Fortnite Adds In-Game Video Chat
One of the biggest games in the world right now received one of the most interesting features. After a recent update, you’re now able to see your friends while squad up online together in Fortnite. This new video chat feature added to the popular battle royale game by Epic, allows you to see live feeds of your friends within the game itself. The feature was added to the PS4, PS5 and PC versions of the game and it will roll out in the future on other platforms as well.
Epic was able to add this fun new feature to Fornite via a chat app they acquired a while back called Houseparty. Initially, the new acquisition was used to power Fortnite in-game voice chat. To use the new video chat feature, you’ll need to first link your Houseparty and Epic accounts together. Once that’s done, you’ll need to activate Fortnite Mode within the app. Completing this step will make it so your party of friends is displayed on the left side of the screen while you’re playing. The party size goes up to 10 people in the app. However, only 4 will appear in the game with the most recently active on display. This last bit is reminiscent of how video conferencing apps like Zoom and MS Teams handle video feeds.
In essence, you’ll need a few components to make this all work. Aside from the game itself, on Playstation or PC, you’ll need to get the Houseparty app on your iOS or Android mobile device. This device will operate as your camera so you need to make sure it’s propped up so that it can see your mug. While this may be reminiscent of the clunkiness of Nintendo’s mobile app used to handle voice chat for the Switch, Epic feels it’s something users have been doing since before the feature launched.
A cool and nice feature of the Houseparty app is that it only shows your face. Epic has stated that they use face detection libraries so that the app can snap to your face. At the same time, it replaces your background with a colorful one. When you move off-camera, the feed will only show your background. The main reasons behind this decision, according to Epic, was for safety reasons and to also keep things focused.
Considering how Fortnite has gone from being a battle royale game to a full-blown social network, the addition of video chat makes a lot of sense. After the launch of the peaceful Party Royale social space along with big events, including concerts featuring big celebrities, adding more features that enable players to kick back and hang out with their friends is what we should be expecting from Fortnite. This addition could also pave the way for other developers and console makers to include it in their products.
Epic hasn’t said whether the feature will be making it to other games, nor when it’ll be available in Fortnite on other platforms.
Credit: Yannis Vatis
Yannis is a veteran gamer with over 25 years of experience across the spectrum of genres. He enjoys spending time with his family, livestreaming on Twitch and occasionally dishing out unsolicited dad advice.