720p medium settings.
- Performance: Frame rates will be lower and less consistent than on devices designed specifically for gaming. Expect 30-60fps at most.
- Controls: Keyboard and mouse controls are serviceable at best. Gamepads over Bluetooth have slight lag. Support for specialty controllers is rare.
- Multiplayer issues: Online multiplayer requires low-latency internet connectivity. Any disruption or lag spikes will worsen gameplay.
- Game mode support: Many special Fortnite modes that are hardware intensive like the recent Zero Build mode may not be accessible.
- Compatibility: Certain Chromebooks, especially lower-end models, simply cannot properly run Fortnite even with workarounds.
While playable, the overall experience leaves a lot to be desired for hardcore Fortnite gamers used to buttery smooth visuals and 100+ fps competitive play. Casual gamers on a budget may find the trade-offs acceptable. But any Chromebook will struggle to match proper gaming PCs and the latest consoles.
Recommended Chromebooks for Fortnite with Controller
Given all the limitations, here are some Chromebook models that can provide the best possible Fortnite experience:
|Acer Chromebook 514
|Great budget option suitable for cloud gaming
|ASUS Chromebook CX9
|High performance for Android and cloud gaming
|HP Pro c640 Chromebook
|Enterprise model good for remote desktop gaming
|Lenovo 5i-14 Chromebook
|360 degree hinge great for using controller
The Acer Chromebook 514 offers the best balance of price and capabilities for playing Fortnite solely via cloud gaming services like GeForce