How to Download Fortnite on Nintendo Switch: In 5 Steps With Photos

How to Download Fortnite on Nintendo Switch

How to Download Fortnite on Nintendo Switch: In 5 Steps With Photos

Fortnite was destined to be a cultural phenomenon practically from the day it first launched in 2017. Within a month of its release, it had reached a million active players. Within a year, that number had risen to 125 million players.

Naturally, Epic Games — the publisher and developer behind the wildly successful video game — were quick to release the battle royale game on as many platforms as possible. The goal was to bring Fortnite to iOS, Android, and the Switch as soon as possible. Thankfully, years later, it’s now available. Here’s how to download Fortnite on Nintendo Switch.

Fortnite Specifications for Nintendo Switch

DeveloperEpic Games
PublisherEpic Games
Released for SwitchJune 12th, 2018
Required Space19.2 GB
Players1 (local)
1 – 99 (online multiplayer)
CostFree (in-game purchases available)
GenreThird-person shooter, battle royale
ESRB RatingT – Teen

When Was Fortnite Released on Nintendo Switch?

While Fortnite is known best as a battle royale game today, it actually began as a survival game called Fortnite: Save the World. First revealed as far back as 2011, the game first entered development in the wake of Epic’s release of Gears of War 3.

Drawing inspiration from a number of different sources and modes — including the construction elements of Minecraft and Terraria, as well as survival shooters such as Left 4 Dead and Call of Duty Zombies — Epic got to work on what would soon become Fortnite. It took them another six years to perfect it, but perfect it they did.

In the early stages of development, Epic planned to make Fortnite a PC exclusive. The reasoning behind this exclusivity was the use of their new game engine, Unreal 4, which would feature unrivaled graphics that the modern-day consoles of the time simply wouldn’t be able to handle.

But, two years after the initial announcement and with 90 developers now assigned to the project, Epic was still no closer to having a finished product. As a matter of fact, Epic’s focus had seemingly shifted to a different free-to-play online multiplayer game called Paragon.

Epic went ahead and finished Paragon in 2016 before truly buckling down and completing Fortnite. Some early online alpha testing took place for Fortnite in late 2014 and early 2015, then got put on pause until Paragon was done, before returning in full force in 2016.

It was officially set for a 2018 release on Windows, Mac, PlayStation 4, and Xbox One. Millions received early access in 2017. By 2018, the game was finally wide-released. It was instantly popular and only became more so with the release of its free battle royale mode. Fortnite then hit the Nintendo Switch in June of 2018.

How to Download Fortnite on Nintendo Switch: Step by Step

Now, you know Fortnite is available — and not to mention hugely successful — on the Nintendo Switch, but what you might not know is how to actually download it to your console. Luckily, the steps to download Fortnite on Nintendo Switch are a lot simpler than you might think.

In fact, it’ll only take a second to download it. Honestly, the longest part of the process will simply be waiting for Fortnite to finish downloading (the game is huge!). To download Fortnite on Nintendo Switch, simply follow along with the steps and images below.

Step 1: Go to the Nintendo eShop

download fortnite on nintendo switch
To download Fortnite on Nintendo Switch, first go to the Nintendo eShop.


First things first: power up your Nintendo Switch. It doesn’t matter if you’ve got it connected to the dock or are using it handheld. Navigate down to the menu at the bottom of the home page and keep scrolling over until you see the icon labeled Nintendo eShop.

Hit select, and then wait for the eShop to load. You’ll simply see an orange screen, but fear not: that means it’s working.

Step 2: Search Fortnite

Download Fortnite on Nintendo Switch
Search Fortnite on the Nintendo eShop.


Once the Nintendo eShop has loaded, you’ll see a menu on the left-hand side of its home page. Navigate to the top left, where you’ll find the search bar. Here, you’ll type in “Fortnite” and then hit search.

(If you have autofill enabled, you’ll probably only have to type an “F” before Fortnite pops up as a suggested search.)

Wait for it to load, then navigate over to the search results. Here, you’ll likely see a number of different options. However, you only want the top result: Fortnite.

Step 3: Hit Download and Wait for It to Complete

Download Fortnite on Nintendo Switch
Wait patiently while Fortnite downloads.


Now, once you’ve found the game in the search results, you’ll want to tap the A button. This will take you to the game’s download page. You can navigate through the game’s “About” section or peruse screenshots from the game, if you so please, or you can get straight to downloading. To do this, navigate to the Download button to the right of the page. Then, hit the A button again.

With this action, your Nintendo Switch will return to the home page. Here, in your game library, you should now see a Fortnite icon appear alongside all your other recently played games.

As we said before, the game is truly enormous — it’s probably going to take a good while to download completely, even if your internet connection is speedy. Be patient and let it finish downloading. Once that’s done, you can finally start playing.

Step 4: Start Fortnite

Download Fortnite on Nintendo Switch
Once you’ve downloaded Fortnite on the Nintendo Switch, you can jump right into the game.


Remember: a watched pot never boils. Set the handheld console down or walk away from the docked console for a bit until the game finishes its download. At 19.2 GB, it’s not going to be instantaneous. Once it’s all done, though, you can get right to gaming.

Tap the A button to start the game, then follow the instructions on the screen to start a match. You’ll have plenty of options to choose from, ranging from Battle Royale to Fortnite Creative to singles, duos, and so on. Play around, find what’s the most fun for you personally, join your friends, play against strangers… you name it. Just have fun.

Here is a short video we recommend to see a live demonstration of how to download Fortnite on Nintendo Switch, made by How To Tech on YouTube.

How to Download Fortnite on Nintendo Switch: Summary

Now that you know how to download Fortnite on Nintendo Switch, you can quickly get to downloading and then gaming. It’s as easy as visiting the Nintendo eShop, finding Fortnite, selecting it for download, waiting a few minutes, and then launching the game. Happy gaming!

Frequently Asked Questions

When did Fortnite release on the Nintendo Switch?

Fortnite hit the Nintendo eShop on June 12th, 2018. This came after more than a year of being available on Windows, Mac, PlayStation 4, and Xbox One. That same year, the game became available on iOS and Android mobile devices.

Is Fortnite free to play?

Despite some initial confusion during development and early release about whether or not Fortnite would be free to play, the game is currently completely and totally free to play and enjoy today.

There are, however, plenty of micro-transactions that can be made while playing. Be careful not to accidentally spend real money that you didn’t mean to spend.

How many people play Fortnite?

In 2023, Fortnite sees an average of around 250 million active monthly players. Of those 250 million, more than 25 million play the game daily. Around 20% of these players come from the United States, with the rest of the world accounting for the other 80%.

Is Fortnite appropriate for kids?

Fortnite is rated T for Teen. Though the concept is somewhat graphic, the game has a cartoonish aesthetic that softens much of the inherently violent nature of the battle royale gameplay and third-person shooter genre. The real concern comes from interacting with other players around the world, who can be pretty unfiltered for younger ears.

When will Fortnite update next?

Fortnite Chapter 4, Season 2 is expected to drop on March 9th, 2023.

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